Restaurants’ loyalty programs aim to turn one-time diners into a reliable base of regular customers. However, these rewards programs can turn into huge headaches for restaurants if not executed effectively.
If the rewards are too generous, the program’s cost could eat up earnings. But if the rewards aren’t compelling enough, unredeemed points have to stay on company books and, worst of all, they’ll have failed to convert occasional patrons into dedicated customers. While some restaurants are focused on using rewards to build trust with customers, others are working to not lose the trust they’ve already built. That means defending against the biggest customer betrayal: fraud.
This month’s Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker explores new approaches to building loyalty, ranging from giftable rewards points to blockchain-based loyalty programs, as well as the latest studies and insights on keeping restaurants and their customers safe from bad actors.
Loyalty programs may inspire consumers to feel warmly toward a brand, but fraud is a sure-fire way to make them distrustful of a quick-service restaurants (QSR). That’s an issue increasingly on restaurants’ minds, especially as introducing the conveniences of mobile ordering forces them to fight the risks of mobile fraud.
Three quarters of merchants from the food and beverage industry reported that mobile fraud attempts increased last year, a recent report from Kount found. What’s more, 54 percent of these merchants said detecting fraud is one of their greatest challenges when it comes to mobile.
In many cases, restaurants seek to protect themselves by bolstering the authentication measures involved with logging into apps. But efforts can’t stop there, said Rusty Carter, VP of product management at Arxan, in a recent conversation with PYMNTS. According to Carter, far too many attacks are launched from within the app itself due to hacker-installed malware.
Despite these security challenges, restaurants and other venues don’t seem to be shying away from taking up the mobile channel. Even a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based movie theatre chain, Star Bawadi Cinemas, is getting in on the action, as it recently launched a service to enable moviegoers to order concessions ahead for pickup, or even for delivery to their seats.
While Star Bawadi Cinemas is looking to add convenience to consumers’ occasional movie, other providers have been working to make their order-ahead services part of consumers’ daily routines. Such is the case for Dunkin’ Donuts, which has drilled down on tailoring mobile ordering to its regular, coffee-a-day customers, and has focused on evolving the service and leveraging new channels to keep its offering fresh.
In this month’s feature story, Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, Dunkin’s VP of digital and loyalty marketing, explains how focusing on loyalty rewards members has made for a smoother rollout of the original service, as well as voice ordering. She also discusses how the company aims to get customers their caffeine and sugar fixes faster and more conveniently than ever.
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About The Tracker
The Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker™, powered by Kount, serves as a monthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent news and trends, along with a provider directory highlighting the key players that contribute across the segments and comprise the mobile order-ahead ecosystem.