Domino’s Rewards Launch Takes Shots at Dunkin’, Others


Domino’s Pizza is putting its rivals in its crosshairs with the latest iteration of its loyalty program.

On Tuesday (Sept. 12), the quick-service restaurant (QSR) giant, which has more than 20,000 locations around the world, launched Domino’s Rewards, a program that lowers the threshold for earning freebies. The company kicked off the announcement by calling out competitors that have been devaluing their rewards points and making it harder for consumers to get perks.

“At a time when most brands are scaling back their loyalty programs and making it more difficult to earn and redeem points, Domino’s is doing the opposite,” Mark Messing, the restaurant’s vice president of digital experience and loyalty, said in a statement. “We want to make it easier to reward our customers and give them more options so they can get rewarded faster.”

With this move, the QSR is taking shots at the restaurants that have watered down their rewards programs as costs have increased. Dunkin’ was one of the first major restaurants to do so, changing its DD Perks program to Dunkin’ Rewards nearly a year ago, unveiling a new point structure that made it more difficult to redeem popular items.

Around the same time, customers of fast-casual giant Chipotle Mexican Grill were observing on social media that the number of points required to redeem a free entrée is on the rise.

In February, coffeeshop behemoth Starbucks implemented changes that included doubling the number of points, or Stars, it takes to earn brewed hot coffee, bakery items and hot tea while decreasing by a third the number of stars required to earn iced coffee and iced tea.

The following month, Chick-fil-A, informed its customers via email that it was increasing the number of points required to redeem some of the items in its Chick-fil-A One rewards program.

These moves come as consumer demand for restaurant rewards remains elevated amid ongoing economic pressures. PYMNTS Intelligence from the March study, “Connected Dining: Consumers Like the Taste of Discount Meals,” which is based on a February survey of more than 1,800 U.S. consumers, found that 51% reported using a restaurant loyalty program, with 49% participating in these programs at quick-service restaurants (QSRs).

Since the time of the survey, restaurant prices have only increased, suggesting that that share may be even greater today, with diners’ tendency to seek out deals and discounts amid such inflation. The same study found that discount redemption at restaurants has increased significantly through this inflationary period and that many consumers do not use loyalty programs simply because they are not available at their favorite restaurants.

Even without this rewards update, Domino’s has been a leader in the digital sphere. PYMNTS’ Provider Ranking of Mobile Order Ahead Apps, which compares restaurants’ mobile offerings based on a range of factors including usage data, loyalty integrations and ordering options, places the pizza chain at No. 1, ahead of runner-up Starbucks by several points.

Still, the chain’s move to incentivize direct ordering can be especially key now, with the QSR recently having finally caved and made its offerings available via Uber Eats’ third-party marketplace.