Restaurant innovation

Checkers And Rally’s: How The Drive-Thru Is Changing QSR Loyalty And Rewards

Loyalty programs with enticing incentives have always served as an effective tool for helping drive business for quick-service restaurants (QSRs).

But those innovative programs once considered optional are now becoming critical tools for attracting and retaining guests at a time when lockdown measures have left dining areas closed for months, severely impacting restaurant operators.

Enabling access to those loyalty programs via mobile apps has become a key tool for reassuring guests that their safety is top priority. Investments in mobile app development enable QSRs to offer quick and convenient touchless ordering for dine-in, take out and delivery orders.

The challenge for QSRs is knowing how to implement an effective omnichannel loyalty strategy. This requires adopting technology that ensures loyalty and rewards programs work seamlessly across channels. In the July Order To Eat Tracker®, PYMNTS examines how investment in omnichannel loyalty programs can help boost restaurant brand awareness and act as a powerful recovery tool for the industry as it endures financial hardships.

Around The Order To Eat Landscape

In a major industry development, third-party delivery app provider Uber announced it had acquired delivery service Postmates in a $2.7 billion all-stock deal. Uber will operate both company apps side by side, but the rideshare and delivery firm will share some operations. Uber stated in its announcement that Postmates caters to a different demographic and so the acquisition is expected to help the company boost its user base and cover more territory.

With freshly prepared food in demand as many eateries remain shuttered, Denver-based convenience and grocery store Choice Market is looking to fill such needs for its customers by upgrading its omnichannel options for a more consistent shopping experience. Choice Market plans to roll out a points-based loyalty program on its mobile app, in addition to upgrading the mobile app and eCommerce website.

More consumers are choosing the drive-thru during the ongoing health crisis as a safe, convenient way to order and pick up meals with minimal human interaction. QSRs in turn are getting creative in improving their drive-thru experiences. Fast food chain McDonald’s for one has slashed its average drive-thru wait times by 25 seconds during the pandemic, according to the company’s CEO Chris Kempczinski. The fast food chain achieved this wait-time savings by removing menu items, such as its all-day breakfast, and shuttering its dine-in areas has allowed its workers to focus solely on its drive-thru operation.

Checkers And Rally’s On Powering The Omnichannel Loyalty Experience

QSRs are seeking ways to weather the pandemic’s severe economic effects, and innovative loyalty and rewards programs are proving to be valuable in helping engage customers and drive business. Supporting loyalty programs across a range of ordering channels is proving to be a particularly powerful tool in the QSR space.

In this month’s Feature Story, Josh Buchmann, senior director of eCommerce and guest engagement for the Checkers and Rally’s restaurant chain explains how investing in a mobile app-enabled loyalty and rewards program can help restaurants power through the recovery.

To get the full story, download the Tracker.

Deep Dive: How The Pandemic Is Accelerating Drive-Thru Upgrades

QSRs are rolling out a variety of loyalty initiatives that can add value for customers and attract them to their stores. Depending on whether a QSR already has an existing loyalty program which is in need of an upgrade, or if a QSR is planning to launch one in the near future, building up a loyalty program may require making updates to existing features that add more value to the user experience or having to make deeper investments in offering an omnichannel experience.

This month’s Deep Dive explores how omnichannel loyalty programs can assist restaurants with engaging customers and collecting valuable demographic data.

Read the full Deep Dive in the Tracker.

The Order To Eat Tracker®, a PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration, is a monthly report that examines the evolving restaurant space. The report highlights how fast food, fast-casual and QSR establishments are embracing technology, enhancing loyalty offerings and working with aggregated service providers to offer more seamless in-house and delivery ordering experiences and improve customer engagement.

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: ACCELERATING THE REAL-TIME PAYMENTS DEMAND CURVE – NOVEMBER 2020

About: Accelerating The Real-Time Payments Demand Curve:What Banks Need To Know About What Consumers Want And Need, PYMNTS  examines consumers’ understanding of real-time payments and the methods they use for different types of payments. The report explores consumers’ interest in real-time payments and their willingness to switch to financial institutions that offer such capabilities.

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