Shake Shack Tests Crypto Rewards to Gauge Customer Interest

Shake Shack

As restaurants continue to look for rewards that they can offer that will make customers truly want to keep coming back, some are turning to cryptocurrencies.

Shake Shack, for one, is offering bitcoin rewards for consumers who pay using Block’s Cash App digital wallet, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (March 3). The promotion will last through mid-March, providing the chain with an out if it turns out that its customers are not interested in engaging with the brand with cryptocurrencies.

On the flip side, Shake Shack’s Chief Marketing Officer Jay Livingston told the news outlet that, if successful, the brand could revive the promotion in the future or use it as an indicator that it may be time to start accepting crypto payments.

“You’re always trying to place your bets on those things that truly will be meaningful and not waste resources on the ones that won’t,” he said.

Shake Shack is not the only burger chain to try offering limited-time cryptocurrency rewards. In November, Burger King tried out a similar deal in partnership with Robinhood Crypto, offering 20 bitcoin, 200 ether and 2 million dogecoin in a three-week promotion.

Read more: Burger King Hedges its Crypto Bets With Digital Currency Loyalty Rewards

By the Numbers

Research from PYMNTS’ July 2021 report, The Cryptocurrency Payments Playbook: Cryptocurrencies Gain Momentum As A Payment Option, which drew from a survey of a census-balanced panel of more than 8,000 United States consumers including current cryptocurrency holders, former holders, and non-holders, found that 17% of consumers would be likely to purchase from restaurants or from food delivery aggregators using cryptocurrency, if the option was available.

Read the full report: Cryptocurrency Payments Playbook: Cryptocurrencies Gain Momentum As A Payment Option

Additionally, crypto holders are incentivized by loyalty rewards. The study found that 59% of current or former holders would be interested in using crypto as a payment method if loyalty rewards were available, and that share rose to about two-thirds, or 66%, of holders who already make purchases using cryptocurrency.

What Insiders Are Saying

Some brands have seen success with crypto-centric offers. For instance, Eight Sleep, billed as the “world’s first sleep fitness company,” held a promotion in November where it partnered with BitPay to give consumers $150 back in crypto if they purchased select products.

“Very high engagement, great adoption,” Alexandra Zatarain, co-founder and vice president of brand and marketing at Eight Sleep, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster of the November promotion in an interview. “It was beyond what we were expecting — and we’re definitely going to bring back offers such as the crypto rebates.”

See also: Crypto Rewards Drive Sales For Online Merchants

While some are skeptical of cryptocurrencies’ future, others predict adoption will only continue to grow.

“I think in 2022, you’ll see many more people — that next wave of people — getting interested in crypto both from an investment perspective and a ‘let’s try it for a payment’ [perspective],” Stephen Pair, CEO of crypto payments processor BitPay, said in an interview with PYMNTS.

“There’s going to be many more places with that service — that you’ll be able to spend crypto and do it in an in-person setting, which may make people more comfortable trying it out than perhaps if it’s on a website where they’re not sure if they’re doing it right or wrong,” Pair added.

Related news: BitPay CEO: Bitcoin Payments Will Boom in 2022 as Crypto Reaches an Inflection Point