Need to Know
- Burger King is piloting a new digital loyalty program, Royal Perks.
- The new program will allow customers to earn points on every dollar spent in-store or through online ordering.
- Royal Perks is designed to keep Burger King relevant and digital-first amid the pandemic will compete with existing fast-food loyalty programs from brands such as Starbucks and Chipotle.
In a move to embrace the digital revolution within the food industry, Burger King has launched a loyalty program pilot in five US markets.
Members of the “Royal Perks” program in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, New Jersey, and Long Island can now earn points for every dollar spent at a Burger King restaurant—and through online orders.
Members can then redeem points on the majority of Burger King menu items, and can also benefit from other perks like free upsizing and double the points during the member’s birthday month.
The many effects on the COVID-19 pandemic have included a push for digital innovation in essentially every industry, including fast food. (McDonald’s shed light on its new loyalty program late last year, and Chipotle’s program is now serving almost 20 million loyalty customers.)
And while Burger King is a bit behind competing brands when it comes to loyalty, there is no better time to launch a digital rewards program than now.
“COVID accelerated digital adoption and digital behaviors,” said Burger King chief marketing office Ellie Doty. “We definitely have accelerated along with that. We want to be in the channels and offering the experiences that are the best for our guests.”
The Royal Perks program was developed based on guest feedback, which is also why Burger King provides a daily deal to its members. Surveyed guests had said they wanted a perk every single time they ordered from Burger King.
And the use of a digital loyalty program allows for the further accumulation of guest data, meaning Burger King can continue to improve its program.
“We know that if customers engage with us digitally, we’ll get their data and will be able to provide more personalized, more convenient, more relevant offers,” said VP of digital and loyalty, Whitney Gretz. “And each time they come back, their experiences get better and better.”
The Royal Perks program is the latest in a string of digital initiatives from Burger King. The fast-food chain in September unveiled a touchless store concept, which features “curbside delivery parking spots, pickup lockers, and multi-lane drive-thrus, among other contactless options.”
And in the early stages of the pandemic, Burger King began trialing a contactless reservation app for in-person dining at restaurant locations in Italy.
In October, Burger King and its sister brands Popeye’s and Tim Horton’s began the installation of over 40,000 digital screens in order to enhance the drive-thru customer experience.