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Burger King Debuts Loyalty Program Of Its Own

Image via Business Wire

We wrote yesterday about McDonald's announcement that it's expanding the pilot of its rewards program—MyMcDonald's, with the goal of expanding it nationally across the U.S. later this year.

McDonald's has been much slower to introduce a loyalty program compared to other companies such as Starbucks, Dunkin', Chipotle, Taco Bell and Domino's, which have built a dedicated customer base by offering rewards and promotions to members.

However, McDonald's isn't the only burger giant testing a rewards program. McDonald's competitor Burger King announced yesterday it's also piloting a loyalty program of its own called Royal Perks, which is now available in Los Angeles, Long Island, Miami, New Jersey and New York City. Just like McDonald's, Burger King hopes to roll out its loyalty program nationwide by the end of the year.

Royal Perks customers will receive 10 "crowns" for every $1 they spend on Burger King's app or at BK.com. As Royal Perks members accrue crowns, they'll be able to redeem them on future purchases across the entire Burger King menu. Members will also be able to upsize their drinks, fries or hash browns for free and receive double points each day during their birthday month.

"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," Burger King VP of digital and loyalty Whitney Gretz said. "And each time they come back, their experiences get better and better."

Burger King was developing Royal Perks before the pandemic but Gretz says the changing environment highlighted the importance of a digital experience and collecting data from each transaction.

"It just becomes so much faster and easier for you as a guest," Gretz said. "It's really about making your Burger King guest experience intuitive and easy. You don't have to think about it."

By differentiating its loyalty program through small variationssuch as the birthday perks or free upsizing, Burger King is hoping to lock in customers and drive sales.

"It feels like we've just accepted what brands have told us is possible with loyalty programs over the years, so as we started working on Royal Perks, it was easy, let's do what the others don't," Burger King, North America chief marketing officer Ellie Doty said. "To make sure we get it right, we're testing, learning and solving this year."

As the remaining quick service restaurants that haven't yet introduced loyalty programs rush to roll them out, it's becoming increasingly clear the future of fast food is a personalized, digital experience.

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