Burger King launches loyalty program nationwide as chain seems to invigorate U.S. gross sales

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A Burger King restaurant in Milton, Pennsylvania.

Paul Weber | SOPA pictures | LightRakete | Getty Images

Burger King is running its rewards program nationwide to revitalize its US business.

The chain is well on its way to offering the loyalty program in restaurants for two-thirds of its US presence by the end of September. The program is already available nationwide for orders placed through its mobile app and website.

The Royal Perks program gives customers 10 “crowns” for every dollar spent in the chain’s restaurants. Members can redeem their points for most of the menu and receive free perks such as drinks or fries every day.

Burger King’s North American Chief Marketing Officer Ellie Doty said the first wave of members were mostly customers who have already used the app and website. With the rollout at the restaurant level, the company hopes to attract frequent consumers who prefer to order through the drive-through or the counter. Doty declined to reveal Burger King’s current membership.

The pandemic has accelerated the online restaurant ordering boom, pushing McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and now Burger King to introduce reward programs. According to the market researcher of the NPD Group, digital orders increased by 124% in March 2021. Loyalty programs from names like Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill help these companies grow their app user base, learn more about their customers, and encourage more visits.

“I think especially since we’ve all been through the pandemic, we know that a lot of digitally-enabled behaviors have really increased very quickly, and we believe this will remain one,” said Doty. “Guests really see the ease and benefits of participating in loyalty programs.”

The loyalty program also comes as Burger King tries to keep up with its competitors. In the most recent quarter, Burger King saw sales in the US grow 13% in the same store. A year ago, US sales in the same store declined 9.9% as home stay orders hit demand. Rivals like McDonald’s and Wendy’s have seen even higher sales growth in recent months and recovered from the pandemic even stronger than Burger King. Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands, told analysts on the July conference call that the chain needs to work on its focus and pace.

“We haven’t focused enough on the few priorities that will have the greatest impact, and we haven’t moved fast enough on those priorities to accelerate business performance to the level we know we can “, he said.

In August, Burger King named Tom Curtis as its new head for the US and Canada. Curtis, a longtime manager of Domino’s Pizza, joined the burger chain a few months earlier as chief operating officer.

RBI’s shares are up 5% this year and have a market value of $ 29.9 billion. While Burger King’s sister chain, Popeyes, holds on to the strong sales it made with the launch of its famous chicken sandwich, Restaurant Brand’s third chain, Tim Hortons, is struggling in its home market of Canada.