Women play an integral role in building brand loyalty. More women (29%) than men (24%) currently participate in restaurant loyalty programs, shows Technomic’s Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report. The same report also reveals that slightly more women (51%) than men (46%) say that loyalty programs are very likely to influence them to visit a certain restaurant. This is particularly apparent for bakery-cafe concepts: 42% of women versus 27% of men say that rewards programs drive them to visit a certain bakery-cafe, according to Technomic's Bakery & Coffee Cafe CTR.
Moreover, women and men alike are increasingly expecting loyalty programs at limited-service restaurants, especially at fast-food chains, according to Technomic’s 2016 Future of LSR: Fast-Food & Fast-Casual CTR: 41% of consumers say they expect loyalty or rewards programs at fast-food restaurants, up from 30% in 2014.
As such, it is ever more prudent for LSRs to appeal to both men and women—and especially women—with loyalty programs. Here are six things that more women than men say they want from loyalty programs at these restaurants, using data from Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program’s recent quarterly update.
1. Savings & perks
The two top reasons women say they participate in LSR loyalty programs are to save money and receive free perks, and they rank these two motivations equally. More women (84%) than men (73%) list saving money as a reason for joining a loyalty program. Although the difference is smaller between women (87%) and men (81%) who list free perks as a motivation, women (42%) are notably more likely than men (31%) to agree completely with this statement.
2. Total-bill discounts
More than any other LSR-specific benefit measured, women express the most interest in receiving a discount off the total bill as a result of joining an LSR’s loyalty program. Four-fifths of women (81%), compared to three-quarters of men (75%), say a total-bill discount would make them very likely to sign up for a loyalty program at an LSR. And more than half of women (54%) compared to 40% of men say this perk would make them “extremely likely” to join.
3. Birthday treats
Women also place higher importance than men do on birthday rewards. Over three-quarters of women (77%) say a reward on their birthday would make them likely to sign up for an LSR loyalty program, compared to 68% of men.
Last month, Papa John’s added a birthday offer for its loyalty members. Papa John’s rewards members will now receive 10 bonus points on their birthday, which can be redeemed for a free order of garlic knots, cheese sticks or a chocolate chip cookie. The bonus points can be combined with existing points and must be used before the end of the birthday month.
As we saw earlier, women equally value monetary discounts and free perks, so it is in line with this finding that women also place a high value on being offered a free item after a specific number of purchases. Three-quarters of women (75%) compared to 67% of men say that such a freebie program would make them very likely to sign up for a loyalty program at an LSR.
Whataburger launched its first-ever rewards program just this month, an app-based program offering freebies for visits. For every five visits, loyalty members who use the app will receive a free honey butter chicken biscuit, medium order of fries, taquito, cinnamon roll or small shake on their next visit.
6. Exclusive offers
Women value exclusive offers from LSR loyalty programs, such as first tastes and private specials or promotions. Nearly three-fifths of women (57%) say that such offers would make them very likely to sign up, compared to less than half of men (47%).
For example, Dunkin’ Donuts debuted Perks Week from Nov. 14 to 18, offering five days of deals aimed at its rewards program members. DD Perks members could also access special offers and enter to win a variety of sweepstakes prizes.