Panera Bread to give loyalty members more choice

Tweaks of MyPanera program are designed to foster engagement by letting guests choose what they like.
The tweaks roll out Oct. 6./Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Panera Bread is hoping to foster a deeper emotional connection with loyalty members by giving them more choice of rewards.

The fast-casual chain on Tuesday said its MyPanera loyalty program will be tweaked, starting Oct. 6, to allow guests to choose the rewards they want to earn from multiple options based on personal preferences, rather than the single, pre-selected reward offered currently.

Lovers of the strawberry poppyseed salad, for example, can use the rewards for more salads, or try something new.

And rewards are based on frequency and individual purchases, rather than a transactional point system, which is more typical.

“We view our MyPanera loyalty program as an extension of the warmth we show to our guests in our bakery-cafes—for us it’s about creating meaningful relationships and delivering personalized value,” said Eduardo Luz, chief brand and concept officer at Panera Bread, in a statement. “We create loyalty by deeply knowing our MyPanera members. We strive to understand and deliver exactly what delights them.”

The idea is to make rewards more relevant to deepen engagement with the program, which has 48 million members.

More than half of the transactions at Panera now come from loyalty members, and the average MyPanera member spends four times more than non-members, the company said.

MyPanera is also a gateway to the chain’s Unlimited Sip Club, whose subscribers spend at an even greater rate on average.

To launch the changes to the loyalty program, the chain is holding its first-ever MyPanera Week from Sept. 29 through Oct. 5, handing out exclusive perks to loyalty members that range from free delivery to a cooking class with Panera’s head chef Claes Petersson.

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