Marketing

Sweetgreen launches two-tiered loyalty program

Guests can choose between a free membership and paid subscription with more perks to personalize their experience.
Sweetgreen sweetpass
The choices include the regular (free) Sweetpass or Sweetpass+ for $10 per month./Image courtesy of Sweetgreen.

After testing various versions, Sweetgreen on Monday rolled out the promised two-tiered loyalty program that gives guests options for personalizing their membership experience.

Guests can choose between two types of membership:

The Sweetpass allows them to earn discounts by opting into personalized “challenges.” These members also have access to new menu items, birthday gifts and limited-edition merchandise drops.

The Sweetpass+ is a $10 per month subscription program that rewards members with $3 off their daily order, priority Sweetgreen support, delivery perks, premier access to merch drops and other exclusive experiences. The Plus membership was tested for a limited time last year, and the company said it received strong customer demand and feedback.

Sweetgreen+ members also have the opportunity to redeem a Friends of the Earth perk, which allows them to have a say in the carbon reduction partner that Sweetgreen will donate to as the chain moves toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2027.

“This next phase of loyalty is an exciting result from years of testing, iterating and listening to our customers, leading to a personalized program that further enhances their Sweetgreen experience,” said Jonathan Neman, Sweetgreen’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “With Sweetpass, customers can more frequently access delicious, craveable food that feels good and fuels a healthy lifestyle.”

At an earnings call in February, Neman said Sweetgreen is uniquely positioned to make a subscription program work because the food is healthy, “naturally habitual” and the chain has high digital penetration. This year the chain’s focus will be on new more-cravable menu items and attachment options, and Neman said the loyalty program will help motivate guests to visit during slower weekdays.

Given the merch component, the company also on Monday launched a new store called The Market with all manner of swag—only available to members for the first month—including tee shirts, hoodies and mouse pads with the image of a Sweetgreen bowl.

Across the industry, loyalty programs are becoming increasingly more personalized as restaurant chains tap the wealth of data from the audience of engaged customers to move beyond the collection of points for discounts.

Panera Bread, for example, last year shifted to a multi-tiered loyalty program, including a subscription option. Last month, Panera said it had about 52 million loyalty members, who accounted for about half the chain’s transactions. Loyalty members also spend about four times more on average than nonmembers.

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