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Sweetgreen tests a subscription program

The fast casual’s Sweetpass costs $10 a month and awards users with a $3 credit for each purchase for 30 days.
Sweetgreen
Photo courtesy Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen is debuting a limited-time monthly subscription program that awards users a $3 credit on each order, the fast casual announced Monday.

Diners can buy a Sweetpass for $10 through January 16. The pass, which is good for 30 days, rewards users with a $3 credit for every purchase of $9.95 or more on the chain’s app or website. Credits keep accruing once per day but must be used during the 30-day period.

“When thinking about how to roll out a loyalty program authentic to the brand, Sweetgreen wanted to put the customer at the center and pivot from a ‘one size fits all’ approach into something that allows them to connect with customers every step of the way,” the salad brand said in a statement.

The Sweetpass pilot program expires on Feb. 15 and is valid on delivery and pickup orders, as well as orders placed through Sweetgreen’s Outpost program for centralized deliveries of multiple orders. It is not valid on orders placed via third-party delivery platforms, the chain said.

Sweetgreen said the pass s part of its ongoing strategy to create a more customized experience for each diner to generate “more value and connection,” according to a statement.

Sweetgreen went public in November and, after an initial surge, has seen its stock price tumble. The company has reported that it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2007 and that its restaurant-level profit margin was 12% in 2021, on average unit volumes of $2.5 million.

The salad chain’s traffic took a major hit during the pandemic as office workers retreated to their homes. With continued COVID surges, much of that business has yet to return.

Sweetgreen joins a growing number of chains that have rolled out subscription programs recently to boost traffic and loyalty. Last fall, Taco Bell announced a test of a 30-day taco subscription program that gave a free taco a day for a flat monthly fee of between $5 and $10.

Panera Bread launched an $8.99-a-month unlimited coffee subscription just before the pandemic began. Less than a year later, it had nearly half a million paid subscribers.

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