- Burger King is offering a free order of fries every week to members of its Royal Perks loyalty program between now and Dec. 31, the chain announced on Monday. Burger King did not respond to Restaurant Dive's request for comment on this news.
- Diners who sign up to become rewards members before June 20 are also eligible for the Frequent Fry'er reward. Loyalty members can redeem small, medium or large fry sizes as part of the offering.
- Consistent food rewards are a mainstay of QSR loyalty programs, though popular subscription options, such as Taco Bell's Taco Lover's Pass or Panera's Ultimated Sip Club, come with monthly fees. Burger King's free-of-charge offering could help differentiate from rival incentives.
Burger King debuted its loyalty program in February 2021 before expanding it nationwide last fall. Since then, the company has offered a wide array of perks to draw in customers, including low-priced burgers and a chance to win cryptocurrency. Rewards members can also upsize one drink, fries or hash browns for free per order, per day.
The program, which grants customers 10 points per dollar spent at Burger King restaurants, is a valuable source of customer data for Restaurant Brands International, the burger chain's parent company.
RBI, which also owns Tim Horton's and Popeyes, expects to grow loyalty programs to integrate digital ordering and customer experience. Tom Curtis, president of Burger King U.S. and Canada, said during RBI's Q4 2021 earnings call that the chain was working to integrate Royal Perks with the digital ordering boards Burger King deploys at drive-thrus.
A slew of QSR and fast casual brands have increased their loyalty offerings or rolled out subscription programs in recent months. Panera expanded its drink subscription program last week and Sweetgreen offered subscription discounts in January.
McDonald's loyalty program, which launched nationwide last summer, is free to join like Burger King's offering. The Golden Arches' program could take a hit from Burger King's fry perk, however, as diners review their spending habits as gas prices rices and inflation continues to surge — a combination that could make free food more attractive. Burger King has a track record of offering gimmicky promotions to lure diners away from McDonald's, including its "Whopper Detour" marketing stunt that used geofencing to draw customers from the mega chain and promote the new Burger King app.
As digital spending remains high, it seems likely that companies will continue to revamp, increase or otherwise bolster their loyalty programs in order to remain competitive.