- P.F. Chang’s is adding a subscription level to its loyalty program, offering customers benefits like free delivery, for $6.99 a month, the company announced Wednesday.
- The chain developed P.F. Chang’s Platinum Rewards over the last 18 months, surveying customers about what kinds of rewards they would want included in the program, P.F. Chang’s CEO Damola Adamolekun told Restaurant Dive.
- P.F. Chang’s is offering subscribers several rewards, including priority reservations and a dedicated concierge phone line to answer customer questions.
The company’s existing free loyalty program, which will be rebranded as P.F. Chang’s Gold Rewards, has about 5 million customers. Though Adamolekun said the company does not have a specific estimate for how many customers would join the Platinum program, he said the brand is confident in customer interest based on surveys.
“Every loyalty program’s a little different,” Adamolekun said. “But for the most part, they're not going to be offering this sort of value with with membership. You're paying $6.99 a month, but the fees from one delivery would basically offset that. If you order multiple times a month, that's tremendous value without even getting to the rest of the perks.”
P.F. Chang’s new premium tier differs from services like Panera’s drinks subscription or Taco Bell’s Taco Lover’s Pass by offering loyalty perks for subscription, rather than discrete product categories. The Platinum program would, among other things, raise the base accumulation rate from 10 rewards points per dollar to 15 points, lowering the amount consumers have to spend to earn traditional rewards, Adamolekun said.
One particular challenge, Adamolekun told Restaurant Dive, was integrating the subscription service into all of the company’s ordering channels and technology systems. Those integrations proved a heavy lift for the company, he said, as it required integrating orders on the app with aggregator systems and restaurant POS systems to ensure the restaurant can recognize a Platinum member no matter how they interact with the brand. P.F. Chang’s designed its own loyalty system, but the system is managed by Paytronix.
P.F. Chang’s program would make it one of the first brands in the casual dining segment to offer subscription loyalty, Adamolekun said. The subscription services follows successful trials by QSR and fast casual brands. Taco Bell, for instance, has offered a taco subscription service, and Panera recently added a subscription option for its self-serve drinks.
“It's a model that we didn't come up with, but one that hasn't been used in our industry,” Adamolekun said. “We believe we have the brand to use it.”
A wide number of restaurant brands have revamped or added to their loyalty programs in recent months. Smaller fast casual brands, like Rubio’s Coastal Grill, have rolled out loyalty programs, as have casual dining brands, like those owned by Xperience Restaurant Group.
With major brands like CKE and McDonald’s launching their own loyalty programs in the last two years, companies with more established rewards systems have sought to stay ahead of competitors by a variety of additions. Panera added choices to the rewards doled out by its system, which is not based on a straight points-for-dollars scheme. Chipotle began gamifying its loyalty offerings last year, and Starbucks added a marketplace for NFTs this month.