- Roti, a Mediterranean fast casual, will give customers a $10 credit for downloading its new loyalty app, the company announced Monday. The app offers a $5 credit for referring a friends and for every $50 spent.
- Roti hopes the app will incentivize customers to order delivery directly from the restaurant, rather than from third-party apps, by offering exclusive pricing on the app.
- Loyalty programs have emerged as a competitive offering as subscription services, apps and restaurant rewards drive consumer spending and make digital ordering easier. Burger King offered cryptocurrency to its loyalty members in November, while Sweetgreen launched a subscription service earlier this month that gives customers $3 off of a meal every day for a month.
Roti, a 25-unit chain, hopes the app will help draw in new customers.
Paying customers to download an app is a unique strategy, although loyalty programs characteristically offer discounts and other benefits to customers. Several QSRs have experimented with eye-catching benefits, including Taco Bell, which offers a $10 subscription that gives members a free taco a day for 30 days.
Loyalty programs help brands attract and retain customers, according to research by Paytronix. Major brands, including McDonald's and Starbucks, have rolled out apps that integrate digital ordering with rewards programs. Roti faces tough competition for digital spend and customer loyalty, but its $10 credits offered upon download may be attractive to new and existing diners.
Proprietary apps and loyalty programs also give brands a chance to collect valuable customer data. Third-party delivery services collect that data, and often provide tools to analyze this data to restaurants as part of their services. But Roti's app will enable the brand to collect and utilize customer data directly.
Research from 2020, conducted by Paytronix, indicates that loyalty programs can drive customer spend. The proliferation of subscription loyalty programs shows brands are emphasizing loyalty as a point of differentiation. Panera's coffee subscription program, for example, increased the number of customers ordering food with their coffee in the U.K., and proved particularly effective in driving off-premise sales.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the regions where Roti locations are concentrated. Roti operates 25 units in major urban markets in the Midwest and on the East Coast.