Panera Bread adds choice-based rewards to its loyalty program

ST. LOUIS—Panera Bread has updated its loyalty program to include choice-based rewards starting Oct. 6 and is hosting its first-ever MyPanera Week.

Panera’s loyalty program, MyPanera, will allow members to select their reward from several options based on their personal preferences, instead of just one pre-selected reward. The company says the new benefit is rooted in MyPanera’s relationship-based loyalty program, where rather than a transactional points system, members are rewarded based on frequency of visits, spending and purchases and individual preferences.

“We see our MyPanera loyalty program as an extension of the warmth we show our customers in our bakery cafes. For us, it’s about creating meaningful relationships and delivering personalized value,” said Eduardo Luz, brand and concept director at Panera Bread. “We create loyalty by knowing our MyPanera members deeply. We strive to understand and deliver exactly what delights them.”

MyPanera started in 2010 and has nearly 48 million members. Panera said its program is “rooted in the belief that the job of a loyalty program is to deepen the customer relationship by meeting both a customer’s rational and emotional needs.”

During the company’s first fiscal quarter, more than half of all Panera transactions were from MyPanera members, who typically visit Panera more frequently and spend more per visit than non-MyPanera members.

The MyPanera loyalty program incorporates “elements of surprise and delight”, according to the company, and upgrades to the program provide its members with different and personalized experiences that increase in value based on several variables such as frequency. visits.

Ahead of the October 6 launch, Panera Bread will hold MyPanera Week from September 29 through October 5, offering exclusive benefits to celebrate members of its loyalty program. One of the benefits includes a free two-month membership for new Unlimited Sip Club subscribers, which is a subscription program that provides access to an unlimited amount of any self-serve beverage on the menu for $10.99 per month. Other perks are $0 delivery charges, 20% off Panera Bread gift cards, and a special gift from a Panera partner (to be announced), among other promotions.

Panera’s more personalized approach is the latest attempt to attract customers amid rising prices and to differentiate itself from other competitors. Fast food is turning to personalization and rethinking value strategies. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said on a recent earnings call that value is no longer a one-size-fits-all equation because of the opportunity digital provides to learn more about how customers access the brand.

A recent Harvard Business Review study on loyalty programs revealed three takeaways for loyalty programs. NACS Magazine looked at loyalty programs and how they can provide convenience stores with key consumer insights and competitive advantage.

NACS offered a free webinar that shows retailers how to improve their current loyalty program.

NACS 2022, October 1-4 in Las Vegas, includes four marketing education sessions: Build a Better Brand, Creating Fans of the Brand: Your Social Media Strategy, Benchmarking to Improve Loyalty Outcomes: Lessons from PDI and Coen Markets and Supercharge Your app.

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