Schlotzsky’s new “Lotz 4 Me” loyalty app – the first system-wide loyalty program in the brand’s history – had a strong launch in June, with 60,000 downloads in the first three and a half weeks.
More than 11,000 people downloaded the app on the first day alone, driving “Lotz 4 Me” as high as fourth on the restaurant charts in the Apple Store.
“We are a relatively small brand, and to be number four in the app store in the restaurant category is pretty amazing,” said Schlotzsky’s President Kelly Roddy. Especially considering many of the other high-ranking brands have thousands of units, compared to Schlotzsky’s 350 locations, he added. “We were expecting a slow build. We figured we’d get several thousand downloads, and maybe add some more through the sharing features.”
The goal of the app, which was developed on the Punchh management platform, was to drive occasional customers to visit stores more frequently and encourage them to advocate for the brand on social media, said Roddy. While data is not available yet, he reports that he has observed an increase in social media traffic.
The app offers customers who make seven visits $7 off their next purchase. Customers can earn rewards for sharing the app with their friends via social media and getting them to download the app, too. Customers who download the app before July 31 will also get a free Original sandwich.
Customers can also find Schlotzsky’s locations and menu information in the app, keep up with company news and claim special offers.
Some customers are already redeeming rewards, according to Roddy, and those customers are spending an average of 20 percent more than they typically do because they are getting something for free.
The increased check size has been welcomed by franchisees, who have wanted to see a loyalty program.
While the focus of the first iteration of the app is on loyalty, future versions may also include mobile ordering, said Roddy.
Reaching out to Millennials
The app is central to Schlotzsky’s goal of attracting Millenials and their $1.3 trillion spending power. The app, coupled with a revamp of Schlotzsky’s restaurants and expanded menu options, is part of the brand’s bid to reconnect with its core audience: young people.
“We’ve always had a young audience. Most of our early stores were close to universities,” said Roddy. That proximity, paired with the brand’s fun, quirky appeal and fresh, made-from-scratch menu offerings, helped reach young customers, he said.
“But we see a change in Millennials, in what they want and what they expect,” said Roddy. “They are more tech dependent, more social, more culinary-savvy than in the past. We wanted to be able to communicate with that audience in the way they want to communicate: through their mobile device. We want to keep and grow that audience and serve them the way they want to be served.”
Along with the app, Schlotzsky’s updated its restaurants with vibrant colors, new seating and the brand’s “Lotz” messaging in an effort to appeal to Millennials. Many restaurants are also co-branded with Cinnabon bakeries. Schlotzsky’s has also added new items to the menu, including Artisan Flatbreads, Gourmet Pizzas and seasonal salads, including the Very Berry Salad.
Schlotzsky’s plans to add 20 new locations this year.
“We’re excited to be where we are,” said Roddy. “We’re staying on the bleeding edge of where our customers want us to be.”
Source: Fast Casual