American Fast Food Company McDonald’s on Tuesday announced that it will launch its first-ever loyalty program nationwide on July 8 after months of testing. Shares of the company have risen more than 8% this year, giving it a market value of about $180 billion.The fast-food giant joins rival chains like Restaurant Brands International’s Popeyes and Yum Brands’ Taco Bell in creating rewards programs to hold onto the digital customers the companies gained during the pandemic. Chipotle Mexican Grill announced on Tuesday an expansion of its existing program to offer more redemption options to members.
Loyalty programs can fuel more frequent visits, higher average checks and offer restaurants’ valuable insights about consumers. Fast Food Company McDonald’s started testing the program in November, slowly expanding it to more regions across its home market. While it has successful loyalty programs in other countries like France, this marks the first nationwide launch in the U.S.The chain’s U.S. president, Joe Erlinger, told analysts that the company saw digital sales of almost $1.5 billion during its first quarter, including orders on its digital kiosks, mobile app and delivery platforms. The loyalty program could raise that number even higher.
Fast-food company McDonald’s is hoping the program will also help add a personal touch to the customer experience. The company’s vice president of digital, media and customer relationship management, Alycia Mason, said that the workers will greet loyalty members by name as they move through the drive-thru lane. Customers will also get a personalized email after they pick up the orders that include upcoming deals tailored to them.