Jimmy John’s Is Going For Even Faster Service With Its New Loyalty Program

Food & Drink

Jimmy John’s, known for its “freaky fast” delivery, is trying to make things even faster, at least for its most loyal customers. The company has launched its first-ever nationwide loyalty program, called Freaky Fast Rewards, after a successful eight-month test in 45 locations. 

CMO John Shea called that pilot “encouraging” with nearly 2 million signups since March and more than 1.7 million total rewards redeemed to date. The company has also broken down other unique metrics to illustrate the traction the program has gained thus far; for example, 268,893 birthdays celebrated with a free sandwich, and nearly 101,000 free sides given away on Cyber Monday.

The company tested its program in the major college towns of Champaign, Illinois; Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Lansing, Michigan; Lafayette, Indiana, Madison, Wisconsin and Stillwater, Oklahoma. College students have long been a priority target for Jimmy John’s–in fact the company got its start while founder Jimmy Liautaud was still a student at Eastern Illinois University–so it perhaps makes sense that the initial results were positive. 

Still, judging by other brands’ success in the loyalty space, customers across the board are clearly craving such programs from their favorite brands. Chipotle launched its new Rewards program in March, for example, and it has already generated 7 million downloads. Chipotle’s Chief Technology Officer Curt Garner recently said the loyalty program attracts new customers, brings those customers back for more business and provides the business with incremental sales and customer data. 

Also, Starbucks’ recent changes to its loyalty program have contributed to engagement and comps the last two quarters, according to CFO Patrick Grismer. These types of results illustrate why a number of other brands, from Papa John’s to Chick-fil-A, have either introduced new rewards programs or enhanced the ones they already had. 

Customers are likely gravitating to these loyalty programs to gain more personalized communication from their favorite brands. Such one-on-one messaging has become a key differentiator in a crowded space, yielding successful conversion rates and customers who tend to be more faithful.

As Zach Goldstein, CEO of Thanx, said earlier this year, “personalized and more meaningful messages increase frequency and spend over time … The real magic comes from identifying the best customers and encouraging them to come back.”

Indeed, the top 25% of restaurant customers typically drive 70%-plus of revenue. That’s exactly what Jimmy John’s is going for here. 

“We always look for the most creative ways to reward our customers’ loyalty. Freaky Fast Rewards offers the speed, security, convenience and tangible benefits our guests crave,” he said. “[The program]  is an extension of the brand’s commitment to innovation and technology to keep pace with evolving consumer habits and preferences and provides a unique way for our customers to get rewarded for eating Jimmy John’s.”

Jimmy John’s partnered with Paytronix, Verifone, Apple and Google to create its program, which Shea said was designed to ensure a frictionless experience from sign-up through earning, redemption and payment. It was also designed to achieve the brand’s signature speed. 

“We pride ourselves on our ‘Freaky Fast’ service and our technology also embodies those standards,” he said. 

The company now uses a Verifone p400 card reader at the register, for example, that processes transactions about 4 seconds faster than Jimmy John’s previous card reader. Loyalty members can also use Apple Pay or Google Pay to earn rewards, and they can track their order’s progress through both the app and website.

Freaky Fast Rewards are available via the company’s app and website. The company is incentivizing initial signups by offering a free 8-inch sandwich on the first order. There are also other incentives throughout the program–a “birthday present,” for example, and exclusive access to new products.  

No doubt a loyalty program should provide a big shot of adrenaline, especially for a delivery-heavy concept like Jimmy John’s, where most orders tend to originate digitally. It could also provide Jimmy John’s with an added advantage as it fends off a particularly busy sandwich category. According to Technomic, the number of fast casual sandwich chains with more than $50 million in annual sales increased 70% to over 7,500 in the past five years.

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *