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July 2014

Restaurant Program Expansion

The Goal

Since its creation in 2003, the Duffy’s Sports Grill MVP loyalty program has attracted more than 400,000 active members who generate roughly 70% of transactions in 24 casual dining locations across south Florida. Duffy’s wanted to expand the program with more mobile and messaging capabilities to strategically reach member tiers with targeted offers and promotions, thereby deepening the channels of communication and helping Duffy’s enrich its relationship with its most valuable guests.

The Initiative

The Duffy’s MVP loyalty program segments guests, based on their behaviors, into three spending tiers: MVP, All Star and Hall of Fame. Using integrated point-of-sale software, the restaurant can design offers and promotions tailored to each tier’s behavior.

Because loyalty members account for almost three-quarters of all the restaurant’s transactions, the connection to the Duffy’s brand is reinforced with relevant messages and appealing offers. To further enhance those efforts and provide more value to members, three capabilities were added:

  1. Mobile check-in allows members to go cardless and still earn points or redeem rewards when checking in to the Duffy’s app at restaurant locations. The function allows servers to see on their point-of-sale screens who has checked in so they can better acknowledge guests and inform them of any rewards available on their accounts.
  2. Digital sign-up eliminates paper applications and store-level administration of the MVP program. The digital enrollment provides better, more qualified data and guests can sign up via Duffy’s mobile app, text or website. New members can also join through the MVP kiosk in the lobby of each restaurant.
  3. Real-time, behavior-triggered messaging enables Duffy’s to quickly communicate with guests on pertinent limited-time offers, new menu-item surveys and time to the next reward, plus reminders of rewards earned and applicable expiration dates.

The Results

By expanding its capabilities in the MVP program, Duffy’s has created new and convenient ways for guests to engage with the brand, and MVP continues to grow as a percent of Duffy’s total sales. In 2010, loyalty represented about 67% of total sales and by 2013 it increased to 73%, while total membership rose 4% in 2013 from 2012. In addition, total visits in 2013 grew 5%, total spending increased 3% and average visits per member went up 2% compared with 2012. For a mature loyalty program with a history of success, these gains represent a significant achievement and establish a benchmark for future success.