Compass Group Adds Loyalty to Its Menu

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Customer Experience
Customer Experience

Cafeteria customers are traditionally anonymous, grabbing a coffee or sandwich and going on about their day. But food services company Compass Group recently created a loyalty program that rewards customers for their purchases.

"We are always looking for ways to bring some innovation to our clients," says Mike Barner, vice president of field systems at Compass Group, which worked with First Data to build out the program. "We are doing things to generate loyalty with our customer baseand looking to continue to provide some options for the customer. "

Customers opt-in online or on-site to the program, called Zipthru Rewards.Customers earn points each time they purchase something from a Compass Group caf?The program is marketed through standard onsite marketing campaigns (posters, LCD displays, table tents, brochures, email, etc.), as well as the Zipthru Rewards cards available in the caf?/p>

Barner says the program uses a standard tiering model. "We have a base level, and then we identify three levels beyond that -- Zipthru Select, Zipthru Prime, or Zipthru Elite - depending on the points level. The higher the tier level you [reach], the higher the reward you receive." Customers move from one tier to the next based on the total number of points earned.

Specific rewards depend on each Compass Group caf?ocation, but include free items from the caf?nd discounts on merchandise, travel, and entertainment from hundreds of local and national merchants. As customers move up to a higher tier, the value of the reward increases (e.g. a free meal of a higher value).Customers in higher tiers know that they are being rewarded at a higher level - the program is marketed this way to incent customers to participate at a higher level, Barner says.Program participation varies by caf?ut ranges anywhere from 20 to 50 percent. He didn't reveal any customer-based metrics.

"The biggest benefit is showing ways of valuing the customers," Barner says, who adds that Compass Group is not yet doing anything with the data besides the tiering. "What's going to resonate the most with the customer? What is the most meaningful promotion dealing with different demographics and ages? Trying to find the balance is the biggest challenge."

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