Bloomin’ Brands Inc. hopes its new loyalty program will be a hit with customers who like variety.
The Tampa, Fla.-based casual-dining operator this week unveiled Dine Rewards, a new nationwide loyalty program that will be available at all four of the company’s brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
The program is believed to be the first major nationwide loyalty program in the casual-dining segment that offers rewards at multiple brands. Customers can earn 50 percent off their fourth visit after three visits to those concepts.
“We created Dine Rewards to show our most dedicated diners how much we appreciate their loyalty,” Chris Brandt, chief brand officer for Bloomin’ Brands, said in a statement. “Where they earn and where they redeem is entirely up to them.”
Restaurants have used loyalty programs to get customers to come back more often for years. These programs in recent years have evolved into more sophisticated structures that take advantage of current technology to gather data and make it simpler for customers to use the programs.
Yet, because most chains are owned by single companies, loyalty programs are typically available at just one concept. But Bloomin’ Brands says research indicates that three-quarters of consumers want a single program that’s available at multiple concepts.
By making the company’s loyalty program available at all of its concepts, Bloomin’ Brands hopes to generate more loyalty by giving customers more options.
Customers who sign up online will immediately receive $5 to spend at Outback, Carrabba’s or Bonefish, or $10 to spend at Fleming’s. They can earn rewards simply by telling the waiter or waitress the phone number associated with their account.
Customers who then spend at least $20 at Outback, Carrabba’s or Bonefish, or $40 at Fleming’s, on three different occasions will earn 50 percent off the fourth visit, up to $20 or, if at Fleming’s, up to $40.
The loyalty program comes as Bloomin’ Brands works to reinvigorate same-store sales at its concepts. All together, the company’s brands reported a same-store sales decline of 1.5 percent in the U.S. in the first quarter ended March 27. That included a 2.7-percent decline at Bonefish, a 2-percent decline at Carrabba’s, and a 1.3-percent decline at Outback.
Fleming’s same-store sales rose 1.3 percent in the quarter.