The Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain on Wednesday launched its first mobile application and loyalty program, joining a growing number of restaurant brands  offering smartphone payment and gifting options.
Available for both the iPhone and Android, the new Pinkcard will allow guests to track purchases, earn rewards, send virtual gift cards, and pay in stores without cash. But perhaps the most important feature of the Pinkcard app for fans of the frozen yogurt brand will be the ability to find which store is serving their favorite flavor.
“People are maniacal about finding their favorite flavors,” said Ron Graves, chief executive of the more than 200-unit frozen yogurt chain. “Our flavors are rotated so not every story has every flavor at the same time.”
The Pinkcard is also available as a traditional loyalty program with a plastic card for guests who don’t have smartphone capability, said Graves.
Customers earn a free small yogurt with toppings when they register. They can earn a free yogurt with every tenth purchase and on their birthday, along with other surprise rewards and exclusive offers throughout the year.
Graves said the mobile app simplifies the process, allowing guests to store cash value and automatically reload, if desired. Loyalty members can also give feedback with the promise of a response from Pinkberry within 24 hours.
The app also offers easy access to Facebook, 4Square and Twitter, and customers can send Pinkcard eGifts through email or Facebook. Graves said the eGifting option is expected to drive sales during the holiday season, when Pinkberry is planning to feature a gingerbread yogurt, starting Nov. 16.
Customers who download the app and register through Nov. 21 have a chance to earn $100 worth of Pinkberry products each month for a year, as well as four catered parties for up to 25 people, free take-home every week and $600 worth of eGifts.
Pinkberry is not the first frozen yogurt brand to offer a mobile app. Competitor Red Mango has a mobile app tied to its Club Mango loyalty program, as does the Orange Leaf frozen yogurt chain.