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Potbelly-app-program-updayte.jpeg Potbelly
Potbelly's new app converts points to coins, and gives customers more options for rewards.

Potbelly launches new loyalty program redesign with faster, more custom rewards

The Chicago-based sandwich restaurant joined the loyalty program makeover trend with a new app and website that’s easier to use

Potbelly announced Monday the redesign of its loyalty program, Potbelly Perks, which now emphasizes faster and more custom rewards, and an easier to use customer interface. The Chicago-based sandwich brand has joined the growing throng of restaurant brands that have made the switch from a rewards app that automatically gives everyone the same rewards when they spend a certain amount of money, to a loyalty program that gives customers more options.

“We’ve gone from what the industry refers to as an automatic conversion program… where once you hit 1,000 points, that converts to a free entree, to a much more modern program,” Potbelly’s CMO David Daniels told Nation’s Restaurant News. “We’ve moved to a bankable points program that give our fans greater control over the rewards that they can earn, where you can spend as you earn at varying levels versus waiting until a specific threshold is met.… We’ve basically opened up the entire menu as a reward, not just entrees.”

The Potbelly app and website were updated on Jan. 22 to this new program, which converts users’ old points to the new currency of coins in the Potbelly Perks program. In the app, customers will be able to see how many coins they have, illustrated by a digital barometer, and what rewards they can cash in using those coins, which expire after one year.

The company has added different membership tiers based on how much a customer spends at Potbelly. Everyone starts at the rookie level (which earns 10 coins per dollar spent), and moves to the pro level at 2,000 coins per calendar year (11 coins per dollar spent), and then the boss level is 5,000 coins spent per calendar year, which will earn customers 12 coins per dollar spent. Coins are accrued based on dollar amount spent in a year, like airline frequent flyer miles — so they don’t just go away when you cash in a reward.

Customers can see what they can spend their coins on in the Perks Store, which includes a pickle (200 coins), cookies or chips (300 coins), fountain or bottled beverage or Dream Bar (400 coins), small soup or shake (700 coins), bowl of mac, soup, skinny sandwich or half salad (1,000 coins), and so on. To redeem a perk, customers just have to click on the one they want — non-available perks will be in grayscale and not clickable — and choose to add the perk to an online order, scan it in a shop, or save it for later, for up to 30 days.

“We wanted it to be incredibly user friendly,” Daniels said. “The team has done a great job really focused on the user experience… The fundamentals of the program are not unique. This is a familiar style program to many of our customers. But we think the experience is unique and is a clear differentiator for our brand…. There's a lot of potential to integrate gamification within this experience that we have planned throughout this year and beyond.”

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

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