With loyalty programs evolving to become ever more sophisticated, personalized and technologically advanced, White Castle took the opportunity this month to launch the 99-year-old burger chain’s first-ever digital loyalty program.
Craver Nation, which officially launched in September after a successful pilot program in Louisville this spring, is available at all 362 restaurants via the brand’s website and mobile app. Unlike more traditional “dollars to points to rewards” loyalty program structures, White Castle is going the more modern route of many of its competitors to offer personalized rewards and perks for their “Cravers” based on purchasing habits gleaned from their apps’ customer data.
When members sign up in September for program — developed in partnership with mobile engagement company Plexure — they’ll immediately receive an offer for a free combo meal with four sliders, a small order of fries and a small soft drink, plus $10 worth of additional coupons. Customers can also use the loyalty program with any digital or physical payment method.
“The time is right; we’re 99 years old and we recognize that customers today are changing rapidly, especially in light of the last six months,” White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson said. “Anything we can do to make the White Castle experience easier for the customer fits right in with heart of our hospitality strategy. People are looking for simplification and we think this program achieves that.”
Plans for a loyalty program were already in the works by the time the pandemic hit, Richardson said that the COVID-19 era of hospitality accelerated their timeline.
Although Richardson would not divulge exactly how their app works or what’s in store for customers down the line in terms of gamification and points structures, she did say that the relationship between White Castle and their Cravers users will always be a work in progress:
“We can tailor offers to the individual based on what they indicated is important to them,” Richardson said. “It’s an ongoing conversation that’s not static. You don’t just answer this question today and we know you for life. Some days you might not want that triple cheeseburger. […] It needs to be transparent. I think the conversation [with customers] will get more sophisticated as time goes on.”
In addition to receiving personalized offers Cravers members will be able to get access to swag and customer surveys before the general public, as well as exclusive mobile app offers, some of which, for example, might encourage order-ahead and contactless pickup. New discounts and special offers will be added each month.
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