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How Blaze Pizza surpassed TikTok on the Apple app store

The fast-casual restaurant chain’s Pi Day promotion was a huge hit this year

Ten years in, fast-casual Blaze Pizza’s Pi Day promotion is bigger and better than ever. So big that the app surpassed TikTok on the Apple charts for downloads on Pi Day. How did they do it? A lot of hard work and a dedicated fanbase.

Anyone who was a Blaze Pizza rewards member as of March 14 (Pi Day, for the numerical symbol for Pi — 3.14) got a personalized 11-inch pizza for $3.14. That pizza is usually $11.25. The deal has been happening for rewards members for 10 years, but now, anyone with the app is automatically enrolled in the rewards program and therefore eligible.

The promotion was specifically designed to increase app downloads, according to Sonja Tilki, vice president of marketing for Pasadena, Calif.-based Blaze Pizza.

“It’s a huge acquisition play for us,” she said.

There are over 3.5 million loyalty members currently, which boils down to a little over 10,000 per restaurant. 500,000 of those joined because of this year’s promotion alone.

“We’ve acquired a lot of new fans,” Tilki said. “Right now, we’re in our retention strategy phase, feeding them subsequent offers to get them to come back again and again, and that will be really strategic ground to continue to drive the loyalty program and know what offers work the best.”

On March 14, the Blaze Pizza app was the fourth most-downloaded app in the app store, ahead of TikTok.

Starting in February, team members were directing customers to a QR code to download the app at the point of sale. From then, promotions across Meta began in early March, giving the chain two weeks to promote the deal.

“We had just such great reception, not just from guests, but from team members,” she said. “So, to me, that was something that was a big effort by the training team this year — [getting] the franchisees and the restaurant team members engaged.”

That resulted in four times the engagement on social media than in years past.

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