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Farmer Boys extends loyalty card’s reach via mobile app

Farmer Boys will launch an application in the second quarter of 2014 to let consumers view menus as well as earn and redeem loyalty rewards. The app will be powered by Punchh.

“The strategy behind the new rewards program is to expand the venues Farmer Boys has to provide an unforgettable home-grown dining experience,” said Kevin Kelly, vice president of operations at Farmer Boys, Riverside, CA. “We want to connect with our customers and give easy access to Farmer Boys information to deliver real satisfying value for people that appreciate farm fresh food.

“We are very excited about the mobile element of the rewards program,” he said. “Guests will have access to the farm anytime on the Farmer Boys branded app.

“It made sense to create a mobile element because of the growth this channel has seen and the potential mobile has to create rich and relevant cross-channel experiences.”

Farmer Boys currently operates 75 restaurants in five counties across Southern and Central California and in Nevada.

Even though Farmer Boys has decided to create a loyalty app, it will still provide consumers with the ability to earn rewards via a physical card.

This allows Farmer Boys to reach consumers of all types and ages since some may not be comfortable engaging with the loyalty program on mobile.

“Farmer Boys chose to keep the physical card because we have a diverse customer base,” Mr. Kelly said. “We felt it would be to our advantage to give guests access to the loyalty program on various platforms.

“Farmer Boys wants to provide value and allow loyalty rewards to be earned and redeemed on the platform that best suits the needs of our guests,” he said.

Whether consumers use the app or the physical card, they will be able to accrue points by purchasing product and referring their friends to the program. Farmer Boys will be able to engage with consumers in real-time and provide customized offers.

Farmer Boys plans to engage with consumers on more of a one-to-one basis and reach them in a more personal way. This in turn is likely to boost repeat visits and increase sales.

The Punchh mobile CRM platform lets Farmer Boys track customer purchases and provides real-time data to the chain through a Web-based dashboard. Farmer Boys can then manage customer relationships, see customers’ purchasing history in real-time and tailor one-to-one offers.

In addition to being able to access the loyalty program via the Farmer Boys app, consumers will be able to place an order, pay for their food, interact directly with the chain, share reviews on social media, play games or respond to surveys.

Mobile rewards
While Farmer Boys has decided to maintain its physical loyalty program, a number of other restaurant chains have decided to jump wholeheartedly into an app-based program.

For instance, QSR International leveraged Punchh’s platform for its KFC, Quiznos, Smashburger, Cinnabon and Teriyaki locations in fifteen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (see story).

Similarly, Ichor Restaurant Group leveraged the mobile CRM suite for all of its brands, including Old Carolina Barbecue, Baja Pizzafish, Wedge and Smoke the Burger Joint (see story).

Farmer Boys, too, realized the great potential in mobile for loyalty programs.

“Mobile is important to Farmer Boys because of the increased ability of personalization and customization of messages and geo-targeting capabilities,” Mr. Kelly said. “Mobile will give us the ability to create new innovative way to engage with our guests through one-to-one marketing.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York