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Pei Wei adds a side of loyalty to new mobile ordering app

Fast-casual dining chain Pei Wei is unveiling a new mobile application that enables customers to order meals prior to arriving at a restaurant, access a bar code linked to their loyalty accounts and earn rewards points for each dollar spent.

The Asian diner brand teamed up with Relevant Mobile for the new app rollout, which employs a loyalty-centric angle. Consumers can download the Android or iOS app to start building up their rewards point balances, take advantage of mobile ordering tools and submit guest surveys and feedback directly from their smartphones.

“The app will offer a number of features, including ordering and rewards,” said Gerrine Pan, founder of Relevant Mobile. “The way that we see mobile offerings translate to sales increases is when our clients offer their guests value-enhancing mobile products that make the guest and brand interaction seamless.

“Loyalty and native online ordering are two examples that provide easy brand interaction and have a direct tie to increased revenue,” she said. “Pei Wei listened to its guests and curated a selection of app features that speak directly to their needs.”

Firing up sales
The new app was designed to give Pei Wei the ability to provide more long-term value to its fans, some of whom are already loyalty members.

Pei Wei app users can now place orders via mobile and access rewards while on-the-go through the integrated loyalty program. Individuals can also receive round-the-clock technical support, leverage a store locator tool, view their order history, read FAQs and submit guest surveys and feedback.

Those who opt to save their favorite orders will enjoy easier reordering in the future.

Pei Wei sought to closely integrate its loyalty platform with the ordering capabilities in a bid to enhance the overall customer experience.

Consumers can register for the program by downloading the new mobile app and inputting their email address. The app will then assign a unique bar code to each member, which will be scanned at the register each time the individual pays for an order.

Mobile payment capabilities are not yet available within the app.

“Speed and an element of self-service are the name of the game for fast-casual chains, and technology is a significant enabler for this category,” Ms. Pan said. “Bar codes are an efficient way to quickly transmit a fair amount of information between a guest and a POS so that the Pei Wei team can focus on speed, execute a POS transaction and ultimately understand guest patterns.”

Diners will earn 10 points per each dollar spent on to-go and dine-in meals. Once a user has accumulated 1,000 rewards points, he or she will receive a complimentary entrée.

Pei Wei will also update its app with other special offers and deals periodically, giving consumers more incentive to stay engaged. Users can also sign up to receive alerts when they are eligible for a specific reward.

Additionally, consumers can stay up-to-date with Pei Wei’s official Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds within the app.

In the past year, the Asian dining chain has revamped much of its business model to include a mobile-first mindset.

Last summer, Pei Wei expanded acceptance of Apple Pay to all of its nearly 200 locations following a successful pilot in 16 outposts, underscoring the growing demand for mobile payments among diners (see story).

A dash of mobile loyalty
Restaurant chains seeking to modernize their app experiences should look no further than mobile ordering functionalities integrated with loyalty programs.

Consumers’ growing proclivity toward making purchases on smartphones – and collecting rewards for doing so – offers a strong likelihood for optimal return on investment on these types of apps.

Relevant Mobile – the developer behind Pei Wei’s latest mobile offering – has also powered a number of other quick-service restaurant brands’ apps.

Wetzel’s Pretzels recently heated up mobile sales with a new rewards application that enables users to earn loyalty credit for each item they purchase and send friends virtual gift cards, underscoring another lucrative mobile sales opportunity for quick service restaurant chains (see story).

Penn Station East Coast Subs also introduced a new app allowing users to order ahead, collect and redeem rewards points, send friend referrals and receive access to seasonal mobile games (see story).

“There are substantial gains to be had from including loyalty even if ‘loyalty is not right for your brand right now’ and ways to execute on that value offering to guests even if your brand doesn’t have a loyalty program,” Ms. Pan said. “There are also some features that, while they may not make or break the app, are extremely helpful for guests and enhance their experience.

“Order history is an example of that. Being able to make repeat purchases easily is a smart way to use technology to decrease friction for repeat revenue.”