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Learn From McDonald's: Why Your QSR Needs a Loyalty Mobile App

Learn From McDonald's: Why Your QSR Needs a Loyalty Mobile App

TLDR

You've probably heard about McDonald's successful mobile app comeback loaded with extra loyalty features for US customers. Well, you can take a page from the Golden Arches’ playbook. Their app resulted in an incredible increase in visits and ticket size for McDonald's, and it can work for your quick service restaurant, too. Offering mobile ordering and customized coupons encourages guests to place more orders and increases their spending. So if you want increased frequency and larger checks like the big chain saw, it’s time to get started with mobile loyalty. Give your customers an app they’ll use again and again.

Mobile Apps Are Essential for QSR Customer Loyalty

QSRs should take a page from McDonald's playbook and develop branded mobile apps to build customer loyalty. According to studies, over 50% of restaurant customers use apps for rewards and coupons. McDonald's app requires an email to enroll customers in their loyalty program and offer personalized deals.

Coupons and Discounts Drive Repeat Business

Sending coupons and discounts through a mobile app keeps customers coming back. Per Diem provides white-label apps that integrate with Square's loyalty program. Restaurants can offer coupons for free items after a certain number of purchases or dollars spent to encourage repeat visits. Digital coupons drive a 77% redemption rate, boosting sales and building loyalty.

Integrate Mobile Ordering for Convenience

Allowing customers to order through an app for pickup or delivery provides a convenient experience that today's customers crave. McDonald's app lets customers order and pay ahead, then skip the line to get their food. Other big chains like Taco Bell and Chipotle have also found that mobile ordering increases the average ticket size by 15-20%, as customers tend to spend more freely without a cashier. Integrating mobile ordering, especially for delivery, should be a top priority for any QSR looking to gain a competitive advantage.

Collect Customer Data to Personalize Deals

A branded mobile app empowers quick-service restaurants to gather data for personalized offers, enhancing the customer experience. It enables tracking of order history and frequency, identifying top customers for targeted incentives that foster loyalty. Personalized communication and offers are key to building real relationships with customers in today's digital world.

With the majority of customers wanting mobile loyalty programs and ordering, restaurants must develop branded apps to gain a competitive edge. By offering coupons, discounts, mobile ordering, and personalization, they can significantly boost sales, build loyalty and connect with customers.

McDonald's Sets the Standard With Its App

McDonald's app provides customers with a personalized experience, and loyalty rewards to keep them coming back. For local quick-service restaurants (QSRs) looking to boost sales and build customer loyalty, the McDonald's app is a model worth emulating.

Their app has a tiered loyalty program that offers rewards like free food, discounts, and exclusive offers. By signing up, customers earn points for every purchase that can be redeemed for menu items. The more customers use the app, the more rewards they unlock. This gamification encourages frequent use and bigger orders.

While McDonald's was slower to adopt mobile technology in the domestic market as compared to competitors, its loyalty app shows what QSRs can gain by investing in digital platforms. For local restaurants looking to compete in an increasingly tech-driven food service sector, following McDonald's model for mobile apps, loyalty programs, and personalized experiences is the recipe for success. 

Key Features of a Successful Mobile App

Easy Ordering and Payment

A user-friendly ordering experience is key. McD's app allows customers to place orders ahead of time for pick-up or dine-in, customize their meals, save favorite orders for easy re-ordering, and pay directly through the app. For any QSR, seamless ordering and multiple payment options, like credit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay in your app, are must-haves. They make the entire experience quick, simple, and convenient for busy customers.

Loyalty Programs and Coupons

Once customers download your app, give them a reason to keep coming back. Integrating a loyalty program into your app, where customers earn points with each purchase that can be redeemed for free or discounted items, will drive ongoing user engagement and repeat business. Sending exclusive coupons and promotions through your app is an easy way to nudge customers back into your restaurant.

Trackable Delivery

For QSRs that offer delivery, a mobile app can provide live order and delivery tracking. Customers want to know exactly when their food will arrive, especially if there are delays. In-app delivery tracking gives customers transparency into their order status in real-time so they feel informed and taken care of. It’s a small but impactful feature that enhances the overall experience with your brand.

While a few years late to the game, McDonald’s mobile app checked all the boxes for features customers want from a QSR experience. Any restaurant looking to boost loyalty and sales should follow the major fast food chain's lead and build an easy-to-use, feature-rich app that keeps customers coming back for more. Focusing on a great user experience, loyalty incentives, and seamless convenience will make your app a runaway success.

Integrate in-app Coupons and Loyalty Programs

Offer Exclusive Coupons

Using your app to distribute coupons and special offers gives customers an incentive to download and frequently open the app. You can offer coupons only available through the app to attract new downloads. Send app users coupons for free items or percentage discounts on their next purchase. Time-limited coupons create a sense of urgency and boost redemption rates.

Build a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program rewards customers for frequent visits and purchases. As customers earn points for dollars spent, they unlock increasing levels of rewards and benefits. For example, after their first purchase, they get a free side or drink; after a certain number of visits, they earn a free entree. A loyalty program turns casual customers into lifelong fans.

Explore the Square Loyalty Program for additional information.

Share Targeted Offers

Once customers have downloaded your app and signed up for your loyalty program, you have valuable data about their ordering habits and preferences. Use this data to send personalized offers and coupons tailored to their tastes. Targeted offers have a high perceived value for customers and lead to increased spending and visits.

Offer Mobile Ordering and Delivery for Maximum Convenience

For quick-service restaurants, the ability to accept orders on the go is now essential. An app that provides mobile ordering and delivery options offers maximum convenience for your busy customers.

Convenience and Speed

With a well-designed mobile ordering app, customers can browse your full menu and place an order at their leisure, then simply pick it up at a pre-arranged time. This allows them to skip the line and get their food fast. For your business, mobile ordering means fewer errors, less time spent taking orders in person, and shorter wait times for customers - which leads to higher satisfaction.

Reach More Customers

A mobile app expands your reach by giving customers another way to interact with your brand whenever they want. They can order for delivery or schedule a pickup at their convenience. An app also allows you to market directly to customers through push notifications about special offers to keep them engaged. According to McDonald's, their app generated "phenomenal results, increasing the frequency and order size for millions of guests."

Final Thoughts

So in summary, don't wait around while your competitors rush ahead with mobile loyalty programs. Learn from the industry's giant success and invest in a branded app that rewards customers and drives sales. Meeting customers where they are today with a tailored loyalty program builds lasting relationships and secures your future. The investment pays off in the long run. Look at the results from the McDonald's app - increased visits and larger orders. You want customers to choose you first. Don't leave this opportunity on the table. Get started with a loyalty mobile app and watch your sales climb.

Learn From McDonald's: Why Your QSR Needs a Loyalty Mobile App

Learn From McDonald's: Why Your QSR Needs a Loyalty Mobile App
by
Soma Amir
by
Doron Segal
by
Tomer Molovinsky
by
Olivia Terenzio
by
Jessica Buckley
by
Ashley Rodriguez
October 1, 2022

TLDR

You've probably heard about McDonald's successful mobile app comeback loaded with extra loyalty features for US customers. Well, you can take a page from the Golden Arches’ playbook. Their app resulted in an incredible increase in visits and ticket size for McDonald's, and it can work for your quick service restaurant, too. Offering mobile ordering and customized coupons encourages guests to place more orders and increases their spending. So if you want increased frequency and larger checks like the big chain saw, it’s time to get started with mobile loyalty. Give your customers an app they’ll use again and again.

Mobile Apps Are Essential for QSR Customer Loyalty

QSRs should take a page from McDonald's playbook and develop branded mobile apps to build customer loyalty. According to studies, over 50% of restaurant customers use apps for rewards and coupons. McDonald's app requires an email to enroll customers in their loyalty program and offer personalized deals.

Coupons and Discounts Drive Repeat Business

Sending coupons and discounts through a mobile app keeps customers coming back. Per Diem provides white-label apps that integrate with Square's loyalty program. Restaurants can offer coupons for free items after a certain number of purchases or dollars spent to encourage repeat visits. Digital coupons drive a 77% redemption rate, boosting sales and building loyalty.

Integrate Mobile Ordering for Convenience

Allowing customers to order through an app for pickup or delivery provides a convenient experience that today's customers crave. McDonald's app lets customers order and pay ahead, then skip the line to get their food. Other big chains like Taco Bell and Chipotle have also found that mobile ordering increases the average ticket size by 15-20%, as customers tend to spend more freely without a cashier. Integrating mobile ordering, especially for delivery, should be a top priority for any QSR looking to gain a competitive advantage.

Collect Customer Data to Personalize Deals

A branded mobile app empowers quick-service restaurants to gather data for personalized offers, enhancing the customer experience. It enables tracking of order history and frequency, identifying top customers for targeted incentives that foster loyalty. Personalized communication and offers are key to building real relationships with customers in today's digital world.

With the majority of customers wanting mobile loyalty programs and ordering, restaurants must develop branded apps to gain a competitive edge. By offering coupons, discounts, mobile ordering, and personalization, they can significantly boost sales, build loyalty and connect with customers.

McDonald's Sets the Standard With Its App

McDonald's app provides customers with a personalized experience, and loyalty rewards to keep them coming back. For local quick-service restaurants (QSRs) looking to boost sales and build customer loyalty, the McDonald's app is a model worth emulating.

Their app has a tiered loyalty program that offers rewards like free food, discounts, and exclusive offers. By signing up, customers earn points for every purchase that can be redeemed for menu items. The more customers use the app, the more rewards they unlock. This gamification encourages frequent use and bigger orders.

While McDonald's was slower to adopt mobile technology in the domestic market as compared to competitors, its loyalty app shows what QSRs can gain by investing in digital platforms. For local restaurants looking to compete in an increasingly tech-driven food service sector, following McDonald's model for mobile apps, loyalty programs, and personalized experiences is the recipe for success. 

Key Features of a Successful Mobile App

Easy Ordering and Payment

A user-friendly ordering experience is key. McD's app allows customers to place orders ahead of time for pick-up or dine-in, customize their meals, save favorite orders for easy re-ordering, and pay directly through the app. For any QSR, seamless ordering and multiple payment options, like credit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay in your app, are must-haves. They make the entire experience quick, simple, and convenient for busy customers.

Loyalty Programs and Coupons

Once customers download your app, give them a reason to keep coming back. Integrating a loyalty program into your app, where customers earn points with each purchase that can be redeemed for free or discounted items, will drive ongoing user engagement and repeat business. Sending exclusive coupons and promotions through your app is an easy way to nudge customers back into your restaurant.

Trackable Delivery

For QSRs that offer delivery, a mobile app can provide live order and delivery tracking. Customers want to know exactly when their food will arrive, especially if there are delays. In-app delivery tracking gives customers transparency into their order status in real-time so they feel informed and taken care of. It’s a small but impactful feature that enhances the overall experience with your brand.

While a few years late to the game, McDonald’s mobile app checked all the boxes for features customers want from a QSR experience. Any restaurant looking to boost loyalty and sales should follow the major fast food chain's lead and build an easy-to-use, feature-rich app that keeps customers coming back for more. Focusing on a great user experience, loyalty incentives, and seamless convenience will make your app a runaway success.

Integrate in-app Coupons and Loyalty Programs

Offer Exclusive Coupons

Using your app to distribute coupons and special offers gives customers an incentive to download and frequently open the app. You can offer coupons only available through the app to attract new downloads. Send app users coupons for free items or percentage discounts on their next purchase. Time-limited coupons create a sense of urgency and boost redemption rates.

Build a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program rewards customers for frequent visits and purchases. As customers earn points for dollars spent, they unlock increasing levels of rewards and benefits. For example, after their first purchase, they get a free side or drink; after a certain number of visits, they earn a free entree. A loyalty program turns casual customers into lifelong fans.

Explore the Square Loyalty Program for additional information.

Share Targeted Offers

Once customers have downloaded your app and signed up for your loyalty program, you have valuable data about their ordering habits and preferences. Use this data to send personalized offers and coupons tailored to their tastes. Targeted offers have a high perceived value for customers and lead to increased spending and visits.

Offer Mobile Ordering and Delivery for Maximum Convenience

For quick-service restaurants, the ability to accept orders on the go is now essential. An app that provides mobile ordering and delivery options offers maximum convenience for your busy customers.

Convenience and Speed

With a well-designed mobile ordering app, customers can browse your full menu and place an order at their leisure, then simply pick it up at a pre-arranged time. This allows them to skip the line and get their food fast. For your business, mobile ordering means fewer errors, less time spent taking orders in person, and shorter wait times for customers - which leads to higher satisfaction.

Reach More Customers

A mobile app expands your reach by giving customers another way to interact with your brand whenever they want. They can order for delivery or schedule a pickup at their convenience. An app also allows you to market directly to customers through push notifications about special offers to keep them engaged. According to McDonald's, their app generated "phenomenal results, increasing the frequency and order size for millions of guests."

Final Thoughts

So in summary, don't wait around while your competitors rush ahead with mobile loyalty programs. Learn from the industry's giant success and invest in a branded app that rewards customers and drives sales. Meeting customers where they are today with a tailored loyalty program builds lasting relationships and secures your future. The investment pays off in the long run. Look at the results from the McDonald's app - increased visits and larger orders. You want customers to choose you first. Don't leave this opportunity on the table. Get started with a loyalty mobile app and watch your sales climb.

Soma Amir

About the author

Doron Segal

About the author

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky

About the author

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Olivia Terenzio

About the author

Jessica Buckley

About the author

Ashley Rodriguez

About the author

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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