Chicken Salad Chick Blazes Its Own Customer Loyalty Trail

The accolades for Chicken Salad Chick keep flowing in this year.

Chicken Salad Chick’s prowess in the area of customer insights was highlighted at the fourth annual Loyalty360 Awards held at the 10th annual Loyalty Expo in May. Chicken Salad Chick walked off with the prestigious Platinum Award in the Customer Insights category.

More recently, Chicken Salad Chick earned the No. 31 ranking in the Fast Casual Top 100 List.

Launched in 2008, Chicken Salad Chick is a fast casual chain of chicken restaurants based in Auburn, Alabama. The company has franchises to be developed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas.

Ali Rauch, director of marketing for Chicken Salad Chick, told Loyalty360 that all the companies had to apply with certain key figures/accomplishments to be included on the Fast Casual Top 100 List. The companies ranked 1 through 76 were restaurants/brands that were considered movers & shakers, and the rest were considered CEOs/leaders. A committee reviewed and ranked the companies.

“We’re proud to be considered one of the Fast Casual segments movers & shakers,” Rauch said. “We’re one of a kind and definitely blazing our own trail in a sense so this helps validate that a bit. We’re in good company and grew from our previous ranking of 37 so that’s good. We just want to keep moving on up!”

Rauch said that the recognition further validates the company’s CravingCredits loyalty program.

“Our CravingCredits loyalty program is a key initiative that has helped us grow and reach the success level that we’re currently at, so it’s definitely a factor in our ranking,” he explained. “We’ve also had our program established for quite some time so we’re leading the pack in this group!”

Chicken Salad Chick launched CravingCredits in March 2015, and the loyalty program is points-based where guests earn 1 point for every $1 spent, and to earn those points, they just scan a code at the bottom of the receipt. Once they have sufficient points, they can purchase rewards in the app to redeem in store.

What were the common themes among the companies ranked in the top third of the Fast Casual Top 100 list?
“Rapidly growing, great quality of food, unique,” Rauch said.

Acknowledgement like this inspires the entire Chicken Salad Chick team and justifies and supports its  customer-centric efforts.
“Absolutely!” Rauch said. “It’s just further validation that our commitment to delicious, made from scratch food, gracious service, and a memorable experience are all working!”

Rauch believes that Chicken Salad Chick is on the Fast Casual Top 100 list because the company is “growing exponentially right now, opening up 20-30 new stores per year, so that’s a factor. Additionally, we’re a brand unlike any other so we’re different, unique, and special. Top it off with double-digit positive comp sales when the rest of the fast casual market is flat. All of that together is why.”

What is Chicken Salad Chick’s focus this year and beyond from a customer engagement/customer loyalty perspective?

“We want to be America’s favorite place for chicken salad and we’re going to continue to focus on that, one mouth and market at a time,” Rauch said. “We’re going to create loyal guests in every new city by feeding them our cravable product, and rewarding them with a valuable thank you that is our loyalty program. We’re going to keep going and going on that front and get really personal as well. I want ‘Jenny’ to know that I’m talking to just her, and that’s where we’re heading!” 

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