Innovation
 
Subway Franchisees Launch Subway Marketplace
 
Subway has announced that some of its franchisees have launched Subway Marketplace - a way for customers to make their own sandwiches from home. Customers can order items, including bread, as well as a diverse array of pre-packaged meats and vegetables. "Adapting to this ever-evolving landscape also means finding creative solutions to give our guests the best Subway experience possible—whether that's providing the greatest value, creating different solutions for guests to access essentials, or delivering contactless convenience," the company said in a statement.
 
American Airlines Brings Back Credit Card Spending Toward Million Miler Status
 
American Airlines has announced it is letting AA credit cardholders to earn points to their lifetime elite status by using a co-branded credit card. The campaign, which runs from May to the end of 2020, will reward travelers for every dollar spent on an AAdvantage co-branded credit card. Every dollar will count for one mile toward Million miler status as well as to the normal redeemable miles earned. American Airlines announced multiple changes to its loyalty program Monday, April 20, like extending the elite status, reducing elite status qualification requirements, extending lounge memberships and upgrade certificates as well as lowering the fees on award ticket cancellations.
 
Corporate Social Responsibility
 
With Strong Off-Premise sales, Bloomin' Forgoes Furloughs
 
The parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bloomin' Brands has not furloughed any of its employees even though it has seen a 31 percent decline in same-store sales during the pandemic. The company said that thanks to the strong takeout and delivery sales, it has been able to keep a majority of its stores open. The company has also paid employees who may have lost hours or shifts because of suspended in-restaurant service. CEO Dave Deno said in a statement, "This is a testament to the strong affinity for our brands, and our decision to invest significantly into building a robust delivery network to complement our takeout business."
 
Loyalty Programs
 
Snappy's Gives Its Rewards Program a Revamp
 
Snappy's has announced it is revamping its loyalty program by partnering with Paytronix Systems Inc. The revamped program lets customers track rewards, redeem points, and manage their accounts. Rewards members earn five cents off per gallon every day, bonus rewards through an email subscription, members-only exclusives, and other rewards through the app. To encourage customers to sign up, the brand is also offering 25 cents off per gallon on the first fuel-up after the card has been registered online. "Understanding the needs of our customers is our top priority. We'll acquire that through market research and continued development of our program through campaigns, offers, rewards, and added features," Snappy's Director of Marketing Ryan Scaife noted. "Gone are the days of having to have your card in hand to redeem points, or your gas discounts not working at the pump. Our customers wanted a reliable program they can count on, and we believe this program will do that for many years to come."
 
Virgin Australia Freezes Its Velocity Frequent Flyer Program
 
Virgin Australia has announced it has frozen all Velocity points indefinitely, meaning customers can't use points they have accumulated. Even though the company said the points "aren't going anywhere," the Yahoo Finance article linked above lays out three broad scenarios this could mean for the company. "We've made the difficult decision to pause all redemptions for an initial period of four weeks, effective immediately. This means your members won't be able to redeem their Points for rewards during the pause," Virgin said in an update published on its website.
 
 

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