Red Lobster, the world’s largest seafood restaurant company, has never had a loyalty program, until now.

Following highly successful testing in Colorado, then Arizona and Wyoming, Red Lobster on Monday unveiled its new app-based loyalty program called My Red Lobster Rewards. The new program rewards customers based on their spending.

What’s more, it marks the first mobile app for the Orlando-based company, which has a 4 million-member email club, text message offers, and a mobile-friendly website. Red Lobster officials plan to extend offers tailored to customers preferences to improve frequency and loyalty.

Red Lobster will be able to make offers tailored to the customer’s preferences to improve frequency and loyalty among its 700-unit chain.

Paul Quinn, senior director, Integrated Guest Experience, Red Lobster, talked to Loyalty360 about the new app-based loyalty program.

“We know we have loyal fans who follow us on social media and participate in our Fresh Catch email program, so the launch of My Red Lobster Rewards provides another way for our loyal guests to easily connect with us and be rewarded for dining with us,” Quinn explained. “We want to reward our guests for doing what they already love to do–enjoy delicious seafood.”   

Testing began a year ago in Colorado and later expanded to Arizona and Wyoming, Quinn noted.

“Test results exceeded our expectations, including an increase in sales among members driven by them coming to us more frequently,” Quinn said.

Why was now the right time to expand into the loyalty arena?

“We have been expanding our presence in mobile, starting with creating a mobile-friendly version of our website,” Quinn explained. “At the beginning of October, we launched text messaging to give guests another convenient way to receive special offers from us. Now, My Red Lobster Rewards gives us another mobile connection to our guests.”

Members in Red Lobster’s test markets instilled high confidence among company officials.

“Members in our test markets have told us that they love the simplicity of the program and that their reward is not limited to one food item or category–they to choose from three options to redeem (appetizer, dessert, add-on item),” Quinn explained. “Over time, we will be able to personalize the reward choices by guest as well as our communications. The app also provides members with options that make the restaurant experience more convenient, like being able to put your name on the wait list, where available. And, we’re already planning to add features like being able to place a To-Go order, which will be available starting in January.”

In the My Red Lobster Rewards program customers earn one point for every $1 they spend and get rewarded at 125 points. New members get 75 points once they sign up, meaning they can get their first reward after spending $50.

As a welcome bonus, Red Lobster is giving guests who sign up for My Red Lobster Rewards 75 free points. The points are accumulated and tracked through the My Red Lobster Rewards app simply by scanning a QR code located on their receipt.

In addition to rewarding guests with points, the app will allow guests to put their names on the wait list at their local Red Lobster restaurant, where available. And, coming soon, guests will be able to use the app to place a to-go order.   

To join, download the My Red Lobster Rewards app and sign up to get in on the point-earning action. The free app is available for iOS and Android. To find a restaurant location or view the complete Red Lobster menu, visit Red Lobster’s website.

“At MUFSO (Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators) earlier this month, NRN (Nation’s Restaurant News) shared a sneak peak of the results of the latest annual Consumer Picks survey and Red Lobster was rated No. 1 among all full-service restaurants on ‘True Loyalty,’’’ Quinn added. “True Loyalty is defined as repeat visits driven by a true desire to go–as opposed to a visit based on convenience. The My Red Lobster Rewards program will increase the number of our guests with a true desire to dine at Red Lobster–and be rewarded for their visit.” 

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