While the past few weeks haven’t been easy for anyone, especially those in the restaurant industry, some brands have been getting creative while finding ways to still serve their customers and bring loyalty and customer experience to the fore.  

Burger King has a new deal centered on getting free food to children impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. The fast-food chain is giving away two kids meals with any purchase made via the Burger King app starting next week, solidifying an effort to help feed America. "There's a tremendous impact on children, as a result of all the school closures. It's one of the hardest hit groups of Americans, because they rely so significantly on school, for lunch ... Monday through Friday, for the better part of the year" says Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil.

In a statement made through Dunkin’ Donuts website, the brand spoke directly to their fan base and donut lovers around the globe. “We want you to know that we have your back through this difficult time. One way we are working to help keep you safe and runnin’ on Dunkin’ is through On-the-Go Ordering on our app.” To order, customers only have to follow two simple steps. First, place your order and pay through the Dunkin’ App, and then pick up your order in-store or at the drive-thru for an easy grab-and-go experience. This effort will help reduce face-to-face interaction for both guests and the Dunkin’ crew. Furthermore, Dunkin’ is giving away 100 bonus points to DD Perks members who place an On-the-Go Order, which is enough to get customers to the halfway point of earning a free beverage.

For Starbucks, they are rewarding customers coping with quarantine by encouraging them to engage with the brand from their own homes. Coffee fans can participate in Starbuck’s new Starland promotion through its augmented reality game. For every “star” a customer catches, he or she earns a raffle ticket or instant prize. Customers can also earn additional plays by making a purchase. The prizes range from 15,000 stars, free drinks for a year, and more.

Lastly, at QDOBA, they believe in serving an important role by providing flavor to its communities. Temporarily offering "to-go only" orders across all QDOBA locations, the brand is temporarily closing all in-restaurant dining areas and encouraging patrons to utilize its limited contact ordering options online or via the mobile app. Also, select QDOBA locations are providing a little relief during these unprecedented times by offering customers free chips and queso with the purchase of a regular entrée until March 31st. The offer is loaded to your QDOBA rewards account and is ready to redeem on your next online or mobile order.

Even though these are truly uncharted waters for brands across all industries, by leveraging existing loyalty programs, rewards options, and digital channels, restaurants can continue to engage with customers, albeit at a safe distance for the time being.
 

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