IHOP unveils first loyalty program, the International Bank of Pancakes


{Photograph}: Shutterstock

IHOP thinks its pancakes are so invaluable that it’s turning them into cash.

The family-dining chain on Wednesday unveiled its first-ever loyalty program, dubbed the Worldwide Financial institution of Pancakes. Prospects who open an account with the “financial institution” will have the ability to earn factors, or Pancoins, with each order and commerce them free of charge meals.

The chain mentioned this system will enable it to reward company whereas additionally constructing relationships with them. It coincides with a revamped IHOP app and web site which can be meant to ease ordering and customization for company.

Right here’s how this system will work: Prospects can open an IBOP account within the IHOP app. After that, they may earn one Pancoin for each $5 they spend on the restaurant. As soon as they earn three Pancoins, they’ll trade them on the in-app “Stack Market” for a coupon that entitles them to free meals, like a short-stack of pancakes, a burger or a burrito. Prospects will want the IHOP app to make use of this system.

The chain will use knowledge from the transactions to generate advertising and marketing gives for company based mostly on what they’ve ordered previously.

“The aim of us introducing the Worldwide Financial institution of Pancakes, our first loyalty program, is to reward and interact our company and to create a relationship with them,” mentioned IHOP CMO Kieran Donahue. 

IBOP logoIHOP’s first loyalty program is a riff on the cryptocurrency pattern. / Picture courtesy of IHOP

The mechanics of this system will probably be supported partially by new pay-at-the-table expertise. Dine-in clients can scan a QR code with their telephone to pay their invoice, which can mechanically add Pancoins to their account. In the event that they select to pay the old style means, they’ll get a receipt (aka a “deposit slip”) with a code and barcode to gather their reward factors. Supply and pickup orders will even earn Pancoins. 

Donahue mentioned the chain needed to have some enjoyable with the cryptocurrency pattern when it was designing this system, which is the way it landed on the financial institution motif. Pancoins aren’t precise cryptocurrency and may solely be used inside the program.

“On the similar time, our pancakes, we do see as that invaluable, that they may really turn into their very own foreign money,” she mentioned.

The chain additionally needed to make this system easy for restaurant workers to manage. When company are able to trade Pancoins for meals, the app generates a coupon code that they present to the server, which is identical means IHOP handles common coupons.

“That was really a part of the design and a part of the suggestions from our franchisees, is how will we make it one thing they’re already acquainted with?” Donahue mentioned. 

Some loyal followers will get early entry to this system beginning at the moment. They’ll turn into “founding members” of the Worldwide Financial institution of Pancakes and can get a signup bonus of 10 Pancoins in addition to free supply and different perks. 

This system will go reside in eating places in early April, Donahue mentioned.

Loyalty applications have been sweeping the restaurant industry in recent times as manufacturers look to drive frequency and acquire higher knowledge on their clients. And company have proven a willingness to enroll: About 80% of adults mentioned they’d in all probability be a part of a loyalty program if it was provided by a neighborhood restaurant, in accordance with the Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation’s 2022 State of the Business report.

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IHOP unveils first loyalty program, the International Bank of Pancakes

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