Restaurant Loyalty Leaders and Revel Teams with LoyaltyPlant

MRM’s Daily Bite features a loyalty survey, restaurant technology companies teaming up and bug-infused cuisine. Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at MRM Daily Bite Logo
Restaurants Winning Top Marks for Loyalty

Restaurant brands made up nine percent of the top 100 brands in the 2017 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders 21st annual survey, conducted by Brand Keys, 

“These assessments provide a comprehensive and insightful, cross-category perspective of today’s brand loyalty brandscape,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president.

2017 Loyalty Leaders In The Restaurant Category
Numbers in parentheses represent rankings among the top 100 Loyalty Leaders.
1. Dunkin’ (#11)
2. Starbucks (#17)
3. Domino’s (#20)
4. Chick-fil-A (#32)
5. Papa John’s (50)
6. Panera’s (#52)
7. Au Bon Pain (#85)
8. Shake Shack (#99, new to 2017 list)
9. Five Guys Burgers & Fries (#100, new to list)
“We’ve seen tremendous shifts in emotional engagement in the Restaurant category over the past three years, particularly among brands that can create emotional engagement between customers and the brand. Today emotional engagement is the predictive, real-world yardstick for loyalty, same-store sales, and profitability,” said Passikoff, “It reflects what’s happening in the marketplace. Want to know what consumers are going to do, measure real loyalty and engagement.”
When it comes to loyalty – no matter your category – brands that understand that emotional connections serve as surrogates for added-value will succeed.
Brand Keys examined 740 brands in 83 categories. The Restaurant category included four sectors (Fast Casual, Fast Food, Pizza, and Coffee Shops) incorporating 45 brands. Category loyalty has been driven by consumer emotional engagement, with values that go beyond dollar-menus – as the first appearance of Shake Shack and Five Guys in toe top 100 this year proves.
Category Loyalty Leaders. Digital and. . .

Digital had the most Loyalty Leader brands, representing 36 percent of this year’s list. Other major Brand Loyalty Leader categories included:

• Retail: 16 percent
• Automotive: 12 percent
• Financial: 8 percent
• Cosmetics: 7 percent
• Alcohol: 7 percent
• TV News: 2 percent

Loyalty and emotional engagement are leading-indicators of consumer behavior toward a brand. Axiomatically, the better consumers behave toward a brand, the better the brand does in the marketplace. This year, the greatest movements in the loyalty rankings for restaurant brands were: Domino’s (+23), Papa John’s (+21), and Chick-fil-A (+18).

When it comes to loyalty – no matter your category – brands that understand that emotional connections serve as surrogates for added-value will succeed. “And brands that have made loyalty and emotional engagement a strategic priority,” noted Passikoff, “always appear high on the Loyalty Leaders List. More importantly, they always appear at the top of consumers’ shopping lists.”
The Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders analysis was conducted in September 2017 and includes assessments from 49,168 consumers, 16 to 65 years of age, recruited from the nine US Census Regions. Respondents self-selected the categories in which they are consumers, and the brands for which they are customers. The 2017 Loyalty Leader assessments examined 83 categories and evaluated 740 brands.
Unlike economic use models, which rely heavily on historical data and profitability conjecture, the Brand Keys Loyalty and Engagement Model and rankings are 100 percent consumer-driven, and are predictive, leading-indicators of brand and corporate profitability. “The good news is that brand loyalty is understandable. The better news is, it can be quantified and predicted,” said Passikoff. “And, today, knowing what’s coming down the road from a category and competitive perspective is an extraordinarily powerful advantage that brands shouldn’t really pass up.”

For the complete 2017 Top 100 Loyalty Leaders List, click here.

Revel Systems and LoyaltyPlant Join Forces
Revel Systems is partnering with LoyaltyPlant to offer a fully integrated mobile ordering and loyalty program. This partnership further builds out Revel’s suite of integrated tools that profitably expand and enrich the customer experience. Revel continues to enhance its mobile offerings, demonstrating its commitment to stay ahead of the ever-increasing demand for mobility. By partnering with LoyaltyPlant, Revel’s platform offers a complete solution to digital ordering and customer loyalty. The feature-rich, seamless integration includes a built-in mobile bonus loyalty program, targeted marketing campaigns and ROI projections, referral programs and social media integration, proximity marketing, and menu items, among many other features. Revel businesses can create a whole new revenue stream while easily increasing retention and loyalty of existing customers.

”We’re committed to being the platform that enables our customers to be where their customers are,” said Revel COO Bobby Marhamat. “By expanding our suite of loyalty program integrations, our customers can now offer mobile ordering with a robust mobile loyalty program that integrates with a Revel POS. This makes for easier and more intuitive management for business owners and operators, and allows for them to build deeper relationships with their customers, all while increasing sales.”

“Thanks to our collaboration with Revel we have been able to offer our clients a solid integration that perfectly connects the POS system into our digital ordering and loyalty platform,” said LoyaltyPlant Head of Partnerships, Joe Caraballo. “Together with Revel we help restaurants to build rewarding customer relationships in a safe and cost-efficient way.”

Revel customer Balance Grille has been using the LoyaltyPlant integration and Prakash Karamchandani, co-founder of Balance Grille said the restaurant has already seen increased customer retention, “The LoyaltyPlant and Revel integration drives results with a feature-rich app and a powerful integrated marketing program that helps the chain stay ahead of the competition. It has a bonus loyalty program that combines a simple earning mechanism with the Points Redemption Marketplace where free menu items are used as rewards. This approach drives higher engagement, with 42 percent of customers using the app more than twice a month, and boosts our sales by increasing the average check size by nine percent.”

Catersource Returns in February
Catersource returns to Las Vegas in February 2018 for its 26th annual conference and tradeshow and announced Erik Wahl, best-selling author, artist and TED speaker, as the keynote presenter. The event will kick off with two days of in-depth educational sessions followed by an award-winning tradeshow floor with more than 300 trendsetting exhibitors, sponsors, culinary competitions, happy hours and tastings. The 2018 conference will take place February 18–20, at Caesar’s Palace, and the tradeshow will take place February 20–21, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For the second consecutive year, the Art of Catering Food (AOCF) will be hosted at the event from February 18 – 21, 2018. For additional information, click here
Wahl, an internationally recognized artist, motivational speaker, best-selling author and entrepreneur, will keynote at the event on Sunday, February 18. During his presentation titled, “The Spark and the Grind,” Wahl will discuss how structure creates freedom and, while on stage, produce two large format paintings that will be given away. His presentation will resonate with catering professionals of all kinds, including chefs, event planners, sales, marketing, owners and managers. 
“Erik can shock the fading pulse of an employee workforce and also understands how beauty and creativity are essential to the communities he addresses,” said Kathleen Stoehr, director of community and content strategy, Catersource. “We are delighted to have him present his ideas to our attendees, who represent not only the business side of hospitality but also the creative individuals who orchestrate the catering and event experience, making Erik a terrific fit as our keynote for Catersource 2018.”
For the second year in a row, Catersource will run alongside Art of Catering Food, a focused culinary immersion program for chefs and catering kitchen staff. The intensive conference provides inspiration through in-depth and specialized content for recipe and staff development, kitchen techniques and trends. Attendees will be able to sample various cuisines while watching chefs prepare live on stage. This co-located, boutique conference is an opportunity for AOCF attendees to create lasting friendships and connections, learn from some of the top chefs in the nation and implement the knowledge they take away from the conference in their everyday work.
Hakkasan Group Adds to Executive Team

Global hospitality company Hakkasan Group has expanded its executive team with the appointment of Michael Neuner as Vice President Operations for UK and Europe. Having spent 30 years in the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industries, Neuner will take a leading role in ensuring the continued success and smooth running of operations for all London restaurants and Ling Ling locations in Mykonos, Marrakech and Oslo.

Michael Neuner
Michael Neuner

Neuner joins Hakkasan Group after serving as Managing Partner of Neuner & Associates, the hospitality consulting and investment firm he started in Berlin. Prior to starting Neuner & Associates, he served as F&B Director at Harrods in London and at Mandarin Oriental locations throughout the USA and London. He began his career in hospitality in the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Paul Bocuse, in Lyon, France.

“It is an honor to join Hakkasan Group, a brand that I have long admired for its creative and forward-thinking approach to fine dining,” Neuner. “I look forward to using my extensive hospitality experiences around the globe to ensure that operations run smoothly and successfully throughout Hakkasan Group’s esteemed portfolio in the UK and Europe.”

Hakkasan Group is a worldwide hospitality company with establishments across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Its namesake is taken from its Michelin star restaurant that set the high-level standard for the group’s collection of diverse brands. Its ‘brand first’ philosophy builds restaurants, nightlife, daylife and soon-to-open hotels, resorts and residences into world-class hospitality brands, all with a focus on service, design, innovation and experience. Its restaurant portfolio includes Hakkasan, with 11 locations worldwide, Ling, Yauatcha, HKK, Sake no Hana, Herringbone, Searsucker and Ivory on Sunset. Under the nightlife/daylife umbrella of brands are Hakkasan Nightclub, Wet Republic, OMNIA and JEWEL Nightclub.

‘Pestaurant’ Serves Up Bug-Infused Cuisine
Ehrlich Pest Control recently hosted a pop-up “Pestaurant” at Pratt and Light Plaza in Baltimore. Passersby were invited to sample bug-infused cuisine prepared by by the Eleven Courses Catering & Event Company, including June Beetles Encrusted Croquettes, Fried Cricket Crostini, Maryland Mealworm Crab Cakes, and Grasshopper Bark. For all who tasted these dishes or took part in the cricket eating contest, Ehrlich donated to the Maryland Food bank to support the organization’s ongoing initiatives.
June Beetle Croquettes
June Beetle Croquettes
For the cricket eating contest, whoever consumed three small containers of the insects the fastest received a bottle of champagne and a certificate. Ehrlich also handed out packages of ant lollipops, chocolate covered scorpions and salt and vinegar crickets, among other items. This is the fourth year of the event, with previous Pestaurants hosted in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, etc.

The objective of “Pestaurant” is to raise awareness and to show that pests, while often feared, can actually contribute towards a healthy diet. While people tend to only look for preventive options to guard themselves from insects, they should also consider that pests are high in protein, zinc and calcium. “Pestaurant” offers attendees the opportunity to sample unique dishes, partake in the popular cricket eating contest and take “Pest Selfies” for a free and fun experience.