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BLL’s Zack Drew On Restaurant App Loyalty

Bobby Gill | May 22, 2018

The Manifest, a B2B news and how-to website, recently published a report analyzing how consumers use restaurant loyalty and food on-demand delivery apps.

The report can help restaurants and other businesses identify the best opportunities to utilize delivery on demand service apps or loyalty apps in their marketing plans.

Zack Drew, head of business development at Blue Label Labs, spoke to The Manifest, providing expert commentary on the data.

Half (50%) of smartphone owners use restaurant loyalty apps, according to the survey.


The survey found that Starbucks has the most popular restaurant loyalty app, with 48% indicating it as their most regularly used loyalty app. This surpasses Domino’s (34%) and Pizza Hut (30%).

Drews described the effort that went into creating a mobile app design as popular as the Starbucks app.

“What they built is very difficult to do,” he said. “They spent a lot of time, years, and money doing it.”

The mobile app design is effective because it provides a well-rounded experience to the user.

“The biggest draw of it is that it’s integrated in all ways,” said Drews. “You get emails. You might get text messages. You’ve got the in-app notifications that you might be near a Starbucks. They’re all driving people to use it.”

The Starbucks app utilizes gamification, or the idea of turning a brand into a game-like experience through rewards and incentives. When leveraged in custom mobile app development, gamification can make an app more engaging and addictive.


Most restaurant loyalty app users primarily use the apps for this gamification experience. Over 70% say they use the mobile apps primarily to build up points for rewards, such as free drinks and birthday meals.

Starbucks’ rewards points, or “stars,” are a central part of the app’s experience. This is key if an app wants to successfully employ gamification in its mobile app design.

“It has to be part of the user experience,” he said. “It can’t just be a bolted on. It has to be fully integrated to the experience.”

The mobile app communicates the value of its rewards well to the user, too.

“It’s about notifications and communication,” he continued. “Emails, in-app, notifications, and remind people that the rewards exist, or that your points are about to expire.

“Then, the app gives you the ability to use that loyalty meaningfully in the e-commerce experience itself. As you’re going down that purchase funnel and making sure people remember they have points to use – it’s making it completely well-communicated and part of the overall experience.”

Other data points discovered by the survey include:

  • Nearly one-quarter of smartphone owners (24%) regularly use food on-demand delivery apps, such as Postmates and Uber Eats.
  • The largest percentage of respondents (20%) use their preferred food delivery on-demand app because it has better restaurant options.

Read The Manifest’s full survey on restaurant loyalty and food on-demand delivery apps.

Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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