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Duessa HolscherWed, Apr 12, 2017 @ 09:45 AM2 min read

4 Ways to Compete with Papa John's Expanded Rewards Program

Papa John's Rewards ProgramMembers of Papa John’s Rewards Program got a surprise in their inbox today. The loyalty program is expanding, allowing for more instant gratification. Customers can now start spend their rewards at just 10 points, claiming an order of breadsticks or a dessert rather than having to save up for a whole pizza. With 1 point issued per $5 spent, members have to spend $50 to get a side dish, or $125 to get a large 3-topping pizza. Papa John’s also introduced birthday reward, which automatically gives members 10 bonus points on their special day.

As the importance of loyalty programs grows in the restaurant industry, what can smaller chains or independent pizzerias do to compete with big chain rewards programs like these?

Strengthen Your Own Rewards Program

You’ve got a rewards program too, right? With solutions like Thr!ve Loyalty built into your point of sale and online ordering system, you’ve got all the tools you need to fight for those customers. Now is the time to review your rewards program to make sure your offers are competitive. Review these regularly and consider changing up the rewards or giving customers more choices to attract new interest.

Don’t Stop Communicating

You’ve got great food, and your reward program is amazing - but if customers don’t remember you, your business won’t grow. Papa John’s sends emails at least once per week, sometimes twice. Add some scheduled emails in your loyalty program that tell your story (amazing ingredients, family recipes, community roots) to help your customers understand why supporting your business is a vote for the local team. Be sure to include a brief reminder on how your reward program works.

With Thr!ve Loyalty, you can send an email after each purchase to let customers know that they’ve just earned points, as well as a “Near A Reward” message when they’re just one more purchase away from the next level.

Get the App

Convenience is key to competing with the big guys. Customers want to be able to place their order easily and accurately. Integrated online and mobile ordering let customers go from receiving an email reminder to placing an order in no time. With the Thr!ve mobile app, notifications will remind customers when they have a loyalty reward available.

Do What You Do Best. Don’t Worry About the Competition!

It’s important to be aware of the competition and to think about how you are positioned against them. But at the end of the day, you’ve got your own niche. Your customers love you for a reason, so keep doing what you do best. Keep up the great food, great service and great attitude, and your customers will reward you for it.


Duessa Holscher

Duessa was the Founder and Managing Partner at FireFly Technologies until it was acquired by Granbury Solutions in 2010, where she served as Chief Product Development Officer until her appointment as President in 2019.