Friday's entices customers with new card program

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TGI Friday's has launched a new loyalty program, “Give me more stripes.”

The casual dining chain soft-launched the program earlier this year, signing up more than 300,000 customers. With the official launch on July 14, Friday's has put up a “Stripes” microsite where visitors can register online and design a personalized card. Each dollar spent by a Stripes cardholder at Friday's earns one stripe, and 100 stripes earn a food coupon worth up to $8.

“We were looking for a brand differentiator that would elevate the TGI Friday's experience for our best guests while enticing new guests to visit TGI Friday's more often,” Andrew Jordan, SVP of marketing for TGI Friday's USA, wrote in an e-mail interview. “The program, especially with the guest recognition components, is completely consistent with our strategy of providing the best experience for those who visit Friday's.”

New member perks in the Stripes program include a one-time pass to skip to the front of the line and a coupon for one free appetizer or dessert. Other incentives include complimentary food tastings, preferred parking and seating at restaurants, beverage upgrades and notification of specials and new foods and drinks. Other benefits will be added to the card in the future, based on customer feedback. 

Previous Friday's loyalty programs, Frequent Friday's and Gold Points, were run by outside vendors, but “Stripes” is run in-house by the restaurant.

“A key point is the difference between a recognition program and a frequency program,” Jordan added. “Give me more stripes is a recognition program that delivers at the restaurant. We'll nurture guest relationships by personalizing benefits to heighten the Friday's experience. We'll build loyalty from the experience.”

Aside from adding to customer satisfaction and loyalty with benefits, the card helps Friday's learn more about its customer base by asking members to enter e-mail and postal addresses and birth dates when they register. It also requests, but does not require, children's names and birth dates.

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