Restaurant Firm Tempts Diners with Affinity Program

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The Wolfgang Puck Food Co., Santa Monica, CA, has introduced its Puck's Perks affinity program to target valued customers.

Serving up $20 gift certificates to members who accrue 200 points for money spent at the company's Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Wolfgang Puck Express or Oba-Chine restaurants, Puck's Perks aims to drive traffic through repeat business at a total of 20 eateries.

The company dropped a mailing just before Mother's Day to drive awareness of the program, which also is getting play in stores and through the company's Web site at The firm has set up a toll-free number serviced by Customer Connection, San Diego, which specializes in restaurants.

The mail piece was a die-cut, tri-fold card reading, "Excuse me waiter, but there's a Perk in my soup!" and featured a temporary card that is converted to a permanent magnetic-strip card after membership data is processed. A detachable postcard that recipients could mail to friends was included. To date, the company has recruited more than 46,000 members since the program launch three weeks ago, said senior vice president Tom Warner.

Members submit names, e-mail address and significant dates, such as wedding anniversaries and birthdays. Membership also offers a 15 percent discount on restaurant merchandise and access to the Wolf's Gang children's marketing programs.

"So far, we're pretty pleased," Warner said. "We're trying to get our current customers in more frequently. Secondly, once we identify those kinds of people that come into the restaurants, we start marketing to their neighbors because they have the same kind of tastes and demographics."

The company also offers a line of packaged foods and kitchenware. The restaurants marry the culinary skills of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and the design acumen of his wife and partner, Barbara Lazaroff.

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