The Pita Pit debuts gift card and loyalty program

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Fast food franchise The Pita Pit launched a national gift card and loyalty program this week. Known as the “Pit Card,” it can be used as a gift card, a loyalty card or both.

Peter Riggs, VP of Pita Pit USA, said the program is live in approximately 40 of the company's nearly 300 stores in North America.

While the program is national, Riggs said each store can execute its own promotions based on individual sales goals. “For example, if a franchisee wants to drive more business during weekdays from 4 to 7 pm, they could offer double points during those hours,” he explained.

Riggs said the goal of the program is more about customer retention than acquisition. “But I prefer to use the term ‘reward,' as opposed to ‘retention,'” he said. “We want to reward our loyal fan base of customers not by saying ‘please don't leave,' but rather, ‘We want to show our appreciation for your loyalty by giving you this program.'”

For every dollar a customer spends at Pita Pit, he or she receives one point. Customers can redeem them for various menu items, including pitas, drinks, cookies and chips. 

Riggs said the holiday season is a good time to launch the loyalty program because many stores are located in college towns. “The cards make a great gift for students to get from parents or grandparents,” he said.

The chain is promoting the program through in-store signage that drives to the microsite, which launched December 1. In coming weeks, it will also promote the effort on the chain's homepage. Through the microsite, users can register their cards so if they are lost or stolen, the points and money can be replaced. Consumers can also check point and money balances through the site.

Users are prompted to enter their e-mail addresses and they have the option to opt-out of special offers from Pita Pit. Riggs said these e-mail addresses will soon be used for e-mail marketing in both national and regional campaigns.

He added that next year, the company will start to send quarterly newsletters and Pit Card-specific promotions.

Last month, Pita Pit began work with e-mail agency Emergent Analytics. In September, Pita Pit hired loyalty platform provider Chockstone for the execution of the program.

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