Beware Starbucks! McDonalds Announces Customer Rewards Program Plan

Mar 24, 2016 06:30 AM EDT | By Chandan Das

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Taking a cue from Starbucks, McDonalds has announced that it would be launching a loyalty program, which is expected to be implemented by the end of 2016 or early next year.

Earlier this month, addressing the UBS Global Consumer Conference, Mike Andres, McDonald's USA president, said: "We are working on a customer-designed loyalty program that we believe will be as good as any other in the marketplace right now."

The announcement comes in the wake of the release of a McDonald's mobile app in October 2015, Forbes reported. The app features a loyalty offer restricted to beverages. According to Andres, the app was downloaded 7.5 million times, exceeding the expectations of the company.

McDonald's U.S. chief said that the company's new program would be "more robust," and it would be linked to purchases made by the consumers from the company's outlets. It is expected that the offers will have an expiration date. The program aims to bring back customers through the curated offers for their favorite menus in places where the chain is witnessing a decline in sales.

According to Andres, where ever they notice a thawing off, they can lure the customers back to the restaurant with their favorite menu. Describing this as the future of customer relationship management, the McDonald's executive said that they are hopeful that their customer rewards program will help to improve sales significantly.

McDonald's new customer rewards program is aimed at competing with major coffee brands like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, Food Beast reported. The McCafe app launched by the food chain already rewards customers with a free drink when they purchase five. Now, McDonald's desires to extend its reach further by offering the customers a wider net of points that always don't drink McCafe.

Currently, My Starbucks Rewards has 11.1 million members, while Dunkin' Donuts' DD Perks program has 4.3 million members. They both offer mobile ordering. In fact, Starbucks' rewards program is conspicuous because it offers abundant drink and food rewards, custom offers via e-mail, and a free drink on every member's birthday.

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