McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King… Which fast food restaurant offers the best loyalty program?

Whoever has never accumulated store loyalty cards in their wallet raises their hand. Whether in large national brands, but also in small traders, they have multiplied in recent years. In 2019, according to Statista, 59% of French people owned at least one, and more than 30% several. This marketing phenomenon, intended to bring more and more customers to the store, has opened up to all sectors of commerce and distribution. Even fast-food chains have gotten into it.

The leader McDonald’s and its 1,485 restaurants in France, its competitors KFC, Quick and Burger King, but also Subway, all now offer benefits to their customers in exchange for their orders. O’Tacos, positioned a little differently with its “French tacos” accompanied by fries, is the only large-scale brand to resist the sirens of loyalty programs for the moment. To benefit from these advantages, it is mandatory to create a customer account by giving at least an email address and a password, sometimes a date of birth. Once this account has been created and the brand’s application downloaded, it’s time for free sandwiches, discounts and promotional offers.

But then, what is the most interesting fast food loyalty program? We have scrutinized the operation of the loyalty programs of five of the largest fast food chains :

McDonald’s

McDonald’s France

Functioning : You choose your favorite McDonald’s restaurant, you order on the McDo+ application and you accumulate points with each purchase which entitle you to free products after a while.

Most :

– McDonald’s has tried to make understanding its loyalty program simple: for each online order on the McDo+ application, 1 euro spent earns 1 point.

– It is possible to accumulate points several times during the day, a maximum of 3 orders per day being authorized.

– From 15 points, so from 15 euros of purchase, you can benefit from a gift by converting your points: a small drink or a hamburger, for example.

– It is possible to accumulate loyalty “bonuses” based on the offers offered at your favorite McDonald’s restaurant: for example, 15 points for any order placed between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. today, 15 points offered for any purchase of a Best Of menu, etc.

The lessers :

– You must first choose your favorite restaurant on the application – therefore complicated to really take advantage of your loyalty advantages when you travel often and don’t always eat at the same McDonald’s.

– The accumulation of loyalty points is not valid on offers with a reduced price. Same for local menus such as Golden Menu or McCiné Menu.

– You still have to spend 75 euros, or 75 points, to be entitled to a Best Of menu offered.

– If your favorite McDonald’s restaurant selected in the McDo+ app decides overnight to stop its loyalty program, you lose the points accumulated and you have to start over with a new restaurant.

Burger King

Burger King France

Functioning : “Enter my kingdom, your loyalty will be copiously rewarded”. With each purchase, you accumulate crowns that you can, from a certain threshold, exchange for Burger King products.

Most :

– The basic principle is simple: 1 euro spent at Burger King entitles you to 2 crowns in the loyalty program.

– A virtual card, called a “Kingdom” card, must be scanned at the cash desk or at the terminal to benefit from the program.

– In addition to the points collected for any purchase, “coupons” offering temporary offers are also available once connected to your loyalty account. For example 10% on the bill, 1 euro only the additional burger, etc.

– It is also possible to book challenges that unlock “coats of arms” giving the right to crowns, therefore loyalty points, or coupons with promotional discounts. Playful.

The lessers :

– Not all Burger King restaurants participate in the loyalty program.

– To benefit from a burger offered by the brand, you must accumulate 100 crowns, or 50 euros. And for a full menu, it’s 160 crowns, or 80 euros. A significant amount.

– In the challenges, Burger King proposes in particular to give more personal information, to register his children, etc. in exchange for crowns. Limit when you care about your personal data.

KFC

KFC France

Functioning : “Become a member of the chicken team”. With each order, you accumulate points according to the amount of your purchase. After a while, they exchange for KFC products.

Most :

– The creation of a loyalty account on the KFC application generates a barcode that must be presented at the cash desk or at the terminal for any purchase. Easy to use.

– The brand’s loyalty program is valid in all KFC restaurants, without restriction.

The lessers :

– Understanding the number of points collected per purchase is a bit complex: for any order between 6 and 15 euros, you earn 1 point. And 2 points for any purchase above 15 euros.

– Whether you order for 16 or 65 euros, the reward is strictly the same: 2 loyalty points.

– The maximum number of points that can be accumulated is 9 points, so you have to think about consuming your rewards, otherwise you will no longer be able to accumulate points.

Subway

Subway France

Functioning : “Bravo! You are now part of the Subway community”. The “Subway rewards” allows, by downloading an application, to collect loyalty points for any order and to exchange them for brand products.

Most :

– It is possible to collect points from the loyalty program even when you have not created a “Subway rewards” account.

– Subway created a virtual card that you just have to show at each order to collect the points.

– If you are a member of the program, 15 cents spent at Subway will earn you 1 point. But if you also place 2 orders over a period of 7 days, your points are doubled and you earn 2 points in increments of 15 cents.

– A bonus of 200 points is offered for joining the program. And you can earn up to a total of 5,000 points.

– It is possible to create a team, a “squad”, with friends to share purchases and loyalty points in Subway restaurants.

The lessers :

– To benefit from big gifts, you have to spend a lot of money: 500 points, or 75 euros, for a “SUB 15” sandwich, or even 1,000 points, or 150 euros, only for a “SUB 30” sandwich.

– All Subway restaurants do not necessarily participate in the loyalty program, it is on the basis of the establishment’s voluntary work.

– Some promotional offers do not allow you to obtain points, which can make it difficult to understand the program.

Quick

Quick France

Functioning : The “MyQuick” program offers “good deals all year round”. Creating an account gives access to promotions in your favorite Quick restaurant.

Most :

– Be able to benefit from discounts and promotional offers throughout the year, regardless of the level of consumption in previous months in Quick restaurants.

The lessers :

– It is not strictly speaking a loyalty program that allows you to collect points based on your purchases. Membership of “My Quick” only allows access to promotions.

– Once you have selected your good plan, you only have 20 minutes to use it, after that it will be too late. To be done on the spot.

– The “good deals” of the My Quick program are only offered once your favorite restaurant has been selected. To see another establishment, select another restaurant. No global offers therefore.

– Upon registration we are asked if we have a child under 13 or not. A little aggressive marketing.

So, in the end, which fast food brand has the best loyalty program?

If we automatically eliminate the sign Quick which offers discounts, but not really a loyalty program, so we are left with four challengers: KFC, Subway, McDonald’s and Burger King.

For the king of chicken burgers KFC, the earning system is complex and whether you spend 16 or 65 euros, you will accumulate the same number of points. Frustrating and limited to really building buy-in. At the house of Subway, it’s a bit the same thing: the calculation of accumulated points is not easy and to benefit from a “Sub30” sandwich, you still have to have placed an order of 150 euros. Not very interesting financially.

At the house of McDonald’s, make way for simplicity with 1 euro spent = 1 loyalty point. But these good intentions are canceled by a disabling principle: you have to choose a single favorite restaurant to be able to benefit from the advantages of the loyalty program of the fast food brand. Too restrictive.

It would therefore be on the side of the sign Burger King that the benefits of the loyalty program would be most attractive to its customers. Again simplicity is key, 1 euro spent is worth 2 crowns. Challenges add a fun side. And promotional offers are offered in addition to the accumulation of points. There may still be an effort to be made on the earnings: spending 80 euros to be offered a full menu may seem a bit too much for some.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider France

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