Loyalty and Retention , Mass Appeal Podcast

Loyalty and Customer Engagement Strategies for Restaurant Apps

Episode #13 of the Mass Appeal podcast

In this episode of the Mass Appeal podcast, our host Tommy delves into the ever-changing world of app monetization and marketing strategies with a guest who has firsthand experience in navigating these waters – Kevin Nemeth, the Chief Digital Officer for Authentic Restaurant Brands.

During his tenure at ARB, Kevin has launched key initiatives to enhance brand loyalty and drive customer engagement. He shares his insights on how traditional physical restaurant experiences can be effectively translated into the digital realm, ensuring that brands remain relevant and appealing to their local markets. The key is understanding consumer behavior and leveraging data to create personalized experiences that foster loyalty and repeat business.

Kevin will also explain how changes caused by COVID continue to have impact on the industry and how ARB has adapted to meet these new demands. By focusing on regional growth and maintaining a strong local presence, the company has managed to keep its brands beloved by its communities while expanding its reach.

Listen in as Kevin and Tommy discuss the nuances of modern app marketing, the role of loyalty programs in customer retention, and the delicate balance between digital innovation and preserving the unique in-restaurant experience. This episode is a must for anyone looking to stay ahead in the competitive world of app monetization and marketing.

What’s the Topic?

Don’t miss out on learning about:

  • What staying power did COVID have on restaurants? 
  • Is there a cost benefit to bringing customers to your website or app?
  • How do you translate in-person restaurant experiences into a digital environment that’s useful for customers? 
  • How do you drive adoption to your loyalty program? 

What to Listen Out for

  • 2:58 COVID’s lasting impact: ordering food through apps
  • 6:00 Economics of driving customers to first-party platforms
  • 10:10 Overview of Authentic Restaurant Brands
  • 12:20 Regional Fortress Brands strategy
  • 16:33 Translating in-restaurant experiences to digital
  • 21:51 Importance of differentiation in loyalty programs
  • 22:02 Overcoming barriers to loyalty program signups
  • 22:35 The success of PJ Whelihan’s loyalty program
  • 25:20 The value exchange in modern loyalty programs
  • 27:27 Customer data is currency
  • 30:59 Gamification and brand recall strategies
  • 37:10 Building digital capabilities for restaurant brands
  • 40:17 Concluding thoughts and future outlook


“There is saturation in loyalty. And not even just in the restaurant industry – look at retail, e-commerce, etc. In one way or another, loyalty is almost ingrained in most brands, especially in the restaurant industry. But I think it got a little lazy, right? The thing that’s been biggest for us in loyalty is differentiation … Moving away from ambiguous rewards.”

Kevin Nemeth, Chief Digital Officer at Authentic Restaurant Brands

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