Restaurant Loyalty Programs? 5 Joints That Save Frugal Foodies Big

By Justin Hun  •  July 30, 2014

Coming up with the decision of where to eat for your night out may be difficult. You’re not necessarily craving anything and your significant other isn’t helping you make the decision any easier. What do you choose? If you’ve ever come across those pamphlets asking you to sign up for coupons and deals, then the answer is right under your nose. According to Inc., the average expense of a repeat customer is roughly 67% more.

Some of the most successful chain restaurants offer rewards programs giving customers more of a reason to return. Here are a few places you’ve probably visited that offer exceptional restaurant loyalty programs.  

 

My Starbucks Rewards

If you’ve ever had a cup of coffee in America, chances are it was at a Starbucks. Starbucks began as a tiny coffee shop in Seattle and has become one of the biggest franchises in the world today. They also have a solid and well established rewards program. If you have a smartphone you can download the Starrbucks app and get started. After you sign up you’ll get your first reward—a free drink and a free drink during your birthday month.

 

 

Every purchase you make gets you one star. Your first five stars gets you to the Green Level and you’ll get free refills on brewed hot or iced coffee along with brewed teas. Once you reach 30 stars you’ll get to the Gold Level and they’ll send you your very own Gold Card with your name on it. Every 12 stars thereafter gets you a free drink or pastry. Being a member gets you exclusive deals and sales that can also be reached through your smartphone app along with a daily freebie app or song.

 

Red Robin Royalty Rewards

Red Robin is known for their burgers and allowing you to have it “any way you want it.” Can’t forget about their endless steak fries you can enjoy all day long. But Red Robin also offers a wonderful rewards program that gets your some pretty sweet perks.

 

 

You can sign up online or at the restaurant, but there a few incentives that make this one of the best rewards programs available. They start off by celebrating your birthday with a delicious Royal Red Robin Burger or pretty much any of the 24 gourmet burgers they offer. Once you get your rewards card, Red Robin gives you five weeks to make five visits and if you think you can accomplish that feat they’ll give you $20 credit towards your sixth visit. Plus if you can tack on four more visits, your tenth visit will get you a free entrée of your choice.

 

My Panera Bread Rewards

Panera Bread brings together healthy foods and freshly baked bread and pastries all under one roof. My Panera Rewards is a bit more secretive compared to other rewards programs. You can sign up online or at any of their branches to receive your rewards card. Once you sign up, you’ll get a free pastry whenever you want. Just show your card whenever you go to Panera Bread and you’ll get closer to your next reward.

 

 

You can log in and check out how close you are to your next reward and see what rewards you have saved up. By signing up you can play challenges that can win you prizes and gift cards. You also have access to everything-Panera including updates about new foods and recipes.

 

Mimi’s Café E-Club

Mimi’s Café is a great place for a quiet ambiance and good food. They also have amazing seasonal breads that they bring free to your table, such as their seasonal pumpkin loaf. At first glance signing up for Mimi’s mailing list might seem a bit one-dimensional, but it’s what you’ll receive in the long run. Once you sign up you’ll get four of their freshly baked muffins to take home. You’ll also be sent coupons that come in handy when you’re trying to eat out on a budget.  I’ve received 20-40% off coupons along with free entrée coupons every so often just for giving them my e-mail. It’s nothing compared to the other rewards programs, but signing up doesn’t hurt you either.

 

 

Dave and Busters Rewards Zone

Dave and Busters is a place for food and fun for adults. They’ve got a huge variety of games, along with a full bar and restaurant with a large selection of brews and entrees. Rewards Zone is a great deal for rewards enthusiasts. Simply by signing up you’ll get $10 in credits towards gameplay. For every $100 that you spend you’ll get another $10. Most restaurants will only offer $5 back in return for the $100 spent. Dave and Busters also offers happy hours, half-price Wednesday nights, and Eat & Play Combos that get you food and credit towards gameplay for virtually no extra cost with the price of the food.

Every business offers different incentives for signing up. At the end of the day there’s no cost to you whether you decide to sign up for one restaurant or all of them. I suggest signing up for whatever you think you could benefit from the most. It’ll save you some space in your e-mail folder, too. 



Justin Hun Justin Hun Justin Hun has an obsession with food and books—especially books about food. His favorite past times include watching the Food Network and researching for ways to save money and be cheap.


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