Marketers have long embraced reward programs to engage customers + encourage increased order spend

Restaurant chains find that loyalty marketing pays dividends

Enterprises see loyalty programs increasing revenue, competitiveness in digital arena

Marketers have long embraced reward programs to engage customers and encourage increased order spend and frequency. Restaurant chains are seeing the value of loyalty first-hand in the context of the digital ordering explosion. A number of brands have recently launched or revamped loyalty programs in recent months, including Burger King (improved), Velvet Taco (launched), and IHOP, which rolled out its International Bank of Rewards.

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A Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurant location has opened in North Las Vegas

Taco Bell Go Mobile opens in North Las Vegas

Dual drive-thru, dining-room-less store leverages efficiencies, speed of service of digital order-ahead

A Taco Bell Go Mobile location has opened in North Las Vegas. Diversified Restaurant Group, a multibrand quick-service franchisee debuted the first such unit in the Western United States.

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Steve Salis of Catalogue restaurant group launched Pizza TBD, a hybrid Roman-style and Detroit-style pan pizza shop, on Ensemble Kitchen

Catalogue debuts Pizza TBD via Ensemble Kitchen in Washington region

Hybrid pizza combines Roman and Detroit styles of pizza, offered on parent’s digital ordering hub

Steve Salis of Catalogue restaurant group will launch Pizza TBD, a hybrid Roman-style and Detroit-style pan pizza shop, with Ensemble Digital Kitchen in July. Pizza TBD follows Michelin Bib Gourmand concepts Honeymoon Chicken and Federalist Pig as brands offered on the Ensemble digital hub, based in Bethesda, Md.

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Smokey Bones will add a digital drive-thru lane to its restaurants, starting with Bowling Green, Ky

Smokey Bones opens digital drive-thru at Bowling Green, Kentucky restaurant

Drive-thru will also accept orders from virtual brands, The Wing Experience, Burger Experience

Smokey Bones will add a digital drive-thru lane to its restaurants, starting with Bowling Green, Ky. The drive-thru opening there today, June 22, begins a new chapter for the casual-dining chain, as it seeks to emulate the convenience of QSR drive-thrus by way of technology.

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Panera Bread opened its first Panera To Go store in Chicago for Rapid Pick-Up and delivery

Panera To Go store, featuring chain’s digital-only service, opens in Chicago

Order-ahead, branded concept debuts as chain tests delivery-only ghost kitchens nationwide

Panera Bread opened its first Panera To Go store, which offers the chain’s Rapid Pick-Up and Delivery orders only, in Chicago. This is the first of three To Go stores, where customers order ahead on Panera’s website or app only, slated to debut. The digital-only unit reduces the front of house, but maximizes space for delivery drivers and customers picking up orders from Rapid Pick-Up and Panera Delivery shelves.

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Taco Bell will unveil Taco Bell Defy, one of its most innovative designs, In Brooklyn Park, MN

Taco Bell Defy in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota to reimagine drive-thru service

Vertical food drop, digital pick-up screens, video communication with staff to enhance, expedite drive-thru customer experience

Taco Bell will unveil Taco Bell Defy, one of its most innovative restaurant designs, in Brooklyn Park, Minn. June 7. Consisting of a four-lane drive-thru, Taco Bell Defy includes a proprietary vertical lift that sends Taco Bell items directly to awaiting customers.

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Sweetgreen is opening a first sweetlane, its own version of order-ahead drive-thru, in Illinois

Sweetgreen’s sweetlane drive-thru to debut in Schaumburg, Illinois

Order-ahead drive-thru lane captures essence of fast casual’s healthy-food positioning

Sweetgreen is opening a first sweetlane, its own version of order-ahead drive-thru, in Illinois. The anticipated opening in Schaumburg will take place in the next year. The sweetlane drive-thru will combine with a “best-in-class in-store experience,” according to the fast-casual chain.

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Wingstop will debut in Spain with the upcoming openings of two ghost kitchens in Madrid

Wingstop debuts in Spain with Madrid ghost-kitchen openings

Wingstop Madrid will be built up over time with a mix of traditional + ghost-kitchen locations,franchise partner

Wingstop will debut in Spain with the upcoming openings of two ghost kitchens in Madrid. Two additional, delivery-only locations of the fast-casual chicken-wings chain in Spain’s capital will follow. Partnering with a logistics-kitchen provider made this market entry possible. It precedes large-scale growth in Spain, which has become a key target growth market for Wingstop.

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Saladworks will open new locations across Central Florida via dark kitchens through Combo Kitchen

Saladworks expands in Central Florida with 20 delivery-only dark kitchens

Agreement with Combo kitchen activates fulfillment from WingHouse Bar & Grill restaurants

Saladworks will open 20 new delivery locations across Central Florida through an agreement with Combo Kitchen. Customers throughout the territory will be able to start ordering delivery from Saladworks as early as March 25. Combo Kitchen’s franchise system partner, WingHouse Bar & Grill, will prepare these orders inside dark kitchens.

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