In April, Buffalo Wild Wings checked the vitals of its Blazin’ Rewards program. The results were promising. More than 1.6 million guests were signed up at around 1,000 units, and over 21 percent of sales were tied to those loyalty member checks. It was welcome news amid the board shakeups, refranchising initiatives, declining traffic, and lethargic sales comps of recent months.
Another sizable lift could be on the way. The casual dining chain announced Monday that Blazin’ Rewards is ready for its national close-up. The remaining units, of which there were only a couple hundred or so missing the program, are now on board.
“As the sports fan's biggest fan, the Blazin' Rewards loyalty program was designed to thank and continually reward our passionate fans," says Bob Ruhland, vice president of marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings in a statement. "We've seen positive engagement rolling out Blazin' Rewards in select markets so far, and as the program grows, so too will our roster of rewards and point earning opportunities for our loyal guests."
By Monday’s announcement, Buffalo Wild Wings says more than two million users were signed up across the country. The platform, which is available on iOS and Android, allows guests to earn points for everyday dining. They can also gain bonus points for checking in and frequent lunch visits. Loyalty members earn 100 points for every eligible purchase of $10 or more and can redeem their points for more than 44 items on the Rewards Roster.
Here are some of the ways it works:
- Ordering food and drinks at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, including through takeout
- Checking in at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants through the Blazin' Rewards app earns 10 points, and when a guest checks in with friends, they will receive 10 additional points per friend (maximum 250 points per week)
- Filling out an Interests page on the Blazin' Rewards website or app
- Frequent visits to a participating Buffalo Wild Wings during lunch earns 300 bonus points on every fifth lunch visit
- Exclusive bonus point earning opportunities and offers via email
Buffalo Wild Wings touted this program, along with its Half-Price Wing Tuesdays, Fast Break Lunch, and Delivery during its lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings, saying these initiatives would gain steam and help the brand regain customers. Same-store sales grew 0.5 percent in the first quarter.
Apparently, though, it wasn’t enough to quell investor unrest. CEO Sally Smith announced during the company’s June 2 shareholders meeting she would be stepping down at the end of the year and activist investor Marcato Capital Management earned three spots on the board, including founder Mick McGuire.
Buffalo Wild Wings also recently revealed that the company is offering 83 units in Canada, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, Northeast U.S., South Texas, and Washington, D.C., for sale in the early stages of a refranchising initiative.