Chain Pioneers New Fan Engagement Loyalty Platform For QSR Industry
Atlanta, GA (RestaurantNews.com) Zaxby’s, a southeast favorite for chicken fingers and wings, is kicking-off its new college football and basketball sponsorship with the unveiling of its ‘Check-in For Chicken’ new mobile app and social rewards program. As one of the first of its kind in the QSR industry, the innovative and interactive website and iOS app enable Zaxby’s fans to engage with the brand beyond its restaurants.
Zaxby’s ‘Check-in for Chicken’ program encourages users to link their social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others – to receive points for engaging in social activities with the brand.
“Zaxby’s fan base has grown exponentially since we opened the doors to our first restaurant. Our guests’ passion for our chicken drives us to continuously develop new and innovative ways to connect with them,” said Zach McLeroy, CEO and cofounder of Zaxby’s. ‘The Check-in For Chicken’ social rewards program helps us deliver on our goal to exceed expectations and provide our fans a superior experience.”
Participants can interact in many ways including uploading photos, updating their status and inviting friends. The mobile app also allows users to locate their nearest restaurant, check-in at Zaxby’s and view their points on the leaderboard. Users redeem points for entries to win fun and exclusive prizes, including free Zaxby’s for a year and a trip and tickets to the 2014 college football national championship game in Pasadena, Calif.
The new social rewards program and mobile app are a joint collaboration between St. John & Partners, Zaxby’s advertising and digital agency, and social platform Lodestone Social Media.
“Zaxby’s is a brand that’s been built on the engagement of its fans. We decided to not just leverage that fanaticism but to also reward it and incentivize it,” said Shane Santiago, VP and digital director of St. John & Partners. “These brand advocates are already broadcasting on their social networks about Zaxby’s so we hope to give them an opportunity to win prizes for actions their already taking, and to let our brand become the platform for their conversations.”
“Technology and social media have changed the way a consumer connects to a brand,” said Mark Drosos, cofounder and president of Lodestone Social Media. “Zaxby’s is leading the QSR industry with its understanding that a loyalty program has to go beyond simply rewarding the consumer for a purchase and instead incorporate the brand into the consumer’s lifestyle. It’s about allowing consumers to engage with the brand on their terms, when they want and how they want.”
The social rewards program is part of Zaxby’s 2-year college sports sponsorship with 28 Division I colleges across every state where Zaxby’s restaurants are located. Fans can visit checkinforchicken.com or download the free mobile app in the iTunes online store to participate.
An alternative to fast food, Zaxby’s offers its guests prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Traditional or Boneless Wings, sandwiches, Zalads and Zappetizers, along with a variety of nine sauces, ranging from Wimpy and Tongue Torch to Nuclear and Insane. Childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley hatched the Athens, Ga.-based chain in 1990 to provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere that would keep guests coming back for more. Zaxby’s ranked number one in the chicken segment and number five in the nation for total sales by Technomic in the 2012 Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report. Consumers ranked Zaxby’s as the Most Craveable Fast Casual in America in Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program, and the chain was listed as one of the 12 Best Franchise Deals in 2013 by QSR magazine. In honor of the thousands of children the restaurant chain serves every year, Zaxby’s is a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish. The company operates more than 580 locations in 13 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information, please visit zaxbys.com, ZaxbysFranchising.com, facebook.com/zaxbys or follow on Twitter @Zaxbys.