Sweetgreen Gamifies Loyalty Program

Total digital sales were 66% of the fast-casual chain’s revenue in this year’s first quarter.

June 28, 2022


LOS ANGELES—Sweetgreen is piloting a new digital feature that rewards its customers for healthy habits, according to a news release. The feature is called Rewards and Challenges and is launching with a four-week campaign titled “Summer of Rewards,” which features a weekly series of challenges where customers can opt-in to earn rewards and track their achievements.

Sweetgreen said that its total digital sales represented 66% of the company’s revenue in the first quarter of 2022. The pilot program aims to drive customer frequency and restaurant volume through additional customer value and engagement for its digital customer base. Rewards and Challenges will be offered exclusively through the Sweetgreen app and website.

“We see Rewards and Challenges as a way to double-down on owned digital relationships and create a more personalized experience for our customers,” said Jonathan Neman, co-founder and chief executive officer, Sweetgreen. “With approximately two-thirds of our Q1 2022 digital sales coming from owned digital channels, we’re excited to take this next step in our journey of re-envisioning the future of loyalty at Sweetgreen.”

The Summer of Rewards is available through the Sweetgreen app and website now through July 24. The brand has also partnered with TikTok creator Emmanuel Duverneau for the campaign.

In January, Sweetgreen launched a pilot salad subscription program, which started on January 16 and expired on February 15. For $10 a month, subscription members received $3 off their purchase of $9.95 or more each day (limited to one per day). The company has not released metrics or shared the results of the program yet.

On a recent earning call, Sweetgreen’s Chief Digital Officer Daniel Shlossman said the program was successful and generated retention, frequency and created a more personalized experience for customers, reports Forbes. It also garnered 16,600 subscriptions and a 90% “intent to purchase again” rate.

“We are bringing a gamified experience into our app and into customers’ experience with Sweetgreen so we can set them up with a feeling of connection to us that is unique. We believe the future of loyalty needs to be something like this, that isn’t cookie cutter,” Shlossman told Forbes. “Rewards and challenges help us understand you as a customer and offer something that means more to you than someone else. It all comes back to that customization and personalization.”

In March, Sweetgreen announced it would open its first drive-thru concept location in Schaumburg, Illinois, within the next year. The drive-thru is called “sweetlane,” and the new pilot restaurant will add convenience to digital customers, says Sweetgreen.

NACS Magazine dove into this topic in the article “Pass Through” and “Pandemic Pushes Design Rethink.” In the U.K., convenience and forecourt retailers are considering new business models to bring customers back into the store, and drive-thru and delivery are quickly emerging as the strongest contenders.