Wednesday, January 6, 2021

BJ’s Restaurants Can Grow Value with Subscriptions


Remember the old American Express advertisement membership has its privileges? Well, being a member of American Express (and “member” was indeed the term) used to mean something. Carrying that green card with the Roman centurion in your wallet was a sign of success, a sign of independence, proof that you were going somewhere. I had one of those cards, and bought into the brand message, did you?

So, American Express “Membership has its privileges” today seems to have forgotten its cause and become just another company selling credit-card services.  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® ask is you brand message relevant today?

When BJ’s Restaurants started testing a new beer subscription program at eight units in northern California, for a $30 upfront fee, enrollees in the club are entitled to a series of perks on a two-month cycle. Johnson believes the value proposition combined with first mover in the space messaging could be a very valuable tool in BJ’s marketing tool kit.

BJ’s with 208-units says the foods and beverages included in those paybacks are worth $75 a la carte and include access to small-batch brews that are available only to members. The every-other-month deliverables include a 750 mL bottle and four 16-ounce cans of the small-batch brews, which are custom-crafted by BJ’s brewmaster, Alex Puchner. So, the beverages are provided for to-go service. Here is what else they received:

1.       Members were also entitled to a large deep-dish pizza during the two-month cycle at no extra cost, but exclusively for takeout. They can also refill their growlers for $5 a pop at any time, but only for to go, and only one per visit. 

2.       If they opt to dine on-premise, members are treated to a Pazookie dessert and appetizer, one of each over the two-month cycle. They can also upgrade any 16-ounce draft to a 20-ounce serving at no extra charge.

3.       All members are automatically enrolled in BJ’s frequent-guest program and are entitled to $10 in credit for every $100 they spend.

4.       Founding members receive the added perks of a 750 ml. bottle of Imperial White Ale, a popular premium brew; a pint glass for at-home use; and either a 64-ounce growler or a six pack of BJ’s house beer, a proprietary brew.

BJ’s CEO Greg Trojan told financial analysts, “With the most encouraging data point being the high level of engagement of members once they sign up. The level of activity around the member benefits is a great indication of future word-of-mouth subscriber increases, minimization of subscriber defections and ultimately, the program’s ability to drive in-restaurant frequency.”

This program can be a great marketing tool when revised to re-introduce the joys of dinning inside once again.  While many fast-food outlets have begun offing subscription programs for unlimited coffee for takeout or via the drive-thru.  The real value moving forward just might be expanding the “membership has its privileges” inside.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

No comments:

Post a Comment