THIS! This is how you respond with a points program to drive sales and loyalty. Before I say more, let me give you a tour and background of this BBQ chain.
A long time blog reader is a principle with City Barbeque and sent me a few gift cards to visit and try out their BBQ since he could tell I am a HUGE BBQ fan (like Hard Eight review here, or Lewis BBQ in South Carolina we tried before the solar eclipse or the fact that I had a reader BBQ “meat-up” in Austin and on and on).
The gift cards in no way impacted my review nor this post (honestly I had it on the back burner until I got the email about the new bonus points offer).
On to my review.
Let me start by saying I am very biased toward the type of locals that allow you to order by the pound.
I want, for example, three ribs and a bit of brisket, and so on. If I want another side at a BBQ place it is another protein.
But with my in-laws along, and in the interest of the review, I tried as much as I could (plus I had $50 in free gift cards to spend so why not – right 😉 )!
My first impressions were good as it had a classic southern BBQ feel. The location I visited was in Louisville, Kentucky where I have family and friends in the area.
A cold beer is almost a must-have with good BBQ – well, at least I think so. I love an ice bath of drinks – nice touch, City BBQ! I did, this visit, go with water because I was the one driving.
Pickles, onions, and jalapenos? Check! Another must-have for me to have with my meats. So far, so good.
Inside and outside seating. Nice. Also, the staff was super helpful and patient as we were trying to decide just what we wanted. But what about the BBQ? Let’s dive in!
We went with a sampler to try a little bit of everything. If this is making you crave BBQ – good – it should. Everything was good and I would order any of the meats again.
As good as others in the deep south?
Well, I would not go that far. But I will say if there were a City BBQ in my hometown area, I would be a regular visitor (since I can not take a mileage run down south every week).
As mentioned, I usually do not go for sides that are not more meat. But the beans were amazing. The hush puppies were to die for. The slaw was, well, meh. French fries were fine as well.
They pile up a big stack of to-go boxes so what you can not cram does not go to waste (there has to be a play on words there I think).
Overall, for a chain located – mostly – in the northern parts of the US, this is a solid BBQ choice and I hope they continue to expand. One way I think they can do this, even during this COVID mess, is with their loyalty program:
Clearly, I am a huge fan of all kinds of rewards programs. It seems most restaurants go with a rather straight forward dollar based rewards (much like the current Delta SkyMiles program compared to “THE” award-winning US News program Alaska Airlines. But I digress).
The City BBQ Rewards is very simple. Spend money and earn a point per dollar spent. Once you have spent $100 with them you get $5 bucks, that is, it is a 5% cashback “meat” program. Now if you team this up with cards that pay 3 or even 4x points on restaurants you are netting as much as 10% back. Not bad.
But with these kinds of programs what can you do to offer something more to drive you to visit? The email at the top of this post is the way – offer 2x points. Thus, during those times, you are effectively getting, with the right points card, 15% off before any other sales or offers.
And that is how to leverage a points program to drive sales. Delta — and other airlines — can learn from this.
City BBQ did not make this a “targeted offer” to make some visitors happy while at the same time upsetting other customers (are you listening, Delta?). The only negative I see with their loyalty program is they expire rewards. Delta at least does not dump your rewards until you die.
Now it’s your turn. Have you been to one of the City BBQ locations? Were you impressed and enjoyed your visit and the meats? What about the rewards program – do you like it or do you want to see changes? What about the 2x points promotion – impressed? What should Delta do to SkyMiles to now make it better or offer a sweet promotion? You tell me! – René
Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Plus, receive 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That’s worth $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards!
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
You can also transfer your points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs! Airline: Aer Lingus, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United, Virgin Atlantic. Hotels: Hyatt, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), Marriott, Ritz Carlton.
This card has a $95 annual fee.
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