Burger King expands perks program as restaurants bank on digital in COVID-19 era

·Reporter, Booking Producer
·2 min read

Burger King (QSR) is rolling out its app-based loyalty program nationwide, expanding its digital presence as the industry leans in on COVID-19 dining trends that have successfully lured in customers.

On Thursday, the fast food giant announced that its "Royal Perks" will launch in two-thirds of restaurants by September. Initially, Burger King tested the program in a 3 market pilot in Los Angeles, Miami and the New York Metro area that began in February.

In a function of how digital is playing a role in boosting sales, Burger King announced a complete rebrand for the first time in 20 years recently, which features a completely touchless restaurant design.

"We’re excited for members to unlock a more personalized BK experience and access to rewards they can’t get anywhere else, starting with a new Royal Perks deal later this month," Ellie Doty, an executive for Burger King North America, said in a release.

The “Royal Perks” program allows loyalty members the ability to earn 10 “crowns” for every $1 spent and daily perks like the option to upsize one drink, fries, or hash browns for free per order, per day. There is also another birthday perk for customers that allows them to earn double the rewards during that month.

MILTON, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2021/08/04: A Burger King restaurant seen in Milton. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MILTON, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2021/08/04: A Burger King restaurant seen in Milton. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Burger King's competitors like McDonald's (MCD) and Taco Bell (YUM) have recently stepped into the loyalty game, boosted in large part by pandemic-era dining trends that shuttered many indoor dining rooms while emphasizing takeout.

Earlier this year the Golden Arches began testing its loyalty program in Phoenix and New England, while Taco Bell continues to double-down on digital-only, value-focused offerings. Starbucks (SBUX), a long-time leader in loyalty offerings, made a major overhaul to its program back in 2019 that allows guests to redeem "stars" sooner.

This is all part of a larger push across the fast food industry to bring the guest experience into the future after doubling down on digital. Toward that end, Taco Bell recently announced a new restaurant design dubbed "Taco Bell Defy" that specifically caters to mobile or delivery order pickups made on the Taco Bell app, or via third-party deliver services.

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.