You have undoubtedly heard of Bitcoin—the digital currency that buys just about everything, from drugs to airline tickets to almost anything else sold online. Blockchain, though not as common an everyday word, is actually the technology behind Bitcoin that verifies and records transactions.
Chanticleer Holdings Inc., home to about nine Hooters as well as the hamburger chains—Little Big Burger, American Burger Co., and BGR: Burgers Grilled Right— has partnered with Mobivity Holdings Corp., a company that conducts data-driven mobile marketing campaigns, to create a cryptocurrency-based loyalty program that uses Blockchain technology.
How is it Used?
Using this technology, digital currency can be transferred securely between customers and even suppliers. Every meal purchased at one of Chanticleer Holding’s brands will result in the customer accruing digital currency that can be used at one of the partner restaurants or traded with other consumers. The cryptocurrency used at Chanticleer’s brands is called Merit.
How does this differ from other loyalty programs? This approach allows greater flexibility when it comes to redeeming accrued points, an aspect of many loyalty programs that customers believe could be improved. In addition, suppliers such as beverage distributors as well as food suppliers can offer Merits to customers when they choose their product at one of these restaurants. Coca-cola is one company that is very interested in the possibilities, including the data-driven technology that Mobivity brings to the table.
Because Mobivity collects data that details customer’s buying habits, the restaurant and suppliers are able to determine what drinks are purchased with what entrees and what side dishes are popular with specific items. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Coke is testing two of their natural products—Blue Sky Blood Orange and Black Cherry—at these restaurants in order to capture customer data.
And just what customers are intrigued by this new loyalty program? If social media is any indication, Millennials are definitely interested.
The Newer Generations
Millennials witnessed first-hand the stock market crash of 2008. To say that they are a generation whose trust in traditional banking systems has been undermined is akin to saying the sky looks blue today. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Blockchain Capital, almost one-third of Millennials would rather own $1,000 in Bitcoin than stocks.
But it’s not just Millennials venturing into this domain, the world has responded with an unprecedented use of this decentralized digital currency.
Blockchain wallet users have exponentially increased from Bitcoin’s humble beginnings in 2009. The first quarter of 2014 saw a little over one million users. By September 2017, approximately 15 million users around the world were using some type of cryptocurrency based on Blockchain technology.
After Chanticleer Holdings announced its new customer rewards program, the company’s stocks rose nearly 50 percent. This followed in the wake of the name change of Long Island Iced Tea Corp to Long Blockchain Corp. The name change alone prompted a rise in their stocks by 200 percent.
A Promising Future
While the uptick in stock prices seems a little precarious, loyalty programs based on cryptocurrency will, undoubtedly, continue to grow. Membership in loyalty programs has tripled since 2000, though not all customers are satisfied with the experience. Many find it difficult to redeem points, or find that which can be redeemed so limited that it is of little value to them.
Enter the world of Blockchain which creates a distributed ledger technology that maintains all records and transactions, limiting the potential “double dipping” and providing streamlined execution.
It is capable of connecting multiple organizations such as restaurants and others in the hospitality industry such as hotels as well as suppliers. Transactions are instantaneous and secure, giving customers a feeling of immediate validation and improving the customer experience as well as increasing user engagement.
This is, undoubtedly, just the beginning of what will become commonplace—blockchain loyalty programs.