Nando's UK isn't the only country to recently release a new/overhauled loyalty scheme; Nando's in Australia released its own earlier this year. This works slightly differently to our one back home, so I thought I would compare the programs.
In the UK, you collect a chilli on your electronic loyalty card every time you spend £7 or more in store. Per 10 chillis gained, you get a green, orange and red reward. These can be exchanged for a number of different items, but the most expensive choices per category are the historical choices of quarter (£4.25), half (£7.00) and whole chicken (£12.50). This level of reward is quite simply industry beating, with a return of £23.75, or 34% to the customer per £70.00 spent*. Of course, most Nandoers will spend more than £7 for each stamp, but they are still getting a phenomenal return of at least 25% on average. And that really is the main benefit of this scheme: the level of reward. The actual scheme itself can be quite a headache for a user, who may end up needing to strategise in order to maximise, and a headache for Nando's, who need to manufacture and distribute upwards of a million plastic cards, and explain how reward collection and redemption options work to confused visitors. Let's also not forget the level of fraud which went on with the old stamp system.
Australia on the other hand has a much simpler scheme, likely due to many restaurants there still being franchised, and therefore slightly more difficult to coordinate. You receive one point (disappointingly, not called a 'peri-point', however the scheme is called 'Peri-perks') for every AU$ you spend, and 10 points is equal to AU$1 in redemption. This of course works out to a return of 10%; much less than Nando's UK scheme, but on a par with loyalty schemes from companies like Starbucks and Subway, and much better than something like a Tesco clubcard (1-2%). It is also easier to manage, with all management and point assignment being undertaken from the Nando's Australia app. People always carry their phones, but they don't always carry their Nando's card, so I therefore consider this a strong advantage (Nando's UK allow you to redeem later via a code on your receipt if you forget your card - extra work for the user). The scheme is currently not rolled out to all Nando's Australia outlets, as some of the franchisees presumably have to catch up with their computer systems.
So which scheme is better? Well, in my opinion, Nando's UK offers superior rewards to its fans. No level of ease of use (app based over card based, simpler redemption structure) can make up for a roughly 15% difference in return. If you are a regular user of the Nando's loyalty cards in the UK then you can quite comfortably consider your meals to at least be VAT free, and I couldn't name a single other company in any industry which can begin to compete with that. If you have your own opinion please comment below.
*Out of interest, I worked out how much this might cost to Nando's. Taking off VAT, and then using standard restaurant industry markups of 4-5 times cost, it looks like Nando's fork out roughly £4.50 per £70.00 you spend. This means as far as Nando's are concerned, they only give away a 6% slice of what you pay them. However, that doesn't include the cost of cooking your chicken for free and seating a non-paying customer in a busy restaurant while paying customers wait or are turned away.