McDonald's Testing Loyalty App Targeted at Younger Customers

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's Corp. franchisees are initiating electronic loyalty programs in approximately 570 U.S. locations. The restaurant giant tapped Front Flip LLC, which has already introduced the loyalty app in 420 McDonald's sites and will add the program to another 150 locations in the coming weeks, reported Bloomberg.

McDonald's has already been testing a mobile payment program in an effort to draw teenagers and young adults to its restaurants, the news source reported. Customers can win prizes such as free cheeseburgers and buy-one, get-one free Big Macs after scanning a QR code.

The fast-food chain is using the Front Flip app to introduce new items, such as pumpkin lattes and chicken wings.

"It's targeted toward that younger population," Terry Smith, operator of three New Jersey McDonald's locations, told Bloomberg.

Younger people are more inclined to use mobile apps for ordering and payment, and are also "probably more inclined to be members of loyalty groups," added Sara Santore, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

A McDonald's spokesperson did not respond to a Bloomberg request for comment.

According to the news source, no fast-food purveyor has introduced a loyalty program chainwide. Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's has more than 14,100 restaurants in the United States.

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