For restaurants, customer loyalty is all in the cards

Mandi Welch has breakfast with her brother, Matt Tuttle, once a week at Panera Bread on Roosevelt Boulevard.

So when he persuaded her to sign up for Panera’s new customer reward program, “MyPanera,” she figured it to be just another ploy to keep her coming back another week.

But after she was given a complimentary pastry item of her choice immediately after activating her card, Welch said she instantly saw a value she can appreciate.

“It makes me want to come back, to know, ‘Hey, I can come in and get something for free – that I’ve been spending money toward something,'” said Welch, 34, a stay-at-home mom.

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