Jimmy John’s Sprints Ahead of the Pack With Freaky Fast Rewards®

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 1, 2020

Fast, Faster, Fastest. Americans are in love with speed. From race cars to running backs, speed thrills.

Jimmy John’s founder Jimmy John Liautaud tapped into the “need for speed” among American diners when he launched the QSR sandwich concept in 1983 and has been running hard ever since. You can read about the genesis of the business and its recent growth trajectory here and get a sense of why Jimmy John’s saw launching a customer loyalty program as a true differentiator in its next phase of growth.

Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards® program was trialed throughout 2019, leading to a national roll-out in November. The company provided us a summary of recent results, some must-know performance statistics if you are benchmarking your own performance against market standards.

Overall, the program has welcomed 3.4 million members who’ve redeemed over 4.2 million rewards in  total.

Freaky Fast Rewards by the Numbers:

  • 290,000 have celebrated their birthday with free sandwiches (including 1,399 Leap Year birthdays)
  • 52,000 have earned rewards for participating in the Super Bowl Sunday coin toss
  • One member currently holds the longest ordering streak of 96 days in a row
  • One member has purchased 3,035 Turkey Toms
  • One member has purchased 1,356 pickles
  • One member has ordered from 90 different Jimmy John’s locations

Adding to the buzz around its program, Jimmy John’s announced in early March 2020 an incredibly tasty enrollment bonus. Any customer who joins the loyalty program is guaranteed a free 8″ sandwich upon their first order after enrolling in the program. That is a pretty tasty enrollment bonus and the campaign is being promoted through a national ad campaign.

Jimmy John's Reacted Quickly to COVID-19

Last week, with customer needs in mind during the COVID-19 outbreak, Jimmy John’s launched a new Freaky Fresh® Bread On Demand service. As grocery stores work to keep shelves stocked and Americans are urged to stay at home, Jimmy John’s wanted to do its part by adding fresh-baked French bread to the menu nationwide during this unprecedented time. “Jimmy John’s wants to help our neighbors across the country by making it easier to get daily necessities like freshly-baked bread,” said Darin Dugan, Chief Marketing Officer for Jimmy John’s. “Available across the country immediately, we will be offering Freaky Fresh® Bread On Demand. Fresh baked bread delivered to our consumers any way they want it: curbside pick-up, drive-thru, or contactless delivery to their door.” More details on Freaky Fresh® Bread On Demand can be found here.

As we looked closely at Jimmy John’s, going farther than its loyalty efforts, we noticed the company is ahead of the market in recognizing the importance of its human resources. The company has stated that investment in their employee engagement and satisfaction effectively creates a competitive advantage vis-a-vis its competitors. Wise Marketer has seen multiple research reports supporting the theory that higher employee engagement positively impacts enterprise performance, so  Jimmy John’s is on the right track.

Store Operations in a Post-Coronavirus World

But there is more to consider here as brands plan to adapt operations in a post COVID-19 world. Wise Marketer believes that the customer experience will evolve quickly to embrace touchless checkout, more integration of digital payment options with mobile apps, and emphasize order and delivery. Here are some notes that we found documenting where Jimmy John’s stands on these topics:

  1. Touchless, speedy checkout: Jimmy John’s has incorporated tap-and-go as well as mobile payment options, such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, to deliver a faster transaction with less friction.
  2. Order and Delivery: Jimmy John’s has developed its own network of about 45,000 delivery drivers, critical to maintain its reputation as being “freaky fast”. With the rise of third-party delivery services, (Grubhub, UberEats, Postmates, etc) it could have shifted away from its proprietary delivery system. Far from that, Jimmy John’s has reinforced its pledge to not engage with the third-party delivery “disruptors”.

Jimmy John’s is using its Freaky Fast Rewards® program strategically to attract a larger share of market and communicate its efforts to meet human needs during the COVID-19 episode. The company seems well positioned for life after COVID-19 by using technology to its advantage and by maintaining its proprietary approach to delivery.