Wendy's launches a rewards program

Wendy's is hoping to expand its fervent fan base with a new rewards program.

Posted Updated

Jordan Valinsky
, CNN Business
CNN — Wendy's is hoping to expand its fervent fan base with a new rewards program.

The Wendy's Rewards loyalty program launched Tuesday on the company's app. For every $1 spent, customers receive 10 points that can be redeemed for free food and drinks within one year.

Points can be earned via orders made on the Wendy's app, or customers can scan their QR code at the register or drive-thru in stores. The rewards include a 150-point small Frosty milkshake, a 450-point Breakfast Baconator sandwich and a 700-point salad.

Wendy's is the first major burger chain to launch a rewards program focused on food. McDonald's "McCafé Rewards" is a loyalty program centered on its coffee drinks, for example. Wendy's Rewards is more in line with programs from Starbucks, Chipotle, Dunkin' and other restaurants.

Starbucks announced Tuesday that it will begin allowing its customers to purchase items on the company's app using credit cards, debit cards and cash. Previously, customers had to load money onto a Starbucks card if they wanted to pay with the app and collect rewards.

The digital business has been a key focus for fast-food and quick-serve restaurants, including Wendy's. The company recently said 5.5% of its sales are from online and app orders — that's more than double the percentage of revenue compared to the same quarter last year. Wendy's also said digital customers visit more frequently and buy more food compared to in-store customers.

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