When you think about gamification through the lens of a loyalty member, you might think about your favorite QSR loyalty programs such as Starbucks’ Star Dash program or the MyMcDonald’s app.

Sure, gamification is a fun experience for the customer, but what’s in it for the marketer?

Successful gamification campaigns can fuel loyalty program performance goals by capturing zero-party data in real-time. And that’s only the beginning. The data and insights gathered from these interactive experiences can be used to incentivize key metrics like engagement, spend, and frequency while positively impacting operational efficiency. In other words, you can use these insights to personalize your customer’s experience so that they feel each interaction was made specifically for them – from content to personalized offers that inspire lasting loyalty.

According to Marigold’s 2024 Consumer Trends Index, 81% of consumers are open to sharing their personal data in exchange for a chance to win something. It’s never been more clear that customers are willing to provide reviews, interact with surveys, opt into email and SMS, complete in-depth profile information, and even take actions like cross-category spend or purchasing during low traffic periods IF there is reciprocation. (Hello, value exchange)

So what can QSRs do?

One use of gamification you may not be familiar with is the ability to increase operational efficiency at brick-and-mortar locations. For example, stores with the highest drive-thru car counts at the end of the lunch daypart, the fastest store of the month, or those who make remarkable progress can earn badges and rewards. So why not use these methods to incentivize and increase efficiency, starting with the customer?

Restaurant Dive recently published an article stating that ‘Brands like Burger King, Taco Bell, and Shake Shack are among the chains doubling down on adding kiosks’ to boost check and reduce labor pressure.’ What do customers have to say about that? Well, in a recent survey from Tillster, 83% of diners expect kiosks to offer the same capabilities provided by cashiers (an increase from 77% the previous year).

And that’s not all. Here’s what else customers want at the kiosk:

  • 81% want to customize their order
  • 65% want to earn and redeem loyalty rewards
  • 41% want to use multiple language options
  • 40% want to access previous orders
  • 38% want to receive personalized menu recommendations


With these findings in mind, here’s an idea…

Reward your naturally competitive customers: Everyone loves winning. With gamification, you can set up a timer on your kiosks and reward customers who ‘beat their time’ from their previous order. Or, they can compete with other customers for being the fastest order slinger. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

There are a slew of opportunities to leverage gamification in new and exciting ways that can combat operational challenges. Several of Marigold’s QSR clients have used our Grow solutions to offer gamified experiences for program enrollment via QR code to keep POS traffic flowing.

One of the world’s largest coffee chains currently uses our punchcard functionality to boost incremental spend, encourage members to try new menu items, bundle SKUs for increased spend per visit, and more!

Beyond offering a comprehensive solution for the world’s leading restaurant brands, we are continually innovating and seeking new ways to provide our clients with the best technology and strategic guidance so they can stay competitive in the marketplace.

Ready to advance your gamification game with Marigold? Let’s talk.