Spotlight Interview: Natalie Anderson Liu, Vice President of Brand, MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes


Natalie Anderson Liu joined MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes seven years ago as Director of Marketing and currently serves as Vice President of Brand. Founded in 2007, and headquartered in Plano, Texas, MOOYAH is a fast-casual, “better burger” concept with more than 80 locations in North America and abroad. This year, MOOYAH ranked #38 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers. Amid the pandemic, MOOYAH launched a curbside pickup program and increased the promotion of its loyalty app. Natalie shared with us some insights into the app and how it is benefitting both guests and MOOYAH franchise owners during these challenging times.

What was MOOYAH’s initial solution to keeping Guests engaged with the brand during the pandemic?

Our first priority when the pandemic hit was to ensure the safety of our Team Members and Guests with increased health checks and cleaning procedures. Simultaneously, we put plans in place to adapt to the needs of Guests. We quickly launched a curbside pickup program that was integrated with our loyalty app. We also offered free delivery on all app/online orders from mid-March through early May. This drove app downloads for us and also allowed us to provide real value to our current guests who could no longer dine in to enjoy their favorite burgers, fries and shakes.

What does the loyalty program look like?

We purposely designed our loyalty program to be very simple: When Guests spend $1, they get one point. Once they’ve accumulated 100 points, they earn a $10 reward that can be redeemed on any food order. It’s best experienced from our Rewards App, but Guests without the desire or ability to download an app can still earn and redeem rewards via the web portal. Our program is driven by Punchh, which is fully integrated with our point-of-sale and online ordering partners, allowing us to create campaigns that are based on when users order, what they order and how they order (in-restaurant, online, app, delivery, etc.). We are able to automate very smart and relevant campaigns based on when users are tagged as having lapsed from their usual dining pattern. We are also able to gather valuable feedback on their experiences, which we take very seriously and develop operational assistance plans around.

How has it benefited the guest experience?

Not only do loyalty members earn points for every purchase, but we are constantly offering deals that only they can take advantage of. This includes free cheeseburgers on National Cheeseburger Day, BOGO Burger Week offers, Free Delivery weekends, birthday and half-birthday offers, friend referral rewards and frequent bonus-point opportunities. These campaigns offer real value to Guests by allowing them to get these exclusive discounts.

What has the guest response been to the loyalty program and the updated app?

We have seen unprecedented growth in app downloads and loyalty engagement in 2020 due to consumers preferring the convenience of digital ordering and delivery. By the end of Q3, we achieved growth goals that we were on track to hit in 2022.

How has the loyalty program benefited MOOYAH’s Franchise Owners?

Our loyalty members spend more and visit more frequently than non-members. Our research shows they are twice as valuable to the brand as non-members. Having a database of high-value guests to engage with at any time is a huge benefit to franchise owners. We work with our franchise owners regularly to develop and deploy hyper-local campaigns to their specific loyalty guests to help address unique sales and traffic objectives that vary by restaurant.

What does the success of the loyalty program look like?

We measure success as having a steady increase in acquisition, while maintaining a minimum of 15 percent loyalty engagement by restaurant. We also look at our rate of converting from one to two-plus loyalty visits as well as our ability to encourage in-restaurant-only guests to order online for the first time. From there, one of our 2020 objectives is to increase first-time delivery orders so guests know that’s always an option if they want MOOYAH to come to them.