Fair Trade Cafe has implemented a new reward system for both their regulars and new customers with the adoption of a points card.
Belly, which started in Chicago, was developed as a platform to stimulate return visits and entice returning customers with varying rewards based on the amount of points they rack up, said David Evan, the Belly card representative for Phoenix.
“Belly card speaks to the customers and gets them to come back,” Evan said. “(Downtown) is a fun and cool area that has a lot of unique mom-and-pop shops which is why we expanded to downtown Phoenix.”
Customers can use a physical card or an application on their phones to earn points based on their number of visits.
When loyal customers collect a certain amount of points, Fair Trade treats them to a variety of rewards, such as a free drink, pastry or –– if a customers earns 100 points –– a barista-training session.
Store owner Stephanie Vasquez said she adopted the system for both cafe locations for multiple reasons.
“(Belly card) builds camaraderie to all the businesses downtown because you use the same card for every single visit,” she said.
Vasquez added that she switched to the system for the ease of her customers and employees.
“I think it will make their visit to Fair Trade Cafe that much more pleasant,” she said.
Vasquez said she believes that Fair Trade’s punch card system is a method of the past and will be phased out. The Belly card will replace the punch card by the end of April.
Though the Belly system is fairly new, customers seem to be interested, barista Adrienne Lovato said.
“A lot of people are starting to get interested and get use to it,” Lovato said. “I’ve been telling people to download the app and they seem to be excited to not have to carry around a million cards.”
The idea of not having to carry yet another card around is something that Fair Trade regular Cameron Gastelum finds convenient.
“I like it,” Gastelum said. “It’s easy, and I don’t have to carry a card that I either end up losing or forgetting when I come in.”
However, Jason Barrow, another Fair Trade regular, said he is apprehensive about the new system replacing the old one.
“We’re here all day and night doing homework, now you just check in once a day and get so many points,” Barrow said. “For customers that are here all day, I just don’t think the incentive is there.”
Barrow is concerned that because of the loss of the punch card, he will no longer receive rewards as readily as he once did from the shop, including double-punch Mondays.
Vasquez said customers should not be concerned and added that she will be able to change the rewards at her convenience to allow a variety of perks for both first time customers and returning ones.
The reception of the Belly system at the cafe has been generally positive and for Vasquez that means the Belly card system sitting on the checkout counter is there to stay.
“I don’t see why anyone would go back to the punch card after doing an electronic version of it,” she said.
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