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Case Studies & Examples

Case Study: Kinjo Sushi’s Restaurant Loyalty Program

Written by 
Brad Davis
October 28, 2019

Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions partnered up with a fantastic Canadian sushi chain called Kinjo Sushi & Grill to create an enticing mobile app-based restaurant loyalty program that would increase customer retention and boost sales.

Here’s an analysis of how Kinjo Sushi & Grill has used the Stamp Me app to its full potential.

But first, a bit of background on Kinjo Sushi & Grill, the self-professed McDonald’s of sushi restaurants!

With six locations across Calgary, Kinjo Sushi & Grill has been serving up delicious sushi, seafood and various grilled delights to hungry Canadians for nearly 15 years.

All six restaurants are quite spacious, with an abundance of seating and open-plan kitchens that are situated in plain sight of diners.

Kinjo restaurants boast a fun, lively atmosphere and the chain is renowned for its bluefin tuna shows, sushi making classes, painting classes, fundraisers and various other events.

customer interaction and events at kinjo restaurant
Image Source: CBC News

Kinjo Sushi & Grill is heavily involved in the local community, and offers catering services. Of course, they also offer delivery for those nights when you have a sushi craving, but don’t want to leave the house.

One thing that Kinjo Sushi & Grill didn’t offer until recently, however, was a restaurant loyalty program – this is where Stamp Me comes in.

While Kinjo’s Sushi & Grill is not your traditional fast food joint (although, Peter Kinjo himself has claimed he wants to be the “McDonald’s of sushi restaurants”), the affordable menu and social ethos behind the business means that naturally many customers patronise Kinjo’s on a regular basis.

The sushi chain needed a way to reward repeat customers for their loyalty They also wanted to entice new customers to return a second time (and a third, and a fourth!).

Since enlisting Stamp Me’s award-winning digital loyalty solutions, Kinjo has enjoyed astronomical success with its new loyalty app.

Here are the aspects of the digital loyalty app that we took care of on our end:

1. Convenience

It’s a remarkably straightforward process to join Kinjo’s loyalty program.

Customers simply download the app, sign up, and start accumulating rewards.

Literally, the moment the staff member mentions the loyalty program at POS, customers can instantly join the program on their smartphone and collect digital stamps for their meal.

2. Cohesion

Once this customer has signed up to Kinjo’s digital loyalty app, they can accumulate and redeem points at any of the sushi chain’s numerous locations.

You can learn more about operating our loyalty program across multiple locations simultaneously here.

3. Engagement

At Stamp Me, we’ve incorporated features such as Birthday Club and Scratch & Win into our digital loyalty platform, for merchants to use as they please.

In the case of Kinjo Sushi & Grill, new loyalty program members are prompted to enter their date of birth, which entitles them to a special sushi roll for free on their birthday each year.

kinjo scratch and win
Image Source: Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions

As for the Scratch & Win promotion, Kinjo has used it to offer customers a chance to win a trip to Tokyo. This random gesture of “surprise and delight” is a key element in the most successful loyalty programs.

This is otherwise known as 'gamification', a fun, incentivised way to get customers engaged with your program.

4. Communication

Businesses that subscribe to the Stamp Me app have the capability to communicate with their loyal customers through push notifications, texts and emails. For example, you could send an automated text or push notification to a customer who hasn’t visited your business for several weeks, saying:

“Hey Michelle, we miss seeing your face around the store! Come in before Friday for a free coffee with the purchase of any sandwich.”

In Kinjo’s case, the sushi chain uses this function to keep customers informed about new stores and updated menus, as well as offering them an exclusive heads up on exciting upcoming events.

Here are the things Kinjo Sushi & Grill did to help get the loyalty program off to a winning start:

1.      Great Food and Customer Service

sushi restaurant loyalty program
Image Source: LinkedIn

You can have an amazing loyalty program in place, but if your food tastes horrible and your customer service is awful, it won’t do you much good.

The first and foremost reason that Kinjo Sushi & Grill has had so much success with its loyalty program is that the customers love the food and the service!

2.     Simple Offers and Interim Rewards

Kinjo Sushi & Grill has kept its loyalty rewards offer remarkably simple, attractive and transparent. Customers earn a $20 rewards voucher with every 10 stamps, and a “special pokey” interim reward every five stamps.

This interim reward keeps the customer engaged with the program as they work their way towards the major reward of a $20 voucher.

3.     Attractive Signup Incentive

Kinjo offers instant gratification for signing up by rewarding a free stamp simply for joining the loyalty program. Just like that, the customer is already 10% of the way towards earning a $20 voucher for sushi, simply for downloading the app and registering.

You can learn more about the psychology behind instant gratification and upfront incentives here.

4.     Effective Promotion

Step into any of Kinjo’s locations across Calgary and you’ll immediately notice signage promoting the loyalty program in the windows, on the tables where you eat, at the POS when you pay, and even in the restrooms.

All staff are trained on the benefits of the loyalty program, the signup process, and how to effectively promote it to customers (which they do, every time they notice a customer who isn’t redeeming stamps for their order).

5.     Welcome Feedback

Not only does the Kinjo team welcome feedback from customers, but they actually encourage it. The Kinjo Sushi & Grill brand understands that the more communication you have with customers, the better idea you have of what is and isn’t working, what customers like and what they don’t like, what needs adjusting and so on.

By opening up a dialogue with customers about the loyalty app (and the business as a whole) Kinjo has been able to continuously tweak its loyalty program over time to meet the needs of its customers.

family at kinjo sushi
Image Source: Flickr

The Stamp Me app equips you with the tools to boost customer retention and increase sales.

Our point here is that while our mobile loyalty app contains all the features and functions required to implement a remarkably effective loyalty program, the reason that Kinjo Sushi & Grill has enjoyed so much success with our app is that the brand has been clever, creative and innovative about how to use it.

While the Stamp Me app paves the way for achieving a highly successful loyalty program that boosts customer retention and increases sales, the businesses which enjoy the most success from our loyalty solutions are the ones that get creative with it and make it their own.

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