Shake Shack Offers Bitcoin Rewards in an Effort to Attract Younger Customers: How to Capitalize on the Promotion

Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan- April 30, 2018: Shake Shack:Shake Shack in Tokyo: Shake Shack is an American fast casual restaurant chain based in New York City.
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Shake Shack is offering Bitcoin rewards until mid-March for customers using Cash App, a digital wallet offered by Block, when making purchases at the chain.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that customers will receive 15% of their purchase back in the form of Bitcoin on any Shake Shack purchase made with Cash Card — a debit card available to Cash App users — and by buying items via Cash Boost, a rewards program available to Cash Card members.

“You’re always trying to place your bets on those things that truly will be meaningful and not waste resources on the ones that won’t,” Jay Livingston, Shake Shack chief marketing officer, told The Wall Street Journal. “If we just started taking crypto right now at our kiosk, it would have very low adoption,” he added. “But through someone like Cash App, who’s been promoting it, you will get some more people that want it and that also want to learn.”

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Shake Shack’s move comes amid a growing interest in crypto rewards programs. While earning cash back has long been the leading choice for the average U.S. consumer, a recent Bakkt “Loyalty and Rewards 2022 Outlook” study found that 72% of Americans who purchased crypto at least one time in the past six months are likely to redeem loyalty points for cryptos, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

In addition, about half of crypto buyers are interested in earning cryptocurrency instead of points, the study notes, with 51% interested in earning crypto rewards, compared to 56% interested in earning cashback instead of points.

Nancy Gordon, chief product officer for loyalty at digital assets platform Bakkt, told GOBankingRates last month that an increasing portion of the population is engaging with crypto and looking for more avenues to purchase digital assets. “Rewards is an appealing on-ramp into crypto given that it upgrades what has traditionally been a passive store-of-value into an active store-of-value, that has the potential to increase over time,” Gordon said.

Shake Shack seems to be taking this trend on board.

“Not a bit, just more coin. You heard right, now ’til March 15th, select Cash Card by @CashApp holders will be able to get their 15% Boost reward in the form of $BTC instead of USD. We’re taking Shack to the moon,” the company tweeted March 4.

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Shake Shack is trying to attract younger customers as Block’s largest set of users are in the millennial and Gen Z age groups, Amrita Ahuja, Block’s chief financial officer, told The Wall Street Journal.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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