“This option isn’t good either, because even though the restaurant can custom-brand their app and keep all the data, they have to spend an outrageous amount of money and time building a payment network, and then they have to get their users to sign up for it," Priebatsch said.
What makes LevelUp White-Label different, Priebatsch said, is that restaurants can create a custom-branded app that’s powered by the company’s best-in-class mobile payments infrastructure, and they also get to keep full control of their data.
“Restaurants also get all the benefits of LevelUp’s back-end, too, including zero interchange fees, loyalty tracking, customer analytics, engagement tools and security and access to the company’s 500,000+ strong community of active users," he said. "Our middle-of-the-road approach is exactly what most restaurants with multiple locations are looking for."
LevelUp licenses the SDK/API for $15,000 per platform, which offers a core code-base of all the standard functionality needed to build and operate a mobile payment app on LevelUp's infrastructure. It's another $20,000 per app platform to hire LevelUp to build, test and deploy the white-label app.
That may sound pricey but not comapred to the cost of buidling from scratch a mobile payment, loyalty and security infrastructure, which can run between $750,000 to $3 million, Priebatsch said.
The credit card diet
To kick off the app launch, sweetgreen is going on a credit card diet; the restaurants will only accept cash or LevelUp payments for a couple of days, varying by location.
“While we’d love all restaurants to go on a credit card diet forever, before this can happen, more consumers need to transition from credit cards to mobile payments," Preibatsch said. "The credit card diet is intended to encourage this shift. We’re confident that when consumers start paying with the sweetgreen rewards app, they’ll keep paying with it."
Getting customers on board
Neman is confident his customers, which he describes as very tech-savvy and loyal, will embrace the app. He also has a marketing strategy to help them learn about it.
“We sent out emails to our regular customers and they are so excited,” he said. “All our employees will be there to help walk guests through it and we have some really cool signage in stores and have info up on our sites and on our social media (sites.)"
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