Jimmy John’s awards guests with the ultimate Freaky Fast Rewards Achievement Badge

Jimmy John's announces new Achievement Badge challenge, photo provided by Jimmy John's
Jimmy John's announces new Achievement Badge challenge, photo provided by Jimmy John's /

While the popular quick service restaurant is known for being “freaky fresh,” Jimmy John’s has built a brand loyalty on that concept. From freshly made bread that is baked every couple of hours to ingredients that are sliced every morning, that commitment to putting the best food into guests’ hands entices people to seek out those sandwiches. Since many consumers look to loyalty programs to feel valued, Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards is taking that concept and turning it into the ultimate high scoring achievement. For those people willing to tackle the Gauntlet, the ultimate Achievement Badge is waiting to be earned.

Ahead of the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards Achievement Badges announcement, FoodSided spoke with Jimmy John’s CMO Darin Dugan about this concept which evolves the loyalty program. While rewards or loyalty programs have become more prevalent in the quick service restaurant industry, not all programs are the same. For the fast and fresh sandwich brand, their concept blends gamification with surprise and delight, which is set to be a win with its customers.

Dugan commented that since the Freaky Fast Rewards program began, it has compiled over 12 million members. Given the short few years since its inception, the concept is part membership and part badge of honor.

Instead of building points for redemption, Jimmy John’s takes a different approach. Its program is built on the concept of “surprise and delight.” While brand loyalty is built into the experience, it is rewarded with positive, fun, and engaging experiences. There is no bait and switch once a particular level is achieved. It is about giving guests what they want and sometimes what they didn’t realize that they needed.

As part of the Freaky Fast Rewards program, Dugan shared that this surprise and delight concept is shared in various ways. It could be a special bonus added to the account for a free food item. Or, loyalty members might get a first opportunity to try a new menu item. No matter the “bonus,” each item enhances the connection between brand and guest. The guest feels the value from being “part of the club.”

That feeling of being valued is what drives guests to come back time and again to Jimmy John’s. Even though they might always order that Turkey Tom, they choose to seek out the quick service restaurant both near and far from home. It isn’t necessarily about building the points to the next level, but the rewards program enhances that connection because there could be something waiting the next time the app is opened.

The Gauntlet Badge from Jimmy John's Freaky Fresh Rewards program
The Gauntlet Badge from Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards program, photo provided by Jimmy John’s /

How is the biggest Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards Achievement Badge kicking off 2023?

While the Freaky Fast Rewards program has been successful, the new year is bringing a different concept to the program. Although the Achievement Badge has been tested, the ultimate challenge has been presented. For those willing to go the distance, The Gauntlet Badge is waiting to be earned.

Although Dugan explained how the brand’s rewards program is built on the concept of surprise and delight, the gamification of a loyalty program has become more popular. With the Achievement Badges, specifically The Gauntlet Badge, there is that element of wanting to be atop the leader board. It is more than just craving a favorite sandwich, it is the desire to win, beat, and showcase earning that ultimate goal.

Dugan explained the enormity of earning the Gauntlet Badge. For those willing to take the challenge, guests will have to order all 25 of the Jimmy John’s sandwiches. While the quest does not have be taken in one order (it is not a Man vs Food Challenge), it does have a limited time window. For those who complete the challenge by March 15, 2023, they can earn a “super-sized Jimmy Chips Beanbag Chair.” More details on the terms can be found on the Jimmy John’s app.

Jimmy John's Gauntlet Reward Jimmys Chips Bean Bag Chair
Jimmys Chips Bean Bag Chair is the reward for unlocking the Gauntlet Badge, photo provided by Jimmy John’s /

Although this feast might not be for the dainty appetite, the challenge is an event for Jimmy John’s. While Dugan appreciates that the concept feeds into customer loyalty, it is a potentially a huge shareable social media windfall. Whether people compete to earn The Gauntlet first or proudly display their prize of the super-sized Jimmy Chips Beanbag Chair, the program creates a sense of community through the process. In a world where people want to feel more connected, this challenge could bring Jimmy John’s fans together across the miles.

While the Gauntlet is the first Achievement Badge to be revealed this year, Dugan suggested that more concepts could be coming down the road. Whether the next badge is menu specific or something else, remains to be seen. After going so big for the first reveal, it will be interesting to see how they top this promotion.

Still, that unknown factor and the desire to earn something that others may not have drives people to place another order. Just like that high score on a video game had one person’s initials displayed as top billing on that screen, those badges are coveted. Not everyone can win the lottery, but a hearty appetite and desire can unlock that Gauntlet Badge.

And what sandwich does Dugan recommend eating first and last for attempting the Gauntlet. Dugan said it might be good to start with the always popular Turkey Tom and leaving the Gargantuan for the final order.

More information on Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards Achievement Badge, the Gauntlet, can be found online and in the brand’s app.