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Business diners can accrue rewards for personal use
<p>Business diners can accrue rewards for personal use.</p>

New loyalty program targets business diners

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Restaurants that participate in the Dinova LLC network may soon see the benefits of a new loyalty program for business diners.

Dinova is a network and marketplace for corporate dining that allows companies to save on travel and expense accounts while helping business diners find places to eat out. Dinova has just launched a new program called myDinova that allows guests dining on corporate expense accounts to earn personal rewards that can be used to dine out at any restaurant within the network.

The Dinova network includes more than 13,000 restaurants—from quick-service chains to fine dining—serving business diners using corporate credit cards. Among them are about 700 independent restaurants, which are less likely to have their own loyalty programs.

“Whether it’s colleagues talking about a project over lunch at a restaurant near the office, the road warrior eating three meals a day while traveling or a sales executive taking a client out for a nice dinner, any reimbursable business meal scenario is an opportunity for employees to earn personal rewards,” says Vic Macchio, Dinova’s founder and c.e.o.

Program members can accumulate reward points to earn gift cards for network restaurants, the same way they can earn frequent flyer miles from airlines when they travel for business.

For every $1 spent at a Dinova restaurant, the member earns 1 point. The more they dine in network, the more opportunities there are to earn points under the plan.

If at least 25 percent of an employee’s restaurant visits are in-network in a month, for example, they will earn an additional 25-percent bonus toward a Dinova-restaurant gift card. If at least 50 percent of restaurant visits are among Dinova locations, they can earn a 50-percent bonus.

Membership also brings special offers and promotions.

The idea is to encourage business diners to visit the restaurants within the Dinova network more frequently.

While there are no extra costs for member restaurants to participate in the loyalty program, Dinova works on a pay-for-performance model with fees tied to the volume of business the program drives to the restaurant.

“Rewards programs clearly influence behavior, particularly in the business environment,” Macchio says. “Employees are conditioned to plot scenarios to earn personal points for flights and hotel stays, and they often accumulate those rewards using company-preferred airlines and hotels.”

MyDinova, which he says is the only dining rewards program that exclusively targets corporate employees, is the logical extension, “enabling staff to follow company reimbursement guidelines on meals and entertainment and earn rewards for their personal restaurant use at the same time.”

In case you’re wondering, expense account dining is up, according to Dinova. In 2015, business spending in restaurants increased an estimated 7.1 percent among Dinova’s corporate clients, including a 4.5-percent jump in transactions and a 3.75-percent increase in average check over the prior year.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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