Sweetgreen, the Washington, D.C.-born fast-casual restaurant with farm-to-table salads, frozen yogurt, and cold-pressed juices, announced the launch of its mobile payments and rewards app, available for free on iPhone and Android. The Sweetgreen rewards app is aligned with Sweetgreen's core values to provide customers with an even easier way to find the "food that fits," while giving back to the local community.

The app, which will replace the plastic loyalty cards in customers' wallets, is convenient, fun, and lets guests easily track their progress toward their next reward. For every $100 a guest spends, he or she will unlock $10, redeemed by paying with the app at any of Sweetgreen's 16 locations.

The Sweetgreen app also features statuses, ranging from green to gold to black. The more guests pay with the app, the faster they'll reach the next status and start receiving even better perks. For example, once they unlock green, gold, or black status, Sweetgreen will donate 1 percent of what guests spend to local charities.

Charities include DC Farm to School Network in the Washington, D.C., metro area and Fair Food in Philadelphia. Sweetgreen will add organizations to the program as it enters new markets like New York and Boston.

"Offering a unique way to eat and live, the Sweetgreen loyalty app helps our customers pay it forward by saving them time and money while giving back 1 percent of transactions to charity," says Nathaniel Ru, Sweetgreen CEO and cofounder. "We're committed to doing right by our customers and community, and are excited to help even more people make smarter decisions. It's a winwin-win."

The Sweetgreen app is also the first white-label app running on LevelUp. This means that all of the back-end components like loyalty tracking, customer analytics, engagement tools, and security are powered by LevelUp's payment infrastructure.

This also means that Sweetgreen will be paying LevelUp's zero percent interchange on any transaction made through the app. Several Sweetgreen locations are celebrating by embarking on a three-day "credit card diet" toward the end of the month. 

The credit card diet is a period in time in which one's business limits acceptable payment types to LevelUp and cash only, thus eliminating the need to pay credit card processing fees.

"Because our app is powered by LevelUp, we will save thousands of dollars annually on credit card fees," Ru says. "Not only is this good for our business, but it's great for our customers and our community: We share the savings with customers in the form of rewards, and with charities by way of donations. It's another win-win-win."

Seth Priebatsch of LevelUp says, "We couldn't be happier to have Sweetgreen as the first partner to launch a white-paper app on LevelUp's infrastructure. Sweetgreen is a great brand, not just in the food they serve, but in how they view the entire customer experience. I know the Sweetgreen app will make an already incredible customer experience even better."

The Sweetgreen rewards app is the new and improved version of the company's loyalty program, which will be honored in stores through March 11, 2013.

Charitable Giving, News, Sweetgreen