Loyalty Program Members Burned By Sudden Restaurant Closings
M embers of the loyalty program of a popular restaurant chain which suddenly closed earlier today without any warning or advance notice whatsoever were left with unused point balances in their accounts and gift cards which suddenly became valueless.
Here To Serve Restaurants — which had been in continuous operation since 1996 — suddenly closed their ten restaurants in the Atlanta metropolitan area earlier today; but the reasons as to why the sudden closures occurred have not been disclosed at this time.
No news has been announced at the official Internet web site of the restaurant group other than this quasi-euphemistic statement:
We apologize for the inconvenience, we are working on reorganization. Hopefully we will be HERE TO SERVE you again soon!
One of the affected restaurants is Prime, which is a steak and sushi restaurant located in Lenox Mall in Atlanta that was popular amongst FlyerTalk members.
H2SR Loyalty Card — the loyalty program was once known as Friend of Tom’s, named after founder and chef Tom Catherall — offered the following exclusive benefits:
- 10 percent off at any Here to Serve restaurant
- 15 percent off for the entire calendar month of your birthday
- A point for every dollar spent; each 500 points = a discount of $15.00
- Other exclusive offers and promotions through a weekly newsletter
The loyalty program also used to offer discounts on gift cards on special occasions — such as during the Christmas holiday season, for example — where if you purchased a gift card at regular price, you would receive a complimentary promotional gift card with a certain value. That value was as much as 100 percent of the purchase price of the regular gift card, which was potentially a good deal…
…but not now to those holders of gift cards that still had outstanding balances, which suddenly have no value; and in the process of reorganization, gift card holders would most likely have the least priority of ever recouping their money.
Hundreds of employees are now searching for jobs at other restaurants through multiple channels — including this Facebook Internet web site which had been established primarily for those now-displaced employees.
When an airline ceases operations, it is typically absorbed by another airline; and the acquiring airline usually honors the value of the frequent flier loyalty program of the defunct airline, usually rendering little to no risk to its members.
Sadly, that is not the case in this situation — at least at this time…