Liquid Barcodes


Leon Unlimited?

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


As we continue to study the latest loyalty campaigns and concepts from convenience industry leaders, we are always interested to notice if and when the subscription model is being implemented to ensure “extreme loyalty”.

In our view, signing customers to a subscription programme is the single best way to secure a 100% share of your customers wallet in your category, as customers won’t generally ever shop elsewhere once they’ve signed up for a package with a favourite brand, especially when it’s a subscription service – in this case for their daily coffee fix.

Leon Restaurants in the UK announced their “unlimited coffee” programme just one week after a high profile coffee subscription programme was launched by one of the UK industry leaders Pret a Manger.

Following on our first article on their “Leon Lover’s Club, we now look at the latest approach taken by this smaller UK coffee house as it also evolves to deal with the dramatic loss of customers during the Covid 19 global pandemic and fights to win every customer it can.

Leon coffe

Almost Unlimited

In a somewhat confusing message, Leons “Unlimited” coffee package is in fact limited to 75 cups a month. Admittedly 75 cups is a LOT of coffee, and of course, commercially, the reasons for the limit are understandable, however it does to be an unusual way to position the product.

At full usage, £15 for 75 cups would be incredible value – just 20p a cup and its easy to imagine commuters justifying the decision to commit to Leon, with just five or six cups of barista-brewed coffee needed at regular Leon prices to start saving money.

A second limitation is imposed on *how* customers buy their coffee, with the subscription option limited to “click and collect” customers who “smart order” and can’t be used at kiosks or even at tills.

While the awareness and adoption of the “smart order” function is not publicly available, my guess is that it’s low and at least for now, this risks adding further confusion to an already unfamiliar concept.

Leon offer

How It Works:

  • Leon is using its gift card functionality for this product, so customers simply head to the “unlimited coffee” page and pay the £15 for the product online.
  • Although it’s sold using the gift card shopping cart on their website, there is no option to have the code sent to a friend, so it does not appear to be a “gift” that can be gifted.
  • They are then sent a code which can be used via Smartorder to order coffee at any “participating” Leon restaurant. There were no details on the Leon home page about Smartorder, so I assumed it was an app but found none. I eventually discovered that this is their online ordering platform on their website as they excitedly mentioned by email that “no app download is required”.
  • The code is valid for 30 days and then expires along with any of the limited/unlimited allowance of 75 coffees.
  • The package is not a subscription option and does not renew.

The Leon Non-Subscription Approach

We were surprised to discover that Leon’s Unlimited package is actually a non-subscription package. This again seems an unusual decision, as “unlimited” packages typically appeal to customers who’ve decided they love the product and want the simplest and quickest way to enjoy it on a regular basis. A manual renewal will increase churn rates and will result in the need for ongoing recruitment and renewal conversations which could be avoided.

In closing, having already highlighted ongoing losses for the brand before Covid emerged, it’s likely that Leon is now truly fighting to survive, however in this age of digitally savvy customers, there are a lot of simple improvements that could be made to truly delight customers and earn greater loyalty. In particular, offering customers an option to buy a recurring subscription package instead of limiting the purchases to a single month would give the brand a commercial benefit at no real cost.

We’ll be watching to see how they evolve and like other brands struggling in such difficult times, we wish them every success.


About Us

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Loyalty Podcaster

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing articles and podcasts. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and proud host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast – the industry’s first podcast for loyalty marketing professionals.


Blog post

Liquid Barcodes Makes U.S. Debut at 2022 NACS Show

Liquid Barcodes exhibited at the 2022 NACS Show demonstrating loyalty, subscription and payment applications.   For the first time in history, Liquid Barcodes had the pleasure of exhibiting in two prominent locations at the 2022 NACS Show both in the busy New Exhibitor Area as well as in the featured partner kiosk in Verifone’s booth […]

Blog post

Save Thousands in Credit Card Fees With ACH

Visa and Mastercard announced an increase in interchange fees earlier in the year and retailers are taking action and sending a message by migrating their customers to new solutions, including mobile app-based ACH payments, and in the process increasing profits by not only reducing credit card fees but also boosting loyalty via innovative app-based incentive […]

Blog post

Subscription Programs Are Economically Smart Investments

Monthly subscriptions to products and services are economically smart investments for retailers and customers With a recession looming and gas prices still at record-high levels, customers are tightening their grip on their wallets. But this doesn’t mean they’ll be turning their backs on convenience store purchases and there are ways you can weather the impending […]

Blog post

Converting Impulse Shoppers to Automatic Customers

Subscription programs for drinks and snacks encourage customers to change from impulse buyers to automatic customers   Customers stop at gas stations and convenience stores to buy fuel, for beverages and snacks and to use the bathroom, essentially in that order of priority. A NACS survey of gas-buying customers found that half went into the […]

Blog post

Maxol Launches First-of-Its-Kind Loyalty App

Maxol, Ireland’s largest family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, announced it has launched a new customer loyalty app with never-before-seen features in the Irish market. After more than a century serving Irish customers, Maxol’s 240+ stores and service stations are located throughout Ireland and have enjoyed global recognition for their best-in-class operations, store design and offers. […]

Blog post

Delivering Personalized Content With Machine Learning and Image Recognition

Build personalized customer connections, improve efficiency, and make intelligent, data-driven decisions using machine learning and image recognition.   It’s 7:15 in the morning and a customer – Amy – is on her way to work. She is on the hunt for coffee and breakfast and stops at a convenience store. She opens her store app […]

Blog post

Sweet Tea and Coffee Subscription Beverage Programs Brew Recurring Revenue

As summer nears, consumers are turning their attention towards refreshing iced beverages and iced tea is a hot seller this time of year, especially when sold with a subscription beverage program. Sweet tea might be the quintessential drink of southerners in the U.S, but the rest of the country has developed a taste for the […]

Blog post

Circle K’s Use of Beacon Technology to Activate Car Wash Subscription Program

Beacon Technology and Car Wash Subscription Programs Beacon technology used in tandem with a customer-facing car wash subscription program revolutionizes the customer experience by providing a quick, convenient experience. Innovation is the key to continued growth and ensuring a frictionless customer experience should be top of mind for any retailer. Circle K’s vast global network […]

Blog post

Unlimited Car Washes!

Subscription programs for car washes are a hot trend in convenience retail.

Blog post

Car Wash Program Drives Sales for United Pacific

Car wash programs are revenue drivers for convenience stores and fueling stations around the globe. Making sure the process is convenient and cost-effective for customers increases traffic and drives in-store sales. Oftentimes, car wash units occupy a small corner of the lot and do not receive much attention. This is not the case for those […]

Blog post

Danish Railway Rewards Riders with DSB Plus

The Danish railway system, known as DSB, is going the distance to reward customers by partnering with convenience retailer 7-Eleven to deliver points towards food and coffee simply for riding the rails. Whether commuting or travelling longer distances, riders who join DSB Plus earn points whenever they travel within Denmark. DSB is an abbreviation for […]

Blog post

Subscriptions for the win!

Amazon Prime is, by nature, a subscription under the auspice of membership. Pay an annual fee, get 2-day shipping and exclusive deals. Amazon took it one level further with “Subscribe & Save” where you can get everyday – and not so everyday – items shipped to you on a regular schedule.  In the early days […]

Blog post

Customer Retention Program of Circle K Vietnam

As the first international convenience store brand to launch in Vietnam, Circle K has over a decade of expertise catering to the needs of the 96 million residents of this huge country, operating a network of over four hundred convenience stores each open 24 hours a day! So launching an outstanding customer retention program was […]

Blog post

Stinker Stores Named Best New Loyalty Program in the U.S.

        2021 Best New Loyalty Program  Stinker Stores’ new loyalty program offers multiple redemptions with a single scan and stands out with a gamification feature to keep customers engaged. This article is originally published on CStoreDecisions and written by Erin Del Conte | October 28, 2021 Stinker Stores, with 103 convenience stores across Idaho, […]

Liquid Barcodes

Put a rocket under your loyalty program

With our loyalty platform, we help design and operate world-class, tailor-made subscription and reward programs that make sure your customers always come back.

Book a Demo →

We are trusted by global brands.

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes