Every year, starting in September, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg signals to the trees that it’s time to start shedding their green and unleash the magic of fall. Like that, the beverage commonly known as the PSL arrives.

That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte for the uninitiated.

It is, perhaps, a marketer’s dream to see a product enter the popular lexicon to the extent that it warrants its own abbreviation. The PSL keeps regulars engaged with a rare treat that they can’t get during the rest of the year. And it attracts new or infrequent customers who might be hunting for that special taste.

But even if a “fall treat” falls short of that lofty goal, businesses can learn a lot from Starbucks’ experience with the PSL and how the drink encourages consumers to return time after time, year after year.

This is important because quick-service restaurants (QSRs) derive much of their revenue from repeat business. In retail, a commonly used customer-loyalty metric is the average number of visits per year. In the QSR space, that metric is much different. Coffee shops like Starbucks might calculate customer loyalty by average spend per month or per week. That’s because a shopping trip to a mall-based clothing store might cost a consumer anywhere from $70 to $150 on average, while that cup of coffee on the way to work might cost $3 or $4.

What can QSRs do to capture some of the magic that this seasonal offering serves up? If we can learn anything from Starbucks, it’s that seasonal treats can boost average spending and generate return business by offering something new and making customers feel like they belong. It’s about generating loyalty for longtime patrons and new ones walking in the door. Here’s how.

Keep it fresh

One of the central tensions of running a chain is the push-pull relationship between consistency and the desire for what’s new. Starbucks, for example, installs special water filters in each of its locations to make sure that a cup of Starbucks is the same in Philadelphia as it is in Seattle as it is in London as it is in … you get the picture.

But it’s also clear that customers can get tired of buying the same thing every day. The same can be said of walking into a favorite store. The same-old, same-old does get boring. Seasonal offerings keep the menu fresh, and they alter the sensory experience for regular customers, creating new smells to greet them as they walk in the door.

Make it fun

It’s impossible to have a brand that pleases everyone, all of the time. The PSL, as popular as it is, also has its critics decrying the ubiquity of this sweet nectar.

Starbucks has turned that criticism on its head by launching a #TeamPSL hashtag. The drink has its own Twitter account with 114,000 followers. Starbucks has created a sense of community among the drink’s fans, and turned them into brand ambassadors in the process. That hashtag, for example, can be found on travel mugs, with the letters made to look like they’re embroidered on a clunky, cable-knit sweater. By leaning into their detractors, Starbucks is actually creating a sense of belonging to attract both loyal fans and customers who might not regularly go out for coffee.

Nothing but upside

2016 marks the 13th year that Starbucks has sold the PSL, a testament to the popularity of the drink. Around the time of its launch in September, it garnered more than 5,000 Twitter mentions per hour.

A seasonal offering doesn’t have to reach PSL levels of cultural awareness to become a driver of repeat business. That’s because seasonal treats provide nothing but upside. If the PSL generates some backlash, so what? It doesn’t really offend anyone. At the same time, it gives regular customers and infrequent ones a good reason to come in the store and builds loyalty which extends beyond seasonality.