The boom in online food ordering has prompted restaurant operators to continue seeking digital methods that can help them attract and retain customers in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Eateries constantly are refining their customer engagement strategies to extend their brand awareness and grow sales. Recent efforts have included omnichannel marketing initiatives, mobile app developments and loyalty program launches.
Leveraging multiple marketing channels and incorporating loyalty and rewards offerings are top priorities, especially for national restaurant brands such as Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. The Nevada-based fast casual chain has 112 company-owned and franchise locations across 16 states and the District of Columbia. Capriotti’s properties also include Wing Zone, an Atlanta-based chicken wing chain with 80 locations across 25 states.
“Everyone in the industry saw the big swing to online ordering,” said Jane McPherson, Capriotti’s senior vice president of Marketing. “We were really fortunate in that we had so much of our infrastructure really well built out. We had a really robust online ordering platform, and we were well-optimized. We quickly implemented a robust curbside pickup solution, offering customers the opportunity to [scan] a QR code and place an order from outside of the store.”
McPherson spoke to PYMNTS about why restaurants must turn to digital solutions, data analytics and omnichannel marketing to boost sales, customer engagement and loyalty.
The Changing Post-Pandemic Fast Casual Restaurant Landscape
Many pandemic-related dining restrictions began easing last spring as vaccination efforts ramped up, with customers heading back into their favorite restaurants for meals. McPherson said Capriotti’s brick-and-mortar business began to grow again during this time, with 30% to 40% of its customers coming into its restaurants and 10% placing orders over the phone.
“The past few months have been interesting,” she said. “We’ve seen, specifically for Capriotti’s, a real return to dining in, or at least ordering in, restaurants. What’s really maintained stability through all of this, for both Wing Zone and Capriotti’s, is phone ordering, [with] people calling in and placing orders.”
This ongoing interest in phone ordering has prompted Capriotti’s to test systems to increase customer engagement over the phone. This includes the use of switchboards that provide customer relationship management features as well as tools to help the chain upsell, McPherson said.
Despite the resurgence in in-person ordering and customers’ strong use of phone-based ordering methods, online ordering remains a mainstay for many restaurants. Capriotti’s is no exception to this trend, McPherson explained.
“We saw as much as 60% to 70% of our business shift [to] digital,” she said. “We’re back down to about 50%[and] Wing Zone has remained [at] about 80%.”
Using Data Analytics to Grow Brick-and-Mortar and Online Sales
Restaurants customers’ varied ordering habits make it critical for eateries to personalize engagement and reward loyalty across numerous ordering channels. McPherson said Capriotti’s omnichannel approach allowed the chain to further customize offers based on a multitude of customer preferences.
“When customers engage in the shop, they check in and redeem their points,” she said. “To grow online sales, we’re using omnichannel marketing to reach different segments of customers. We’re able to build segmentation into our campaigns, so [customers who order turkey meal items] get turkey campaigns, and [for] cheese steak customers, we send out a few steak campaigns.”
She said the company also is deploying data analytics to inform its sales and marketing efforts, manage its loyalty program and personalize the consumer engagement experience across various communication channels.
“We are working to add a layer of customized user experience on top of customer data,” McPherson said. “Restaurant brands will probably start using more customer database platforms [whereby] all of their customer data is [on] one platform, and then omnichannel marketing sits on top of that customer database platform.”
Capriotti’s has used an email-based loyalty campaign for the last eight years, but McPherson said the chain has branched out to other channels, adding text message-based campaigns as well as more segmentation and a focus on customer journeys.
“We communicate with consumers via an app push message, SMS message or email message,” McPherson said. “We engage with them in the way they want to opt in and participate in our campaigns.”
Appealing to first-time customers is yet another facet central to success in the fast casual restaurant space, and data analytics can be a key benefit in this area as well. McPherson said Capriotti’s uses this data to convert browsers into buyers, primarily with the help of digital advertising campaigns on social media, YouTube and via Google searches.
“We do a lot of sophisticated analysis to advertise to the right people,” she explained. “We do a lot of tracking with Google Analytics to look at our conversion rates and continually optimize those media for performance.”
Restaurant customers’ ordering and loyalty preferences are fluctuating rapidly, making it critical for eateries to stay on top of the latest ordering trends and technologies. Meeting customers’ expectations and offering them the rewards they value make harnessing data analytics and leveraging omnichannel marketing strategies essential.
The increase in on-line meals ordering has prompted restaurant operators to proceed looking for digital strategies that may assist them entice and retain prospects in an more and more aggressive panorama.
Eateries continually are refining their buyer engagement methods to increase their model consciousness and develop gross sales. Current efforts have included omnichannel advertising and marketing initiatives, cellular app developments and loyalty program launches.
Leveraging a number of advertising and marketing channels and incorporating loyalty and rewards choices are prime priorities, particularly for nationwide restaurant manufacturers reminiscent of Capriotti’s Sandwich Store. The Nevada-based quick informal chain has 112 company-owned and franchise areas throughout 16 states and the District of Columbia. Capriotti’s properties additionally embrace Wing Zone, an Atlanta-based hen wing chain with 80 areas throughout 25 states.
“Everybody within the business noticed the massive swing to on-line ordering,” stated Jane McPherson, Capriotti’s senior vice chairman of Advertising and marketing. “We have been actually lucky in that we had a lot of our infrastructure very well constructed out. We had a very sturdy on-line ordering platform, and we have been well-optimized. We shortly carried out a sturdy curbside pickup resolution, providing prospects the chance to [scan] a QR code and place an order from outdoors of the shop.”
McPherson spoke to PYMNTS about why eating places should flip to digital options, information analytics and omnichannel advertising and marketing to spice up gross sales, buyer engagement and loyalty.
The Altering Publish-Pandemic Quick Informal Restaurant Panorama
Many pandemic-related eating restrictions started easing final spring as vaccination efforts ramped up, with prospects heading again into their favourite eating places for meals. McPherson stated Capriotti’s brick-and-mortar enterprise started to develop once more throughout this time, with 30% to 40% of its prospects coming into its eating places and 10% inserting orders over the cellphone.
“The previous few months have been attention-grabbing,” she stated. “We’ve seen, particularly for Capriotti’s, an actual return to eating in, or not less than ordering in, eating places. What’s actually maintained stability via all of this, for each Wing Zone and Capriotti’s, is cellphone ordering, [with] folks calling in and inserting orders.”
This ongoing curiosity in cellphone ordering has prompted Capriotti’s to check programs to extend buyer engagement over the cellphone. This consists of the usage of switchboards that present buyer relationship administration options in addition to instruments to assist the chain upsell, McPherson stated.
Regardless of the resurgence in in-person ordering and prospects’ robust use of phone-based ordering strategies, on-line ordering stays a mainstay for a lot of eating places. Capriotti’s isn’t any exception to this pattern, McPherson defined.
“We noticed as a lot as 60% to 70% of our enterprise shift [to] digital,” she stated. “We’re again right down to about 50%[and] Wing Zone has remained [at] about 80%.”
Utilizing Information Analytics to Develop Brick-and-Mortar and On-line Gross sales
Eating places prospects’ assorted ordering habits make it vital for eateries to personalize engagement and reward loyalty throughout quite a few ordering channels. McPherson stated Capriotti’s omnichannel strategy allowed the chain to additional customise affords primarily based on a large number of buyer preferences.
“When prospects interact within the store, they verify in and redeem their factors,” she stated. “To develop on-line gross sales, we’re utilizing omnichannel advertising and marketing to succeed in completely different segments of consumers. We’re capable of construct segmentation into our campaigns, so [customers who order turkey meal items] get turkey campaigns, and [for] cheese steak prospects, we ship out just a few steak campaigns.”
She stated the corporate is also deploying information analytics to tell its gross sales and advertising and marketing efforts, handle its loyalty program and personalize the patron engagement expertise throughout varied communication channels.
“We’re working so as to add a layer of custom-made person expertise on prime of buyer information,” McPherson stated. “Restaurant manufacturers will most likely begin utilizing extra buyer database platforms [whereby] all of their buyer information is [on] one platform, after which omnichannel advertising and marketing sits on prime of that buyer database platform.”
Capriotti’s has used an email-based loyalty marketing campaign for the final eight years, however McPherson stated the chain has branched out to different channels, including textual content message-based campaigns in addition to extra segmentation and a concentrate on buyer journeys.
“We talk with customers by way of an app push message, SMS message or e mail message,” McPherson stated. “We interact with them in the best way they need to choose in and take part in our campaigns.”
Interesting to first-time prospects is one more side central to success within the quick informal restaurant house, and information analytics could be a key profit on this space as effectively. McPherson stated Capriotti’s makes use of this information to transform browsers into patrons, primarily with the assistance of digital promoting campaigns on social media, YouTube and by way of Google searches.
“We do numerous refined evaluation to promote to the fitting folks,” she defined. “We do numerous monitoring with Google Analytics to have a look at our conversion charges and regularly optimize these media for efficiency.”
Restaurant prospects’ ordering and loyalty preferences are fluctuating quickly, making it vital for eateries to remain on prime of the newest ordering developments and applied sciences. Assembly prospects’ expectations and providing them the rewards they worth make harnessing information analytics and leveraging omnichannel advertising and marketing methods important.