On the Road Again: Paytronix Speaking at an Event Near You

By | August 1, 2023 | Guest Engagement

Paytronix has been on the road quite a bit in 2023, and it’s been great to reconnect with customers, partners, media and analysts again. Trade shows and events are bringing us together again to meet old friends and make new ones, and Paytronix is enjoying the renewed industry collaboration as the industry learns and shares to innovate together. 

Paytronix executives are also taking part, speaking at a number of shows in the coming months.

Paytronix CRO Charles Gray is back from a trip to London last month for the NFS Technology Restaurant Leaders Brunch, where he spoke about how restaurateurs can take advantage of technology to connect with guests. Discussion explored emerging technologies and trends that are influencing the future of digital loyalty programs, the role data plays in shaping and optimizing digital loyalty programs, and how the industry is adapting to these changes with more personalized experiences. 

If you missed it, catch Charles Gray discussing The Tremendous Impact of AI on Guest Engagement.

This week, Paytronix heads to Outlook Leadership 2023 in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Paytronix  This invitation-only event is a networking hub for convenience executives and industry leaders to build long lasting partnerships, hear from top level speakers, and gain c-store insights they won’t get anywhere else. Director of Strategy & Analytics Jeff Hoover will take the stage with Paytronix customer Chris Hartman, Vice President of Fuels, Advertising and Development for Rutter’s to discuss why Rutter’s loyalty program has been voted one of the best in the nation–and how that program is combined with online ordering to make it even stronger. Jeff and Chris will present, Building One of the Best Digital Guest Engagement Programs.

Later in August, Paytronix will be in Amelia Island, Florida for Prosper 23: A Better Table, the executive conference of the Prosper Forum – a community of foodservice & hospitality professionals working toward the goal of elevating the future of the industry. Paytronix CMO Pamela Robertson will host a panel focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion when it comes to loyalty, and how brands can be authentic in their broader efforts. 

Charles Gray returns to the stage again in Atlanta when Paytronix heads to NACS 2023 for the National Association of Convenience Stores (October 3-6). Charles will be joined by Eric Rush, Director of Marketing for Tri Star Energy and Twice Daily convenience stores, to share loyalty strategies for the future. Charles and Eric will present on how loyalty is not just a card–but the outcome of the digital and physical touchpoints that retailers deliver to drive shopper engagement. See their presentation October 3, or stop by Paytronix booth #B3719 afterwards, Enhancing Your Loyalty Program to Increase Engagement.

The end of year schedule is coming together as well. Paytronix will showcase the latest innovations and strategies in guest engagement at FSTech in Dallas (September 13-15), and at the NACS Show in Atlanta (Oct. 3-6), before heading back to London again to deliver the Keynote Panel at the Hospitality Tech Expo (Oct. 10-11). November has Paytronix in Las Vegas for the Restaurant & Finance Development Conference (November 13-15). 

Stop us to say hello if you see Paytronix on stage, in the booth, or supporting a partner. It’s great to be on the road again!

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How Red’s Savoy Pizza Built a Mobile Experience of the Future

By | June 6, 2023 | Guest Engagement

More than ever, digital storefronts are a crucial tool for keeping restaurants competitive. How can restaurant brands create a personalized and convenient experience while protecting themselves against third-party aggregators and ghost kitchens? Read on to discover how Red’s Savoy Pizza, a 20+ unit chain based out of Minnesota, rethought their mobile experience and realized an entirely new stream of value.

Digital Ordering Trends

Emerging trends in digital ordering have created a “new normal” to which restaurants must adapt. In March 2022, for example, one-third of all orders were received digitally. Over half of all digital orders were for takeout, and there was a 42% dip in dine-in sales.

For Red’s Savoy Pizza, a popular Minnesota-base pizza chain, the percent of digital orders was even higher. The chain also noted that newer stores were seeing even higher percentages of digital orders, and Red’s Savoy Pizza CEO Reed Daniels notes that online ordering is less stressful and more convenient for guests, and also creates higher check totals. To grow the chain through an ongoing labor crunch, digital ordering was essential..

Red’s Savoy Mobile App

To better accommodate digitally-inclined guests, Red’s Savoy built a mobile app which enabled the brand to put its best foot forward. The app features a dynamic offer carousel, a navigation menu, and the ability to add gift cards. Going further, the app enables real-time customization such as wallet balances, favorite stores, loyalty tiers, and many other features.

As Daniels notes, the app was built on a framework which enables regular updates and improvements (sometimes multiple times a day). Layouts and messaging are fluid, which offers increased personalization for app users, creating a multifaceted experience and making it more relevant to guest needs.

According to Paytronix Mobile Product Manager Ali Evers, the app was built on Mobile Experience Builder, a self-service content management tool that enables brands to publish content in real-time to their app. Payronix developed this tool to give brands more flexibility with their communications and to better express their brand voice. It also enables customers to create more of a personalized experience, which leads to a stronger connection with the brand.

Want to know the rest of the story? Watch the Paytronix webinar with Red’s Savoy Pizza CEO Reed Daniels, and Paytronix Mobile Product Manager Ali Evers.

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Switching Gift Card Providers? Here’s What to Know.

Gift cards are a key part of the guest engagement ecosystem often acting as a way that guests can share their favorite brands with others. Also, in today’s mobile-oriented world, e-gift with recharge acts as a way for guests to store value that they can use for regular orders. So choosing the right provider is key.

Gift Card Tips

Gift cards help you extend your brand presence beyond your locations by expanding your channels and meeting your guests where they are. You can also offer online or virtual gift cards. Beyond that, you can expand to third-party and discounted third-party retailers, but remember that this step adds complexity. It’s important to know the limits of your spreadsheets by tracking sales fees, discounts, breakage across programs, and money movement between locations.

Investing in a Gift Card Solution

When selecting a gift card software provider, you need to make sure that the platform delivers the automation you need, so that you can avoid having to manually track gift card costs and discounts. Discount tracking is a huge part of this automation; it helps you recognize the expense card-by-card and transaction-by-transaction.

You also need a provider that can help you track money movement (both centralized and decentralized) across different stores, franchises, and corporations.

Tips for Managing a Successful Program

  • One of the most time-consuming processes in this realm is reconciling gift card sales and redemptions across different systems. Robust and trustworthy reporting on liability and redemption can help you be prepared for audits.
  • Avoid guest friction by making it easy to purchase, redeem, and check the balances of gift cards, and ensuring funds are redeemable both at the point of sale and for online ordering.
  • Keep your franchisees happy by ensuring that accurate, reliable, timely, and automated settlement funds are available.
  • Keep your guests happy by considering comp cards instead of gift cards; gift cards can add extra layers of complexity for your accounting.
Gift CardThe DifferencesComp Card
Purchased by customerIssue methodPurchase by restaurant
LiabilityFinancial classification when issuedExpense
RevenueFinancial treatment upon redemptionExpense
YesSales tax & income taxNo
YesSubject to tax escheatmentNo
5 yearsMinimum expiration periodNone

[Image: Comp cards vs. gift cards slide]

10 Tips for Making the Change

  1. Make sure that you own your data and can easily access it.
  2. Create a team that handles gift card migration; this involves marketing, IT, finance, and operations.
  3. Streamline the migration process to ensure all appropriate parties are weighing in.
  4. Understand the timeline of the process so that your customers do as well.
  5. Perform POS configuration and testing to ensure success.
  6. Make an inventory of your current gift card stock to ensure you can meet demand.
  7. Integrate online ordering so that the customer experience is as smooth as possible.
  8. Consider third-party channels, while understanding that they add complexity.
  9. Consider e-gift cards for added convenience.
  10. Be sure your new provider matches or improves your current reporting.

How Gift Card Programs Can Serve Your Strategy

Gift cards can be a key part of a larger guest engagement strategy. When combined with loyalty programs, ordering, and comp, they can create real and lasting value, as long as they are smoothly aligned with each other.

Listen to the Paytronix podcast with restaurant and retail analyst Ryan DiLello here.

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From Pete Alonso to Texas Pete

By | April 17, 2023 | Loyalty, Reward Programs

PDQ Restaurants Goes Hyper-Local with Paytronix Mobile Experience Builder

PDQ Restaurants, which stands for People Dedicated to Quality, has had a strategy of truly local engagement since it first opened in 2011. Each of its 62 locations across five states gets involved in local community efforts to build loyalty and engagement. That’s why when Paytronix released Mobile Experience Builder, the PDQ team was eager to get on board and put it into action.  

“Each of our locations gets deeply involved with projects like local philanthropy, supporting local schools, or sponsoring local youth sports. Mobile Experience Builder gives us the tools we need to create community-oriented experiences for each location that matters to those guests,” said Ken Bott, who leads Digital and Loyalty strategy for PDQ.

One of those experiences extends across four units in two states. Customers who frequent locations near where the New York Mets play, both on Long Island and near the Mets spring training facility in Florida, receive specific messages to support The Alonso Foundation. Founded by New York Mets All-Star First Baseman Pete Alonso and his wife Haley, the Alonso Foundation helps those in need by being a voice and standing up for those who can’t speak for themselves. The Alonso Foundation supports youth initiatives, animal welfare, and veteran’s aid as the core of its mission. The promotion started when the Mets kicked off their home season. Running through the first month of the season, guests are invited to round up their checks or make a donation, with 100 percent of all money raised given directly to the Foundation.

Mobile Experience Builder enables marketers to take advantage of geofencing tools to deliver store-specific promotions and messages. These are all designed to eliminate the need for costly third-party designers and developers while modernizing the management of branded mobile apps with real-time updates that save time, money, and energy on app maintenance. It also ensures that guests can access up-to-date information, including announcements and LTOs.

That’s what is happening at the Winston-Salem, North Carolina location, where guests get something entirely unique. It’s there that PDQ has created a co-branded partnership with Texas Pete. The two brands are testing a new recipe of Texas Pete Hot Sauce and PDQ’s signature Honey BBQ sauce. In a campaign called “Pete & Petey, a Match Made in Heaven,” PDQ offers a sandwich, nuggets, and tenders, all tossed in a unique combination of Texas Pete and PDQ sauces. The PDQ App home screen features the products so those guests are sure to know about the offer.

In the future, PDQ plans on executing these kinds of programs at all of their stores, giving local teams and community organizations the opportunity to communicate directly with their guests through the mobile app. It’s all part of the brand’s strategy to build loyalty and engagement.

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