What You Can Learn from Fast Casual Success

Technomic projects growth for all segments of the restaurant industry next year, with most growth in the two or three percent range. But one restaurant segment is projected to outpace the others by leaps and bounds at 7.5%… 

Today, we’re going to examine some of the reasons fast casual restaurants are beating out the other segments, and learn the tactics you can use in your own strategy—no matter your restaurant type. 

First, it’s important that we get clear on exactly what “fast casual” entails. Restaurants that fall into this segment include Panera, Freshii, Caliburger, and many more. Fast casual restaurants offer a quick dining solution with a more upscale atmosphere. 

Generally, fast casual restaurants offer healthy options, well-designed interiors, affordable quality, and flavor diversity. Beyond these elements, one of the keys that sets this segment apart is its focus on providing solutions for the time-pressed customer.  

The fast casual customer is tech savvy and busy. He or she demands convenience and wants to be in control. Fast casual restaurants have developed a wide range of innovations to give more control to their customers, from facial recognition loyalty programs to self-service kiosks. 

This focus on quality, atmosphere, and, most importantly, guest convenience has led to more and more fast casual restaurants opening up across the country, and already established brands rapidly adding locations.  […]

PXUX Highlights 13 Ways to Change the Game

The future of restaurant marketing is happening right now. At this year’s Paytronix users’ conference, PXUX 2018, presentations from both Paytronix and its customers told stories of innovation and exceptional guest experiences. A path toward true machine-based one-to-one marketing has officially been plotted. Here are 13 ways to change the game – all from PXUX 2018.

Several exciting learnings were presented on the first day, when Andrew Robbins discussed the big picture in his annual PaytroNEXT session. The way guests want to be engaged is changing and we have three active initiatives that marketers need.

  1. One-to-One – True one-to-one marketing is difficult but provides huge value for the brand. Machine learning enables our proprietary algorithms to find the right offer for an individual and deliver it at the proper time to motivate the next visit. A visit challenge could feature a universal offer: “Visit 5 times in the next 4 weeks and get a free coffee.” Or every portion of it could be tailored to each guest: “Visit X times in the next Y and get a Z.” There are thousands of permutations of this, and an effective one-to-one solution can have five times the impact.
  2. K100SM – We’ll be getting data from many sources to round out customer profiles, whether they are program members or not. When we know 100% of our guests, we can deliver a 20% impact. This solution will be respectful to the consumer so that it is accepted as the new norm.
  3. Self-Driving CRMSM– The new world of one-to-one CRM is complicated, with computers and automation being used to determine what is right for each guest. Just as self-driving cars will safely and quickly get us from point A to point B, the same is true for self-driving CRM. The combination of machine learning and marketing automation will produce greater visit frequency and more spend. Paytronix not only focuses on what brands need today, but also develops the technology for what they will need in the future.  

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Segmentation Secrets: Why Your Customer Groups Can Make Or Break Your C-Store

You already know your customers. But you may still be making a very common mistake and sending promotions to your customers as if they ARE all the same.

Many convenience stores send out one promotion to their entire customer base. At best, that promotion make entices a few people, while it doesn’t interest (or even alienates) others.

At worst, the promotion could cannibalize profits and jeopardize the entire purpose of the campaign.

Cannibalization refers to when a promotion works against you and “eats away” at your profits.

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Are Loyalty Programs on Their Way Out?

It’s likely you don’t need to be sold on the efficacy of loyalty programs. But, just in case you need a little reminder, a recent study found that just a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits anywhere from 25% to a whopping 95%. Clearly, loyalty and retention are still exceedingly important parts of your business. 

But, at the same time, another study has found that active loyalty program members—those who are engaged and regularly participate in a program—has decreased 2% over the past few years.

And while 2% isn’t a huge number, there are a couple things to note. First, that tiny little 2% can represent millions in the industry and perhaps even hundreds of thousands of dollars to a restaurant or convenience store business.

Next, that 2% only reflects the recent trends. If it’s the sign of a downward trend moving forward, it could spell big trouble for loyalty-dependent businesses.

So why are customers becoming less active in the loyalty programs they signed up for?

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