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.
As 2021 comes to a close, the Paytronix team took a look at some of our favorite apps from restaurants and c-stores.
In its early days, order and delivery services were an indulgence, a treat for the occasional lazy night-in after a long workday. But during the pandemic, online delivery became a lifeline for people stuck at home, and a competitive edge for c-stores and restaurants. Now we’re entering the next phase with “ghost kitchens” and “dark stores” rising out of vacated storefronts that were once home to traditional mom and pop businesses. These stores operate virtually, fielding orders digitally, fulfilling them behind closed doors, and dispatching couriers within minutes.
Today, mobile apps have become front and center for all brands, which means that restaurants and c-stores are transforming their apps to seamlessly integrate all of their services into a single touch-and-go hub. These services include:
NFC and in-app payments
Customizations such as product favorites and re-order capabilities
Experience is everything. A successful app captures the essence of your brand and delivers your services to customers in seamless and exciting ways.
One of the great things about being in this industry is helping iconic brands grow and adjust to the market. Checkers & Rally’s offers our latest opportunity to be part of such a change. The brand has always been known for its great burgers and its drive-thru locations, but just this week announced that it closed $20 million in funding to fuel new growth. Now its new Paytronix-driven loyalty program and mobile app will be a key part of that strategy, as the company predicts the rewards program and app will help increase guest visits by as much as 20% and increase guest spend by as much as 15%.
I recently sat down with my fellow product manager, Joel Udwin, to talk about where our worlds collide: integrating mobile at the point of sale. We like to think that a mobile strategy is placed in the pocket of the consumer, but it doesn’t stay there – mobile engagement must integrate with in-store operations to be successful. Joel, who manages our mobile products, explains why:
Q: Why is a POS integration important when it comes to mobile engagement?
A: Wow, Paige. I thought that since we worked together, you would give me easy questions, but you just knocked it out of the park. [Chuckles] I don’t like bucketing mobile into this separate silo of mobile engagement. When we talk about mobile engagement, we are really just talking about guest engagement. At restaurants and convenience stores, a large portion of customer engagement occurs at the point of sale, where most transactions take place today. Implementing an engagement strategy without considering your point of sale is like driving a small car on an icy road – you’ll move around, but you won’t necessarily be able to control where you are going. Basically, if your engagement program doesn’t translate at the POS, your employees will be too frustrated by it to evangelize it, and your guests won’t want to use it. Successful mobile engagement programs need to work in harmony with point-of-sale technology and operations.