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Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Re-calibrates to Reward Guest Frequency

Testing Relaunching Bravo Brio

The Bravo Brio Restaurant Group (BBRG) first launched its surprise and delight rewards program in September 2012. The company had set a goal of generating a certain number of incremental visits per guest with the rewards program. When they did not see the numbers they were looking for right out of the gate, they decided to take a closer look at the program.

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Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Re-calibrates to Reward Guest Frequency

ISSUE ADDRESSED The Bravo Brio Restaurant Group (BBRG) first launched its surprise and delight rewards program in September 2012. The company had set a goal of generating a certain number of incremental visits per guest with the rewards program. When they did not see the numbers they were looking for right out of the gate, they decided to take a closer look at the program.

The Organization

BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group (BBRG) is the parent company of the BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, BRIO Tuscan Grille restaurants in the United States. BBRG operates over 100 restaurants and trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol BBRG. All three concepts are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and are positioned as "upscale affordable." The concepts appeal to a broad base of guests from business people and young professionals to families and empty nesters.

BBRG’s goal is to be the "Best Italian" restaurant company in America. A quality-driven company , BBRG makes the guest experience its number-one focus. Consistently high quality food, superior service, good value and a unique atmosphere all contribute to guests' satisfaction. Restaurants differentiate themselves by offering classically prepared food items using the highest quality, freshest ingredients. At BBRG, significant time and resources are spent developing team members so that they deliver superior guest service each and every meal, each and every day.

THE CHALLENGES In September 2012, when BBRG implemented its “MyBravo/MyBrio” reward program at the store level, it was hard to articulate the benefits of surprise and delight. This format was not resonating with loyal guests who dined frequently at BRAVO! and BRIO restaurants. In addition, the “MyBravo / MyBrio” program did not include a mobile app until six to nine months post-program launch. By that time, it was a challenge to reach a critical mass of mobile users.

When its surprise and delight program did not register with its loyal guest as projected, BBRG reassessed the core program and decided to test a program based on frequency of visits.

Taking advantage of the flexibility of the Paytronix Rewards platform, BBRG set up a second tier within the platform that would let them test the new program in its Texas market while operating the initial program within all of its other locations.  Once the pilot program had demonstrated that this was the appropriate direction, BBRG planned to roll it out nationally.

THE SOLUTION On September 15, 2014, BBRG re-launched its reward program as “Eat, Repeat, Reward” to all its restaurants across the country. Built on the Paytronix Rewards platform, the revised BBRG rewards program included a mobile app as well as a significant employee training program. With 350,000+ registered members between the two brands, the new BBRG rewards program is off to a great start.

“Our guests are very passionate about the BBRG brand and the Eat, Repeat Rewards program,” said Kathleen Chugh, VP of IT. “We continue to make the information and processes more streamlined and user-friendly.”

The core program components include:

Training –BBRG has made training an integral part of its rewards program re-launch with some enhancements like: a training video, webinar, and a simplified Q&A for its servers. As a result, servers are excited to tell guests about the program.

Technology – Paytronix added several features including seat filtering, which enables multiple checks and reward programs to occur at a single table, to its MICROS POS integration. To support the new program design, Paytronix’s Bravo Brio technical consultant updated the rules and wallets associated with the merchant to support the new core program. Paytronix also added functionality to BBRG’s  Android and iOS mobile apps to support the program re-launch. 

“The flexible Paytronix platform enabled BBRG to add reporting and a mobile app upgrade,” said Kathleen Chugh, VP of IT. “The Paytronix technology roadmap makes it easy to add new components -- such as a link to reservations, push notification or geo-fencing – whenever we are ready.”


With both its gift card and loyalty program consolidated on the Paytronix Rewards platform, BBRG is finding it much easier for store managers to activate gift cards or run reports. All loyalty data and messaging are consolidated on Paytronix, too, so BBRG marketing can drill down to a specific guest or restaurant location  and see how offers are performing and individual members are  responding to messaging. 

Before launching its Eat, Repeat, Rewards program, BBRG appointed a steering committee drawn from every division of the company: IT, Training, Marketing, Finance and Guest Relations. Together, the members established criteria for measurement and reporting around the new program. BBRG has seen a notable increase in its desired metrics both for its beta program and its national launch.

For the pilot program

Higher enrollment – Over the 11 months following the start of the reward program test, stores in the test enrolled 26% more new members than the non-test stores.

Higher repeat rates – Guests enrolled in Texas Brio stores in the first two months of the pilot made 10% more visits* than guests enrolled at the same time in other Brio locations; 68.3% of guests who made a second visit came back for a third.

For the national program

Guest Buy in -- Open rates vs first program were 25% higher, and within the first 24 hours guests were redeeming rewards and redemptions. This confirmed that guested wanted the program to change and that they were enthusiastic about the new program’s direction.

Three-fold download increase – Rebranded to reflect the look and feel of the new program, the BBRG mobile app is a great success. In August, before launching the rebranded mobile app, BBRG counted 630 Android downloads and 1509 iOS downloads for the app.  In September, downloads jumped significantly with 1720 Android and 4000 iOS downloads.

“The flexibility of the Paytronix Reward platform enabled BBRG to segment a set of our guests geographically and then run a test program in parallel with our original surprise and delight program,” -- Kathleen Chugh, VP of IT   “In just the first month, we saw a three-fold increase in mobile app downloads for the new Eat, Repeat, Rewards program vs. the previous mobile app. This is a clear indication that our guests are on board with the new rewards program direction.” – said Chugh.

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