We’ve all heard the phrase the customer is king, or queen. Nowhere is that more true that in the restaurant business. Customers are won – and lost – in one taste. That’s true of both the food and the service.
At Papa Gino’s, we strive to exceed our customers’ expectations. We want them to return to us for all that we have to offer – from our menu choices to our quick deliveries to our loyalty rewards program. I’m happy to say that an increasing number of our customers are returning for those reasons, and we are continuing on the road to expansion and growth with 280 restaurants in the New England area. With this growth also comes the challenge of managing business, sales and customer expectations.
When I first started with the company four years ago, our leadership team charged us with a new challenge. They asked that we find new ways to use technology – to connect with our customers, be smarter about the way we operate, and grow our business.
With that directive, we immediately set to work on an innovative technology plan for the next five years. We defined our strategy and outlined the steps necessary to complete our transformation. Figuring out where we wanted to go required that we take an honest look at our current infrastructure to determine what was working and what wasn’t. Not surprisingly, we found that while we had an incredible amount of data – about sales, customers, inventory, production – that was in multiple sources and formats. There was no way for us to combine all of this critical information to see a complete view of what it all meant for our business.
At the same time, we were in the process of devising a new strategy to stay ahead of the competition. From that standpoint, we needed a better understanding of the impact our email and mobile marketing programs were having on the frequency and value of transactions derived from our customer loyalty program and online orders.
And from a labor perspective, we wanted to help our staff be smarter about how they run their local restaurants. We came to the conclusion that technology was an issue, and this is when we turned to what some might think of as a non-traditional helping hand for a pizza chain – business analytics.
With business analytics we could turn our district managers from data gatherers into decision makers focused on meeting customer demand in real time with the best service. Rather than spending hours each day compiling statistics on sales and deliveries, they now can access reports and instead spend their hours responding to the areas in need of improvement.
Analytics has given Papa Gino’s increased visibility into the performance of its online customer loyalty campaign, which has recently boasted a 50 percent increase.
It was clear that what we needed to do was implement a solution that could take all of our data in all of its forms and distribute it in a simple, yet meaningful way. We needed an analytics solution to manage our daily needs while giving us a forward-looking view that we could use to support our short and long term business goals.
Since we began using analytics, we’ve seen a significant impact across our business. We’ve been able to measure and improve our pizza delivery times and ensure speedy deliveries in 30 minutes or less. Not only that, as a result of gaining visibility on customer response to our marketing campaigns, we’ve been able to improve the effectiveness of our campaigns and save on labor costs. We’re now exploring additional ways to use analytics – to help manage inventory, track orders, and even improve the pizza making process. The possibilities are endless.
At Papa Gino’s, we’ve found that using business analytics is definitely a smarter way of doing business.