5 Business Needs A Customer Engagement Platform Solves for Fast Casuals

Fast casual restaurants face steep competition and high consumer expectations for great food, service and overall experience. We’ll admit we don’t know how to find a talented chef or train a friendly wait staff, but we understand what it takes to deliver an exceptional guest experience in an omnichannel world. Many of the most common business challenges fast casual marketers are up against today are due to legacy technology. The good news is this though: there’s a solution. In this blog post, we’re taking a closer look at five business needs a customer data and engagement platform solves for fast casual restaurants.

A great guest experience

Many fast casual marketers face challenges related to building a unique and engaging guest experience where true customer loyalty is established and 1:1 marketing personalization is possible. Providing a great guest experience can lead to many positive business outcomes for fast casual restaurants. For example, fast casuals can help to increase AOV by exposing food and drink recommendations based on historical, real-time and predictive data.

Fast casuals can also increase guest lifetime value by arming store managers and servers with customer data they can leverage to make guests feel like their restaurant of choice really knows them. For example, with the right customer data and engagement solution, fast casual marketers can alert store managers when “VIP guests” are in the restaurant or feed a server’s mobile ordering tablet with guest profile data and food recommendations.


Marketing agility & efficiency

Many fast casuals currently have marketing tools that require a lot of manual work and customization. With improved customer data and engagement, fast casuals can achieve more agile and cost-effective marketing processes to achieve loyalty and other crucial outcomes.

Fast casual marketers also want to engage guests before, during and after their restaurant or online experience with personalized, relevant content. Marketing, along with IT, want all guest data immediately operationalized for use by marketing, store operations, and customer service teams.  More agility and efficiency helps marketers deliver greater personalization in marketing campaigns, which leads to higher engagement. In turn, this real-time guest engagement improves the guest experience.

Visibility into all guest interactions

For many fast casual restaurants, data can exist in a number of places such as the store point of sale, online ordering systems, web analytics, or mobile. This data may only be tied to the specific channel in which it was collected. This can create weak or numerous profiles for one individual customer. The right customer data and engagement solution enables brands to discover data about their guests across multiple channels.

With more insight into all guest interactions (both loyalty program members and non-members) marketing can improve membership growth through data-driven acquisition campaigns. Collecting data is much easier for marketing when someone has created a profile as a member of a loyalty program, but it’s also important that marketers have the ability to keep track of and market to guests who are not current members.

Personalized messaging

Restaurants can’t send targeted promotional offers to specific users. Connecting these offers back to known guests and their respective profiles is also a challenge. This information can be crucial to fast casual marketers attempting to measure the effectiveness of their promotions and the impact they have at the point of purchase.

A customer data and engagement solution can help to overcome this challenge. Offers can be connected to known guests and triggered based on their interactions and purchasing habits. Data can be captured from offer delivery through purchase to better understand marketing effectiveness. Audiences can be segmented in real time to trigger offers and promotions as guests take predefined actions.

Eliminate team member fraud

Unfortunately, team member fraud is a common problem in the fast casual industry. Finance needs proper controls in place to prevent team members from earning and redeeming rewards and points in their personal accounts when a non-member places an order. The right customer data and engagement solution can help by providing things like strong identity resolution, scoring accounts based on anomalies and personalized offer codes redeemed at point of sale for real-time validation.

As consumers demand more out of fast casual restaurants, knowing and engaging with guests in the most effective way has become crucial to create repeat business. By adjusting legacy technology to more agile methods where it’s obvious that customer preferences are valued, fast casual restaurants can make an impact on customer engagement and loyalty.