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Restaurant Brands Tap Data Insights to Drive Engagement, Loyalty and Sales

From enhancing customer experiences to optimizing operations, embracing digital transformation is no longer just an option but an imperative for success in today’s competitive landscape. 

Against this backdrop, restaurant brands are leveraging digital technologies to not only adapt to evolving customer preferences but also to drive loyalty and profitability while maintaining a competitive edge.

An evidence of this trend is the recent partnership between Bojangles and Bikky, highlighting the role of data-driven strategies to drive business growth and improve overall performance.

As part of the deal, Bojangles will leverage Bikky’s customer data platform across its 800 locations to gain more granular insights into guest behavior and in turn make informed decision-making across all aspects of the customer journey. 

The restaurant chain will also have access to a broad range of metrics, from guest frequency and lifetime value to nuanced insights such as the efficacy of promotional offers and menu pairings to help refine its engagement, product and promotional strategies. 

“Bojangles has a rich history anchored in bold flavor, Southern hospitality, and putting guests first — our digital evolution is no different,” Sergio Perez, senior director of omnichannel at Bojangles, said in a March 26 press release, adding that “understanding what content, offers and products drive action [will translate] into an engagement program that drives incremental sales.”

In an interview with PYMNTS, Kate Green, vice president, restaurant services and innovation at Grubhub, emphasized the critical nature of customer engagement, highlighting the need to give equal attention to returning customers instead of solely focusing on acquiring new ones.

“We’ve seen a lot of trends toward what we call the ‘engagement phases’ of a diner lifecycle. So, it’s not just about acquiring that diner, but how you engage with them?” Green said. “Diners expect things like marketing and promotions and campaigns to both entice them to place an order and reward them for being a returning customer.”

She added that in her conversations with restaurants, there has been a growing emphasis on encouraging direct ordering to provide these establishments with insights into their customers’ behaviors to encourage repeat business.

Merchants have been requesting for “access to that data and then the tools to activate it,” Green said, adding this would enable them to “engage more deeply with their diners through marketing, promotions, etc.”

Overall, the trajectory of the restaurant industry is clear: digital transformation, anchored by data-driven strategies, is no longer an option but a necessity. 

As such, restaurant brands that effectively harness the potential of data and prioritize customer engagement within their operational strategies are likely to be better positioned to retain and win customers in this competitive new era of dining.