3 Ways Product Intelligence Enables Quick Service Restaurants to Be Competitive

Your customers are now digital. Are you set up to understand how to serve them the best customer experience?

Customer Stories
August 13, 2020
Image of Dan Stephen
Dan Stephen
Director of Partnerships, Amplitude
3 Ways Product Intelligence Enables Quick Service Restaurants to Be Competitive Large

Customer experience is the new competitive barrier for quick service restaurants. These past few months the quick service restaurant industry has signaled rapid and dramatic changes as customers spend shifted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid significant competition in the quick service restaurant industry, sales pressure, changing customer tastes and the explosion of social, QSRs are transforming their businesses to stay competitive. Additionally, with the increase of digital usage, quick service restaurants expect at least 50% of guest orders to come from digital channels. Now more than ever, QSRs are in need of improved insights in order to stay competitive and meet customers where they are on the journey.

Quick service restaurants looking to succeed in this new competitive landscape are being tasked with building a better customer experience. A large part of building better customer experiences involves taking a different path forward with product intelligence. With Amplitude, quick service restaurants are able to get a complete view of the customer journey allowing for them to have higher revenue performance, increased loyalty and faster innovation.

Drive Business Growth

In today’s abundant market of quick service restaurants, customer experience is king. Due to technological advancements and global pandemics, the customer experience now goes beyond the brick and mortar of an organization. The new playing field involves connected ecosystems with varying journeys and ultimately one outcome – to delight customers at every point of contact. Leading organizations to make large investments around understanding every touchpoint with their customers in order to improve products for better business outcomes.

The effects of the global pandemic have forced many quick service restaurants to reimagine how they maintain business continuity while sustaining and growing their business. The usual playbook around digital transformation has been forced down from three years to three months with many quick service restaurants stumbling to get their footing. Through product intelligence, quick service restaurants are leaning into Amplitude to help solve for identifying menu combos and pairings to drive purchases and upsells.

In order to ensure that quick service restaurants are investing their time and resources in the highest impact areas you need to have usable data. Through our partnership with World Wide Technology, Amplitude was able to help Jersey Mike’s reimagine their digital experience across the customer journey. Custom dashboards in Amplitude allowed Jersey Mike’s to identify baseline metrics and determine growth goals for increasing app retention, order frequency, items per order and high-margin orders. With Amplitude’s Milestone Analysis, quick service restaurants are able to identify and uncover the moments that create high-value customers. Meaning that now Jersey Mike’s has the power to send their Chipotle Chicken Cheese Steak lovers coupons for the sandwich, send them recommendations for similar choices and ask about their experience with the sandwich so they can ensure satisfaction. Deeply understanding their customer experience and journey with product intelligence is helping Jersey Mike’s to attract new customers, increase engagement and higher retention.

Build and Maintain Loyal Customers

The quick service restaurant industry is notoriously competitive and operates on extremely tight margins, a loyal customer base is a key differentiator when it comes to customer experience. Product intelligence allows for quick service restaurants to develop programs that drive unique value, deliver convenience, and drive repeat purchases. Now more than ever, quick service restaurants need to be focused on their most loyal customers as they look to increase stickiness.

While many quick service restaurants are launching loyalty programs, it’s about leveraging technology and insights to meet customer needs. The majority of quick service restaurants are already gathering customer insights from their loyalty programs, with the added layer of product intelligence they are now able to create personalized offers based on recent activities.

Chick-fil-A understands the importance of digital on their business and leverages tools like Amplitude to understand the impact of digital on customer experience and satisfaction. They know that a happy customer is a loyal customer. Chick-fil-A has partnered with Amplitude to understand their end-to-end user journey to get better insights into their digital products. They also worked with agency partner Bottle Rocket on the first iteration of their mobile GPS functionality to enable order-ahead features and location based coupons. This empowers Chick-fil-A to know when customers are enroute, this ensures that food is not cold and waiting at stores is minimized.

Optimize Efficiency of Marketing Dollars

Historically the method of acquiring users for your digital channels was investment heavy and reliant on spending on paid media. This paradigm of user acquisition is highly risky and sucks up liquidity from your marketing and operating budgets. In many cases customers will install a restaurant app to make an order and then delete the app at the first opportunity they get to free up space on their devices.

Digital experiences are the key to creating strong and intimate customer relationships at scale. Personalization with the digital channel in the form of recommendations, quick access to order history and special offers have the ability to create stickiness with customers and the power to replace pain points related to order paralysis and customer service, without losing the personal touch.

QSRs are blazing a trail when it comes to increasing customer engagement and retention due to early adoption of product intelligence. Take for instance the much publicized Burger King Whopper Detour campaign. The Burger King team turned their mobile application into a strategy designed to win market share from its biggest competitor. They were then challenged to retain the first-time customers acquired through the campaign, and convert them to loyal customers who made repeat purchases. With over 1.5M downloads in 9 days, the Detour campaign saw mobile order value increase by 300%, with a coupon redemption rate 40 times higher than historical campaigns.

“We are a burger company, “that is our product. It’s not a website. But to stay relevant, we have to do a lot more than sell Whoppers. Today more than ever it’s important for us to think about experiences people are going to have with the Burger King brand that will be relevant and establish a meaningful, emotional connection.”– Elie Javice, VP of Tech Product Management from Restaurant Brands International (Burger King)

📺 Watch Burger King’s talk at Amplify

By understanding their customer needs, businesses invest in the right areas that drive impact. In fact, Rappi (a LATAM leader in QSR delivery) was able to decrease their acquisition cost by 30% and increase their first time purchases by 10% through sending a personalized campaign to the right users at the right time. Product analytics easily allows companies to look at the correlation between users creating a profile or storing a payment method and their repeat purchase frequency or retention. They also look at the relationship between loyalty currency or gift card balances and the likelihood to convert on a limited time offer or upsells of high margin menu items.

Product intelligence allows teams like Burger King, Jersey Mike’s and Chick-fil-A who were faced with the challenges of converting these first time customers as a result of COVID-19 into loyal customers to gain market share through their digital channels as opposed to in-store.

About the Author
Image of Dan Stephen
Dan Stephen
Director of Partnerships, Amplitude
Dan works with the world's leading consulting and agency firms to help them bring product analytics capabilities to their clients digital transformations. Over the years Dan has built deep product and growth expertise in a range of industries including: Consumer Tech, Entertainment, eCommerce and Fintech. Dan is Amplitude's resident Aussie and Trivia Host.