How to boost ROI, increase conversion, and build loyalty with personalization automation

Just like with any other brand, consumers want to interact with their favorite restaurants both online and offline – from placing an order of their favorite dishes to getting personalized offers and discounts.

Delivering a seamless and personalized experience will help you stand out from your competition and make your restaurant the go-to dining choice.

Need some ideas and inspiration? Here are three restaurants that are winning the omnichannel personalization game:

TGI Friday’s

The casual restaurant chain increased conversion rate by 35% using an omnichannel personalization strategy that involves a website, a mobile app, social media, and in-store experience.

They collect all customer data on a centralized platform and create targeted offers based on each individual’s preferences, habits, and past orders.

TGI Friday’s robust mobile app uses push notifications to remind customers about their favorite foods at days/times when they’re most likely to make a purchase.

Case Studies omnichannel personalization

The app offers easy access to a list of past purchases so customers can order their favorite dishes quickly and easily.

They also incentivize individuals who have downloaded the app but are yet to place an order with a special first-time order discount code, delivered through push notifications.


The Italian restaurant chain successfully boosted mobile and in-store traffic conversion by encouraging customers to sign up for a coupon on their website when they relaunched their menu.

They then leveraged the customer data to integrate website, mobile, and in-store customer experience. Customers were rewarded for engaging with the brand via different channels.

By collecting data from these interactions, Carrabba’s was able to gain insights on its fans and customers by using all information from ZIP code to favorite dishes.

Combining such data with the emails collected during the menu relaunch campaign, Carrabba’s implemented automated personalization technologies to send emails featuring customized content and offers to keep building relationships with diners.

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

This Greek restaurant chain is on track to double its locations by the end of 2017.

They owe a good portion of their rapid growth to a mobile and online ordering system that offers a fast and personalized off-premise dining experiences, such as take-out, catering, delivery, and third-party delivery.

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To support online and mobile ordering and provide a seamless customer experience, Taziki’s installed a unified platform that funnels all types of orders through a single gateway.

Guests can order via the website, iOS and Android mobile apps, or on Facebook, with the ability to choose from different menus and fulfillment options such as in-store pickup, curbside pickup, and catering.

All orders are tracked by a fully-integrated loyalty program designed to increase the customer lifetime value.

Online and mobile ordering generates a lot of customer data, which is the starting point for any personalization strategy. Taziki’s is then able to collect and analyze such data to enhance their customer interactions.

Omnichannel personalization unlocks the future of casual dining

An omnichannel experience not only makes it faster and easier to place an order but also builds long-term relationships, which increases customer lifetime value, by offering the ability to order from a list of past purchases and the opportunity to participate in a loyalty program.

At the core of any personalization strategy is the ability to collect and analyze customer data by using a centralized platform.

Find out how NectarOm can help you take your restaurant’s omnichannel marketing to the next level with our personalization automation solution.

How the restaurant chain bucked the trend and increased conversion rate by 35%

Many casual dining restaurant chains have been struggling for the past couple of years.

For instance, Ruby Tuesday saw a drop of 8.2% in revenue and closed 109 restaurants hich hile Applebee’s same-restaurant sales are down by 5.2%. (source)

TGI Friday’s, however, bucked the trend and experienced a 35% increase in conversion rate.

Their secret weapon?

Omnichannel personalization technologies that allow them to create a seamless online and offline experience and interact with customers through various touch points.

By delivering the most relevant and timely content and offers based on a customer’s preferences, habits, and past purchases, TGI Friday’s has increased conversion, ROI, average order value, and customer lifetime value.

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Key takeaways from TGI Friday’s personalization strategy

The challenge for many restaurants when entering the digital realm is bridging the online experience with in-store interactions.

Here’s how TGI Friday’s leverage omnichannel personalization for their marketing:

1. Master Guest Profile (MGP)

TGI Fridays’ integrates all of its owned customer data as well as online digital experience tracking metrics into one centralized platform to create an MGP, which is updated in real-time to reflect the latest customer interactions.

Your MGP should incorporate data such as social media activities, location information, customer preferences, and order history to inform how you can deliver content and offers that will add value and increase sales.

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2. Personalized interactions on social media

TGI Friday’s uses a chatbot technology to deliver one-on-one interactions with guests on Twitter, helping them find nearby restaurants, place takeout orders, and more.

Social media platforms are launching more features that allow brands to personalize customer experiences. Besides providing customer service, you can also leverage customer data to deliver personalized offers in the right place at the right time.

3. Special offers via mobile apps

Through their app, TGI Friday’s uses push notification to send reminders based on customers’ past purchasing behaviors. The app also makes it easy for customers to re-order their favorite dishes from a list of past purchases.

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4. Automated email personalization

TGI Friday’s uses email to stay in touch with customers and deliver personalized offers to encourage them to order online or visit the restaurants.

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Here are some ideas for using email marketing in your restaurant business by leveraging customer data:

  • Offer personalized discounts based on order history.
  • Send birthday and anniversary emails.
  • Update customers on loyalty rewards.
  • Reach out to guests who haven’t visited for a while.
  • Offer priority reservation for the busiest holidays.

5. Push notifications to encourage first-time orders

Offering a mobile app is a great way to market your restaurant business. However, having downloaded the app doesn’t imply that a user would convert into a customer.

TGI Friday’s sends out a push notification with a discount code to entice these users to place their first orders. This personalization strategy has helped the restaurant chain 3.8x the conversion rate.

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Omnichannel personalization is the new frontier in Restaurant Marketing

New technologies are now making it much easier to collect and analyze a large amount of consumer data to inform your marketing strategies.

By using a robust centralized platform to manage your customer data, you can deliver highly personalized messaging and offers to build relationships with your customers and increase sales.

See how Target, Fig & Olive, and Bank of America are using omnichannel personalization in their marketing

Big brands in every industry vertical are leveraging the power of customer data to deliver personalized campaigns and promotions to increase sales, deepen engagement, and improve customer loyalty.

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How are you using customer data to inform your personalized marketing campaigns?

Here are some examples from three industry leaders to get you inspired:

Retail Industry — Target

In 2012, Target made the news by sending a promotional mailer advertising baby gear to a teenage girl before she told her parents about the pregnancy.

The retail giant was able to do so by creating a customer profile on each shopper to store demographic information and track buying behaviors.  

Since then, Target has further refined its personalized marketing strategies (besides taking more care to avoid public-relationship disasters) most notably with their app Cartwheel.

The app uses customer data from a centralized database as well as real-time in-store interactions to offer recommendations and discounts based on past purchases and app usage.

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Cartwheel features shopping lists with a scanning function, and allows guests to personalize the homepage by choosing exactly which categories to feature.

In addition, the app’s Personalized Recommendations suggest tailored offers based on guests’ in-app activities and Exclusive Offers reward loyal guests with personalized, higher-value offers.

The app boasts over 7 million users while active users have increased their spending at Target by nearly 30 percent.

Restaurant Industry — Fig & Olive

With eight locations across the country, Fig & Olive struggled with the large amount of customer data they have collected both from the point-of-sale systems at their individual locations and from OpenTable.

To leverage this wealth of customer information, the restaurant group developed a centralized reservation center so they can combine data from all locations.

This allows the company to track the dining habits and visit frequency of guests across all of their restaurants.

Using the centralized data platform, the company ran automated personalized email campaigns targeting specific customer behaviors.

For instance, the “we miss you campaign” that offered complimentary crostini to guests who had not visited in the last 30 days resulted in 300 visits and more than $36,000 in sales—an ROI of 700%.

Their automated email campaigns have an extraordinarily high open rate of 53%. Their personalized communication strategy has increased customer loyalty and spending.

In addition, the restaurant group used their customer relationship management (CRM) platform to gather feedback from their guests through online surveys.

By gathering and acting on customer feedback, Fig & Olive decreased negative reviews on Yelp by 36%.

Financial Industry — Bank of America

Bank of America launched BankAmeriDeals, a program that has served 1.5 billion offers to its 30 million online and 14 million mobile banking customers during a 2-year period.

Using data in bank customers’ accounts to discover their purchasing habits, BofA partnered with popular merchants to offer customers deals on products and services.

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The program, while keeping the customers’ personally identifiable information within the bank’s database, allows participating merchants to “link” offers of up to 15 percent “cash back” within BofA’s online and mobile banking customers’ accounts.

BofA further increased the relevance of the offers by going beyond national brands. It partners with regional and local merchants to deliver the right level of relevance to the right customers.

This program has helped the bank deepen engagement with their customers, creating a win-win situation for the merchants, customers, and bank.

77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.

Personalization is no longer a “luxury” in marketing if you want to cut through the clutter.

It’s time to set up your business to leverage customer data and deliver an outstanding customer experience that increases conversion.