How can restaurants, which primarily offer an in-store service, extend the brand experience to digital media where customers are spending most of their time?

As your customers are inseparable from their smartphones and eCommerce has become an integral part of most people’s lives, what can restaurants do to drive brand awareness, cultivate customer relationships, and drive more sales?

To stay relevant, restaurants need to meet their customers where they’re at, using technology to bridge online with offline commerce by creating a personalized omnichannel customer experience.

In the casual dining segment, which saw a 4 percent drop in early 2017, TGI Fridays stood out with its many initiatives that aimed to increase sales through online channels.

Click here to download the TGI Fridays case study to learn how they increased their conversion rate by 35%. 

The restaurant chain is using mobile commerce to provide personalized service to guests online, just as they would in their physical locations.

Their strategy combines omnichannel personalization with mobile technology to bring together a seamless online and offline experience, turning the brand into both digital and in-store destinations:

Enhance Customer Experience Through Digital Channels

TGI Fridays is showing up in channels where their customers are already spending their time, delivering targeted messages in the right place at the right time.

Open Table

In February 2017, the company joined Open Table to allow consumers who use the app to look for dining options to make a reservation with just a few taps on their phones.


TGI Fridays implemented a chatbot technology that allows guests to have one-on-one interactions, get information on nearby restaurant locations, place orders for takeouts, and more via Twitter.


The restaurant chain has partnered with FandangoNOW to offer a dinner and movie deal, a promotion through which consumers can get one free HD movie rental when they place an order online.

Create Deals And Promotions To Encourage Omnichannel Interactions

TGI Fridays also launched a series of promotions that encourage customers to interact with the brand both online and offline.

Some of these promotions include a $30 Valentine’s Day dinner deal in conjunction with their partnership with Open Table, Endless Appetizers and March Madness promotions to encourage customers to stick around (which help them cultivate customer relationships and brand loyalty), the Twitter promotion during Super Bowl, and takeout options that help customers recreate the restaurant or bar experience at home.

Use Omnichannel Personalization To Augment Customer Experience

To further enhance consumers’ experience with the brand, TGI Fridays introduced an omnichannel personalization strategy that turns disparate customer data collected from different channels into one master guest profile.

The information allows the brand to serve individual customers personalized offers most relevant to their preferences and locations via multiple channels. This approach encourages not only in-store consumption but also online orders.

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Using an onmichannel marketing and personalization platform, TGI Fridays is able to leverage customer data from digital, social, mobile, paid, traditional, and other sources to deliver personalized online, in-app, in-person, and take-home experiences.

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But TGI Fridays is not the only one! Restaurants everywhere are benefiting from integrating online and offline channels to augment their brand experience and increase their conversion rate while lowering cost.

Find out how to make omnichannel personalization work for your business.


Over the past couple years, mobile technology advances have drastically changed the way companies make sales.

With the steady increase of smartphone users in the U.S., retailers have experienced more showrooming from customers. Showrooming occurs when an in-store shopper utilizes his or her mobile device or tablet to enhance their shopping experience. Consumers can check product reviews, compare prices, or find out more about a product through their mobile device. Currently, over 70% of consumers are showroom shoppers.

When showrooming became a hot topic in 2013, brick-and-mortars felt the effects. In-store sales suffered, as consumers preferred to purchase online because of lower overhead costs. New mobile technology truly hurt some businesses that were not familiar with the digital world.

However, some companies found ways to utilize digital technology in their marketing efforts. These companies are now leaders and innovators in omnichannel marketing.

This integration of technology in brick-and-mortars adds an extra dimension to a shopping experience. The implementation of a digital element makes a shopping experience easier, more convenient, and rewarding for the shopper. We have determined some entities that are innovators and leaders in today’s omnichannel marketing:


Those who frequent eateries like Chili’s or Red Robin may be familiar with the digital waiter, Ziosk. Ziosk converges customer service and technology via tablet, to create the ultimate dining experience for consumers. Customers can place food orders, request drink refills, play interactive games while waiting, and select a tip amount – all with a quick touch of a tablet on the restaurant’s dining table. Ziosk gives customers a quick, easy dining experience by eliminating unnecessary wait times for waiters and checks.

ziosk digital waiter

Ziosk’s omnichannel practices have led to major success. It serves 25 million guests each month, and has been implemented in eateries across all 50 states. Ziosk eliminates most cases of human error, and gives waiters more opportunities to focus on creating a positive environment for their guests. The innovation also shortens table turnover time, as orders are submitted to kitchens almost instantly through Wi-Fi. Customer satisfaction also increases for Ziosk users. According to Ziosk CEO Austen Mulinder, the average tip amount increases with Ziosk, reflecting a happier customer base.


mobile shopping

With the introduction of showrooming, the smartphone app Shopkick is a brick-and-mortar’s best friend. Shopkick creates an omnichannel experience without the retailer actually having to do much.

The app rewards its shoppers simply for walking in the doors of a participating retailer. Shoppers receive “kicks,” the app’s currency, which can be redeemable for gift cards or donations to charity. If a shopper makes a purchase, he or she receives even more kicks. Shopkick also alerts its users about special in-store promotions.

Shopkick increases store traffic, encourages brick-and-mortar sales, and rewards its users by simply going into retailers. And because in-store purchases account for 90% of the total market, emphasis on entering a brick-and-mortar can majorly improve sales.


beacon tech

McDonald’s is revamping marketing by integrating iBeacon into its dining experiences. This beacon technology comes from the provider Piper. Customers will now receive coupons, timely alerts, information about employment opportunities, and customer surveys when they walk through a franchise’s doors.

Changes to McDonald’s marketing strategy come after noting the growing market of millennials. This omnichannel implementation has been successful thus far, because of the high millennial demographic. Jack Pezold has owned and operated McDonald’s franchises for more than 40 years, and recognizes the importance of adding a digital element to the dining experience.

“Everyone is looking at their phones, millennials especially, and that’s where we’ve decided to engage,” Pezold said. “We know our customers and Piper’s beacon solution allows us to cater to their tastes, preferences and behaviors, making it easy for them to get more value and enjoyment out of their McDonald’s experience.”

The month after McDonald’s integrated new technology into its marketing, the company experienced up to 8% sales increase for some products. Over 18,000 offers have been redeemed through mobile as well.

Whether you’re thinking about implementing a new app, or employing a service like iBeacon, adding a digital element to your marketing strategy can be a huge asset. Become a marketing hero and set your company apart from others, by implementing technology in brick-and-mortars for a digitally enhanced shopping experience.

In less than five years, one marketing strategy has evolved from an unfamiliar concept, to a trendy buzzword, to a crucial component for successful marketing. Omnichannel marketing is one of the fastest-growing concepts for retailers and consumers alike.

Omnichannel is about continuing a consumer’s shopping experience across multiple platforms. Retailers must integrate every available channel to create a seamless shopping experience for customers. Omnichannel aims to encourage evaluation and interaction between a customer and the retailer.

The concept of omnichannel was first introduced to the marketing world in 2010. The term was devised to describe a shopping experience that extends beyond multi-channel retailing. An ideal omnichannel shopping experience would be accessible to customers on all platforms, from traditional brick-and-mortars to the digital world of text message, emails, and online shopping.

In September 2010, a report from IDC Retail Insights predicted a strong reliance on omnichannel for successful marketers in years to come. According to the report, retailers utilizing multichannel strategies in 2010 saw a 15-35% increase in average transaction size, along with a 5-10% increase in loyalty customers’ profitability. IDC cited the growing ecommerce market as the key reason retailers needed to implement omnichannel strategies.

Despite its introduction nearly 5 years ago, omnichannel didn’t receive much attention until a few years later. In 2013, “omnichannel” became a buzzword for marketers and consumers alike.

A 2013 article in Huffington Post attributed the rise of omnichannel to the increase of smartphones. Shoppers with smartphones are showrooming, or using their mobile devices to research competitive pricing while in a store and purchasing a cheaper option later on a laptop or tablet. As Smartphone sales continue to completely overshadow traditional cell phone sales, showrooming continues to increase, promoting more retailers to implement omnichannel practices.

This past year, the concept has further evolved. Omnichannel has morphed from a “buzzword” into a necessity for retailers that want to stay competitive.

In early 2014, Marketing Land called omnichannel a “must” for brands and retailers. Citing a report by MIT, they argued that omnichannel consumers are the “central force shaping the future of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores alike.”

Similar to the IDC and Huffington Post, Marketing Land attributes the rise of omnichannel marketing to the digital age. The MIT report found that $12 billion retail sales were made on Smartphones, and $1.1 trillion store sales were influenced by the web. These findings show that consumers are using multiple platforms to enhance their shopping experiences.

Several articles by Forbes also indicate that omnichannel is more than a fad or trendy phrase. The publication has recently called omnichannel, “More than a digital transformation buzzword,” and have dubbed it the “future of digital commerce.”

Retailers are also proving that omnichannel marketing is imperative for survival in the competitive free market. A look at J.C. Penney’s marketing strategy from 2011-2014 is a prime example of omnichannel’s impact on sales.

Originally hoping to keep online sales strategies separate from in-store sales strategies in 2011, J.C. Penney experienced a massive 32% decline in sales. In 2013, the company evaluated their business strategy, recognizing that separating online from in-store sales was detrimental to their success. Upon implementing an omnichannel strategy merging the two platforms, J.C. Penney saw a 6% increase in e-commerce sales in 2013 and a 26% increase in the beginning of 2014.

Omnichannel marketing is likely to remain relevant in years to come. A Forrester Research report predicts mobile commerce to grow 33% annually for the next three years, fueled by thee rise of Smartphone sales and usage. The report also expects an 89% increase in retailers that integrate mobile technology in-store. As omnichannel has become essential for retailers, it is imperative to understand the concept and its implications. In doing so, businesses will be able to reach their full potential and achieve success in today’s competitive marketing world.