Success Story Tuesday: Full-Service Dining Chain Has Right Ingredients for Digital Transformation
Senior Vice President, U.S. Commercial Sales
Digital Business, Retail, Core Networks, Security, Innovation
I recently shared the success story of Panera and how they have leveraged digital transformation to take the customer experience to new heights and create new revenue opportunities. We’ve seen many other customers follow suit in an effort to stay relevant in a highly competitive industry. One customer in particular stands out – perhaps because my family and I dined there recently and experienced part of the transformation ourselves.
We’ve been to this chain many times before, but this time we noticed more customer loyalty elements sprinkled around the store with enhanced incentives to drive us to become preferred rewards members. As we waited for our table to become available, we were able to quickly browse the menu through the restaurant’s guest WiFi. It seems simple, right? That’s because customers have come to expect that type of experience, which is why it’s so critical for the restaurant business to explore digitization opportunities to first - make sure that they are staying relevant, and second - ensure these capabilities are functioning seamlessly and securely.
While this full-service casual dining chain has grown to more than 400 stores in recent years, it had historically implemented IT through a small company model versus an enterprise model. As data breaches were becoming more prevalent and a new digital era was emerging, the chain knew it was time for a new approach in managing its technology infrastructure. It needed a secure, foundational infrastructure that could allow for future investments in customer experience and front of house/back of house operations.
Leveraging a full Cisco Meraki stack with a unified easy-to-use dashboard, the chain has been able to develop foundational platforms for customer experience and operational efficiency. These will give them the ability to roll out new standards for customer engagement, inventory management, supply chain and other back of house capabilities. Since setting off on a transformational path, the chain has realized enhanced operations, lower security risk and operational costs and revenue growth through new customer experiences.
The future is exciting for the upscale chain. With the right foundation and infrastructure, they are now in a position to cast a wider customer engagement net. For example, a mobile app that allows for pre-ordering and paying; leveraging social media to engage with customers in real time and send back offers and loyalty points via push, text, email or other social channels; and a better use of analytics to know who is in the restaurant right now (e.g. a family celebrating a birthday or a VIP who has a large social following).
And by the way, who doesn’t like to feel appreciated or recognized? Today’s customer wants more than just a reward; they want the personal touch too. According to recent research from Wunderman, 79 percent of US consumers say they only consider brands that show they understand and care about “me.” Companies like Amazon and Starbucks who have mastered the customer experience through digital transformation consistently reinforce this idea.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to seeing this trend continue in other industries. Imagine the endless possibilities and impact on our world. There’s truly never been a better time for businesses to embrace digitization strategies.
To learn more, click here: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/digital-transformation/index.html