QSRs focusing on personalization to drive loyalty

QSRs are finding themselves with more competition than ever before, as many grocery and convenience stores have started offering hot and cold meal options. As they work to come out on top, they’re focusing on what they can deliver for higher value, increased loyalty, and better service, and personalization may be the answer.

Last year, Wendy’s invested $15 million dollars into their mobile app and loyalty program, resulting in a 40 per cent increase of their active monthly users, reaching six million in 2023’s Q4.  This app helps the chain better address personalization, encourage loyalty and build their brand. “We really see it as a positive tool to create this loyalty, and engagement helps us to understand our customers better,” says President and CEO, Kirk Tanner.

As data management gets more specific, QSRs have the opportunity to capitalize on unique insights in new and innovative ways. For example, using contextual data, like the weather or item availability can really help operators get to know their customers and their behaviours to personalize offers for best results. Rather than simply focusing on traffic, operators have access to insight across all their customer touchpoints, from mobile, to in-person and targeted marketing.

Features like geofencing allow restaurants to reach out to potential or existing customers in their area to make suggestions, promote offers, or send targeted messaging. For example, a restaurant located just off the highway can promote menu offerings that are perfect for road trips and attract customers with personalized messaging.

Personalization can also be applied to menus, offering items based on a customer’s location, dietary restrictions, or ordering history. This level of personalization also uses suggestive selling to increase cheque totals and introduce guests to items that you think they will like, based on what you’ve learned about their habits and preferences.

Drive-thru and pickup can also become more customized, with QSRs like McDonald’s adopting a system where the digital ordering boards display items based on real-time insight like the time of day, item popularity, and traffic levels. This type of personalization can make the drive-thru and pick-up experience faster, more efficient, and more enjoyable for your customers.

As technology continues to evolve, QSRs seem to be leading the way by using analytics to set themselves apart, as personalization becomes an important way to provide value for restaurant guests.