a national market fund, owners
were expected to pay a monthly
fee to operate the new cloud-based service.
“We needed to present the
project as an investment in the
future of their business so they
would understand the value,”
Mr. Smylie says. So beginning
in September 2014, his team ran
a four-month pilot project in a
small market (only six restaurants) to be sure the mobile app would deliver the
desired results. In January they reviewed the results
and tracked the ROI, which included increases in
customer visit frequency and the amount of money
spent per visit, and a higher participation rate in the
loyalty program. “We set conservative ROI projections, but the data proved we were on target,” he
says. ;e data exceeded expectations.
To set the stage for a successful nationwide rollout
project, his team communicated the positive results
across the franchise network via the organization’s
intranet and presentations to local stakeholders. But
there was pushback from more conservative franchisees resistant to operational changes.
“It’s de;nitely been a bell curve,” Mr. Smylie says.
;e early adopters love the technology and take
advantage of the analytics tools, while middle-of-the-pack owners are more cautious but “
understand that the technology is worthwhile,” he says.
His team is now working to convince remaining
“With this type of project, you need everyone
to be on board, otherwise it upsets customers who
discover they can’t use the platform in every restaurant. But they will come, if grudgingly, once they
realize it’s worth doing.” PM
mobile loyalty project helps reach this goal. “;e
Holy Grail in restaurants today is data aggregation,” he says. “;is system will provide actionable
insights that help us adapt our o;erings.”
THE TASTE OF SUCCESS
To customize the Punchh platform for Capriotti’s,
Mr. Smylie’s team worked closely with the vendor
team. Scope creep and delays were a problem at the
beginning of the project. “We didn’t have a clear
set of requirements in place,” he says. “We didn’t
know what we didn’t know, and that added time to
After requirements were eventually hammered
out, rollout began in the second quarter of 2015,
roughly six months later than originally planned.
Mr. Smylie completed the project in June—but there
were still change management obstacles to overcome.
As a franchisee, every owner has a level of autonomy to operate their Capriotti’s location as they see
;t. Some are more forward-looking than others, he
says. “We have franchisees who didn’t even accept
credit cards until the ’90s, so this is a big step for
some of them.”
It’s not just an aversion to new technology: While
part of the cost of the loyalty project was covered by