Fast Casual announced yesterday the winners of its annual Top Movers and Shakers award, recognizing 75 brands and 25 leaders, who are propelling the fast casual industry forward.
We’re very excited to be partnering with 18 of the brands and seven of the top executives who won the awards! Huge congratulations to: Blaze Pizza, Capriotti’s, Farmer Boys, Fazoli’s, Hoots Wings, McAlister’s Deli, Mod Pizza, Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes, Naf Naf, Saladworks, Schlotzsky’s, Slim Chickens, Teriyaki Madness, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Veggie Grill, Vitality Bowls, WaBa Grill, and Which Wich.
This past year has been a testament to their dedication, innovation, leadership and resilience to build revenue through new digital channels and deliver a market-defining customer experience both on and off premise — under the most challenging circumstances ever.
The pandemic tested brands on every level, creating the need to quickly pivot their operating models to contactless payments, delivery and curbside pickup to changing store layouts and adding safety measures. All while caring for their employees and community members through outreach and free meals. Quite simply, they deserve a standing ovation!
We’re happy to highlight how some of our brands, who were recognized this year, are leveraging their data-rich loyalty programs to manage the customer experience through all of today’s guest touch points to build valuable 1:1 relationships.
With more than 340 locations, Blaze has been a historically dine-in concept. In just three weeks of the pandemic hitting, Blaze launched curbside carryout and developed a unique QR code to deliver contactless menus, as well as expanded its third party delivery partners. As a result, it experienced a 155% increase in digital sales and 16% increase in curbside.
Capriotti’s continues to be ahead of the curve in innovation and technology. With the onset of the pandemic last year, it had all systems in place to pivot marketing to a delivery and curbside focus. Sales figures grew throughout 2020 by more than 7% from 2019, and the brand opened 18 restaurants.
When the pandemic caused dining rooms to close in March 2020, Fazoli’s worked to decrease the drive-thru wait time to under two minutes and introduced family meals and value combos. They closed out 2020 with a 14% sales increase, 10% increase in traffic, and 217% increase in online ordering YoY, all of which put Fazoli’s in the 99th percentile nationally.
For McAlister’s Deli, 2020 was a year of evolving from an on-premise to an off-premise concept. This business change became a survival tactic for many franchisees, and the brand’s new app allowed for the quick pivot. Largely credited to this digital investment, digital sales from first-party and third-party channels more than doubled from 2019 to 2020.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
As the pandemic set in, Mooyah quickly focused on free delivery promotions, leaned on its loyalty rewards app — which led to a 32% increase in users — and rolled out curbside pick-up to drive business, helping the company achieve 18 $1 million stores.
The launch of the brand’s updated mobile app, which amplified rewards and perks for loyalty members, helped to grow its number of WaBa Rewards App members. This contributed to the strong financials, which included over 25% of all business coming from digital sales channels, compared to 4.5% in 2019.
Check out the new programs Punchh offers for delivering valuable restaurant loyalty to today’s digital customers.