Genghis Grill’s Omnichannel Loyalty Platform Drives Spend Lift Above Industry Averages

Genghis Grill, a Mongolian Concepts restaurant brand, is an interactive dining experience where customers create their own bowl from over 80 fresh ingredients that grill masters then cook to perfection. The build-your-own stir-fry franchise has been successfully putting the power of creation in their customers’ hands for over 20 years, expanding to 57 locations in 15 states.

Delivering on the unique needs of every guest requires a commitment to providing a fast, fresh and healthy dining experience that offers customization and market-driven enhancements.

Struggling with a Disjointed Loyalty Experience

Over the years, Genghis Grill’s customer loyalty program had accumulated 1.2 million members, yet wasn’t delivering on customer engagement as less than 10 percent were active participants.

Mongolian Concepts’ Director of Marketing, Blake Johnson, attributes the low customer participation rate to having a restaurant loyalty program that was POS-based instead of mobile-app based. Extra work was required by servers to manually enter information for customers. Often customers would forget to provide their email or phone number to earn rewards. It wasn’t fostering the seamless dining experience Genghis Grill wanted to give their customers.

Poor platform tools made loyalty marketing difficult for their small team. “We did not have an easy dashboard. It wasn’t intuitive or easy to navigate. Accessing even the most basic analytics often required tech or client support,” said Johnson. “We needed a self-serve dashboard that would help us see and understand our customers’ behaviors better.”

Punchh Successfully Migrates 1.2. Million Guests onto Marketing Cloud Platform That Delivers Omnichannel Loyalty

An acquisition in 2017 of bd’s Mongolian Grill, who was already working with Punchh, introduced Genghis Grill to Punchh’s restaurant customer loyalty platform. And in 2018 Genghis Grill began their partnership with Punchh to migrate their 1.2 million guests over to the Punchh platform.

Punchh took on the successful migration process involving 10 years worth of data, along with managing the comprehensive integration with Olo for a single sign-on through a newly designed mobile app for online ordering. With a coordinated effort Genghis Grill flipped the switch on January 7, 2019, launching Punchh’s restaurant marketing loyalty program, a new mobile app, and a redesigned website all on the same day.

“Punchh demonstrated why they’re a leading expert in the industry with API’s that make integration seamless with POS, SSO and payment systems,” said Johnson. “Their flexibility and partnerships provide their client’s customers with a one-stop shop guest experience, which was exactly what we needed.”

Genghis Grill initially had two levels of participants they needed to appropriately reach through Punchh’s platform. They wanted to offer a rich mobile experience for their power users and engaging news and coupons for their eClub customers, according to Johnson. “We were excited that Punchh’s dashboard made it easy to see our customers’ behaviors and provided simple, user-friendly tools to manage our database,” Johnson said. “Punchh quickly became the single solution we needed to deliver omnichannel loyalty through a branded mobile app, eClub and customized promotions.”

“Punchh has a single, easy-to-use platform that is helping us grow and expand our marketing and loyalty initiatives.” – Doug Willmarth, CMO

Real Results, Real Fast

Genghis Grill believes Punchh has delivered value since day one. They have seen steady numbers for mobile app downloads and eClub sign-ups ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 per month. They’ve just experienced their 5th straight quarter of positive sales growth, driven in-part, by the highest loyalty participation rates in Genghis Grill history, according to Johnson.

They are very excited about the overall growth of their loyalty program, which has resulted in sales increases, incremental visits and referrals, positioning them well above the national averages in these categories. Johnson attributes their success to several factors including, the ease of executing campaigns from the Punchh platform, the integration of customized promotions into their app, and the all-in-one, seamless digital experience they now deliver to their customers.

Future Plans to Build-Out Automated Customer Journeys

Genghis Grill and Punchh have already started work building out automated customer journeys to continue delivering on key metrics. Through collaborative efforts and a synergistic program design they are incorporating best practices, frequency compression techniques and personalized offers into automated customer journey scripts. This positions Genghis Grill to continue learning from its data and to build upon their success year over year.