Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, with 85 locations across the country, is a build your own fast casual Mexican concept that’s ready to keep expanding. The brand offers customers a wide selection of toppings, salsas and options, along with family-friendly meal packs and streamlined catering to serve the needs of all their guests.

Over the past several years, Salsarita’s has worked to unify their tech stack through PAR technology solutions for POS, centralized data, payments and Punchh loyalty. Taking a customer-centric approach, the brand offers online ordering, curbside pick up, take out and third party delivery, drive-thru (in some locations), and a mobile rewards app. Salsarita’s marketing and technology teams have worked hand-in-hand to drive these initiatives, which have resulted in deep integrations and a better customer experience.

“I’m amazed how many customers in our restaurants have their app out and their code up, ready to be scanned at the register,” said Tim Carter, Salsarita’s CFO. “It shows that we’re providing value with relevant offers and an easy loyalty experience that our guests appreciate.”

Driving Digital Marketing Success Across All Channels

The teams have fully embraced the shift from marketing to digital marketing. Kelly Cooke, Salsarita’s CMO, explains how five years ago she was standing at grand openings letting the first 100 customers pick gift cards with random amounts of money on them. Now when customers download the mobile app, they’re delighted to receive a gift card automatically sent from Punchh on which Cooke controls the reward amounts. Cooke feels the process is more efficient all around. And their guests prefer it this way as it’s right on their phone and they don’t have to do anything other than use it.

Data from their highly integrated systems helps provide a more robust understanding of their customers that now informs their digital campaign strategy. Customer segmentation has resulted in delivering highly personalized communications based on past behaviors and preferences. Cooke explains, “Pre-pandemic we would have an average of 45 Punchh campaigns go out per month. Now, that number is more like 145 campaigns per month. Not only has the number of campaigns sent increased, but we’ve also increased campaign efficiency. Each campaign we send out now results in five times more guest checkins and 172% higher net spend (compared to the per campaign stats pre-pandemic).”

Delivering Dynamic Loyalty Without Discounting

Salsarita’s has also found creative ways to utilize promotions and reach out to guests without always having to discount. One fun campaign they run targets customers based on order volume to let specific guests know, for example, they’ve reached the top taco order status. Salsarita’s encourages them to share the news on social media so they receive some well-deserved recognition.

“Punchh helps us be a multi-dimensional force. We are able to support our franchises with Punchh tools that drive very specific, local-feel campaigns that resonate in their communities and are designed to achieve our customer experience and business goals.”

By leveraging their loyalty program and deep integrations, Cooke and her team have been rewarded with extremely strong sales growth, which makes Salsarita’s an attractive brand for multi-concept/multi-unit operators seeking a concept that has consistently been outperforming the fast casual dining industry.