Buffalo Wild Wings is known for its crispy chicken wings and well-rounded menu of sandwiches, salads, burgers, and beers. But this fun-focused restaurant represents more than that: After all, guests can get similar menu items just about anywhere. What makes the brand stand out is its commitment to the guest experience.
“We want to see guests having fun with friends, high fiving, and enjoying their favorite sports games,” says Garrett Schmidt, franchise owner of two Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Arizona. “As a company, we do a good job of providing the space to have those emotional experiences.”
Because the guest experience is Schmidt’s—and the parent brand’s—number one priority, he uses a variety of tools to increase engagement with customers. When he wants to communicate with guests and entice them to visit, he uses Adentro, a marketing platform that pairs with in-store Wi-Fi networks to capture customer data, get guest feedback, and ultimately shape marketing messages so that they are personalized for each and every customer.
Adentro’s platform has many facets, but Schmidt’s favorite is the Labels feature. He began collecting email addresses when guests signed on to the Wi-Fi at his franchise locations and built a database for different aspects of the business. Depending on the time a guest signs on to the network, they are assigned a label such as “Lunchtime,”Happy Hour,” Late Night,” or “Weekends.” If they sign on to the Wi-Fi network Monday through Friday between 11 a.m.–2 p.m. for instance, their email address is sorted into the “Lunchtime” label, and they are subsequently sent coupons for lunch specials.
Schmidt also uses the feature to target guests who come into the restaurant for trivia night or high-profile events such as UFC matches. “We set up a special pay-per-view capture time and everyone who signs on to our network during that time goes under that label,” he says. “Afterward, we target them with messaging about other pay-per-view events they might be interested in.”
In this way, Schmidt explains, he can see which ads were successful and more strategically target store marketing to increase Walk-Through Rates. Using what Adentro calls visit-based marketing, Schmidt can see not only who opened that email about trivia night, but who came into the restaurant (and when) after receiving it. When connected with POS systems, he can also see how much money that customer spent. This empowers restaurant operators with a wealth of knowledge about whether or not customers who are exposed to targeted marketing spend more or less. On average, more than 15 customers per day are driven to Schmidt’s two franchise locations after seeing a targeted ad or email marketing message.
After a guest visit, he uses Adentro’s Surveys feature to measure customer satisfaction. About an hour after visiting, guests are sent a survey which asks them to rate their experience on a scale of one to five. A rating of three or lower triggers a followup message to inquire about what went wrong with the visit.
“We understand that food will get messed up from time to time—that’s the nature of the business—but we do want to correct it and recapture that customer trust as soon as possible.”
Schmidt also uses the Surveys feature to promote ongoing special offers, such as “Burger Monday,” when burgers are buy one, get one free. “If they don’t know about Burger Monday, we want to hit some advertisements for that. Once we start to see that move, we can back off advertising that and focus on something else.”
With Adentro’s personalized messaging features, Schmidt and his marketing team can leverage email tools to attract customers and entice regular guests back into the store. Since implementing Adentro, they’ve seen an astronomical $5:1 return on ad spend, customer contact collection increased more than 174 percent in 2021, and they’ve been able to organically grow their database and market to consumers directly with valuable first-party data.
“Our company has always been about customer experience,” Schmidt says. “That can be the food or the way your staff interacts with guests, but it’s also about giving guests what they really want and will use. Adentro helps us do that.”
To learn more about how personalized messaging can help your brand, visit the Adentro website.
By Davina van Buren