HungerRush helps pizza chain increase sales while improving customer experience management.
It was 2004 when Hungry Howie’s Pizza (www.hungryhowies.com) was looking for a solution to standardize its menu and technology. Dan McKay, director of IT, explains that this was the key to help drive many of the company’s plans and initiatives. Unification of accounting, operations and marketing – with better automation and more timely insight – ”was the primary goal. HungerRush (www.HungerRush.com) emerged as the leader in helping the brand bring those goals to fruition and the POS solution was installed across a subset of locations. A decade later, the chain made HungerRush the standard platform throughout its entire brand.
“We wanted to give data back to our franchisees and provide them with real-time reporting,” McKay explains. From a marketing perspective, the team needed a better way to manage the customer experience. Hungry Howie’s used the partnership and data from HungerRush POS to restructure how it marketed to its customers, provide a more streamlined online ordering process, and track consumer trends across the entire brand. “Without standardizing we wouldn’t be able to do any of that as effectively,” McKay says.
Tangible benefits from a standardized technology approach HungerRush customized its software to support the brand’s comprehensive data collection and aggregation needs. “The benefit of having a single platform is that we can look back and, in doing so, we’re able to give our franchisees access to real-time reporting for their current sales, product mix, current labor cost, and out-the-door-times,” McKay says. The Howie’s corporate team also has plans to use the data from HungerRush to provide franchisees with the ability to forecast what order volumes will look like hours ahead of time.
Hungry Howie’s recently launched their Howie Rewards program – built on the integrated HungerRush loyalty platform. This new program acts as a data capture mechanism that feeds the HowieMail marketing database, and vice versa. Unifying marketing efforts ensures that every customer can be reached with an easy-to-redeem offer that facilitates customer retention. “We can reach out and engage them either via e-mail or do digital marketing blitzes with displays and banners,” McKay says.
Prior to the transition, online ordering accounted for over 15 percent of sales. McKay says the organization was eager to move the needle on online ordering, but a number of challenges stood in the way, including a lack of a standardized mobile application for ordering or an online ordering website and the existence of multiple POS platforms and three different online ordering platforms. The HungerRush online ordering solution empowered the brand in the online market with 28 straight quarters of same-store sales growth. Online orders now comprise 40 percent of sales.