Patxi's Pizza CEO William Freeman details why Thanx helps pizza restaurants solve their key customer challenges.
Much more than just another pizza joint, Patxi’s Pizza wants to be your favorite neighborhood restaurant — a warm, welcoming place where you can share a delicious meal with friends and family and feel like you’ve belonged all along. Even as Patxi’s has expanded over the last decade from one restaurant to 14 locations across California, Washington, and Colorado, we have strived to maintain those deeply personal relationships with our customers.
To that end, Patxi’s turned to Thanx nearly two years ago to help us identify and reward our VIP customers — today we have more than 10,000 active members and have seen meaningful increases in engagement (and revenue) from those loyalists. And while we are extremely proud of the results and the higher level of customer service Thanx enables, the single most important reason for the program’s success has been its effortlessness. With no new hardware, no point-of-sale integrations, and no added steps at checkout for our staff or consumers, Thanx eliminated much of the hassle that had prevented us from implementing a customer loyalty program previously.
Customer Loyalty Best Practices For Pizza Restaurants
The pizza business is more complicated than many restaurant categories because it’s truly multi-channel; our customers visit our restaurants to dine-in or pick up, they call for deliveries (or pick-up) over the phone, and increasingly they order their meal with a few clicks online. Each of these “customer touch points” requires a different technology, meaning three different integrations for most loyalty programs — or even worse, a program that doesn’t work for all your customers. Not for Thanx; because it ties seamlessly with the consumer’s credit or debit card, Thanx is completely integration free. We get all of the sophistication of a high-end customer retention program without any of the upfront cost or hassle.
For a rapidly growing brand, this ease of implementation is imperative. When we changed our online ordering provider, we didn’t even need to notify Thanx — customers kept earning rewards without ever missing a beat. When we opened new stores in brand new geographies, Thanx was automatically live on their first day of business — no effort on our end. When we routed phone orders to an offsite call operation to speed up the process, we didn’t have to investigate their IT systems to figure out if they were compatible — customers automatically got rewarded on day one.
Often you sacrifice robustness as you increase ease of implementation. That was not an option for us – we had gone almost a decade without a formal loyalty program. To start offering rewards and make that a foundational element of our customer experience, we needed powerful retention marketing tools. We wanted to give special recognition to Patxi’s VIPs, our best-of-the-best customers; we wanted a sophisticated way to automatically reach out to lapsed customers and tell them we miss them; we wanted to solicit customer feedback immediately after a purchase and be able to engage with those happy (and occasionally unhappy) customers one-on-one; we wanted to offer location-specific or time-limited promotions to drive traffic to new stores or lunch, for instance. Thanx delivered all of these engagement tools and more. Our Head of Marketing is active in the Thanx dashboard daily — responding to feedback, checking on Net Promoter Score across stores, activating new engagement campaigns — that’s how important it has become to our business.
Your favorite neighborhood restaurant knows you by name. They say “We’ve missed you, welcome back” when it’s been a while and “Thanks for your business” every time you walk out the door. They genuinely want to know about your experience and want to make it right when its occasionally not up to par. They value every dollar you spend with them and let you know that. These are the standards we hold ourselves to at Patxi’s. Except these days sometimes we are saying “Thanx” in addition to “Thanks.”