Franchises Can Learn From How Restaurants Use First-Party Data

Franchises Can Learn From How Restaurants Use First-Party Data

The rise of first-party data use is changing the face of restaurant marketing. 

While the restaurant industry has relied on its face-to-face connection with customers, the use of this data can allow brands in a wide variety of franchises to gain valuable feedback, build loyalty and cater specifically to what customers want. More importantly, if used properly, it will build a relationship that will keep them coming back. 

If you’ve ever done any online shopping, you will inevitably see purchase recommendations tailored to your needs based on previous purchases. Think Amazon, YouTube or Spotify. 

While these are some retail and entertainment examples, the use of first-party data is no different for any franchise company. Even if you haven’t yet invested in software to gather your data, you might already have access to some of it. 

Where to Begin? 

If you want to know how restaurants effectively use first-party data, begin by asking yourself where your customers share their information with you. After that, begin thinking about how you can use that to connect with them. 

Customer data in the industry is vital to knowing your audience. Without it, you’re flying blind in the face of customers who have become more comfortable with the digital world and demanding more of it from the brands they use. If you’re still using third-party apps for ordering, you’re likely throwing that valuable information in the trash. 

First Party Data Importance in the Real World 

So why is first-party data so important? For starters, you own it and have immediate access to the data. This information comes from your customers who are already engaged. That means they really, really like you. 

Goodcents, a Curious Jane client, recently launched an app to update its rewards program, which will help the brand collect first-party data to better serve their customers and give them what they want. 

Goodcents wants to personalize the marketing that targets its customers. Within a few months, the franchise also plans to make that data available to its owners, allowing them to market specifically to the customers they know for events that might happen only at a specific location, center around certain events or cater to local audiences. 

Rebecca Murray, the company’s vice president of marketing, says this new app will help to take the guesswork out of marketing and provide more appropriate coupons and marketing materials to customers. After all, what’s the point in sending kids meal coupons to customers who don’t have children? 

“Our franchise owners know our guests’ faces when they come in the front door; we should also know their preferences so that we can engage more fully with them,” Murray says. 

Keeping it Simple 

Collecting this data goes beyond websites and apps, which might seem daunting. You don’t need a sprawling IT division to begin the rollout of first-party data marketing materials. 

First-party data can also be gleaned through email promotions, text message marketing and alternative loyalty programs. Through these channels, you can target different types of customers without the worry of promotion overlap, studies have shown. 

Rewards and loyalty programs are considered strong drivers for restaurant app usage, largely due to their use of first-party data. But it isn’t limited to restaurants alone. Loyalty programs throughout franchising are a great way to cater to your most important customers and foster brand loyalty. Since Google announced its plans to drop the use of cookies in late 2024, brands are looking for new ways to cultivate innovative customer-first strategies. By creating a more positive and personal experience using these platforms, brands can expect customer loyalty in return.