Case Study

Leading with data to drive the best TO GO experience

Eatin’ good in the neighborhood… Who doesn’t remember that one? Made famous by Applebee’s, one of the early pioneers in the casual dining space with their Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill concept. Started in 1980, it now has over 1830 locations across the US and 15 other countries. Applebee’s brings in customers with their affordable menu and popular deals including late-night appetizers, 2 for $20 entrees and dollar drink specials. In 2007, Applebee’s became part of the same family of restaurants as IHOP.

The Challenge

Even before COVID-19, there had been rapidly growing adoption of mobile Order for Pickup by casual dining consumers. Accordingly, Applebee’s has seen an increase in their TO GO Carryout and Curbside pickup sales as part of this trend. However, Applebee’s was in need of trip data, analytics and insights to understand the impact of this volume increase on their brand experience. Only understanding the analytics would help them deliver a seamless and convenient experience that differentiates them from the competition, grows revenue and drives repeat customers.

The Solution

In order for Applebee’s to deliver the takeout experience that their customers expect, management decided they needed an industry-leading partner and chose Rakuten Ready. The team at Rakuten Ready was able to integrate quickly and seamlessly into Applebee’s backend systems to capture analytics around wait times, order ahead volume trends, trip length and several other crosscuts of data.  Rakuten Ready and Applebee’s work closely together to understand the insights through robust communication including weekly meetings and detailed dashboard reporting. It is the learnings from this partnership that will allow Applebee’s to take their experience to the next level.

The Impact

Leveraging data analytics and reporting from Rakuten Ready provides Applebee’s not only a much deeper level of insight into the TO GO program experience but also the impact on attracting new and repeat customers. By understanding the performance of its TO GO pickup program, Applebee’s will be able to confidently make data-driven decisions that ensure they are providing a brand experience that sets them apart from the competition and drives revenue growth. The partnership also provides Applebee’s valuable insight so they can develop robust strategies to handle the significant increase in takeout volume during these unprecedented times.