Boloco identifies at-risk guests with Incentivio's AI and ML to increase retention by 52%.
Boston-headquartered restaurant brand Boloco serves “burritos and bowls as a force for good!” The brand believes every ingredient has a purpose, and meaning and, when combined, results in bold and addictive flavors that have helped them delight millions of New Englanders for over 25 years.
Founded in 1997 in Boston at the corner of Mass Ave and Boylston across from the Berklee College of Music, Boloco (aka Boston Local Co.) came to life through Gregg Harris, Jason Hutchinson, Adam Liebman, and John Pepper. The restaurant company offers a unique but simple menu of classic and modern burritos, bowls, salads, and snacks made from fresh, high-quality ingredients (usually organic and naturally raised), prepared and served by authentic and customer-focused teams in a comfortable atmosphere.
Using AI in restaurants to retain customers
The restaurant industry tries to win back guests after they leave. This has seen low success rates - typically 3-5%. Retaining existing guests and treating them right is more important than ever as 69% of guests said loyalty programs incentivize them to revisit more frequently and it costs 5x more to attract new guests rather than retain current ones.
Incentivio’s AI in restaurants delivers powerful results and insights to increase guest retention, engagement, and lifetime value by analyzing over 600 types of data to predict which guests are likely to churn. Boloco wants to know their guests, ensure they keep coming back, and deliver an exceptional digital guest experience without manual intervention or third-party services.
“Prior to Incentivio, we could only identify best guests with respect to number of visits and dollars spent,” John Pepper, CEO and Co-founder of Boloco said. “And the only way we could track how best guests reacted to our offerings was to do highly customized and complicated data analysis—usually through outside consultants—which wasn’t practical or affordable. Incentivio has put these critical capabilities conveniently into a single platform. For the first time, we are able to automatically segment customers into smaller and more distinct groups and communicate accordingly.”
The Guest Journey dashboard works in tandem with the data-driven marketing suite to automatically send marketing campaigns for each guest segment for Boloco. Each of these segments has optional targeting rules for when Boloco wants to send out a message, offer, loyalty offer, or survey. If the restaurant brand wanted to send all of their customers losing interest (“Sliders”) an offer to get them back in the door before they churn, they could. This can be done without wasting money by offering a discount to customers who weren’t going to churn. With Incentivio’s AI in restaurants for churn management, Boloco can also use the dashboard to review time series graphs showing how many customers they had in each segment over time to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
“Customers—including me—are tired of receiving the same promotions over and over again. Incentivio is making our efforts to reach guests with relevant offerings far more enticing depending on where they are in their Boloco journey,” says Pepper. “The biggest ‘aha’ Incentivio has spelled out for us in recent months is not only how many of our customers have already churned but how many are in danger of churning and that we can still do something about it.”
With Incentivio's churn management, Boloco has targeted 768 customers on the brink of churn. “The benefits of 768 consumers moving to Boloco Regular or perhaps even Loyalist status isn’t linear, and Incentivio allows us to stay focused on how to engage most effectively with this group. With Incentivio’s guest journey dashboard, we are able to see we recovered 52 percent of our sliders (at-risk guests) compared to just 5 percent of guests that have already churned.”
Actionable guest feedback and all-in-one restaurant engagement that drives revenue
The integration between Ovation and Incentivio provides a seamless approach to digital customer engagement and satisfaction that enhances the customer journey! With Ovation, Boloco can capture real-time feedback from their customers, allowing them to gain valuable insights into their preferences, concerns, and overall dining experience. Through Incentivio, Boloco can offer branded online ordering and app ordering, deliver targeted promotions, create personalized rewards, and tailor recommendations to their customers to ensure that each interaction with the brand feels customized and relevant.
“The magic part of it is that I don't think about when the two come together. I like the seamless aspect and the back and forth between both platforms,” said Pepper. “It’s been a real game changer for us in terms of how fast we respond, the response we get back from the customer seems to be super positive, and the ability to hit ‘reward’ fast. Our managers and corporate team feel comfortable enough to respond quickly to our guests, wherever they are, and resolve any negative situations. The fact that it's tied into the order platform [through Incentivio] is really great. I think 70 to 80 percent of our Ovation feedback comes from Incentivio orders. We have also seen a substantial increase in the amount of feedback we are getting - I love this combo."