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February 28, 2018

How Arby’s Turned Stalled Sales into Brand Magic

In its inception in 1964, Arby’s banked on the idea of being a unique sandwich experience in an oversaturated burger joint market. The Raffel brothers used fast food speed to serve sliced roast beef sandwiches, perfected curly fries, and their own Horsey Sauce to “Inspire Smiles through Delicious Experiences.” Their vision and drive were clear, and the current 3,300 Arby’s franchises worldwide are the proof in the pudding.

However, in the early 2000s, sales stalled and Arby’s marketing messaging was met with mixed reception. Arby’s needed to refocus and bring several strategies together in order to reassert their unique experience within the fast-food market and to appeal to a broader customer base.

Arby's Exterior

Rethinking Brand

Arby’s revitalized their brand in three key ways:

  1. Back to Basics: The main key to their success was staying true to their roots. The brand had a loyal customer base, and Arby’s model of staying unique in a hamburger world was still valid. As they revitalized their brand, they used this lens to assess change.
  2. Menu Upgrade: Original favorites stayed on the menu, but Arby’s also added new products like Reuben sandwiches and smokehouse brisket to tempt untapped customers and excite their fan base.
  3. Playful Messaging: Arby’s also focused on market research and new tools to better understand customer experience and deliver playful messaging. In fact, finding a new way to track and integrate Voice of Customer (VOC) became a lynchpin to renewed success.

Integrating Voice of Customer

For over 10 years, Arby’s had used RizePoint to track front- and back-of-house for performance and food safety. Arby’s completed more than 13,000 Arby’s Operation Reviews (A.O.R) annually, and the results included continued improvement in quality, operations, and brand standards. The success of these audits was clear, but Arby’s needed a way to integrate that data into a strong VOC program.

The answer for optimizing customer experience came with InMoment, which has the ability to interface their customer experience data with RizePoint’s A.O.R data. InMoment also developed a process to integrate over 50,000 pieces of customer data with restaurant audits to deliver easy-to-understand and restaurant-specific reports that included coaching insights and suggestions for improvement. With these integrations, the Arby’s “We Make It Right” campaign was ready for action in 2016.

Arby's Interior

Enjoying Data-driven Results

When operational processes meet company expectations, customer experiences and bottom line metrics improve, and that’s what Arby’s experienced. Within eight months of the InMoment-RizePoint integration, Arby’s saw significant increases in key metrics, including a 34% increase in overall satisfaction, a 33% increase in friendliness, and a 22% increase in product quality. In fact, in 2016 Arby’s reported 3.8% growth while restaurants across the country slumped.

Click here to read the full case study for more details, insights, and results.

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