Brinker Internationals’ digital strategy
Brinker International (EAT) has also made progress towards integrating more of a digital platform in its restaurants—particularly Chili’s. The company has installed Ziosk tablets at several of its restaurants and is expected to complete the installation in all its domestic restaurants by the upcoming earnings report.
Ziosks are tablets installed on each table. Customers can use this device to order food, redeem coupons, entertain themselves while waiting for food to arrive, and pay their checks after their meal. Although this doesn’t completely eliminate the need for a server, it optimizes resources at the restaurant. Customers can also connect to Ziosks using their mobile phones.
Extending loyalty programs
The company plans to use this platform to extend its loyalty program, and we should get an update in the upcoming earnings release. Loyalty programs, if executed well, can lead to a lot of success for a restaurant. Take, for example, Starbucks (SBUX), which has over 9 million My Starbucks Rewards members. About 16% of the company’s transactions come from these customers. Companies such as Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) have also taken a step towards increasing loyalty programs, but they’ve not found as much success as Starbucks.
According to Brinker, it has also made improvements for its to-go customers by improving the website ordering experience. The company assured greater use of technology going forward, and we’ll see more information during the upcoming earnings.
Digital technology can play an important role as restaurant companies move towards attracting Millennials. Companies like Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) and Papa John’s (PZZA) have had success through their online ordering platforms.
We’ll now look at unit growth, which is equally important for a company to grow revenues.