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Brinker International Launches Self-Serve ‘Ziosk’

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Aug. 18 2020, Updated 9:26 a.m. ET

Strategic initiatives

In the previous part of this series, we learned about the first of Brinker International’s (EAT) five strategic pillars—culinary vision. Here, we’ll continue our discussion of the remaining pillars:

  • technology
  • customer experience
  • engaging customers
  • leveraging scale

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Leveraging technology

“Ziosk” is a table-top device that customers can use to order food, redeem coupons, entertain themselves while waiting for food to arrive, and pay their checks after their meal.

In our earnings preview series, we noted that Brinker International, or Brinker, is expected to complete the installation of Ziosk tablets at its restaurants. During the earnings call, management confirmed that the devices had been rolled out at all of its company-operated stores in the domestic market.

Brinker is also working on a loyalty program but hasn’t provided further updates on how it will work. Restaurant companies such as Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) have loyalty programs too.

Customer experience and engaging customers

The company expects its in-restaurant staff to deliver a superior experience in their interaction with customers who dine in. Brinker also plans to engage customers through its advertising and marketing campaign, Fresh is Happening Now. According to the company, changing the mind-set of customers is more effective than offering discounts and promotion.

If done correctly, this strategy may work for Brinker. Restaurants such as McDonald’s (MCD) that have relied heavily on promotion have performed poorly.

The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY) holds ~4% of MCD stock.

Leveraging scale

Earlier, we mentioned that Brinker International also sells its products through the retail channel—13,000 plus stores across the US. The company maintains that the 30 products introduced in this channel delivered good results.

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