Digital Transformation in QSR: How WaBa Grill Leveraged Olo and SOCi for Localized Success

In the highly competitive quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, staying ahead of the curve in digital ordering and marketing is essential. For WaBa Grill, a well-established, “Eat Smart, Be Healthy” rice bowl concept with nearly 200 locations in California, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada, this meant tackling the significant challenges its franchisees and restaurants face head-on, like the frequent, sometimes daily, modification of operating hours, which was exasperated during the pandemic.

 

Constant changes in how and when stores could do business impacted customer touchpoints, including point-of-sale systems, the mobile app, listings aggregators, and Olo, WaBa Grill’s online ordering platform and digital payments provider. Managing these changes was labor-intensive, requiring even C-suite involvement in what was essentially an analog task.

 

WaBa Grill needed to address two primary issues: ensuring the accuracy of customer data and optimizing its online presence.

“Olo and SOCi have made a difference in our digital ordering and marketing efforts by allowing us to refresh our online presence. We are now more modern and have reduced friction in the ordering process by allowing customers to click right through to ordering. We can showcase our healthy options front and center and increase customer satisfaction with up-to-date and correct information online at all times using Olo Sync Listings Management, powered by the partnership with SOCi.”

– Adam Kinsinger, Director of Technology for WaBa Grill

WaBa Grill recognized that its data from Olo was a main source of truth for its operations, and integrating it with SOCi could provide a comprehensive solution. The team needed to cut through the noise in listings management, improve SEO, respond to reviews, and enhance the user experience by ensuring customers could access the right information effortlessly. Through the integration of Olo and SOCi, WaBa Grill gained a reliable and seamless method to keep customers informed about store hours and locations; updates made within Olo are automatically syndicated to their listings.

 

“Olo and SOCi have made a difference in our digital ordering and marketing efforts by allowing us to refresh our online presence. We are now more modern and have reduced friction in the ordering process by allowing customers to click right through to ordering. We can showcase our healthy options front and center and increase customer satisfaction with up-to-date and correct information online at all times using Olo Sync Listings Management, powered by the partnership with SOCi.” said Adam Kinsinger, Director of Technology for WaBa Grill. That partnership resulted in local page implementation, driving growth to local store pages and WaBa Grill’s store locator page. 

 

WaBa Grill’s success with Olo and SOCi showcases the transformative power of combining digital ordering and marketing solutions for the QSR industry. By addressing challenges and adopting technology for changes, WaBa Grill has improved operational efficiency and customer experience, decreased labor costs by reducing errors, and thrived in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

 

“Our digital order experience goal is to be where the customer is – whether at home, in the office, or in their car, especially with the number of options available in the quick-serve industry. Together, Olo and SOCi allow us to do that,” noted Kinsinger.

SOCi Results

WaBa Grill saw tangible results since implementing Olo and SOCi with reduced order errors and significantly decreased labor costs, along with the following positive metrics:  

 

100%

Growth in visits to local pages and store locator pages.

 

100%

of reviews were responded to in the quarter, a 7.5% increase year over year, which had a direct impact on overall star rating and SEO.

 

41%

Increase in total review volume, important for brand reputation and SEO value on Google and other networks.

 

58 hour

Decrease in average review response time year over year. 

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