Case Study: Restaurant Group Takes a Data-Driven Approach to Email Marketing

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La Sandia Cantina, image courtesy of Richard Sandoval Restaurants
La Sandia Cantina, image courtesy of Richard Sandoval Restaurants

Merchant: Richard Sandoval Restaurants
Location: Worldwide
Size: 35 locations
Platforms: Venga, Constant Contact
Bottom Line: Businesses can use data to better understand how to market to their existing customers.

Data is changing the way large restaurant groups cater to their highest-value customers. At Richard Sandoval Restaurants, the upscale restaurant group with more than 35 locations worldwide, Leo Schmid has been tasked with finding more strategic ways to use data for customer retention and acquisition. The senior marketing and PR manager is looking at how he can harness the restaurant group’s email database to make more data-driven decisions using tools like customer analytics and marketing platform Venga.

Working with Venga, Schmid and his team have been able to integrate promotion buttons into their POS units, which allow hostesses and servers to track when guests arrive with emails from one of their campaigns, which are run through Constant Contact. Discounts from those email campaigns are then applied and tracked automatically behind the scenes. The group also is using win-back emails to reengage guests who haven’t come in for a pre-determined period of time.

“[We’re] trying to find a better data-driven approach to understand how to better market to our guests,” Schmid says.

Schmid expects to be using Venga at all Richard Sandoval Restaurants “soon.” In the meantime, he’s utilizing the platform at a select number of locations to drive repeat visits and improve the overall guest experience.

Schmid’s work with Venga usually begins early in the day, reviewing automated results from the previous night’s guest feedback. Each member of the staff at Richard Sandoval Restaurants receives an aggregated list of online review sites pulled together in one email, listing what diners were saying about the restaurant the previous night.

The team also receives pre-shift reports, for each restaurant, listing who is dining that day, along with each guest’s OpenTable profile. Schmid’s says that both of those pieces of information have become “invaluable” for his group, because they facilitate better relationships between the restaurant’s servers and diners.

In the marketing department specifically, Schmid and his team use Venga’s dashboard to check up on previous email campaigns and conduct general research on future campaigns that they may want to create.

“Venga provides the business intelligence we previously weren’t getting from OpenTable,” he says. “That allows us to get access to real-time guest information and make more informed marketing decisions.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.