It's a mindset that circles back to the manager conference. Wyatt’s goal for NORMS’ is a melding of core equities and buzz. The same brand, but something worth checking in on to see what’s changed.
This all comes together in front of guests. NORMS, no matter what, Wyatt says, won’t walk away from its bigger, better, breakfast positioning. But it launched a B.F.D. option (budget friendly deal) that runs $6.99 or $7.99. “People go, ‘whoa, what’s that,’” he says.
Ingrid Martinez, NORMS VP of marketing, says the value lever will always be there for the brand. Yet it’s started to work on the other end of the barbell to give loyal and new guests a reason to ladder up, options like new benedicts and other premium offerings that start at roughly $13.49. One example being the Cali-Cado Benny—two toasted English muffins, grilled tomato, fresh avocado, two poached eggs topped with hollandaise, bacon and green onion. Served with a choice of hash browns, black beans or fresh fruit. Or the El Benedicto—two sope shells, chorizo, mixed cheese, two poached eggs topped with salsa verde, hollandaise, green onion, and cilantro. The brand is testing wagyu burgers and enchiladas, and just keeps turning the innovation calendar, Wyatt says.
As the above menu names suggest, NORMS is digging further into its core base, which is the Hispanic customer. It added Horchata and Jamaica (free refills) as part of an Aguas Frescas beverage lineup. “But we still have lemonades and milkshakes and we’re promoting that to our loyalty app and doing some discounting,” Wyatt says. “And I do think, if you’re going to see something that’s really underutilized today that we’re going to blow up it’s our loyalty app.”
NORMS’ updated 24/7 Rewards program offers a point for every $1 spent (100 points equals $10 back). There’s instant payback where a guest gets a free SoCal breakfast sent within 24 hours of signing up. Exclusive offers are pulsed throughout the year and NORMS enabled order and pay from the app, as well as the ability to redeem coupon codes on orders and receive 25 bonus points when somebody refers a friend. For those not ready to take the rewards leap, the NORMS National Email club gives away a stack of three hotcakes for joining.
Either way, how NORMS leverages data is key, Wyatt says. It hasn’t marketed one-to-one in the past and had a tendency to surprise users with deals that didn’t reflect their spending habits. “Send them something that they actually get,” Wyatt says.
“It’s really about simplicity,” Martinez adds. “How do you execute things a lot easier for the guest, where it’s a lot easier for them to utilize or earn points? Nut now there is a word in the industry called gamification, which has become how often do you come instead of waiting the usual loyalty programs where, oh I have to spend $100 and I receive this. What are some of the things that you’re able to get way before that still gets you to come in more frequently?”
Martinez says NORMS conducted a brand assessment to get a sense of its customer base after COVID. Did it shift? Who was lost and gained? Furthermore, who is NORMS core diner in the wake? “And who do we want to go after?” she adds. “That study really gave us a very good pillars for us to work on. One of the things we’re talking about is what is the NORMS voice? Because NORMS will continue to be NORMS, but how do we fit into a new territory? So if you think about it, In-N-Out is In-N-Out, even when they go to Texas, they are still a SoCal brand. How do we make sure people know the voice and the persona that NORMS is, and really focus on our pillars: Great food. Great value. Great service.”
NORMS connected with El Segundo-based Moontide on the agency side, a company with roots in the Hispanic community, to solidify its approach.
Speaking more broadly, however, Wyatt says coming to NORMS introduced him to a unicorn culture within the space. They just recognized an employee with 40 years on the job. There are GMs and system managers with three-plus decades of experience. At the conference, NORMS handed out special pens as tokens for tenure, which, Wyatt says, played volumes “in terms of how loud we are about how important it is for people to be stay with us.”
One of his tenets of leadership is to enable divisions to run their functions and grow through trial versus being micro-managed. “The people side continues to be the most important piece,” he says. “Without people you can’t get the customer, and without customers, you can’t drive the business results. That always has been, always will be, my priority.”