Too often within the restaurant technology industry, vendors are competing within the same tech stack budget and are often unwilling or just too busy to work with each other on projects. According to Ryan Wilkinson, Vice President, Marketing, Primanti Bros, that is not always the case.

Ryan had been working with Charley Donaldson, CEO of DonationScout, to streamline what was a very manual and time-consuming process for hosting community fundraiser events. Community organizations love hosting dine-to-donate fundraisers with Primanti Bros. On average, these fundraiser events produce $875 of incremental sales, and related donations of $175. It is truly a win-win for all.

“It all sounds simple enough until you’re successful and begin to get more and more requests, and the administrative burden starts to weigh on the staff, said Wilkinson. “DonationScout was the right solution at the right time to make it easier to facilitate the scheduling, communication, manage donation payouts, and a host of other manual tasks we no longer do.”

Both Wilkinson and Donaldson also wanted to understand key data points like how many fundraiser guests were new to Primanti Bros., their residual value, shifts in current guest menu/spend/frequency patterns, menu and seat cannibalization, and of course overall event impact. Perhaps most important is the layering effect of events in driving frequency and top line revenue. That’s where (formerly Marketing Vitals) came in.

Ward Olgreen, COO of Red Onion mentions “Charley and I had been talking for well over a year about his Proof-of-Concept dilemma. He knew he was helping drive sales but could not backfill with data related to the indirect benefits of a successful fundraiser program. Then Primanti Bros came to us as the perfect opportunity to work together towards the betterment of a restaurant brand. Ryan and Primanti Bros have been a loyal Guest Behavior Analytics client of Red Onion since 2017. In that we are integrated into their POS system at each location, along with a wide variety of other 3rd party data points including payment, the addition of a DonationScout button to the POS menu allowed Marketing Vitals software to detect and track every fundraiser transaction along with all the details tied to that event. Our machine learning platform can understand current and residual value of events like these, down to each location and individual guest.”

Donaldson adds, “Red Onion is great to work with. It was obvious from the start that their focus was on the potential positive impact for our mutual client. The clarity of their machine learning solution made it easy to pull out just those related transactions to then apply analytics towards understanding our broader value to Primanti Bros. They did not have to build anything new. Every data point we were hoping to find was already part of their platform.”

In a short 2 month test we were able to show:

  • 45 percent increase in new guest retention of fundraiser attendees vs new guests during non-fundraiser days.
  • Increased Fan frequency over the next 60 days with 1 additional visit for these guests.
  • Each category showed a higher frequency and retention rate as a byproduct of attending the event.
  • New guests participating in fundraisers showed a spending increase of 15 percent, with this remaining between 12 and 15 percent higher during their return visits.
  • The current guests attending showed to spend around 15 percent more than their own personal spend history.

Wilkinson recalls, ” With DonationScout’s support, we’ve been able to take our fundraiser program to new heights, while Red Onion’s assistance has helped us quantify the significance of this expansion.” Just goes to show that when 2 vendors are focused on improving the health of a mutual client, the byproduct is “everybody wins”.

Primanti Bros Restaurant and Bar, based in Pittsburgh, PA, are known for their fresh, house-made ingredients, big sandwiches and awesome deals on the coldest drinks. Their classic sandwich includes two slices of Italian bread, grilled meat of choice, melted provolone, vinegar-based coleslaw, sliced tomatoes, and, of course, French fries. They have 40 locations in the pipeline.

DonationScout, based in Austin, Texas, helps restaurants effortlessly schedule and manage more fundraising events, resulting in revenue and profit growth, and greater community impact. DonationScout’s well-designed user interfaces, practical management tools, advanced automation, and comprehensive reporting capabilities simplify the fundraising process for all stakeholders. 

Red Onion, based in Plano, Texas, drives top line by ingesting POS transactional data then layering on payment, weather, marketing events, price changes, email-text-loyalty, online ordering, Wifi, coupons and more to generate analytics that illuminates the WHY behind guest behavioral movement in frequency, basket, spend and menu mix. Red Onion has 16 one-click analytics for menu, price elasticity, sales patterning, guest behavior, employee performance, event analysis, cannibalization and more, to help clients make smarter strategic decisions across every department.

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