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As the original casual dining bar and grill, TGI Fridays offers authentic American food and legendary drinks, served with genuine personal service. Bringing people together to socialize and celebrate the freeing and liberating spirit of “Friday” was the concept’s founding premise, from which the brand promise “In Here, It’s Always Friday” was born.
With their long-term vision in mind, Fridays wanted to enhance their ability to provide customers with a truly engaging and purposeful digital experience. In partnership with Pivotree, Fridays implemented a new SAP Hybris eCommerce solution, which was part of a total brand reinvention.
In keeping with Fridays’ vision, Hybris acts as the hub of a multi-program, omni-channel strategy to streamline the creation, management and delivery of commerce-centric data and transactions. This includes menu items, pricing, promotions, customer profiles, personalization, loyalty, payment and notifications.
Fridays worked with the Pivotree team to integrate a number of modern, leading-edge eCommerce third party systems with a highly dispersed, in-restaurant POS system to deliver an SAP Hybris-driven omni-channel experience that would:
• Provide new sources of revenue
• Increase customer loyalty
• Increase customer satisfaction
• Disrupt the restaurant industry, positioning Fridays as a leader in the space
The Hybris implementation allowed Fridays to introduce a true omni-channel experience for customers. Customers can choose to begin their journey with the Fridays mobile app, or a responsive single page application (SPA) to research, make reservations, place orders for take-out, pay in-restaurant bills, and find nearby locations.
The following features and functionality were part of the project:
• Online ordering capabilities for take-out orders
• Mobile device based payments of in-store bills
• Store locater
• National / local menus
• Contact us service
Fridays adopted an agile approach to executing its digital strategy. Each increment was scoped to provide a clear set of new features that would advance the overall strategy. Fridays coupled this approach with an aggressive timeline for each phase, encouraging effective, rapid development.
The project began in October 2015. The first phase, Mobile Payment of in store checks, went live just six months later, in March 2016. The second phase, Online Ordering for Take-Out, went live on June 30, 2016. During each phase, the features were initially released into a limited market in order to verify the integrity of each solution. Over the following month, features were rolled out to hundreds of locations.
Fridays offers limitless customization and configuration options on their menu items. Because Fridays data for products, pricing, etc. was coming from different sources and included some manual processes, the solution needed to ensure data consistency and quality across different environments.
Catalog Design & Development
In addition to a central system of record, each restaurant also maintains its own catalog. Developing a single, pan-organizational catalog that would be compatible with existing in-restaurant systems required significant reverse engineering and iterative design and testing.
Time to Market
The new site needed to be introduced in hundreds of locations.
Business Process Reengineering
Ensuring all staff at individual locations received training on the new process required extra planning and organization.
Ensuring all franchisees were engaged in the transition had an effect on the speed of deployment.
They have been absolutely great partners. They have gotten to know our business, and helped us work through any challenges.
Sr. Director, Marketing Technology
The following technical components were part of the Fridays project:
• SAP Hybris Commerce version 5.6
• Product Content Management module (PCM)
• Omni Commerce Connect (OCC)
• Advanced Personalization
• Micros (POS)
• Vantiv (Payment Gateway)
• OpenTable (reservations)
• ExactTarget and SendGrid (email)
Releases to date were delivered to customer satisfaction and have exceeded their expectations.
The result was the establishment of a foundation that will evolve to include new and exciting features for customer engagement, enhancing the customer experience. Both usage statistics and rate of uptake have been more than satisfactory to Fridays. The Online Ordering component, which was introduced with the Hybris project, has been particularly successful, and mobile payments have seen growth in the thousands of percent.
Customers can now benefit from an improved digital experience, while Fridays is empowered with the tools to provide a true omni-channel offering.
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