Dine Brands CEO on the growth of to-go sales

Dine Brands CEO on the growth of to-go sales

The point of technology is to “put customers in charge of their experience,” says Steve Joyce

During Dine Brands Global, Inc.’s second-quarter earnings call, executives touted Applebee’s and IHOP's to-go sales, which grew just over 30 percent in the second quarter. These orders were fueled by advances in technology and the company’s packaging, CEO Steve Joyce said in an interview later that day with NRN.

Apps for both brands successfully upsell customers, increasing tickets, previously submitted by phone, by 30 percent, said Joyce. The proprietary packaging protects food and keeps it warm for 45 minutes. And these take-out and delivery orders don’t cannibalize in-restaurant traffic, said Joyce.

After surveying customers Dine Brands has found off-premise diners have several reasons for dining away from the restaurant, he said.

“One is ‘We're really busy, and we don't have the time tonight to go to the restaurant,’ two is ‘We're having a family night,’ three is ‘We've got three soccer games and two PTA meetings, and four is ‘We are going to sit on the couch and watch Netflix all night.’” 

Should diners want to sit down at the restaurant, Joyce expects to launch an app feature that will let customers know when they can be seated. This will be in addition to the tech already implemented at many restaurants like tablets for ordering and payments.

“The idea is that we don't want to be competitive in our categories from a technology standpoint, we want to be competitive from the standpoint of the best in the business,” Joyce said.

“We're matching ourselves against what Domino's can do and what Panera does in some instances. But the whole point of the technology is very simple: it's to remove friction points in a customer loyalty loop. And to make the customer more in charge of their experience.”

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

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