Thank god it’s personalized
TGI Fridays’ chief experience officer Sherif Mityas is steering the legacy casual-dining brand into its next phase using technology to create individualized dining experiences.
Under his leadership, the company incorporated conversational AI to increase customer loyalty and boost off-premise dining. Total off-premise sales have doubled during his tenure.
Customers can order through any social media platform and the artificial intelligence not only identifies order patterns but can create custom marketing strategies for each customer who uses the system.
“We want to get away from Millennials and Boomers or soccer moms from Atlanta and really focus on Mary versus Susan,” Mityas said about this personalized marketing strategy.
Text messages offering customers a first try of a new menu item or invite them to order before the game starts on Sundays if their order history shows that’s a pattern.
“As people give us more information, we’re able to create more engagement and more loyalty and more frequency,” said Mityas to Nation’s Restaurant News shortly after his promotion from chief information officer to his current role in 2018.
The company has added AI technology in the back-of-the-house to help general managers run more efficient restaurants. AI learns the ebb and flow of each restaurant, giving general managers feedback on everything from inventory to how to manage scheduling.
The 54-year-old brand also looks to stay current with partnerships with other digitally-minded brands. Mityas in 2019 led the introduction of a partnership with Uber Vouchers for ridesharing to and from the restaurant.
With the Uber Vouchers, bartenders are able to give out the vouchers at their discretion, ensuring a customer’s safe ride home if they stayed drinking for too long. This is in addition to the customers who are gifted Uber codes through their Uber account for a discounted or free ride.
“It provides a safe and nice perk for our guests to get home safely,” Mityas told Nation’s Restaurant News when the initiative was unveiled.
These vouchers are available for both loyalty members and new customers and are paid for with a mix of money from TGI Fridays and the rideshare app to get new customers to the chain and reward loyalty members.
TGI Fridays merged with Allegro Merger Corp. in November of 2019 in a deal which took the 50-year-old company public for $380 million.
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