Melding the worlds of tech and restaurant business has been a way of life for Zach Goldstein.
The former Bain consultant and Stanford MBA graduate created Thanx in 2011, a digital customer engagement company that helps restaurants and other brick-and-mortar businesses reach new customers and broaden relationships with existing customers.
Smart use of data is a core tenet of Thanx’s business. The software uses artificial intelligence, integration with credit cards and other tools to help companies better segment and target both new and existing customers. Goldstein and his team are also focused on measuring client success through incremental revenue, rather than impressions and softer analytics. Last spring the company also integrated with online ordering leader Olo, which Goldstein said would offer users an “accurate 360-degree view of customers.”
Phoenix-based True Food Kitchen turned to Thanx for its first loyalty program last year, which CEO Christine Barone said was “more than a loyalty program. It’s a brand engagement program.” Thanx has also worked with Tocaya Organica, Oath Pizza, and PINCHO.
Goldstein has also earned a reputation as a strong voice in the restaurant tech world who is passionate about the importance of prioritizing lasting engagement with customers over short-term sales drivers. He penned a much talked about Medium article last year, “The Four Horsemen of the Restaurant Apocalypse?” in which he warned of the long-term cost to customer retention with delivery and the vital importance of owning customer data.
“Restaurants have long been light on customer data; it was thought that great food and service were all you needed to be successful,” he wrote. “But as we’ve seen in e-commerce, winners in a digital world are defined by the depth of their customer database as much as for the quality of their product.”