Fazoli’s Serves Up Fresh Fare and Fresh Information With Yext
- Food & Service
- 220+ restaurants in 27 states
- Lexington, KY
Fazoli’s is a leading Italian restaurant chain with approximately 220 restaurants across the United States.
“Fazoli’s is America’s largest Italian elevated quick-service restaurant chain, serving freshly prepared pasta entrees, Submarinos® sandwiches, salads, and pizza to approximately 30 million guests each year,” says Will Hanrahan, Digital Marketing Manager at Fazoli’s.
When Hanrahan took over managing the brand’s website and information across the web, Fazoli’s had a loyal and growing customer base, but was struggling to manage its consumer-facing information online. This was especially true for localized menu offerings, which changed frequently and varied location to location.
While Fazoli’s franchise operators had the autonomy to customize their menus with limited-time offers for their restaurants, the brand was not initially able to publish these tailored menus online at the local level. The Fazoli’s website had a single corporate menu page, making it look as though all items were available at all locations. Consumers searching online couldn’t always see the correct menu for the location near them, causing confusion that sometimes led to negative reviews.
With only one person managing a growing number of reviews for 220 restaurants, it became impossible to communicate with all the customers leaving reviews on a one-to-one basis.
Hanrahan and Fazoli’s decided to work with Yext to manage their brand information centrally. Fazoli’s uses Yext to manage menus and publish them accurately across the web, customizing them per location.
Fazoli’s uses Yext as its central source of truth, making it easy to update all location-specific sites with the same information the brand is publishing on networks like Google, Bing, Facebook, and Yelp — from menu information to hours of operation.
“Customers can visit the local page for one of our restaurants, and they can see everything they want,” says Hanrahan. “They can find out more about the menu offerings, call the location, see opening hours. They can do so much from this one page. Making sure it’s correct and easy to find is an integral part of our digital marketing strategy.” Yext’s enhanced menu feature pushes the exact menu from that location into the Google search results.
“The beauty of utilizing Yext is that the customer sees the same, consistent information wherever they look,” continues Hanrahan. “I’m really, really happy with how we’ve used Yext, and I find it very easy. As an example, when a franchisee decides they’re going to change the price of a menu item, I can change it on my own, and can respond back saying this is now live!”
With Yext, Fazoli’s can update each franchise’s page per location, with confidence that the brand is in control of its restaurant and menu information everywhere. Individual franchise owners can even respond to reviews locally.
“We’ve provided training and access to our franchisees to reply to reviews and resolve issues for their locations. That helps them to be more engaged in their business, be notified about problems, and fix them more quickly and more effectively,” says Hanrahan.
“If you want your guests to return, then responding to reviews is going to be critical to build your reputation and avoid people going to a competitor,” Hanrahan continues. “Responding to a customer can be the quickest way to fix something and give the customer the feeling that they’re being heard. This has been a huge win for us. It’s been a win for everyone; operations, marketing, and the local franchise owner.”
In Fazoli’s first year with Yext, the company saw 33% year-over-year growth in clicks on its listings. This includes 18% year-over-year growth in direction clicks, 63% year-over-year growth in website clicks, and 32% year-over-year growth in phone call clicks.
Since implementing Yext, customer complaints about the menu and local store information have dropped. Hanrahan and his team can focus their efforts on driving hungry customers into their restaurants.
“When a new location opens up, we’re able to get ahead of the curve by using Yext to set up local pages in advance. We can have everything ready to go so they can kick-start that location. With an easy look at Yext, we can see how we’re trending. Almost every single metric is trending positive. We’re getting more page views every month. We’re getting more website clicks, we’re getting more phone calls — everything is just moving in the right direction, which is really good to see.”