Fazoli’s Serves Up Fresh Fare and Fresh Information with Yext
“It's so important to be able to provide accurate data to customers. You need to ensure that information is correct and doesn't leave the guests with any surprises when they get to the restaurant. Yext allows us to market each location as truly a local business.”
Fazoli’s is a leading Italian restaurant chain with approximately 220 restaurants in 27 states across America.
“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 digital knowledge, 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 make these tailored menus reflect 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 customers who left reviews on a one-to-one basis.
Hanrahan and Fazoli’s decided to work with Yext to manage their digital knowledge centrally. Fazoli’s uses the Yext Knowledge Engine to manage menus and publish them accurately across the web, customizing them per location.
Now, Fazoli’s uses Yext to build and manage their restaurant location pages and menus. Since they use the Yext Knowledge Manager as their central source of truth, it’s easy to update all of their location-specific sites with the same information they are publishing on intelligent services like Google, Bing, Facebook and Yelp, from menu information to hours of operation.
“Customers can go on onto the local page for one of our restaurants, they can see everything they want,” says Will Hanrahan, Digital Marketing Manager for Fazoli’s. “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.”
Fazoli’s location pages had an immediate impact on how the brand could provide tailored menus for each restaurant. It also allowed the brand to delegate review management of each restaurant to that store’s owner, empowering leadership at the local level. Now when a customer searches “Fazoli’s menu,” he or she gets the local page for the nearest restaurant, with up-to-date prices, items, photos, hours, and more. Yext’s enhanced menu feature pushes the exact menu from that location into the Google search results.
“The beauty of having Yext Pages is the customer sees the same, consistent information wherever they look,” says Hanrahan.
“I’m really, really happy with how we’ve used Yext, and I find it very easy,” Hanrahan continues. “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!”
Power to the Franchisee
With Yext, Fazoli’s can update each franchise’s page per location and have the confidence they’re in control of their 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 are being listened to. This has been a huge win for us. It’s been a win for everyone; operations, marketing, and the local franchise owner.”
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 get of ahead of the curve by setting up Pages in advance. We can have everything ready to go so they can kick-start that location. With a very quick glance at Yext Analytics, 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.”
From Fazoli’s first year with Yext to its second, the company saw:
- A 65% increase in Google Search Views per location
- A 57% increase in Google Clicks to Website per location
- A 27% increase in Google Get Directions clicks per location
- In the first 5 months since launching first-party review generation on Fazoli’s location pages, the clickthrough rate on “Order Takeout” increased, driving an additional 1,500 clicks per month.
- Within 6 months of setting up Intelligent Search Tracker to measure unbranded visibility for key search terms, Fazoli’s saw their Share of Intelligent Search for “pasta” increase by 43%.
Industry: Food Service
Size: More than 220 restaurants in 27 states
Headquartered: Lexington, KY
Yext products used: Yext Listings, Pages, and Reviews
The Customer Journey: “A lot of people grew up eating Fazoli’s, as the brand has been around since 1988. However a lot of customers still find the business online by searching “Italian restaurant near me.” The majority of our customers come from Google search, Google maps, and also Facebook. With so many pizza places, Fazoli’s doesn’t fall into the typical categories one normally thinks of, and Yext helps us show people who we are.”
—Will Hanrahan, Digital Marketing Manager