Boosting Loyalty for QSRs with a Digitally Led Approach

Oct 20, 2021
Jeff Haws

For Quick-Serve Restaurants (QSR), so much of the secret to success comes down to increasing customer loyalty. Because families typically have three meals a day and the amount spent at QSRs is low relative to fine-dining places or many retail places, there’s plenty of opportunity to get people to choose you for their quick food needs.

But how do you stay top of mind when there are so many options out there? Every day, consumers likely drive by any number of QSRs offering various types of food. How do you get them to pass those others by and purchase from you again and again? How do you get them to keep scrolling past everyone else and pick you from their food-delivery app? Or, better yet, how do you get them to skip all that and just order straight from your own mobile app?

At MessageGears, we think a big part of the answer lies in sending more personalized, tailored campaigns to them, making them feel like your brand understands them in a way others don’t. Here are some tips on how cross-channel marketing with direct data access can help you do that.

Timely mobile push/SMS campaigns

Offering discounts and specials can be a great way to entice customers to choose you for their next meal. But in many cases, timing is everything with these. You don’t want to catch them just any time, but when they’re ready to make a purchase so you can be fresh on their mind.

That means scheduling these campaigns to run at the right time of day. For most QSRs, that probably means sending around 11 a.m. to catch them thinking about lunch, and maybe around the end of the work day — customer research can help you determine the best time here — to get them on board for dinner.

Doing that efficiently is where Send-Time Designation comes into play. With MessageGears, you can set up one campaign and use simple job-level settings to ensure the campaign sends to customers’ phones at the right time regardless of time zone.

Personalize images based upon recent orders

Don’t underestimate the simple power of sending emails with increased relevance because they reflect a consumer’s buying behavior. Not only can that continue to build loyalty by showing you understand their desires and habits, but it can also be more effective at converting because you’re making recommendations based upon real customer data.

Chick-fil-A uses MessageGears to do this by utilizing content modules in their email templates personalized to the consumer, including messages like a Welcome campaign that congratulates them on their first mobile order along with a picture of the type of food the customer ordered.

This is easy to do accurately when you have MessageGears’ direct access to your data, allowing you to be confident you’re using the most accurate, up-to-date information on your customers to send them timely messages that encourage them to order again.

Focus on local

When a national QSR chain wanted to empower their franchisees to be able to put more emphasis on local messaging campaigns, we were happy to help them get a system together to make it work for both their corporate and local teams.

Teaming with our partners at Sageflo, we were able to help their corporate marketing and branding teams put together templates that could be shared with local owners, allowing them to write messages and create offers that reflected unique aspects of their particular community or store.

This is a great way to increase loyalty because it shows it’s not just a corporate team in some headquarters somewhere crafting the messages your customers receive. It’s a member of their own community inviting them to stop by before the high school football game for a pep rally or reminding them that the construction on the street isn’t going to keep them from opening that week. Maybe they even get a special discount to thank them for dealing with the inconvenience and stopping by anyway.


Building loyalty with your QSR’s customers is something that takes years to do, and it’s going to take a lot of factors working together to reach your goals. Just remember that the cross-channel messaging campaigns you send can be a significant part of that, and MessageGears is here to help you get there. If you’d like to learn more, let’s talk about how we can start helping you get quick loyalty wins today.

About the Author

Jeff Haws

As MessageGears’ Senior Marketing Manager, Jeff is focused on producing engaging and thoughtful content that resonates with enterprise marketers, helping them to better understand how MessageGears makes their jobs easier. He’s passionate about understanding the way data impacts messaging, and he’s also hopelessly obsessed with baseball.