Arby’s Case Study

How Arby’s Drove a Brand Resurgence with Fast Crafted Fare and a Focus on Guest Insights

Arbys Logo Centered

Growth That Inspires Smiles

When the Raffel Brothers opened a sandwich shop in Broadman, Ohio, in 1964, they knew that burger joints
were already overwhelming the quick-service food market. In pursuit of differentiation, the brothers decided
to serve up hot, freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches—and never looked back. Since then, they perfected the
curly fry, created Horsey Sauce (a creamy, mayo-based horseradish spread), and became the first quick-service
chain to offer a “light ” menu featuring salads and sandwiches under 300 calories. Its unique blend of quick-
service speed and fast-casual, made-for-you care help Arby’s deliver on its brand purpose: “Inspiring Smiles
Through Delicious Experiences.”

While Arby’s has a large, loyal fan base across 3,300 restaurants worldwide, in the early 2000s the company
experienced stalled sales and a mixed reception to marketing messages. Through a targeted and strategic
remaking of itself—staying true to its mission to offer unique, fast-crafted fare (a term the company trademarked)— Arby’s sought to appeal to a broader customer base. And it worked. It found the sweet spot between fast food and fast casual, being sure not to move too far in one direction.

It remained true to its roast beef roots while introducing new proteins and products like smokehouse brisket and savory reubens. But it wasn’t just the revamped menu, playful messaging (e.g., We Have the Meats), and a better understanding of its position in the market. As Arby’s relaunched its brand and began to experience inspired growth and resurgence, it quickly became apparent that its existing guest experience assessment model was no longer effective. Therefore, a refresh of the platform, much like a revitalization of the brand, took place to bring more purpose to its guest experience program.
Arbys Logo Centered
Arbys Employees

Bringing The Magic

Arby’s existing Voice of Customer (VoC) program had, in essence, run its course: there was a lack of enthusiasm from leadership, uncertainty regarding data integrity, and insights garnered from customer feedback had plateaued.

Separately, for more than 10 years, Arby’s harnessed RizePoint for its internal assessment—the Arby’s Operations Review (A .O. R .) —a 20 0 + question, comprehensive assessment of performance in front- and back-of-house operations and policies related to Food Safety, Arby’s Standards, and Guest Experience (e.g., quality, order accuracy, speed of service, staff friendliness, cleanliness, and team engagement). With more than 13,000 A.O.R.s completed each year, the results helped drive continuous improvement in quality, operations, and brand standards— but they lacked a view into the guest perspective.

Arby ’s chose InMoment as its customer experience optimization partner based on its ability to interface the
RizePoint A.O.R data with customer experience data. Yet, the company needed more than data integration for We Make It Right—the name (and driving force) of its new VoC program. It wanted a more robust, encompassing perspective of customer experience and a holistic view of individual location performance. It needed automated intelligence informed by the data, the ability to effectively act on the insights, and engagement from team members to enhance the guest experience and drive sales.
Arby’s needed a way to effectively analyze data from two of its key technology partners to understand the interplay between brand standards and customer perception. It had no way to integrate operationally driven data—collected using RizePoint—with guest experience data, and then derive a solution set.

That’s the magic of the new program.

Seamless Integration

InMoment developed a seamless process to integrate Arby’s A.O.R. data, facilitated through RizePoint, with over 50,000 pieces of customer feedback collected from phone, mobile, and web surveys each month in a granular, location-level report.

Arby’s area supervisors conduct quarterly, on-site restaurant operational performance evaluations (which are further enhanced by annual assessments conducted by Arby’s Performance Managers), and upload results to the RizePoint cloud-based platform. Then the data is automatically forwarded to InMoment, at which point InMoment correlates the appropriate audit results with recent customer experience data for each location, and delivers the results to the auditor in an easy-to-review report with actionable coaching insights and suggestions for improvement.


Rizepoint better use of data

Access, Plan, and Execute

By bringing audit and guest feedback data together, InMoment’s prescriptive analytics automatically generate two improvement priorities for each location. The integration model takes into consideration both guest experience and audit score and creates priorities tied to the greatest return on investment: where Arby’s should put more time, energy, and effort. And it’s not simply based on the lowest scores. The custom integration model works off of Arby’s brand loyalty drivers—created by InMoment and weighted by impact—to understand where a restaurant should spend more time for the most impactful return (e.g., friendliness, food quality, accuracy, speed of service, or cleanliness).

Based on the platform-identified priorities, Arby’s general managers and area supervisors are empowered to select quarterly action steps from a pre-populated library, sorted by system, process, and tool. This additional step, which improves ease and access, adds a human element to an otherwise automated process.

The three-step process created by Arby’s insights team—assess the environment, plan for improvement, and execute effectively—supports the mission of making the company better today than it was yesterday by inspiring smiles for its guests.

Arbys Team Members

Purpose-Driven Results

After implementing these data-driven improvements using the InMoment + RizePoint correlated system, Arby’s restaurants have seen a significant increase in these key metrics in just eight months:

  • 34% in Overall Satisfaction
  • 33% in Friendliness
  • 22% in Product Quality
  • 22% in Cleanliness and Facility
  • 19% in Speed of Service
  • 12% in Corrected Orders
Arbys Team Members
Rizepoint better use of data

Commitment to Service Excellence

In 2016, Arby’s reported revenue growth of 3.8 % across the brand while recording 25 consecutive quarters of U.S. same-store sales growth. While restaurants across the country slump, Arby’s continues to outperform the industry.

Through its reenergized We Make It Right program, Arby’s understands the importance of making it right the first time. And if there’s a problem, it’s acknowledged and fixed. It knows that moving dissatisfied guests to highly satisfied ones is key for the long-term stability and growth of the brand. Moving forward, Arby’s will continue to rely on its guests to drive its business because guest perception often differs greatly from company assumptions.

When operational processes meet company expectations, customer experiences and bottom line metrics improve. With the combined incremental value derived from its partnership with InMoment and RizePoint—and commitment to service excellence—Arby’s continues to inspire smiles through delicious experiences.

For more than 10 years, Arby’s harnessed RizePoint for its internal assessment—the Arby’s Operations Review (A.O.R.)—a 200+ question, comprehensive assessment of performance in front- and back-of-house operations and policies related to Food Safety, Arby’s Standards, and Guest Experience (e.g., quality, order accuracy, speed of service, staff friendliness, cleanliness, and team engagement).

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