Case Study

The rapid deployment of Denny’s web ordering platform amid COVID-19 pandemic

Smooth Commerce

Smooth Commerce

July 22, 2020 2 min read

Denny's web ordering and Smooth Commerce and Denny's logos

Company Bio

Founded over 60 years ago, Denny’s Canada (Denny’s) has over 70 locations from coast to coast. The restaurant chain provides 24-hour family dining, serving everything from fluffy pancakes and crispy bacon, through to juicy burgers and country-fried steak.

 

Challenge

In recent years, Denny’s added pickup and delivery options so their customers could enjoy the restaurant’s classics in the comfort of their home. However, without their own ordering platform, Denny’s was forced to rely on third-party marketplaces which came with substantial fees and, in some cases, a loss of control over their customer’s brand experience. With the COVID-19 pandemic closing dine-in service at restaurants across the country in mid-March, the importance of an effective and efficient solution for ordering pickup and delivery became even more crucial.

 

“At Smooth Commerce, we understand how important it is for brands to connect with their customers, especially during this difficult time. We are committed to helping brands like Denny’s reach their customers with a solution that’s friendly to their bottom line,” said Brian Deck, CEO of Smooth Commerce.

Approach

Prior to COVID-19, discussions between Denny’s and Smooth Commerce had already begun on developing a web ordering solution. This ordering platform would seamlessly integrate with Denny’s website and leverage Smooth’s partnership with DoorDash Drive to fulfill delivery in a cost-effective way.

Smooth Commerce responded to COVID-19 immediately with the launch of their “Rapid Deployment Package (RDP).” Smooth’s goal in developing this package was to get customers up and running as quickly as possible with a branded web ordering platform that is user friendly and easy for restaurants to manage. The package comes with Smooth’s in-store Order Tablets that manage incoming orders and product availability in real time. It’s also equipped with the Merchant Portal, which allows easy menu management and provides financial tools, data analytics and other important marketing features, and the ability to leverage point-of-sale system integrations.

For customers like Denny’s seeking to facilitate delivery, the RDP leverages Smooth Commerce’s deep integration with DoorDash Drive. This integration allows customers to place orders within the branded web ordering platform provided by Smooth’s RDP, while utilizing the network of DoorDash drivers to fulfill delivery, as well as track the driver’s location in real time.

 

Results

Due to the diligent work of the Denny’s and Smooth Commerce teams, Denny’s new web ordering platform was ready for launch in five days and fully deployed across all locations within weeks. Previously only using the third-party marketplace model, Denny’s incurred significant fees while also losing their direct customer relationship and data, and control over the brand experience.

In their first month and a half on the new platform, Denny’s:

  • Added 13,000 users
  • Saved over $20,000
  • Saw a 12% increase in basket size

Projecting over the first year, Smooth Commerce conservatively expects Denny’s to realize a 275% return on investment.

 

“The partnership between Smooth Commerce and DoorDash Drive has been instrumental in providing us with a cost-optimized solution. In a short time, we’ve already benefited from a significant return on our investment in the platform,” said Deborah Gagnon, President and COO of Denny’s Canada.

 

Takeaway

Even as restaurant dining rooms begin to re-open across the country, the increased importance of ordering platforms, whether for ordering ahead, takeout, or delivery, is here to stay. The Smooth Commerce Rapid Deployment Package represents a powerful solution for restaurant brands looking to quickly activate a web ordering platform while saving money relative to third-party alternatives and retaining brand control.

 

For more information on our platform packages and features, contact us.

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