Blog Post / November 9, 2020 / Industry Voices

Doubling Down on Data: How Giordano’s is Reimagining the Guest Experience

by Mikayla Walzog
Mikayla Walzog

In October 2020, SevenRooms’ Director of Enterprise Success, Alexa Detzi had the opportunity to speak with Jason Levinson, the Vice President of IT at Giordano’s, the Chicago-based restaurant group of deep dish pizza fame founded in 1974.

Over the course of the webinar, they discussed incorporating new operational processes that increase revenue, the importance of keeping guest safety top of mind through the use of online reservations and virtual waitlists, and implementing tech to meet new guest expectations. Read on to learn how Giordano’s leverages guest data to transform their dining experience.

A New Operational Shift

AD: How have your operations changed across your 65+ outlets to accommodate for new guest and staff needs?

JL: Operationally, at first we didn’t have a great tool to help us navigate through these safety compliance measures. Figuring out socially distanced tables and other protocols ended up being a manual process for us, but as far as operational compliance, everyone has been on board. We opened at 25% in the beginning but now as colder weather is approaching, we are outlining viable solutions to avoid guests crowding in vestibules or indoors by the host stand. Our team is prioritizing finding better ways for dining room shifts for our staff, too.

Using Virtual Solutions to Ensure Safety

AD: As the VP of IT, how have you taken this time to revisit Giordano’s tech stack?

JL: Off-premise channels have actually been the biggest boon to our business. Luckily, we have great online ordering partners to help with this. However, curbside is the most popular medium. In the beginning of the pandemic, we quickly ramped up with curbside orders to accommodate the demand. As we open up our dining rooms, we find that people still want to come dine inside of restaurants. Being able to prepare for the volume of guests once capacities increase will be incredibly valuable. With SevenRooms, we found a great way to execute on using virtual waitlists.

SevenRooms’ Director of Enterprise Success, Alexa Detzi and Jason Levinson, the Vice President of IT at Giordano’s

Ensuring Quality Communication with Guests

AD: How have you approached guest engagement and communication around COVID-19 for more casual walk-in guests?

JL: Two key channels that we communicate messages to guests are through direct mailing and via our website. Recently, we slowed down our e-blasts and wanted to lay low and avoid being that white noise in the world. Lately, we’ve been lightening up our messaging and getting back out there to our guests in order to show them that we really do carry value on a higher frequency. A marketing automation aggregator like SevenRooms can really bring in a lot of data points to help feed into our marketing efforts, and we’re excited to get that up and running.

About the Author

Mikayla Walzog

Mikayla Walzog writes about the intersection of technology and hospitality for SevenRooms. Her passion includes all things food & beverage and chipping away at her ever-growing bucket list of new restaurants to try.

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