A large quick service restaurant chain located across the United States with numerous locations. The chain specialized in fresh made to order burgers and has a strong and loyal customer base. The client was eager to offer them a gift card payment option.
Gift cards have taken retail industry by storm over the past three to four years and practically every major player in the restaurant industry space have seriously considered or implemented gift cards. In 2008, a top quick service restaurant’s marketing team launched a gift card initiative to take advantage of the year-end holiday season gift giving opportunity.
However, two major technology challenges presented potential obstacles to the successful deployment – limitations of existing POS and BOS systems; and ongoing project to implement a new technology platform in the stores that conflicted with the timeline for gift card program. The gift card business initiative was very important to the company and IT was tasked with finding innovative ways to accomplish it.
Smartbridge worked closely with IT support personnel, analyzed the technology challenges, identified several options (along with pros and cons) and made implementation recommendations to the management that eliminated dependency on the ongoing new technology implementation project. The recommended approach significantly reduced the technology and process changes to be made in the existing POS and BOS systems and reduced the implementation timeline.
Smartbridge led the technology effort to implement the necessary changes, integration with gift card payment vendor and the reconciliation processes in the corporate ERP system. Working closely with the business team responsible for establishing the gift card processes with the gift card processor bank, franchisees and operations, Smartbridge successfully implemented the gift card program as desired by the management well within the holiday timeframe.
The client successfully implemented the gift card initiative in 2008 in time for the holiday season and realized immediate positive cash flow within the first month of operation.