Fast food franchise puts digital on the menu

To better serve the modern customer and catch up with its competition, this quick-service restaurant franchise asked for a comprehensive strategy and step-by-step plan that would revolutionize its marketing and sales approach.


Quick service restaurant

Company size

$350M annual revenue


Fall 2019 to spring 2020


Advice and training

What We Delivered

2- to 5-year marketing strategy

Omnichannel marketing plan

3-month work allocation

Buyer personas

Customer journey mapping

Technology vendor selection

Sales strategy

Marketing operations recommendations

Loyalty program recommendations

Marketing and sales dashboards

The Challenge

“The competition is eating us for breakfast.”

Given the pace of change today, if your business is standing still it’s actually falling behind—and this quick service restaurant franchise was proof. Their marketing and sales strategies hadn’t changed in years, while their competition had enthusiastically embraced digital approaches. The director of marketing was worried. He came to lizoke Marketing for outside expertise that would validate his concerns and help him play catchup.

The Ah-ha Moment

“Who are you trying to reach?”

The company had a great product—healthy, delicious fast food—but didn’t know who its customers were. It was clear they needed a strategy that would improve all aspects of their customers’ purchase experience. Such a strategy would need to touch marketing, sales and customer service.

The Hard Conversation

“It’s not about you, it’s about your customer.”

Early in the process we developed buyer personas and mapped the buyer journey to identify what needed to change. The challenge then became convincing head office to buy in. When we presented an early draft of the strategy it was clear the big bosses were more interested in day-to-day firefighting and box-checking than the innovation needed to grow this particular franchise. We needed to convince them that meeting their customers’ needs was more important than meeting their own.

The Solution

“Marketing needs to be strategy-first.”

The strategy included specific ways to meet the expectations of the modern quick service restaurant customer, including always-on digital ads, remarketing campaigns, a social media strategy, personalized communication, online ordering, in-store kiosks, a plan for in-house delivery and a modern loyalty program. We also developed data tracking and reporting dashboards so we could identify patterns in customer behaviour and three-month work allocation so the marketing and sales teams could get started. The idea was to show early results to encourage further investment by head office.

The Outcomes

“You have to spend money to make money.”

Digital ads were running. Dashboards were set up. We were meeting with vendors to award contracts for the self-serve kiosks and online ordering.

Early results were promising. And then the pandemic hit.

Connecting the [marketing] Dots

“An outsider makes change easier.”

Most of my clients come to me knowing something isn’t working, but they struggle to give their challenges a name. They need a neutral third party to uncover the true problem, make innovative (and sometimes initially unpopular) suggestions and provide on-the-ground support that gets results.

The small investment my clients make in an external advisor provides momentum for growth and justification for the change. They get a reassuring ally and senior team member who moves the business forward by both seeing the big picture and sweating the small stuff.