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HuHot Mongolian Grill Increases Membership 50 Percent With Rewards Platform Upgrade

Casual restaurant chain HuHot Mongolian Grill has increased reward program membership by 50 percent after only six months on the Paytronix Rewards platform.  Since migrating to Paytronix in June, HuHot also has leveraged the Paytronix toolset to increase member check size by 10 percent over that of nonmembers.   

Based in Missoula, Montana, HuHot Mongolian Grill specializes in a create-your-own stir fry cuisine known as Mongolian Barbecue. Of its 60 restaurants in 16 states, 48 locations are franchised and 12 are company-owned. The vast majority are located in the Midwest and the Mountain West states.

Launched in 2006 and redesigned in 2015, the points-based HuHot Rewards program recognizes members with one free grill meal for every 12 purchased. Prior to working with Paytronix, HuHot had little insight into their guests’ activity and still required guests to print off physical coupons to redeem surprise and delight offers. Now that they are using Paytronix technology to integrate rewards redemption with HuHot’s Aloha POS, the company is able to do much more specific targeting and monitor the program’s success with more in-depth reports.

HuHot upgraded to the Paytronix Rewards platform in June 2016 largely for its ability to automatically track and redeem rewards in one system. With its integration to HuHot’s Aloha POS, Paytronix manages all of HuHot’s customer-facing programs – from gift cards to rewards – in one consolidated system.  Paytronix also provides sophisticated analytics and reporting that have given HuHot better visibility into its customers’ behavior.  To date, HuHot has leveraged the Paytronix Rewards platform for:

More Members – The 50 percent lift in members is a result of making the program available where the guest spends their time – in store, online, and more. With an increased focus on the Rewards program, local restaurants conducted incentive programs with their servers to get new sign ups. Digital promotions such as Facebook ads and a viral game that encourages guests to “Fill their Horde” also helped increase membership.

Active Members – HuHot is encouraging members to identify themselves at the restaurants without a card by using a phone number. They can now quickly ID the guest and then the software does the rest – point accrual and Smart Reward redemption, which means that only the rewards that match an item in the check are made available for redemption.

Increased Spend – HuHot has created a real impact on its business by motivating members to spend on average 10 percent more per transaction than nonmembers. With members segmented by visit frequency, HuHot can create offers designed to encourage more visits while maintaining the check average. Segmenting guests by visit and spend patterns also enables HuHot to target offers where specific behaviors are desired.

Measurable Impact – The net impact of more members, more active members, and an increase in spend across the board brought the program to the executive table. Today, the marketing team has the power to create loyal behavior, increase revenue, and maximize the impact of its discount investment.

“Paytronix gives us access to so much more information than we’ve ever had before, and this allows us to get much more scientific in our approach to the HuHot Rewards program,” said Monica Minford, digital marking director, HuHot Mongolian Grill. “In fact, we are working very closely with Paytronix to set new KPIs for 2017, such as increasing frequency and membership, so that our rewards program penetration is more in line with the industry average.”
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