Skip to main content

Ruby Tuesday Finds Smart Insights in Social Intelligence

With more than 800 locations in the U.S. and abroad, Ruby Tuesday is one of the world’s best known casual dining chains. Founded in 1972, the restaurant has a proudheritage – but like all businesses, it is necessary to ensure it is staying true to what today’s guests want and need. It’s imperative to keep a finger on the pulse of our customers’ experiences, particularly as they relate to our food, service, atmosphere, affordability and value.
To do this successfully, Ruby Tuesday needs to be closely connected to guests, and relies on social media monitoring to give direct insight into how people perceive Ruby Tuesday in the marketplace. Ruby Tuesday uses a tool called nBA Insight from the social intelligence firm newBrandAnalytics to collect, analyze and assess customer reviews being shared about Ruby Tuesday on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, OpenTable, Foursquare and dozens of others.
Ready, set, go
Through the nBA Insight dashboard management can easily see performance trends, benchmarks, loyalty analysis, and sentiment themes across the entire organization or for specific restaurant locations, which allows the team to identify strengths and weaknesses in operational areas such as food, menu, service, location and personnel. It also shows social competitive intelligence by tracking top competitors in order to assess how Ruby Tuesday compares.
The platform is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology, so once the account was launched, all that was required was logging in online to access all of the Ruby Tuesday locations’ data. Each category is given a letter grade (A+ through F) and a numeric grade for an immediate indication of performance; then managers can filter as needed or drill down by category to see as much detail as desired. The customizable reports called Launchpads are particularly helpful as they   are easily sharable and printable. In addition to reports, department heads are sent notices to their smart phones, giving them a chance to react quickly to customer experience issues on the fly.
Empowering the business
nBA Insight was initially brought in through our operations team around three years ago, but now it’s widely used throughout the organization – from our CEO down to the folks running individual restaurants – because it empowers management to make informed decisions based on actionable information. Within the operations team, specific VPs have been assigned to focus on feedback on food, service, facilities and beverages, and they assess the data to see whether or not what we’re doing in those areas is bringing in more guests. The benefit of social intelligence’s real-time analysis is that as soon as an issue is identified that needs to be addressed, we can rapidly deploy changes on site to win guests back again and again.
Insights in action
A good example of this insight occurred not too long ago. For many years, our restaurants have offered complimentary cheddar biscuits to guests when they’re seated. Of course, multiplied across nearly 800 locations, these biscuits have become a considerable cost for the business, and at one point we considered eliminating them in order to enable investments in other areas. We conducted a pilot by removing the biscuits from 20 locations and had newBrandAnalytics monitor the immediate customer feedback on the change. The response was so overwhelmingly negative that we quickly realized that the savings we’d gain by removing the biscuits would cost us much more dearly in customer loyalty and lost guests. Social intelligence provided quantifiable data that helped us make a significant business decision and mitigated a lot of risk in the long run.
Looking ahead
We’ve been through many brand evolutions throughout our company history, and when we make updates to things like dÉcor, menu items, or beverage selection, we want to be sure those changes are actually improving our offering and not negatively impacting the brand value for our current loyal customers. Social operational intelligence is important to us because it lets us tap into guest feedback daily to see whether or not the decisions we’re making are resonating with customers – and if they’re not, we can adjust accordingly. It’s the best kind of market research because it’s real-time and completely unbiased, and we rely on that to keep customers delighted by their Ruby Tuesday experience.
Bob Gannon, vice president of marketing strategy and insights for Ruby Tuesday, is responsible for the company’s brand, innovation and customer engagement strategy.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds