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Taziki's Mediterranean Café CEO Discusses New Mobile App, Rewards Program

Taziki's Mediterranean Café, recently named one of Inc. 5000's fastest growing companies, has seen an impressive rise in online ordering and to-go sales in 2018. During the past three years, the company has experienced a 200% increase in the amount of online and to-go orders. As a result, Taziki's has been focusing on improving the customer experience via its ordering process. Namely, creating more convenient ways to order ahead, both with a new mobile app and with improved online ordering options.

"We've had a more basic app for several years; however, as our guests lives’ have become more mobile, we've realized that we needed to make Taziki's equally mobile," said Dan Simpson, CEO, Taziki's Mediterranean Café. "Our mobile technology is always a work in progress and we will continue to iterate and add features to it."

To create its mobile app and online ordering/rewards platform, Taziki's partnered with Fresh Technology and ToGoTechnologies. According to Simpson, the platform is fully integrated into its restaurant technology ecosystem and offers some innovative features. For example, after ordering customers can get directions to the restaurant via the mobile app's integration with Apple and Google maps, credit cards can be added by taking a picture of the card versus having to manually enter the information, and customers can login using bio-password capabilities such as a thumbprint or facial recognition.

Inspiration for the mobile app came from other companies' mobile apps that Taziki's CEO is a fan of: Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A.

"We're big fans (and customers for that matter) of Starbucks and Chick-fil-A and were intentional about emulating Starbucks simple and proven rewards program as well as Chick-fil-A's one philosophy by making omni-channel ordering available in one place," Simpson stated. "In our case, this includes: Takeout, Curbside, and Delivery. Catering for Pickup and Delivery are also available through the app in select markets. Yes, most guests want to pre-order and pre-pay for their orders, but we also make it easy to engage in any way they want including a one-tap way to call the store or get directions."

In particular, the company really wanted to focus on improving the guest experience – both for those who like to explore new foods and those who are creatures of habit. The mobile app, in particular, allows those who reorder the same thing a more seamless experience via its order again feature. Meanwhile, those who enjoy trying new things, will find an updated menu navigation with attractive photos.

Similarly, Taziki's wanted to offer customers a loyalty program to say thanks. TAZ Rewards,  works via the mobile app and through online web ordering. Customers will earn a Star for every $5 spent. After 25 Stars are earned, the customer will receive a $10 off reward and can expect other periodic surprise offers. Prior to rolling out the rewards program to all locations, the company tested it for six months at just a few locations. Once Taziki's was satisfied with the program, the company rolled it out to all locations.

"TAZ Rewards is our way of thanking our customers for their loyalty over the last 20 years," said Simpson. "We are grateful our customers believe in what we do and our commitment to use simple, wholesome ingredients that we make from scratch daily."

Existing Taziki's locations across the country are also being renovated and new locations are being designed with larger spaces for customers to retrieve their food from the 'To Go' counter as a part of a more convenient guest experience.

When asked how the company will measure the success of its new app and loyalty program, Simpson replied: "Success is first measured by the satisfaction of the thousands of guest who already enjoy the app. If the new features add some convenience to their full lives and they feel appreciated for their loyalty, that's winning. Next, since our mobile and online ordering has more than doubled each of the last few years, we expect that thousands more will discover this new version of the app and/or be attracted to the rewards program and we'll have the privilege of seeing them a little more frequently for a quick lunch, a quiet dinner, or a catered gathering at their workplace." 

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