Case Study

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Increases Promoters by 5% and Boosts Loyalty Program with Yumpingo

 

Results:

More Happy Guests: +5%
NPS Increase: +4 points
Number of Reviews: 107,839
Time period: 5 months
Number of Locations: 19

 

Overview:

A brewing passion started it all. Once friends Kevin Finn and Mark Edelson unexpectedly began winning awards for their home-brewed beers in the early 1990s, they knew they had something special on their hands. Their shared passion soon became the foundation of an innovative brewery and restaurant concept after they teamed up with restaurant professional, Kevin Davies.

As a trio, they established the first Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in 1996 in Newark, Delaware, and have since expanded to an impressive 21 restaurant locations across six states. Their growth can be attributed to their dedication to serving up made-from-scratch food and handcrafted draft beer that keep customers coming back for more.

In addition to operating a creative scratch kitchen, where every dressing, stock, and sauce is made fresh every day, each restaurant also houses its own brewery – with all beer brewed on location. Nothing’s more local than beer brewed ten feet from your table! The combination of their award-winning craft beer and food has turned Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant into the winningest craft brewery east of the Mississippi River.

 

Challenges:

  • Traditional customer experience management methods
  • Low visibility into customer experience feedback
  • Unreliable/Inactionable data collected before Yumpingo
  • No visibility into dish-level data, specific server performance and trendlines

 

Building Upon Success With Real-Time Feedback

Despite consistent growth and recognition in the past 25+ years, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant didn’t have a solution to monitor menu performance in real-time and only collected a limited amount of customer feedback via email. However, this feedback was small, unstructured, and inactionable, making it difficult to make long-term, impactful changes.

Staying true to their innovative spirit, the executive team understood it was critical to have better visibility into their customers’ experiences and valued the breadth of benefits that come from utilizing cutting-edge technology.

As a result, in five months of using Yumpingo, Iron Hill captured 107,839 unincentivized customer feedback reviews across 19 of its locations. Iron Hill now operates with clear visibility into what a majority of their guests think about their experiences and is able to act on this data in real-time.

“It’s a more proactive approach,” says Iron Hill’s Director of IT, Liliana Wagner. “We’re getting the information that we want, which [guests] might not think is important to mention in an email, but it is very valuable to us.”

Capturing real-time feedback has proven effective in making real-time spec changes to several of their dishes, including their fish and chips and chicken pot pie offerings. These changes led to 37% fewer complaints for their fish and chips and 31% less for their chicken pot pie dish.

On average, Iron Hill is capturing roughly 22,000 reviews per month across the business. Having access to this large data set has fundamentally changed how they operate and has guided their decision-making. It’s given stakeholders the confidence to make tough decisions with a higher level of certainty.

“The next time we do a menu change we’re going to have the support of all of this data that’s really gonna tell us whether or not there are high levels of guest satisfaction coming from the items that we have on the menu and what we need to do menu-engineering wise in order to potentially re-engineer or replace menu items on the offer,” says Chris Westcott, CEO at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.


Cultivating More Engaged, Loyal Customers

Iron Hill’s wildly successful customer loyalty program, King of the Hill, allows their guests to be “Royal for life.” Members benefit from discount pricing on mugs of beer, the ability to earn points for every dollar spent, and invitations to exclusive member appreciation nights featuring half-off beer and complimentary bites.

To continue driving interest in joining their loyalty program, Iron Hill’s management teams leveraged valuable server-level data to identify which servers and locations were most active in educating customers about it and pinpoint opportunities for staff retraining.

Customer engagement opportunities increased further in the 5-month period using Yumpingo, with Iron Hill collecting over 2,000 new email opt-ins via Yumpingo’s 1-minute review.

Driving more interest toward joining a loyalty program, such as King of the Hill, and capturing a greater number of email opt-ins can lead to increased margins, as loyal customers dine more frequently and tend to spend more per experience.

 

‘Would You Like A Pack Of Beer To Go?’

We all know that beer makes a lot of people happy. Through customer feedback data, Iron Hill discovered that asking a simple question at the end of each meal had a strong correlation to guest happiness. In fact over 90% of guests left as promoters of their brand when servers asked customers at the end of their meal if they’d like to buy a pack of beer to take home with them.

“So, we looked at that and we started coaching a little bit differently to make sure that everybody understood the importance of it and everybody understood their role in continuing to drive sales by asking the right questions or mentioning the right elements of the program to our guests. So really, really helpful and insightful ways for us to continue to elevate the guest experience,” says Chris Westcott, CEO at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

This key discovery not only created more happy guests but also had the added benefit of driving retail sales – a win-win situation for customers and Iron Hill’s margins alike. This goes to show that it pays (quite literally) to listen to those that matter most to your business – your customers.

 

Raise A Glass To The Next 25 Years

Since day one, Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant has handled it all in-house, from grain to glass, and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. With Yumpingo’s support, the company is poised for an even brighter future. Iron Hill’s website states: “We’re not in it for the fame or the glory. We’re in it because we love what we do.” This is clearly evident in their commitment to delivering their best food and service every day and listening to their customers so they can continuously improve in areas that matter most to them.

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“I’ve not come across a better system of gaining actionable guest feedback in the moment. [Restaurant managers] have a tool now that enables them to very specifically drill down on what they can do within the four walls to improve the guest experience.”

Chris Westcott, CEO at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant