2021 has been a landmark year for Hathway. From incredible new client launches to the big acquisition by Bounteous, there have been significant milestones to celebrate. And while 2021 was filled with unexpected obstacles for everyone, it was an opportunity for our team, partners, and brands to rise to the challenge. And rise we did.
As we celebrate the successes of this past year, we look ahead to even more growth and the opportunity to create ever-better experiences for our client partners in 2022.
Dutch Bros: A Loyalty Program That Is Uniquely Dutch
When COVID-19 hit, Dutch Bros knew their highly popular stamp rewards card and physical payments would need to be transformed into contactless versions of each. Hathway centered its focus on designing an app and loyalty program that gave customers the unique Dutch Bros experience with a new seamless way to pay for their favorite drinks, earn points and collect stickers to personalize their app. The Dutch Bros loyal fan base approved, serving their favorite coffee brand a 4.9-star rating in both the App Store and Google Play. The app also collected awards within the first couple months of release, taking home a platinum badge of honor from the AVA Digital Marketing Awards for best new loyalty program/app.
Acquia Gartner Magic Quadrant for DXP
Acquia, a leading and innovative provider of solutions in the digital experience market, announced that it has been positioned by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms (DXP). The evaluation was based on specific criteria that analyzed the company’s overall completeness of vision and ability to execute.
Olo, which makes online ordering software for restaurants, saw shares soar 39% in its public market debut. The company priced shares at $25 per share, raising about $450 million at a valuation of $3.6 billion. The surge in online restaurant ordering during the coronavirus pandemic helped Olo turn a profit of $3.06 million last year, according to regulatory filings.In 2020, net sales nearly doubled to $98.4 million.
Punchh Acquired by PAR Technology Group
PAR Technology Corp., the restaurant software company, acquired Punchh Inc., the loyalty and guest-engagement provider, for $500 million in cash and shares of PAR common stock. The Punchh deal adds guest-engagement capabilities to PAR’s cloud platform of point-of-sale, back office and payment services, the company said. Savneet Singh, PAR Technology CEO, added that “with the Punchh acquisition, we are building a platform that enables restaurants to scale quickly, own their path to innovation and take back their guest relationship.”
Dash In to Launch New App With Hathway
Hathway will develop a new, unified mobile experience for Dash In customers including retail purchasing, in-app fuel rewards, order ahead and food delivery features, and car wash purchases. Hathway will also be tasked with strategy, design (including UX and UI), and mobile app development. By integrating content, loyalty and commerce for the Dash In loyalty program, customers will receive personalized offers, experiences and rewards which cater to the needs of the individual. Additionally, car wash purchases made through the platform will drive guests to fellow Wills Group subsidiary Splash In’s 47 car wash locations.
CKE 1,000th International Restaurant
CKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, opened their 1000th international restaurant in Madrid, Spain, as they continue to bring craveable burgers and flavors to all corners of the globe. The opening marks a key milestone for the brand as it continues to expand its international footprint across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and more.
Custom Apps: Taking the Next Step in Your Digital Journey
What is the path to creating the right digital experience for convenience store customers? This eBook outlines the latest shifts in customer expectations as they relate to digital experiences based on our recent survey of 1,000 c-store customers, plus recommendations for third-party technology integrations to build a flexible, best-of-breed tech stack.
City Barbeque: Customized Order-Ahead Website and Apps
Fast-casual barbeque restaurant City Barbeque came to Hathway to design and build brand-new native apps, a custom web ordering site, and an integrated marketing site to streamline the BBQ brand’s online ordering experience. From implementing a brand new and engaging ordering experience, City Barbeque customers are now able to see and choose each irresistible menu item in a dynamic way that mirrors the in-person experience, keeping customers coming back for more.
Wingstop Launches Thighstop
After testing the sale of chicken thighs at some of its restaurants, Thighstop launched as a virtual brand at all of Wingstop’s more than 1,400 locations. Orders can be placed on Thighstop.com and through exclusive delivery provider DoorDash. The crispy thighs can be ordered “naked’ or tossed in the same 11 flavor options available through Wingstop. The company also debuted breaded, boneless thighs, which it bills as “a more juicy, flavorful take on Wingstop’s popular boneless wings.”
The Industry’s Digital Evolution Is Here To Stay
Convenience and safety: the underlying forces that have completely evolved the restaurant industry in every way and have resulted in remarkable breakthroughs for the customer experience. By giving customers choice and utilizing tactics from other industries, physical layouts and ordering formats in restaurants will forever be impacted from this past year. Yet, as Hathway’s Kevin Rice shares with QSR Magazine, the greatest outcome from going digital is the new wealth of first-party customer data.
NomNom 3.0 Released
Introducing NomNom 3.0 (XPS), a new cross-platform application solution that unlocks greater potential for code reuse, delivering on the promise of time-to-value for clients that adopt its new modular architecture. The new solution is live and supports the ordering experiences of clients on web (City Barbeque & Red Robin) and clients on hybrid (Denny’s, Carl’s Jr. + Hardee’s, Pieology). NomNom 3.0 is a highly modularized infrastructure that emphasizes code reuse as a core design principle and includes “Packages” or “Modules” for key capabilities (e.g., Apple Pay) that can be deployed and tested with minimal effort.
In partnership with Hathway, this innovative guide from Punchh reveals insights on the changing landscape of loyalty in the convenience industry and how brands can adapt current programs to drive higher engagement, heightened personalization, and craft a customized experience for customers.
MarTech Interview with Kevin Rice, CMO at Hathway
In this MarTech interview, Kevin Rice shares his thoughts on what restaurant marketers of today need to do to drive more brand ROI. Rice explains that many brands still need to foster a test-and-learn culture supported by data sciences, analytics practitioners, and various forms of testing (A/B, Multivariate, User Testing, etc.) for optimization. By embracing and applying testing, brands can focus on optimizing their digital KPI’s, including AOV, Frequency and Conversion rates. Building a test-and-learn culture starts with the recognition that your organization needs to focus on outcomes over outputs.
Emotional loyalty: Evolving restaurants’ approach to brand love
Ellen Green, Hathway’s AVP of Loyalty and Engagement, dives into how brands can create the same emotional bond between its customers that ultimately lives far beyond a transaction. “If we think about loyalty, it’s not a rational concept. It’s an emotional one. We’re loyal to people in our lives because we’ve shared little moments together and, over time, those moments coalesce into something greater, something inexplicable.”
Denny’s: Customized Online Ordering + Mobile App
With the new Denny’s digital experience, guests can find their local Denny’s instantly and browse the menu from anywhere. Using a new website, custom online ordering process, and mobile apps, customers can easily redeem rewards, checkout with saved payment methods, and choose exactly how and when to receive their food.
Dutch Bros IPO
Under the symbol “BROS” on the New York Stock Exchange, Dutch Bros is sharing the “Dutch Luv” far and wide. The 500+ location coffee darling opened on the stock market at $32 per share — 41 percent above the IPO price — and reached a high of $54 per share. Dutch Bros closed at $43.55 per share, or a $7.19 billion valuation.
Digital Strategies that Authentically Differentiate a Brand in its Category
When it comes to technology, one size does not fit all. In this innovation forum at FSTEC 2021, Hathway president Kevin Rice sits down with executives from a leading QSR (Carl’s Jr. / Hardee’s), Fast Casual (Wingstop) and Entertainment brand (Dave & Buster’s) to share their thoughts on how to leverage technology to differentiate in a way that is core to their category.
Hathway included in “The Forrester Wave Loyalty Service Providers”
Forrester Research, Inc. included Hathway among the 12 top loyalty service providers. The report highlights leaders, strong performers, contenders, and challengers to help clients select the right partner to improve customer loyalty. Specific to Hathway, the report notes that marketers “looking for solid leadership on experience and engagement design will welcome Hathway’s digital-first approach.”
Blaze Pizza: Order-Ahead with a Cohesive Digital Experience
Blaze Pizza set out to make their digital ordering experience as smooth as possible so customers could place their orders quickly and efficiently. Along with customizations, robust tracking and improved SEO attributes, Hathway delivered a site that united both the marketing and ordering experience.
Outside the Four Walls: A Sudden Shift in Behavior
For restaurants, the transition to a digital-first mindset hasn’t been easy, yet the results have been profound according to Hathway’s VP of Product, Rob Tedesco. Even though the majority of the experience now happens outside the four walls, the connections between restaurant brands and their guests have the potential to be deeper than they ever were before.
Adweek Fastest Growing Agencies
Adweek’s third-annual global rankings of agencies and solutions providers honors “agencies large and small from all over the world whose industry presence is on the rise.” Rankings were based on three years of earned revenue from 2018 to 2020. Hathway ranked 40th on the list, with 113% growth over the three-year period.
mParticle Series E
mParticle, the leading customer data infrastructure company, announced that it has raised $150 million in Series E funding, led by Permira’s growth fund which backs leading tech-enabled and digital businesses. The existing investor base also participated in the round alongside new backers including Golub Capital, former Adobe CFO Mark Garrett and New England Patriots All-Pro punter Jake Bailey. The funding will support mParticle’s continued global go-to-market expansion, as well as significant R&D investment as demand for customer data infrastructure continues to accelerate.
Texas Roadhouse: An Ordering Experience Designed to Exceed Customer Expectations
Texas Roadhouse has built a legion of fans by providing legendary service and legendary food, with customers absolutely obsessed with their hand-cut steaks and fresh-baked bread. With over 500 locations and the majority of their guests accustomed to dining on premise, the COVID-19 pandemic required them to shift quickly to serve their customers in new and more efficient ways. Together, we built an online ordering experience that allows customers to easily order ahead for pickup, view and get on the waitlist, and apply offers and gift cards towards payment. Texas Roadhouse fans have been raving about the upgraded experience, giving the app a 4.9-star rating in the App Store.
Restaurants need to break past third-party delivery apps
Hathway’s VP of Consulting and Strategy, Matt Carinio, analyzes how brands that invest in longer-term strategies without relying on third-party delivery apps will not only survive, but thrive during these evolving digital times. The best way to reframe this opportunity is to create a more engaging digital customer experience — one that encompasses every aspect of how consumers interact with your brand.
Portillo’s Inc. (“Portillo’s”), the fast-casual restaurant concept known for its menu of Chicago-style favorites, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 20,270,270 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $20 per share. In addition, the Company has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 3,040,540 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.
Olo Acquires Wisely
Olo Inc. (NYSE:OLO), a leading on-demand commerce platform powering the restaurant industry’s digital transformation, announced that on November 4, 2021, it completed the acquisition of Wisely Inc., a leading customer intelligence platform that enables restaurant brands to personalize the guest experience to maximize customer lifetime value.
Peet’s Coffee Revamps Loyalty Program
With the new-and-improved Peetnik Rewards loyalty program, customers can now earn rewards faster and redeem from a wide selection of rewards not previously offered. The new program offers a wide selection of more than 20 unique rewards, while the app features many UI updates, including a unique interactive “dial” coffee cup animation to track a member’s points.
Bounteous Acquires Hathway
Bounteous, a digital innovation partner of the world’s most ambitious brands, acquired Hathway in November of 2021. Bounteous has been recognized as the digital transformation and co-innovation partner behind billion-dollar, multinational brands, unlocking rapid growth for itself and its clients. The combination will provide additional capabilities, offerings, talent, and depth for both Bounteous and Hathway clients.
CKE: Creating Paralleled Experiences for Multiple Brands
CKE Restaurants came to Hathway in need of online ordering experiences for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, its two sister brands with a shared look and feel but separate identities. Following an extensive strategy phase, we designed two fully rebranded websites that introduced online ordering capabilities and best-in-class experiences.The upshot is that every customer’s interaction — with every CKE Restaurants location across the country — has a cohesive feel. It also achieves the same goal every time: bringing that charbroiled happiness right to them simply and efficiently.
Steak n’ Shake: A New Frictionless Dining Experience
The new Hathway-built Steak n’ Shake app includes a new design, fresh ordering options, and a whole bunch of new features. Ordering is fast and easy with new Sign up and Log in features, Favorite re-ordering, and Apple Pay. Plus, the improved Curbside experience lets the staff know when you’re close so your food is hot and fresh. Want the classic Drive-in experience? Try CarHop and they’ll bring your food right to you.
Red Robin Website + Native Apps
Founded in 1969 and with more than 570 locations, Red Robin partnered with Hathway to create a uniquely “Yummm” digital experience for its loyal customers through a custom website and native apps.
With the new Red Robin digital experience, guests can quickly add, customize and re-order their favorites while earning and redeeming Red Robin Royalty rewards along the way. It’s all the “Yummm” tools you need in one place!
Customer engagement software maker Braze Inc. joined the ranks of the publicly traded with a November IPO. The stock rose 44% in its trading debut after an initial share price of $65 in the IPO.
“Dutch Luv: A Culture, a Brand, and a Digital Transformation”
Fresh off its IPO and more than 500 locations strong, Dutch Bros is taking the nation by storm. In this livestream, Dutch Bros CMO John Graham and Hathway+Bounteous CMO Kevin Rice take an up-close look at the BROS story, the evolution of its loyalty program, and the impact of digital transformation on the Dutch Bros business.
Freddy’s Pacesetter Award
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers was presented with the 2021 Pacesetter Award at Winsight’s Restaurant Leadership Conference in Phoenix. “The Pacesetter Award recognizes a brand that’s beyond up and coming to a brand that’s arrived,” said Restaurant Business Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Maze during the presentation. “We look at companies that will next be ranked among the Top 500 Chains.” Freddy’s was honored not only for accelerating systemwide sales and franchise expansion, but “for the deliciousness of its food,” said Maze. “It has continued to grow throughout the pandemic.”
Radar Domain Name Transition
2021 has been a big year at Radar. They’ve seen deep adoption of their technology in existing verticals (like retail, QSR, and payments) and in new verticals (like fleet tracking, delivery, gaming, and healthcare). On December 13th, they transitioned from radar.io to radar.com. The new domain name is fitting as they work to build a category-defining company in the coming years.
NACS+Hathway Research Report: Understanding Shopper Preferences
Did you know that 43% of convenience shoppers have used a delivery service to order from a convenience store at some point in the recent past? This indicates convenience shoppers are willing to use delivery services when they are looking for an even more convenient option for their needs. The frequency that convenience shoppers use delivery for their purchases is reasonably high but also indicates an opportunity for future growth in learning shopper preferences. Published in partnership with NACS, this research report provides a better understanding for how retailers should structure their delivery efforts.
Panda Express: Pivoting to Meet Consumers’ Digital Ordering Needs
Panda Express wanted to integrate their brand marketing with their online ordering, which called for moving from two separate sites into an all-in-one guest experience that simplified purchase conversions. The overall goal was a site that could do it all: provide an easy ordering experience that would emulate being in the restaurant, while also telling the story of the Panda Express brand, community, and core values.
To meet these goals, Hathway put our signature Ionic cross-platform framework into action, building an entirely new website and mobile website from the ground up. The result captures the essence of the brand in icons and beautiful imagery and primes the senses with food preparation videos — all while bringing the tried-and-true Panda ordering experience to life online, with an order flow that moves seamlessly from station to station.