Quiznos is paring back the number of stores it operates and hoping to woo more return customers with added capabilities to its mobile app.
The fast-food franchise’s Toasty Points loyalty app now has Apple Pay capabilities and added data collection. For instance, every time a user makes a purchase or checks into a Quiznos location through the app, Quiznos requests feedback with an optional message box and rating system that asks about the customer’s experience. A low rating is automatically flagged by Quiznos for customer support to follow up with those people to determine the issues.
Quiznos has received more than 40,000 complaints and compliments from customers since September 2016, when the app launched nationally. That amount of feedback is more than three times what Quiznos sees from social channels or the franchises’ customer support phone line and website, the methods it relied on for feedback in the past.
Quiznos receives a range of feedback, the majority of which is positive with a small percentage being negative. One person might complain about how they received the wrong order. Another might compliment the speed of service. But it’s the negative responses that help the franchise the most. For instance, one common complaint from app users is that Quiznos employees need to be trained further in using the app’s ordering program. With this information, Quiznos can understand which locations are in need of employee training and information behind why a store isn’t performing as well as it should.
“We are in the fast-food industry, and there’s a lot of employee turnaround,” said Tim Kraus, director of interactive and innovation at Quiznos, “so this type of feedback is really helpful for us to make sure our stores are operating at the best level they are.”
The data gained from the app also helps Quiznos tailor marketing messages for franchises so they are specific to the type of audience they reach, said Kraus.
“We are always trying to make sure that we aren’t over-messaging customers or messaging them with the wrong offers,” he said. “If you purchase a vegetarian sub every time you come in, I don’t want to message you an offer for a steak sub and vice versa.”
Quiznos has to do as much as possible to make sure its remaining stores stay as proactive and up to standards as possible. Quiznos was once a growing business. In 2007, it operated 5,000 stores worldwide, 4,600 of which were located in the U.S. But legal battles with franchisees and increased competition from rivals Subway, Panera, Potbelly, Jersey Mike’s and Firehouse Subs led Quiznos to close stores, file for bankruptcy and change up its management. In 2014, Quiznos emerged from bankruptcy, but it has continued to close stores domestically and internationally. Today, it operates 800 stores worldwide, with 500 in North America.
The fallout can be seen across Quiznos’ social channels (it has nearly 1.4 million followers on Facebook, 127,000 followers on Twitter and only 13,300 followers on Instagram), where the majority of comments concern its shrinking number of stores. “Please open more stores,” writes one commenter on Twitter. “I miss you.”