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Your Local Data is Your Bartender. How Dickey’s BBQ “Cues up Data to Drive Marketing Decisions

Image of Debbie Williams
Debbie Williams

Everyone wants to go to the local business where “Everybody knows your name.” Truly knowing your customers - your most valuable guests - when they come in, what they like, and how they like it, is what creates memorable experiences. 

Essentially, your data is your local bartender. 

On the stage at the recent FastCasual Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit in Nashville, Dickey’s BBQ President and CEO Laura Rae Dickey served up this great analogy comparing your local bartender to local data.  

People, now more than ever, expect personalized experiences at the places they frequent. And now, in a digital world, data is the keeper of all your customer stories. 

Data Secures Success

She candidly shared how they transformed Dickey’s BBQ performance for every location through Big Data. It was a big theme stressed over again - data secures success. 

She and her team developed a proprietary system called Smoke Stack to better understand their customers. Smoke Stack crunches data from POS systems, marketing promotions, loyalty programs, customer surveys, and inventory systems to deliver almost real-time feedback on KPIs and individual store sales.  The Dickey’s team reviews their data every 15 minutes for immediate actions to be taken if needed. 

Because data is now a part of their daily operations, the Dickey’s team can react to numbers every 12 to 24 hours instead of at the end of the week or using month+ old data.  Ms. Dickey advised that to stay profitable, it’s not reasonable to look at old data anymore. 

​​Make data visual, easy, and actionable

The Dickey’s data team wanted their franchisees to easily understand and be able to use the data, too. The team knew what data was essential to share via visual dashboards across their entire organization.  

Once the team had a centralized system in place, they wanted to teach it, replicate it, and make it an individual experience for every franchisee. A key goal was for all Dickey’s operators to have access to and understand their data, as much as at the brand level, to capture the nuance of every restaurant location.

Data has become a part of Dickey’s company culture, where it’s used from the corporate office to the kitchen.


The Dickey’s Top 10 Legit Data Takeaways:

  1. Data secures success
  2. Show me the numbers
  3. Your POS is more than sales - share the data the right way and it drives actions and opportunities
  4. Loyalty is your best data -  It shows you who your best guests are - get personalized, personalized, personalized
  5. Go with Google - look at search daily, show your guests you know who they are
  6. Remarket + retain - A/B test  ads and  tie data back to guests - track all the way through the conversion funnel
  7. Optimize & convert, convert, convert 
  8. Leverage the 3PV - Third-party verification- for feedback and ratings
  9. Mind your star rating, GXT data is your 2nd best data 
  10. Be socially savvy, channel smart - digital marketing assets shouldn’t look the same across every channel. 

This session really connected with our team, as Hyperlocology helps our customers build per-location data to understand their local audiences like never before. Your data is as unique as every location your brand serves, and your local marketing should make your customers feel that you’re always glad they came. (and you know their name : ) 

Learn how Hyperlocology Helps Franchise Brands Build Local Data 




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