Modernizing two QSR brands under a single mobile platform.

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Fiesta Restaurant Group

The quick service restaurant (QSR) industry is a hyper-competitive market where convenience and quality are of utmost importance. Industry research has proven that digital customers regularly spend more than physical customers across all QSR brands, making digital experiences an imperative component of customer retention and revenue growth. Adding fuel to the fire, 2020 shopping habits changed radically during the pandemic thus increasing the importance of loyalty and the need to create deeper customer connections.



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Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., owns, operates, and franchises Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant brands across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. With over 360 locations, Fiesta Restaurant Group specializes in the operation of fast casual and QSRs that offer distinct and local flavors at a remarkable value. Taco Cabana features Tex-Mex and Mexican food primarily in the state of Texas, while Pollo Tropical features Caribbean-inspired dishes throughout South Florida.

The Challenge

Even pre-COVID, customer demand for digital experiences was on the rise. Fast-forward to 2020, and they became an imperative to enhance customer retention and drive revenue growth. Despite large amounts of traffic in their stores, Fiesta Restaurant Group was not capitalizing on digital touchpoints to create long-lasting relationships with their customers. Even though a loyalty app existed, engagement was low and the company knew it was missing out on a significant revenue opportunity. Competing with the likes of Chipotle and Chick-fil-A who invested early in digital, the time to invest was now while also working to modernize the brand and improve current brand-specific user challenges and organization-wide technology challenges. Both brands needed to drive frequency of visits, create deeper engagement with their most loyal guests, and increase participation in their loyalty program.

Fiesta logo with screenshot of mobile app

Our Approach

Customer expectations are at an all-time high. Simple, contextual and personalized experiences are the norm and brands that don’t offer this consumer touch point are simply leaving money on the table. With two brands to serve, Fiesta Restaurant Group needed a partner that could offer speed to market and speed to value while also ensuring that both brands have a unique, customized experience for guests.

Fiesta Restaurant Group came to Bottle Rocket to create a unified platform to support the brands and increase loyalty. We began with extensive customer journey mapping, market and onsite research, strategic discovery and a detailed technology audit to determine both short-term wins for the company, as well as growth opportunities for both brands. With the need for velocity top of mind, we architected a standardized technology and user experience framework that would effectively support both brands and would ensure enterprise scalability and flexibility for the long-term. This approach, backed by an API gateway, was the best opportunity to deliver on customer expectations while also reducing the complexity of maintenance and implementation. In essence, this approach allowed us to build once and launch four times – to serve both iOS and Android users – across both brands. 

Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana mobile app screen comparison

As a part of this initiative, Bottle Rocket stood up an entirely new code base for Fiesta Restaurant Group so that it was not only a performant experience, but it is also easily maintainable and leveraging up-to-date code standards that will also allow the brands to move faster in the future.

Both with complex menus, each brand needed a highly effective user experience that would make ordering on the app as simple as ordering in the store. Bottle Rocket simplified each brand’s unique menu structure in order to optimize conversions throughout the purchase journey. With thousands of variants available, customers had come to expect this personalization. Bottle Rocket created a common order flow that allowed each brand to differentiate themselves while allowing high levels of customization in the easiest way from an enterprise perspective. We also integrated offer and loyalty redemption into the ordering flow to drive loyalty frequency and participation.

As a part of this initiative, Bottle Rocket stood up an entirely new code base for Fiesta Restaurant Group so that it was not only a performant experience, but it is also easily maintainable and leveraging up-to-date code standards that will also allow the brands to move faster in the future.
– Richard Stockinger
Fiesta President and Chief Executive Officer

In addition, Bottle Rocket enhanced the user validated “re-order” experience leveraging various methods including pickup, delivery and curbside, which emerged as an immediate priority during development due to the continuation of COVID-19 concerns and the enhanced need for contactless service.  We quickly reprioritized this critical business imperative to ensure we were driving increased retention and repeat purchase.

In the News

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2023 Results

Fiesta President and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Montgomery said, “Our focus on building traffic resulted in year-over-year comparable transaction growth of 3.6% and comparable sales growth of 9.6%. The growth initiatives we shared previously have improved our traffic growth, which continued into July with comparable transaction growth of 3.9%.”

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