How Does Marketing Support Help Me Grow?
Marketing savvy is rapidly increasing brand recognition and enhancing the customer experience for the beloved Mexican QSR franchise
How does a beloved regional brand break into the mainstream? For Pancheros, the rising Mexican QSR franchise, the answer is simple: strategic growth with passionate entrepreneurs, and cutting edge marketing.
Founded in 1992 in Iowa City, Iowa, Pancheros already has a head start. In the Midwest, where Pancheros has dozens of locations, the brand has cultivated a strong, cult-like following of people who crave our Burritos Better Built®, where every bite is designed to be as perfect as the last. This rapidly growing base of brand champions has fueled our growth beyond the Midwest into new markets such as the East Coast and the southern United States.
To capitalize on our brand’s rising profile, Pancheros is implementing cutting-edge marketing strategies to connect with our customers, increase brand recognition and continue our rapid expansion throughout the country.
“The brand is continuing to grow within our areas where it’s strong,” says Ryan Murrin, SVP of Marketing and Franchise Development with Pancheros. “Obviously, we’re based in the Midwest but we have a growing presence in the Northeast and in Minneapolis, where we have great franchise partners who are really savvy operators. We’ve been diligent about finding the right partners to grow, and see a lot of opportunity in growing with the right partners, especially in areas that are near where we’ve built brand awareness.”
Pancheros is experiencing same-store sales increases at the exact time when the rest of the QSR industry is going the other way. The sales breakthroughs Pancheros is experiencing now are the direct result of a highly focused effort to enhance the brand’s customer experience on its digital channel.
Murrin led the efforts to develop a user-friendly mobile app that allows Pancheros customers to order ahead, get delivery and easily earn points from the brands loyalty program. The results have been significant.
“Much of our marketing has relied on utilizing our Pancheros app to increase loyalty participation and downloads, as well as making our app more relevant to our fans and guests. We have seen significant increases this year in same-store sales and in key measures, such as our app participation rates and app downloads, and more participation in digital and loyalty channels than we have ever seen before.”
The importance of a strong digital experience cannot be understated. Poppinpay reports that mobile orders are expected to account for 11% of all QSR sales by 2020. The same company reports that only 45% of consumers prefer to place their orders through employees, meaning that the wide majority of consumers prefer online ordering. As a result of the push to relaunch the app and make it more central to Pancheros’ experience, the percentage of orders flowing through the app almost doubled in 2019, and are now double the industry average.
“This is how consumers expect to deal with brands now,” Murrin says. “They expect a great in- restaurant and digital experience. Our job is to ensure we enable all of that as well as ensure we do not get in the way of people ordering the way they want to.” For new franchise owners, the combination of a brand that places a unique spin on Mexican food that is unlike anything else in the market, with the brand’s commitment to enhancing the digital customer experience, results in a tremendous advantage. “We’re significantly different than what anyone else is doing in the category with our fresh pressed tortillas and Better Built Burritos,” Murrin says. “When you get someone new in those areas, it immediately sets us apart. Additionally, our focus on digital, loyalty and integrated marketing to win the neighborhood for our franchisees is an important strategic step we’ve taken this year to really help franchisees grow their business.”