Chili's digital guest experience transformation.

Credera partnered with Chili's to provide strategic, mobile, responsive, user experience, ecommerce, analytics, and cloud services.

At a Glance

Brinker International is one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies that owns, operates, and franchises more than 1,600 restaurants across 30 countries under the names Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy. Brinker engaged Credera to work with Chili’s to increase online sales, improve customer loyalty, and enhance the digital guest experience. Credera brought strategic, mobile, responsive, user experience, ecommerce, analytics, and cloud expertise to the partnership with Chili’s. After optimizing web, mobile, and loyalty applications powering the digital guest experience, online orders experienced a 25% to 55% growth when compared to the previous year.

The Challenge

Inconsistent digital guest experience.

Brinker International knew it had an opportunity to increase Chili's online sales and enhance the digital customer experience. Credera’s team reviewed Brinker’s requirements and together defined an approach to deliver a consistent digital experience across devices with consistent offers for loyal customers. There was a very real risk the desktop, mobile, and tabletop experiences and offers would have been inconsistent and fragmented were it not for the collaborative discussions initiated between Chili’s and Credera.

The Solution

Transforming and

Credera facilitated a strategic process focused on transforming and The team interviewed numerous Brinker employees, carefully reviewed existing applications, evaluated underlying infrastructure, and outlined a multi-month modernization roadmap to achieve quick wins and demonstrate value for customers and the organization while the modernization program was underway. All plans were developed with legacy technology in mind, allowing Brinker to upgrade to a new platform over time.

As part of the plan, Credera recommended new creative designs for all form factors to deliver a modern digital guest experience. The team would leverage the existing web platform to act as host for changes in order to deploy newer technology incrementally. Brinker tested multiple loyalty program concepts focused on increasing guest engagement and frequency. Credera recommended migrating customer loyalty and customer analytics systems to Amazon Web Services (AWS) with templates and auto-scaling to optimize infrastructure and improve deployment consistency.

Through this program, Credera delivered a modern and responsive ecommerce website that allows customers to engage with the Chili’s brand, regardless of the device they choose to use. Credera produced all creative assets and implemented the changes, including a new home page, product pages, cart, and checkout pages for mobile, tablet, and desktop experiences. The team also updated the Google Play Store and Apple App Store with new mobile applications.

The resulting solution is faster to interact, cheaper to run, and easier to upgrade. The new ecommerce architecture introduced Kubernetes containers to encapsulate key features and simplify upgrades and New Relic to monitor application performance. The optimized platform leverages AWS EC2, Lambda, SQS and RDS MySQL to power the loyalty experience, with SNS for mobile push notifications. The Amazon VPC includes Elastic Load Balancers to route traffic and enable auto-scaling, with automated deployments powered by CloudFormation templates and OpsWorks. The solution is compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards and successfully passed a third-party audit.

The modernized digital platform allows Chili’s to present its guests with consistent offers between web, mobile, and tabletop experiences. It unifies customer data, remembers customer purchase history, and personalizes the guest experience by proactively suggesting previous purchases based on behavior.

The Results

Increased online sales up to 55%.

Increased Online Sales: After implementation, online orders experienced a 25%-55% growth when compared to the previous year.

Enhanced Customer Engagement: The two original Chili’s sites now look like one, reducing guest confusion. The layout is seamless, and Chili’s food takes center stage.

Improved Customer Loyalty: The enhanced loyalty program created new opportunities for customer engagement by rewarding visits and program subscriptions with coupons and loyalty points.

Optimized Traffic Adaptability: Brinker’s online traffic shifts from heavy desktop use during the day to heavy mobile web use in the evening. The responsive design allowed Brinker to reduce the number of supported templates, resulting in a smaller codebase that more quickly adapts to changes.

Improved Web Analytics: Newly available analytics have enabled Brinker to optimize the shopping process, resulting in increased sales and improved customer experience.

Reduced Cloud Hosting Costs: Deploying and optimizing the loyalty architecture with AWS halved average page response times and reduced yearly cloud costs by 60%.

Delivered the Program On-Time: Strategy, design, and implementation efforts were agreed upon and outlined at the onset of the initiative. All activities were completed on time.

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