San Churro invests in delivery and a revamped members program

By Sarah Stowe | 11 Jun 2020 View comments

Chocolateria San Churro has invested in its customers with a new direct delivery service and refreshed membership program el SOCIAL.

The cafe chain has partnered with hospitality POS, loyalty membership and IT specialist Redcat and global delivery service DoorDash to take it to the next level.

Also coming up is a partnership with Google. By the end of the month customers will be able to order food for pickup straight from Google Search or Google Maps. The partnership will further enhance the online experience and sees San Churro one of the first Australian retailers to do so.

The cafe chain has also launched a four week promotion of exclusive offers to its 250,000 plus existing and new el SOCIAL members. The promotion will be supported via an integrated marketing campaign including eDMs, social media, digital advertising, influencer outreach and earned media.

Loyalty program refreshed

In relaunching the loyalty program Redcat worked with San Churro to provide a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints. It developed a new interface and host of features across the el SOCIAL website and app.

Key features of the program include a digital membership card (hosted via the el SOCIAL app), contactless payment capability, live status updates on both earned points and rewards available, transaction history, San Churro store locator, online ordering, and more.

The tech offering also allows for tailored customer offers based on Redcat’s behaviour data.

San Churro CEO Giro Maurici said “We evaluated the market – and, forming these new partnerships with technology specialists Redcat and DoorDash were an absolute must. The services available by them both were in line with the direction of our business, and Redcat in particular counts a strong network of third parties they’ve worked with for progressive integration.”

In addition, the new Redcat POS has been adopted by many of the franchise’s 51 Australian stores.

San Churro invests in delivery 

As part of the new strategy there’s been a focus on online delivery, implemented in a new partnership with DoorDash across the eastern states from mid June.

Customers will be able to use an integrated one-touch ordering service in the el SOCIAL program to get easy dessert deliveries. 

Thomas Stephens, GM of Australia, DoorDash, said “Food delivery has become a lifeline for restaurants to reach customers during the pandemic and on the path to recovery, and as this demand for at-home food delivery continues to grow across Australia, we’re looking forward to providing San Churro and its customers with first-class online hospitality experiences.”

Customer insights

Maurici told Inside Franchise Business Executive the new developments allow the business to “better understand who our customers are, and connect with them”.

“This is critical for us. We’re probably not alone in hospitality that third party delivery platforms and aggregators, as great as they were to open our eyes to different channels, they poked us in terms of connection with our customer base.

“We struggled with losing a bit of that connectivity. This is redressing the balance, we can reignite with customers, give them the best deal, best experience.

“One of the strategic benefits of rolling out the loyalty program is we have online ordering built in. Customers are now much more receptive to ordering on a digital platform, doing it all on their own device, no handling of cash or credit card.

“Giving customers that flexibility is more timely than ever. Even groups you think are more digitally reticent, see certain convenience and benefits.”

It’s been a hefty investment for the franchisor, he said.

“We had to throw some caution to the wind and over invest. Like many franchise groups, we rely on royalties and the marketing fund, and if we did that here we’d still be in development. We had to make significant investments in time, and dollars.”

These plans had been in pipeline over the previous six months with an orderly, progressive plan in place until the pandemic hit.

“All that really went out the window. We had to crunch this into a few weeks,” Maurici explained.

“Rather than shut the lights on the support office, we made a ballsy call to keep everyone on, and to their credit people responded and our suppliers and new partners moved quite fast.

“We would have thought it not possible to do what we did. “