Since 1964, Arby’s has been Inspiring Smiles Through Delicious Experiences®. What began as a single sandwich shop serving up hot, freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches in Boardman, Ohio, has since become the second-largest quick-service fast-food sandwich restaurant chain in the U.S., with 3,300+ restaurants. Arby’s Fast Crafted® restaurant services feature a unique blend of quick-serve speed combined with the quality and made-for-you care of fast casual.
When it comes to supporting such a large national brand, maintaining consistency of customer experience across all locations is critical. “We’ve increased the consistency of our products and our messaging across the system,” states Rob Lynch, Brand President and Chief Marketing Officer. “So when somebody is traveling, when somebody is thinking about Arby’s in California, it’s the same experience that they’re going to get in Pennsylvania. That being said, this is inherently a local business. Each one of our restaurants has its own kind of community — both from an employee standpoint, and a neighborhood standpoint. So our ability to tap into those local prospective customers is critical.”
“Most of our customers make the decision of where they’re going to eat within ten minutes of where they end up,” explains Lynch. “So they’re seeking out information, seeking out directions, seeking out hours of operation — all of those things are critically important to our business.”
Lynch realized that having centralized digital knowledge is necessary for maintaining a cohesive brand identity across locations. “We didn’t have much focus on that foundational marketing infrastructure. There wasn’t anyone centrally managing that information — making sure that we were showing up in searches, making sure that our brand was being represented the way we want it to be represented. Our team members were busy running the restaurants, serving our customers, so the accuracy wasn’t really there. When Yext came to us and said, ‘Look, we have this capability that can make sure all of this information is accurate, and that your representation to your customers — both at a local level and at a macro level — will be accurate and really able to tell the story of your business,’ that to us seemed pretty compelling.”
Arby’s Achieves Online Consistency Using the Yext Knowledge Engine
Arby’s uses Yext Listings and Pages to manage its local online presence. The Yext Knowledge Engine enables brands like Arby’s to update and maintain digital knowledge for every restaurant, all from a single comprehensive dashboard. Unique to Yext is the global Knowledge Network, with proprietary integrations that enable real-time updates across major online publishers, search portals, maps, and apps — including Google, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo!, Yelp, and more. Pages from Yext are built according to SEO best practices for worldwide content delivery with maximum reliability and performance.
“We manage the process from the corporate level, but we’re always taking feedback and insights from all of our team members at the local level,” explains Lynch. “If there is a problem with the accessibility of information, or the accuracy of information, our team members tend to hear about it first because their customers will come in and say, ‘this said you weren’t open today” or ‘this said that you were a block down the street.’”
“Thanks to the Yext Knowledge Engine, it’s easy to make changes to that information when necessary,” Lynch says. “And we’re finding that the accuracy and accessibility of our information has significantly improved.”
“Yext has made it much easier for us to update our digital knowledge on Arbys.com,” says Josh Martin, Senior Director, Digital & Social Media. “The platform saves us about 8 hours of work a week. Our organic rankings for branded terms have significantly increased since we launched Pages. And our rankings for non-branded terms are also starting to increase.” Now with 233,000+ live listings, Arby’s has used the Yext Knowledge Engine to increase its overall listings presence by more than 40%. The company has also made 15,400,000+ updates to its Featured Messages, has grown its Google Search impressions by 26%, and has experienced a 56% increase in Facebook ‘Likes.’ After adding structured menu data into the Yext platform, Arby’s saw a 17% increase year over year in Google Search Views.
According to Lynch, digital knowledge is transforming the food and beverage industry. “Mobile technologies, and specifically location-based technologies, are going to continue to really transform our quick service restaurant industry,” he says. “People are using mobile to find everything. So when somebody walks outside of their office building and is looking for, ‘where am I going to go for lunch today?’ and they type in, ‘great lunch spots,’ it’s based on location. We want to be there. This partnership with Yext gives us confidence that we will be there.”