Punchh, a provider of mobile CRM for the restaurant industry, has launched a new product — Big Data Customer Segmentation — to further expand its market leadership position. The company has also hired Jonathan Fornaci as its new chief operating officer, according to a company press release. Both developments should help accelerate Punchh's growth in the $20-billion U.S. restaurant marketing segment, said Jitendra Gupta, founder and CEO of Punchh.

Big Data Customer Segmentation

Punchh's mobile CRM suite, said Gupta, helps brick-and-mortar businesses understand their customers by taking advantage of four key trends: Cloud, mobile, social media and big data technology adoption by consumers and businesses. Today, the company is expanding on that last trend by launching Big Data Customer Segmentation. With this new capability, restaurants can not only get a deep understanding of their customers through demographics, frequency, spend, orders, social media reviews and referrals, but can also create and target micro-segments, based on ordered items SKU/PLU, spend, and other demographic and behavioral characteristics.

"Until now, big data analytics has mostly been about tools for large companies with big budgets," Gupta said. "We are making big data just work for brick and mortar businesses, without requiring them to be IT savvy or data scientists. Restaurant CEOs and CMOs can view actionable insights about their customers in real-time."

Within minutes, a restaurant CMO can drill down into store or customer-level insights, create micro-segments of their customers, and target them directly on their smartphones with personalized offers. For example, he or she can quickly identify which customers order a turkey avocado sandwich, and send them an offer for adding potato chips, Gupta said.

New COO

In the last six months, Punchh has grown by 300 percent and now has 31 employees, which sparked the need for a COO, Gupta said. The company has named Jonathan Fornaci to the position.

"Jonathan is one of the strongest restaurant industry executives with a unique mix of industry expertise and vision for how mobile can transform restaurants," Gupta said. "He has led two iconic brands including Straw Hat Pizza and Rita's Italian Ice, which is also a key customer of Punchh. Having a key customer's executive join us is a testament to our market leadership and the results that we deliver for our customers. With his addition to our leadership team, we look to accelerate our momentum by tapping into the big demand we are seeing."

Fornaci said Punchh is addressing a huge market and a key problem that most restaurants are struggling with: Knowing who their customers are, and targeting them with personalized offers to bring them and their friends back.

"At Rita's Italian Ice, Punchh helped us launch the Rita's Rewards mobile app, which helped us really understand who our customers are. We realized a triple-digit ROI through the Punchh solution. I'm thrilled to join Punchh, and I believed in the results so much that I personally invested in the company. I think that we can make a terrific impact for many other brands and industries in addition to restaurants," he said.

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