SMG Wants to Improve Meal Movement

Launches delivery experience initiative to uncover customer insights, improve off-premise experience
7-Eleven food delivery
Photograph courtesy of 7-Eleven Hawaii

KANSAS CITY, Mo. A new initiative by Service Management Group aims to improve the food-delivery experience.

SMG has assembled a special-interest group made up of leading convenience-store and restaurant brands for the initiative, connecting industry leaders, informing SMG’s ongoing research and providing brands with insights to improve this increasingly important touchpoint in the customer experience.

COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of off-premise dining, and SMG research suggests channels like delivery will continue to grow—with nearly one in five respondents indicating they intend to use delivery more after the pandemic than they did before.

“As an experience management leader, our goal is to help brands keep pace with consumer trends and find opportunities to continually elevate customer and employee experiences,” said SMG Chairman and CEO Andy Fromm. “In our ongoing conversations with clients about keeping pace with off-premise dining, it became clear that SMG is uniquely positioned to bring restaurant leaders together to learn from one another and tap into our research to find insights that will improve the experience for consumers.”

SMG has been monitoring the delivery market since 2017, when it collected feedback from nearly 50,000 consumers and introduced a longitudinal delivery study. The report has been published annually to help brands understand evolving consumer expectations, identify emerging trends and uncover opportunities to improve the experience.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Portillo’s is one participant in the initiative. “With the increased demand for delivery from Portillo’s customers, we are continually looking for insights to improve operations, create better guest experiences and increase satisfaction,” said Nick Scarpino, the company’s senior vice president of marketing and off-premise dining. “We are excited to participate in this important initiative and collaborate with an innovative group of brands to help improve the delivery experience.”

Savannah, Ga.-based Enmarket in March tapped SMG for a new loyalty strategy to capture location-level customer feedback in its three-state network of c-stores. Casey’s General Stores, based in Ankeny, Iowa, partnered with SMG in 2019 for a customer experience management program.

Kansas City, Mo.-based SMG is a partner to more than 500 brands.

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