If you are planning to eat at Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries, you can rest assured it will be a unique customer experience.
“We’re blessed to have a great reputation for customer service,” Andy Moore, Director of Communications for Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries, told Loyalty360. “But we know now that what is considered a service slip-up for us (i.e. not holding the door open for a guest) would go unnoticed by brands that don’t have the same reputation. So living up to those expectations is a huge challenge. But one that we’ve accepted whole-heartedly.”
Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries has restaurants in eight states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Alabama, and Texas.
“For a brand in the business of face-to-face interactions and making people happy, customer experience means just about everything,” Moore explained. “We strive to provide a unique experience from the time customers walk in—where they’re greeted at the door—to when they see their food cooked right in front of them at an open-air grill. We have never advertised heavily so we rely on our guests to be our biggest proponents. And so far, they’ve been great.”
Moore said that company founder and president Kenney Moore is a big proponent of servant leadership—the philosophy of each and every employee from the CEO down putting others’ needs before their own.
“We feel like this creates a universal desire within our company to put customers’ needs first, since, in this power dynamic, they sit at the top of the pyramid,” Andy Moore explained. “We methodically check sales to see a correlation between an increase in loyalty program signups and same-store sales increases. We also work with our loyalty partner, FiveStars, to monitor each store’s frequency compression—a metric that shows guests’ increase in visits once they become loyalty members. In January, same-store sales shot up 18% thanks in part to our CX program.”
The company’s loyalty program has more than 90,000 members among more than 115 stores. On each visit to a Hwy 55, customers accrue points that can be used for future rewards, and they get access to deals through text and email campaigns.
“Our text and email campaigns are fun—a future one ties into basketball-crazed North Carolina’s obsession with March Madness, and we’ll sometimes send amazing deals to loyal customers who have made it to “VIP” status,” Moore explained. “We also keep our local store marketing as community-focused as possible—our best stores hold spirit nights for local schools and community organizations weekly, and though our work with the Andy’s Foundation (which has raised over $1 million for local charities), we endeavor to do good and create a chain that functions as a collection of community-oriented restaurants. Oh, and our burger is pretty good, too.”
In the past three years, Hwy 55 Burgers & Shakes expanded outside of North Carolina for the first time.
“And the volume of calls and emails from North Carolina expats who are ecstatic they’re finally getting a Hwy 55 in their new towns has been really heartwarming,” Moore said. “Like most brands, we’ve tried to build a real connection with our fans, but it really is great to see evidence that we have so many life-long brand ambassadors out there.”