Ruth's Chris Steak House Case Study
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Online marketing, well done
The world's largest fine dining chain asks Endai for an online strategy to lead the market, and drive cost-effective reservations.
Market leadership, online
Ruth's Chris Steak House was the first fine dining chain to enter the realm of online marketing. Competitors had websites, but they were essentially online brochures, featuring menus and photos. Enter Endai. Endai helped Ruth's Chris develop a strategy to extend their offline retail leadership and to quantify the value of Internet driven business.
Three steps to online success
Endai developed a strategy for making Ruth's Chris the digital leader in their category: acquiring large volumes of new guests, converting website traffic and building a relationship with guests via targeted email marketing that increases the lifetime value of every guest.
The solution started by owning the guest relationship. We understood the dangers of outsourcing reservations to third parties. Ruth's Chris launched a new website with a built-in reservations system, enabling all marketing - online and offline - to be driven directly to RuthsChris.com. Endai developed a marketing strategy focused on gaining cost-effective reservations, leveraging on intelligent email, search marketing, and social media.
This strategy was based on iterative testing and continual optimization to that target cost per acquisition (CPA). Once the target CPA was achieved, we then looked to scale the initiative to drive maximum results.
A smarter system
Solid data was essential to Ruth's Chris' success. Endai engineered a marketing data mart system that aggregates reservation data from all restaurants, and provides adhoc management reporting. Ruth's Chris began communicating with the existing guests via a modest number of emails. Endai's MarketTraq™ Email was used to engage the guest providing them with content that was relevant, expected and had value. That done, it was time to attract and convert new ones. This was divided into near- and long-term initiatives. Near-term initiatives, intended to drive results immediately, included Search Engine Marketing (paid search) and display advertising. A Search Engine Optimization strategy was deployed as the long-term initiative. The combination has consistently driven cost effective reservation month over month and year over year.
Ruth's Chris dominates online as the single largest fine dining chain in the world. The company's email database has grown by over 10,000%. The returns are, well, delicious, and Ruth's Chris owns the No. 1 search result position on more than 1,700 keyword terms across the three major search engines.