The Palenque Group (55 locations) is known for their authentic North Pacific Mexican cuisine and friendly service. The “Palenque Grill” brand consists of five table-service locations in the San Antonio area.
Sydney, the champion of the app at Palenque, was inspired to look for an app provider after realising the effect retail loyalty programs had on her own purchasing habits.
‘We realised that a loyalty scheme would incentivise customers to come back more often,’ Sydney explained. ‘I was inspired by a business talk from Tony Robbins! People have a reason to visit us over our competitors, plus we give something back to our loyal customers.’
Sydney explained why she chose to launch the project with Pepper, stating:
‘We looked at a few other providers, but found them to be expensive, pushy and not a great fit with our culture at Palenque. ‘
‘However, with Pepper we feel more like we’re in a partnership. The team is always easy to reach, happy to help and we have a great relationship with the people we work with.’
While originally just intended to launch as a loyalty app, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Palenque team realised that their customers could really benefit from contactless payments.
‘We allow our customers to pay at their table using the app,’ Sydney told us. ‘At the moment people feel really uncomfortable handing cards over to wait staff, signing things - all of that is solved with our pay at table solution.’
‘The guest scans a QR code, picks up their check and can pay securely online - it’s really easy.’
It has also allowed Palenque to remove the need for paper menus. Customers scan the table’s QR code and have the menu right there, on their device.
‘An unexpected benefit is the tips!’ Sydney said. ‘Our wait staff have been getting a higher gratuity amount on average. At the end of one shift I asked one of my guys where all his paper receipt slips were for his tips, and he didn’t have any. All of his customers had paid via the app and his tips were higher for it!’
At Palenque’s first app site, the app has sped up service for customers, given them safe and contactless payments, launched a valuable loyalty program and given Sydney greater marketing capabilities.
‘It feels like we’re really a digital-led business now,’ she told us. ‘We’re excited to be rolling the app out to the rest of our sites in the coming month, and looking forward to our future with the Pepper team!’
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