How Groucho's Deli optimized their entire business with Bikky
A beloved regional brand gains a complete view of their operations to achieve an industry-leading 43% guest retention rate.
Increase in monthly guests
Improvement in days between visits
Hybrid QSR / FSR
Southeast, USA
“Bikky is an absolute game-changer. It empowers us to harness the full potential of our data, providing actionable insights that drive our marketing and operational decisions. It's an indispensable tool.”
Deric Rosenbaum
President of Groucho's Deli
Groucho’s Deli has been a Columbia, SC institution since 1941. Famous for their fast, fresh food and friendly neighborhood service, they now have over 30 locations throughout the Southeast US—each as beloved as the original.
Groucho’s guests come back for decades to what they call their local deli. The secret? Fast, fresh, high quality food, and having rapport with everyone who visits—just like their founder did. Since overhauling their tech stack in 2019, Groucho’s remains on the cutting-edge when it comes to understanding their guests, their organization, and crafting consistent, highly personalized experiences.
Our focus is meeting guests where they are and creating personalized experiences through technology. I believe in using technology to humanize your brand.
Deric Rosenbaum, President
The challenge
After moving from legacy systems to modern tech infrastructure, Groucho’s still didn’t have the granular data they needed to understand their guests.
When you’ve been running a restaurant for generations, it's easy to fall back on what you know. But the status quo has never been good enough for Groucho’s Deli. After decades of family ownership, the deli began to franchise in 1999. Deric Rosenbaum became their first franchisee, quickly opening four new locations, and eventually becoming their President.
As the business continued to expand, Deric knew that connected digital systems would be critical for delivering consistent, quality service across the organization. Unimpressed with the legacy systems on the market, he and his team pieced together a tech stack that suited the brand’s unique needs. 
We stitched together a modular tech infrastructure, and in 2019, every location switched their POS to a centralized cloud-based system.
Despite having their new tech infrastructure in place, keeping pace with the needs of their guests continued to present challenges for Deric and his team. As they added more locations and more ways to order, they realized there was no centralized tool for tracking guests and the details of their transactions. This meant they didn’t have access to basic metrics like retention and frequency, which are critical for keeping their business on track.
“Having a macro view of things like guest retention and frequency helps me gauge the global health of the organization,” says Deric. “Whether we’re looking at year over year, monthly, or weekly, those metrics are a great early identifier that we may have a problem. But we had no insight into any of it.”
Deric also found himself guessing at the more detailed behaviors and preferences of the deli’s growing customer base. When and what did they order? How often did they visit? For 60 years, the proprietors of Groucho’s Deli deeply understood their guests because they had known them for generations. As the business expanded, he couldn’t rely solely on institutional knowledge to create personalized experiences that could replicate the “neighborhood feel” at scale.
This lack of insight was most notable in Groucho’s marketing. Ideally their emails and marketing initiatives would be highly personalized, specific to a guest’s preferred location, time of day, and favorite menu items. But without the right tools, their marketing was limited to generic email blasts where every guest received the same message regardless of their location or behavior.
It was clear that Groucho’s needed the power of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to bring the “neighborhood deli” experience to their guests beyond their four walls.
The solution
By partnering with Bikky, Groucho’s Deli optimized every aspect of their business—from marketing communications to their operational playbook.
Groucho’s initially sought a CDP to bring basic sophistication to their marketing efforts, like running email automations to new guests after an initial order and re-engaging those who hadn’t ordered recently.
After partnering with Bikky, Deric’s team immediately overhauled their communications, building campaigns more specific than they’d ever envisioned. “With the extremely detailed data in Bikky, we were able to target segments as small as one and use store-specific data in our emails.”
Deric quickly realized that Bikky’s breadth of data could be used for much more than marketing. The platform could also bring efficiencies to their operations, enhance franchisee performance, and guide their long-term strategic planning. As Deric likes to say “what gets measured can be improved.”
The Groucho’s team started by optimizing in the kitchens. With Bikky’s PMIX tool, Groucho’s can easily see the top-selling menu items by hour or daypart (like lunch or dinner) for each location. The General Managers then use this to set PAR Levels, streamline morning prep, and seamlessly enhance efficiency to get through service.
“Using Bikky, we know exactly which items to pre-make so we can set ourselves up for success. It’s really helped us speed up service during the lunch rush and optimize our efficiency in other areas.”
After a few months of monitoring sales, guest frequency, and other key metrics at each location, Deric’s team was able to set a baseline and create benchmarks for success. They now use Bikky’s data to keep franchisees accountable and provide clear, actionable support when it’s needed.
If issues arise, we go straight to the data. Is it operational? Seasonal? Something else? Bikky helps us find the root.
In fact, regular business reviews with franchisees have become insight-powered strategy sessions. One of Groucho’s operators wanted to close early on Saturday evenings, convinced it was too slow. He was quickly shown otherwise with just a few clicks from Deric. “With Bikky, I could drill right down to the hours he wanted to close so he could see it was actually contributing a much higher percentage of his revenue than perceived,” says Deric. “It blew his mind and truly showed the power of the data.”
Inspired by the power of location-level data, Deric used Bikky’s segmentation tool to create an innovative store-level marketing service. The Colonel Miller marketing program, named for Groucho’s founder, is tailored to each location and gives franchisees access to highly specific local marketing tools. With Bikky, Deric can also see the program’s very tangible results: stores using Colonel Miller marketing have 30% higher revenue than the locations that don’t opt in.
Today, Groucho’s Deli relies on Bikky to run and enhance many aspects of its business, from finding issues at the store level and managing franchisees, to marketing and strategic decisions. “We're measuring literally everything. It’s absolutely game-changing for the way we operate.”
The result
After integrating Bikky into their marketing and operations strategies, Groucho’s Deli has a 360-degree view of their business and clear-cut data that drives their strategic planning—not to mention an industry-leading 43% guest retention rate.
Bikky has revolutionized Groucho’s understanding of their own performance while helping them meet their guests where they are. “It’s empowered us to harness the full potential of our data, providing actionable insights that drive our marketing and operational decisions, and elevate our guest experience.”
The Groucho’s team today views Bikky as a global health tool for the organization. “If our feedback and reputation management tools indicate that something’s wrong, I’ll immediately switch over to Bikky to pinpoint the who, what, where, when, and how.” By looking at Bikky’s Trends and Engagement dashboards, the team can identify system-wide problems like supply chain issues or drill right down and review the business at location level.
Deric also has the granular data he’s wanted and needed since Groucho’s started franchising. The brand can finally build relationships with their guests that capture the spirit of the original location.
Bikky drives our narrative. It’s helping us humanize our business for digital-first guests.
But will this generation of guests come back for decades?
The data speaks for itself: Groucho’s most recent month included a 28% increase in repeat guests and a 4% increase in transactions. Looking at the rest of the guest lifecycle, the combination of insights across marketing and operations, alongside his reputation management strategy, have contributed to a 50% improvement in the amount of time it takes for guests to place a second order and a 22% year over year increase in the number of monthly guests. Overall, their 43% guest retention rate today is more than double the industry average.
The data already has Deric looking towards the future for Groucho’s Deli and how Bikky can help grow the business for another 80 years. In their next strategic planning session, they’ll use Bikky to hone in on challenges, develop more precise operational and marketing tactics, and guide their narrative.
“I cannot express enough how transformative Bikky has been for our operations and guest engagement. As a power user of this phenomenal product, I can confidently say that Bikky is more than just a customer data platform. It’s an all-encompassing business intelligence and data analytics powerhouse.”
Bikky transcends the traditional boundaries of a CDP. It serves as an operations tool, a menu analytics resource, and a marketing segmentation and activation powerhouse.
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