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FWD Wisely
Spring Release Event

There's a fundamental shift happening in the restaurant industry—winning brands are saying goodbye to transactions and hello to customers. The path forward is building a future with data.
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Goodbye transactions. Hello customers.

The industry's leading brands in every category are personalizing the guest experience to maximize customer lifetime value and building a profitable future with data.

The explosion of technology that has entered the restaurant industry has opened new doors for brands to innovate and provide a better guest experience. But, it has also simultaneously fragmented the capture and actionability of customer data.

Wisely Customer Intelligence is an all-new solution that extends customer data into every other part of the business—the first-ever Customer Data Platform (CDP) for restaurants.

The role of restaurant marketers is evolving at a rapid clip. To keep up, team leaders must challenge the old ways of thinking, from loyalty strategies to mass marketing, as well as make the case for implementing a more modern MarTech stack.

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Read: Quotes from Panelists

Numbers don't reserve tables or pick up orders. Customers do. Imagine every host learns everything they need to know about each customer just before they walk in the door. With Wisely, the future of making customer data accessible FOH is here.

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Read: Quotes from Panelists

We asked the panelists...

What’s the biggest obstacle or opportunity as brands say goodbye to transactions and hello to customers—to move their business forward, faster?
1 OF 6
Warwick McLaren
VP of Omni Channel of Marketing at
Global Franchise Group

“Restaurants are moving from a decentralized channel focus to a unified customer focus. When brands unify their data into a centralized system, it allows them to get a single customer view—and they can see precisely how much their customers are spending, where they are engaging, when, and how often. This level of precision leads to better efficiencies around ads management, acquisition, and, more importantly, better long-term relationships with existing customers.”

Customer Intelligence
Kelly MacPherson
Chief Technology Officer at

“Gone are the days of one channel vs the other, restaurants need to be present where their  guests want to engage beyond the traditional four walls of their restaurant. Those winning are reimagining the customer experience across channels by investing in a more flexible and open architecture, as well as, robust analytics capabilities powered by AI. This power tech combination, coupled with a relentless focus on the guest experience, are the ingredients for success.”

Customer Intelligence
Mike Vichich
CEO, Cofounder at

“Winning restaurant brands are shifting their focus to maximizing customer lifetime value. The fundamental shift happening is brands are extending customer data into every part of the business—changing the game for everyone from ops and marketing to IT and finance.”

Customer Intelligence
Ushashi Chakraborty
VP of Engineering at

"Restaurants are recognizing that siloed customer data is not powerful. Integrating various data points and merging them into a customer intelligence platform opens a world of possibilities. It leads to personalized customer interactions which ultimately makes restaurants more profitable."

Customer Intelligence
Katie Bartlett
Director, Brand Management at
Sonny's BBQ

"Consumers needs and behaviors are more dynamic than ever. To be successful, restaurants must understand these changes and quickly adapt messaging and technology to meet them."

Marketing Intelligence
Rachel Boyschau
Head of Marketing at

“We’ve reached a real tipping point for restaurant marketers. Brands that win will cast aside the notion that marketing is about managing points programs, gift card promotions, and mass or social media. It’s time for marketing, ops, and IT to work as one in creating frameworks to engage guests in new and exciting ways. The challenge marketers face is educating legacy leadership, being willing to test and fail, and ultimately prove that more modern tactics are imperative to driving loyalty and profits at-scale.”

Marketing Intelligence
Art Kilmer
COO at
P.F. Chang's

To quote our partners at Wisely, "winning brands are saying goodbye to transactions and hello to customers." How we at P.F. Chang’s see that opportunity is all about changing what were transactions and adding in-depth customer insights to connect and build a relationship through recognition, customization, and personalization. Taking a guest beyond a transaction, and even a loyalty platform, to know preferences and desires before a guest would ever expect us to know how to cater to them individually. The brands that can take experiences to this next level will be the brands that win.

Operations Intelligence
Robert Hensmann
CEO at
Wings Etc.

“In today’s rapidly changing environment, it is critical to be able to focus on data relevant to your most loyal customers. The ability to connect and establish a dialogue with them is key to maintaining and growing your key customer base.”

Operations Intelligence
Mingming Zhang
Head of Data Science at

"We are seeing data and machine learning playing a bigger role in helping brands make smarter decisions. The challenge is, restaurant technology must rise to the same level of sophistication as ecommerce. Truly knowing your customer is the first step—we call that Customer Intelligence. With answers, rooted in data and analytics, businesses can tailor every action, communication, and business decision to the behaviors of their most valuable guests."

Operations Intelligence
Jessi DeNaut
Head of Client Success at

"The best restaurants are using technology and customer data to elevate and personalize the guest experience at every step of their journey. The opportunity is for brands to build one holistic guest profile and tailor every guest interaction according to each persons unique preferences and behaviors—this approach will be a true industry game changer"

Operations Intelligence

Thank you to the FWD Panelists