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Unformatted text preview: 404 Part Three Key System Applications for the Digital Age I N T E R A C T I V E S E S S I O N : TECHNOLOGY IHOP COOKS CUSTOMER DATA TO ORDER The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is known best for serving an estimated three-quarter billion pancakes annually to diners across the United States and Canada. The chain, which is based in Glendale, California, has expanded its menu over the years to include a growing number of traditional lunch and dinner items as well. The promise of a simple, economical, and taste-bud-satisfying dining experience has enabled IHOP to maintain its position as one of the top family restaurant chains in the United States. More than 90 percent of Americans are familiar with the IHOP brand name. The chain includes approxi- mately 1,200 restaurants, more than 90 percent of which are owned by independent franchisees. IHOP's slogan is "Come Hungry, Leave Happy." But IHOP didn't know as much as it wanted about its customers and how to make them happier. IHOP had been conducting extensive research into demographic trends, spending patterns, and customer preferences. However, according to Patrick Piccininno, IHOP's vice president of information technology, the information in its systems "wasn't available in a useful, easy-to- access way." Each IHOP division worked with a different slice of customer data. In fact, the company employed five different systems for processing sales data, and there was no method for synchronizing or cleansing the data. Piccininno had no idea if separate franchises were finding the same problems or trends. What IHOP needed was a single central company- wide repository of all of its customer information that could provide a quantifiable picture of customer behavior. "Instead of using gut feel and conjecture, we want to find out what is actually driving customers to us," Piccininno stated....
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- Spring '11