Grill’d + Zendesk: Ready to scale with an agile customer support system
Grill’d, a casual dining restaurant group, was struggling to manage customer inquiries through its existing system and processes. After deploying Zendesk, Grill’d eliminated its heavy backlog within three months and centralized customer service through integrations and automation, easing the burden on its restaurants. The company improved its first response time by 84 percent, brought personalisation and efficiency to customer interactions, rewards and refunds, and eased its staff’s workload. Today, the company is ready to expand internationally with sustainable, streamlined processes.
With Zendesk, we have obtained great reporting and visibility, refined our processes through automations, identified personnel skill gaps and eliminated our backlog. We have become more efficient and we can tackle more with less.
Marketing Manager - Grill'd
I can always count on the Zendesk team to reply quickly if we have any issues. I absolutely love working with them. They have also provided opportunities for networking with like-minded companies through Zendesk programs, which has been great.
Customer Service and Insights Lead - Grill'd
Hospitality / Retail
Number of agents
Average monthly tickets
First reply time improvement
in 12 hrs
First reply time
Founded in 2004 in Australia, Grill’d has over 150 casual dining restaurants across the country and one in Bali, Indonesia. Positioning itself as a champion of change in the industry, Grill’d has donated over 6.5 million Australian dollars to local community initiatives through its Local Matters movement. “We want to liberate burgers and give consumers permission to shop the category in a guilt-free, healthy, and progressive fashion,” says Mellissa Coulter, Marketing Manager at Grill’d.
From shared inbox to streamlined platform
Grill’d has always looked for ways to increase efficiency and grow sustainably in all areas of its business, and customer support is no exception. “Previously, we used a shared email inbox to communicate with our customers,” explains Coulter. “With a big backlog, a lot of emails falling through the cracks, and slow response and resolution times, we struggled to understand the customer journey and we’re frustrating our guests. To change that, we started looking for an agile solution that would grow with us and help roll out new restaurants nationally and internationally.”
In 2022, Grill’d deployed Zendesk to help 200 agents sort through tickets, integrating it with a number of other third-party solutions for marketing, data storage, accounting, and other tasks. “We built an app with Zendesk that integrated other services and centralised key information about our customers so we could resolve their feedback more effectively,” shares Ariel Landy, Customer Service and Insights Lead at Grill’d. “For example, previously, our team had to open 10 tabs to process vouchers for customers, which made working at home a nightmare. With the app, they have all the information at their fingertips and they can process refunds and apply vouchers without leaving Zendesk.”
Automations and shortcuts
The company also turned to other measures to streamline customer support, like using Views to sort through tickets and Macros for prepared responses and actions. “An urgent status is automatically assigned to tickets that get flagged as food safety concerns, and they are forwarded to our quality assurance team. This not only streamlines customer service, but also helps our departments work better together,” explains Landy. “Tickets are also assigned an urgency status based on customer satisfaction scores, which helps our team prioritise and improve our response time.”
Such tools even help to drive Grill’d’s social impact. “We have donated over 146,000 meals to the community and we encourage our customers to play a part in the initiative to help those in need,” says Coulter. “One of the ways our team makes that happen is by using Macros; these pre-prepared responses and actions help us to streamline how we recognise and reward customers who donate burgers.”
Becoming faster and better informed
By implementing a centralized ticketing platform with prioritisation and analytics capabilities, Grill’d has gained complete visibility over the customer journey. “In the past, we couldn’t even talk about ticket channels or feedback trends,” adds Coulter. “Now we can quickly digest insights, make informed decisions, and prioritise the right actions.”
With more visibility and efficiency, Grill’d eliminated its ticket backlog within three months of deploying Zendesk. The team also improved its first reply time by 84 percent, with a 13 percent improvement for urgent tickets. “Before, we could really feel the frustration of the customers when we were slow to respond,” says Coulter. “Today, our customers know that we will attend to their concerns in a timely manner. Now that we have more data on the customers, we can also give them more personalised responses, which is really amazing.”
Well-equipped for growth
Streamlined processes also make for a happier team. “Based on feedback from the business, we have essentially taken workload off our team and made their lives easier,” says Coulter. According to Landy, even onboarding new employees has become simpler. “My 60 introductory slides have been reduced to 20, which is great from a training standpoint.”
Now, Grill’d is ready to scale internationally with ease and improve further. “We’re exploring new ways of how Zendesk can help, including in food safety processes, better reporting, and gaining quicker insights,” says Coulter. “Things like hazard and incident reporting are still manual, causing confusion in restaurants, and we aim to take advantage of the technology to make our departments more efficient, which will obviously help us scale. We have ambitious goals for international expansion and we have made sure that our systems and processes can support that growth.”