Food & Beverage

How Wings and Rings Drives 77x+ ROI by Extending the Club-Level Experience to Online Orderers With SMS

plate of wings


Total SMS program ROI


Average revenue growth rate during March Madness


Average SMS conversion rate during Super Bowl

Learn how the sports restaurant uses SMS to build stronger customer relationships and drive online orders during national sporting events.

Since their first humble location in Cincinnati, neighborhood sports restaurant Wings and Rings has steadily grown to 56 US locations. They offer a club-level experience that goes way beyond their wings, providing customers with a welcoming social spot to watch their favorite teams.

Building relationships with online orderers 

Wings and Rings has always been focused on connecting people over sports and good food in their restaurants. But they saw an opportunity to drive more revenue by bringing that same experience to people who gathered to enjoy sports at home. They wanted to find a channel that would allow them to drive online orders, while also continuing to build the strong relationships and camaraderie they valued in person.

Engaging with customers in real-time

People tend to open their text messages immediately, making SMS the perfect channel to engage with customers during games. The brand could celebrate–or commiserate–with customers in real-time, and share relevant, timely order suggestions that would help them both strengthen their customer relationships and drive more online orders.

They were impressed by Attentive’s ease of use, capabilities, and features, including key integrations with their loyalty partner Punchh and online ordering system Olo. “I didn’t want to have a silo of guest data. Being able to see a holistic picture of our customers was super important,” said Wings and Rings Marketing Director Linsey Case. 

Timing and tone are everything

After launching with Attentive, Wings and Rings first focused on encouraging SMS signups to build their list. In addition to adding a sign-up unit to their website, they promoted SMS opt-in in-store by adding messaging to their menus during high-traffic times in the lead-up to sports games and events.

Then they got to work crafting their campaigns. Wings and Rings knew they wanted to use SMS as a place to engage customers—not just as a discount channel. “While we make sure our SMS program reflects our brand, we want it to feel more like your friend is texting you–not, ‘Here’s a promo code,’” said Case.

So they decided they would focus on connecting with subscribers during key sports events like March Madness and the Super Bowl with witty, conversational messages that included highlight reels and real-time references to games—something sports fanatics appreciated. They also included reminders that food would be a great side to the games they were watching.

For example, during March Madness, if a team lost their game, subscribers were invited to drown their sorrows in some Bourbon BBQ Wings. During the Super Bowl, Wings and Rings leaned into Ohio pride and cheered on the Cincinnati Bengals alongside their local subscribers as they suggested pre-orders for game day. 

game day pre order text

Delivering on brand values while driving revenue

By focusing on timely, relevant, engaging conversational messages alongside food order suggestions during and leading up to games, Wings and Rings has been able to deliver the club-level experience they value to customers while driving online orders. As a result, they’ve seen a 77x+ return on investment from their SMS program, with Super Bowl texts achieving a 47% conversion rate and March Madness campaigns boosting revenue by 43%.

Not only has their Attentive-powered SMS program delivered striking results, but it has also helped Wings and Rings build the kinds of strong customer relationships they nurture in person. One manager was recognized as a Wings and Rings employee by a cashier at a gas station who had recently received a message about a new dessert and said, “Hey, you work at Wings and Rings? I just got this text message. What is this? Because I need to try this, like right now.”

Continuing the conversation

Moving forward, Wings and Rings would like to continue leveraging SMS for two-way communication with customers. They saw excellent engagement from a recent message asking customers about what offers they preferred. “Two-way messages let our customers see that texts don’t come from some robot. We really want to have a conversation with you. And we’re also able to get a lot of really valuable feedback that way.” 

They're also planning to get even more sophisticated with their segmentation strategy to deliver more personalized messages, and they’re excited to work with Attentive to do it. “Attentive is one of our most valued and trusted partners,” said Case. “They’re always looking for opportunities for us to grow the program–and they're always evolving their platform. I feel they are working to take our program to the next level and not for their benefit, but for ours.” 

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