Cascade Dining & Upside

Papa John’s operators discuss how Upside’s measurability differs from the programs they were used to.

Cascade Dining
Cascade Dining
June 14, 2024
Cascade Dining & Upside
Play video
Play icon

Cascade Dining has operated Papa John’s locations in the American Northwest for more than two decades, serving families in their local communities and providing value-seekers with fresh meals at affordable prices. Director of Operations Matt Edwards can’t imagine being anywhere else.

“It’s something we’ve always done,” he said.

Edwards’ customers most commonly include families and those seeking value from their meal purchases. But in order to provide customers with that value while also growing the business, Cascade has to be thoughtful with how it spends marketing dollars and diligent about how it measures success.

To keep up with competitors spending big on TV ads and billboards, Edwards and his team have turned to a variety of marketing investments over the years for their restaurants — mostly to disappointing results. Some more traditional companies, he says, provide no way to measure the effectiveness of the marketing program. 

Other companies show misleading results. They take credit for every transaction, even those that they likely didn’t influence at all, like a regular customer who places a carry-out order every Friday.

“If we were to go by what they tell us, the sales that they’re responsible for, then we’d blow the roof off of every record that we’ve ever set,” Edwards said. “It’s just not believable and it doesn’t connect.”

‘But Upside is different.’

That’s why Edwards and Cascade Dining love Upside. Compared to other marketing programs, Upside provides Edwards with a surefire way to measure the effectiveness of the program, down to the transaction level.

“The transparency behind what we’re able to see is number one for us. With Upside, I’ve never felt like I can’t believe what it returned, or that what I’m seeing in my dashboard doesn’t match what we’re actually seeing in the restaurant,” he said.

In addition to being transparent about results, Upside only takes credit for incremental profit — excluding the sales that Cascade expects to make anyway. That means Edwards and his team can rely on the program to bring more value-seeking customers into their stores without fretting over profit cannibalization.  

‘Get to the next order’

While every order matters in the restaurant business, Edwards knows that returning visitors can make or break a business. That fact inspires his mantra: “Get to the next order.” 

To that end, Cascade seeks out areas for improvement, like the accuracy of the order or delivery time, to improve the likelihood that a customer will come back soon. “Upside's focus on value incentivizes customers to return, which fits hand-in-hand with our mantra,” he said. 

For peers looking for a way to create value for customers and drive more incremental profit to their business, Edwards recommends Upside as a “zero risk, high reward” solution.

“We’re constantly looking to evolve, to find that next thing to bring in customers,” he said. “Low risk is good enough, but Upside is no risk. There’s no reason not to do it.”

Request a demo

Request a demo of our platform with no obligation. Our team of industry experts will reach out to learn more about your unique business needs.