Case Study: Restaurant Chain

Fado Finds Winning Marketing Strategies with Google Analytics and Empirical Path

Fado Irish Pubs is a collection of 15 pubs nationwide, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Fado is in the business of telling the story of Ireland’s rich and celebrated history though pub culture, hospitable surroundings, good food and drink, good music and good banter – what The Irish call the “craic.” Over the past 10 years, Fado has transitioned a large majority of their marketing budget to digital from traditional channels like print and broadcast.

John Piccirillo is Director of Marketing and Development for the company.


John begins, “What we wanted was the ability to look at where private party customers and first-time visitors were coming from, understand how many private party leads actually turned into sales, and generate a cost per lead metric as a baseline.

“We use Salesforce to track all those inbound private party leads. But we didn’t have a good way of connecting our website activity to Salesforce. We knew when web leads came in, we knew what pub they were for, but we didn’t know how that lead got to the site and couldn’t track that lead over time. It wasn’t an inability to use Salesforce as much as it was knowing how to connect attribution information — where our traffic was coming from and who they were — from Google Analytics to Salesforce. When we redesigned our site, Empirical Path showed us how to more effectively use Google Tag Manager to add flexibility and tracking detail without having to continually rewrite code.”

“Beyond a better Salesforce Integration, Fado needed fundamental questions answered in a way that someone who doesn’t know Google Analytics could look at the reporting and pull out key insights really quickly. We needed clearer links between sales results and marketing efforts.

“We had lots of different marketing spends. We had spends on organic search and cost per click advertising. We had spends on private party sites and services. We had some online display from traditional media that we bought and we just didn’t know which efforts were generating the most profitable results.

“There’s so much data; it’s really complex, and it changes all the time. Google is constantly re-labeling and moving everything. It was obvious that we were doing it the hard way. We needed solutions and we needed training. We needed to learn how to fish AND we needed to eat.”


“Empirical Path connected all of our metrics together, then very simply and very easily gave us dashboards that enabled us to see – on a pub-by-pub level– what that lead activity was and where it was coming from. On the Salesforce side, they were able to give attribution to the traffic source that somebody was on before they got to us,” John explained. “But it goes well beyond simple last-click attribution. We were able to see if customers or private party prospects had been to Yelp or OpenTable, or seen our email or a link on social media, too. We are able to stitch a very detailed story together, including demographics, about the customer journey that informs every aspect of our marketing spend.”

“Empirical Path built a set of dashboards that were easy for our teams to understand. We were able to see everything from private party inquiry forms to menu downloads to onsite OpenTable reservations to hours and directions views. We can have the ability to distinguish traffic patterns and downloads of very specific menus such as food, drink, brunch and private parties. This information was essential to understanding how our marketing was impacting our web traffic behavior and how that, in turn, affected sales.

“We also had 4 or 5 use cases and a half-dozen Key Performance Indicators. Empirical Path came in and conducted two half-day sessions. They gave a brief overview of getting oriented around the analytics, and what information is where. Then, by working through our use cases, we learned how to get to that information quickly.

“Fado had been trying to build reporting around our KPI’s for a couple of months on our own, without much progress. After only two sessions with Empirical Path, we were 75 percent of the way there. The training was really good, and the two guys who came in to do it knew exactly what they were talking about. They weren’t making it up on the fly.

“They made it easy in that they did all of the training very efficiently. It was magic. It worked. One of the most important benefits of working with Empirical Path is they know analytics. That’s very different than what a lot of people would do, which is figuring it out on the fly. There’s a difference between believing you can figure something out and knowing how to do it.”

“We’ve had providers say ’We’ve got that. We know Salesforce can plug into that. We’re going to figure out the API. Blah, blah, blah.’ Empirical Path will say with confidence, ‘Here’s how that works.’ And it works. We wanted to see granularity across different areas of the site. We wanted to see the menus that made people want to engage-drinks, food, brunch. We were able to see those things.

“Empirical Path will provide the code and show us how to use it. They will ask ‘Do you want your guys to do it, or do you just want us to do it?’ If we say, ‘Just do it’, we know things like Google Tag Manager implementations will get done right. If we need it explained, Empirical Path will explain it simply– without jargon– so we can understand it. We’re now 100% confident in the data were getting in our dashboards”


John continued, “I brought our very skeptical Head of Operations into the meeting when we unveiled the dashboards. The impact was immediate. He said, “I’m going to take this to the guys (local and regional managers) in Chicago because once they see the menu pageview and download data with traffic data, demographics, and general interests, they’re immediately going to understand how important our food offerings are.

“There’s more confidence in our spends now. Even if I run ads on Pandora, and say, ‘I spent $2,000 on Pandora and I only generated $980 worth of ticket sales,’ that in itself is a huge win, because we’ve never been able to accurately associate ad spend with revenue before. Ever. I can also point to a specific number of website visits, menu downloads and views of the directions page associated with that Pandora spend. Our managers know those web behaviors generate traffic in their pubs and contribute to their revenue.

“We’re spending more money on marketing now because of the work Empirical Path has done because we’re more confident that what we execute is working. There’s a lot less Monday morning quarterbacking of our marketing by the operations team because they can see and understand the data.

“As a result of the investment with Empirical Path, we are more confident in money we don’t have to spend anymore. Over a six or 12-month period, that’s going to be three or four times what we spent with Empirical Path.”

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