Sonny’s BBQ Implements Industry-Leading Customer Experience Technology

All restaurant locations will implement Flybuy and Koala to enhance dining options amid changing guest preferences

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Sonny’s BBQ, the purpose-driven BBQ restaurant known for quality BBQ and spreading kindness in the communities they serve, announced today the launch of Flybuy and Koala technology across all of their locations to help improve the guest’s off-premise experience. The move marks another important milestone in the brand’s evolution, on top of last year’s decision to optimize their restaurant prototype and invest in new technology to accommodate for changing customer preferences.

“Since our founding, we have remained committed to providing the highest quality of customer service for our guests,” said Billy Brewer, COO of Sonny’s BBQ. “The implementation of Flybuy and Koala technology allows us to meet the shifting needs and preferences of our guests, while upholding our southern hospitality roots.”

In July, Sonny’s BBQ began piloting Flybuy technology in 19 restaurants. Initial results saw curbside check times improve by nearly two minutes, while speed of service complaints decreased by 19% over the same period compared to Sonny’s BBQ locations not utilizing the technology. Pilot locations also had an improved order accuracy compared to other locations. The supplemental implementation of Koala further enhances the guest experience by preference learning and suggestive selling. Full system-wide integration with Sonny’s BBQ’s current Olo system for online ordering and deliveries is now complete, allowing for the seamless adaption for franchisees and the ability to view critical data and insights related to the guest experience.

Evolved Southern Hospitality

As part of the ongoing evolution of the brand, Sonny’s BBQ remains committed to providing the highest quality guest experience while improving the overall efficiency of the company’s operations. In doing so, Sonny’s BBQ has plans to implement further changes to both on-premise and off-premise dining. Currently, new self-serve kiosks and digital menu boards are being tested at the Apopka, Fla. restaurant location, and the company is designing a new restaurant prototype to help streamline operations. For off-premise dining, in addition to the implementation of Flybuy and Koala technology, Sonny’s BBQ is developing a new website and mobile app to enhance the customer experience for online ordering and pickup. The role of technology in each restaurant location has gone under careful consideration to ensure the brand maintains its community connection while also strengthening its customer relations and refining operations. Together, these new tools will allow franchisees and employees to better serve their customers and maintain their commitment to the highest quality of southern hospitality.

“Our franchise partners take great care to ensure that each of our restaurants bring people together. However, we’ve heard loud and clear from our customers that their dining preferences are shifting,” said Brewer. “While we explore the future of technology, operations and guest expectations, we’re only making improvements that align with our commitment to serve high-quality, high-value meals every day.”

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About Sonny’s BBQ

With nearly 100 locations spanning the southeast, Sonny’s BBQ® is one of the largest barbecue restaurant brands in the country. Its signature pulled pork, sweet tea, and unique appetizers have afforded the restaurant the title of “Best Barbecue Chain in America” by The Daily Meal. Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille, founded Sonny’s BBQ in 1968 in Gainesville, Fla. in hopes of creating a local BBQ joint for their community to enjoy. 55 years later, Sonny’s BBQ continues to do just that under the direction of CEO Jamie Yarmuth and local pitmasters spreading the spirit of BBQ in each of their communities through the Q the Kindness and Random Acts of BBQ initiatives. The brand gives back more than $1.2 million annually across the eight states it serves, and reaches tens of thousands of community members with its generosity. Sonny’s BBQ is a leader in the hospitality industry with its commitment to creating unique consumer experiences, ability and willingness to utilize cutting-edge technology, and network of successful franchisee relationships. For information and to find the Sonny’s BBQ location closest to you, please visit

Media Contact:
Shepard Rogers