By Chantal Tode
Restaurants such as Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen are deploying iPads that include the FavoriteEats application to drive participation in digital loyalty programs.
The iPads are being used to make it easy for customers to sign up for a restaurant’s loyalty program during a visit and to receive credit for future purchases in order to earn rewards. The program eliminates the need for customers to carry a plastic loyalty card.
“Restaurant owners can leverage mobile technologies, like the iPad, in their locations to engage with customers who may not already have a smartphone, increasing their reach while still capturing rich data about customer usage,” Brad Hintze, chief marketing officer at MokiMobility, Lehi, UT.
“Mobile technology in the hands of customers provides restaurant owners with a direct channel to target and communicate with, in addition to more traditional channels,” he said.
“Mobile apps step around traditional SMS costs and provide a much richer experience.”
Cloud-based mobile device management platform MokiMobility recently partnered with FavoriteEats to manage the iPads it install sin restaurants so they can be used exclusively as customer-facing loyalty kiosks.
Gandolfo’s is a franchised chain of New York-style delicatessen restaurants with locations in 15 states.
Loyalty participation jumps
FavoriteEats, which is currently in closed beta, provides restaurant owners with a way to gather data about their customers, deliver rewards and other offers to customers. As a result of the MokiMobility partnership, FavoriteEats will be able to remotely manage each device, configure Wi-Fi settings, lock the home button and push out updates to the app.
Customers join a restaurant’s loyalty program by entering their phone number on the FavoriteEats iPad. During each subsequent visit, customers enter their phone number to receive credit for their purchase and work towards a custom reward determined by that restaurant.
Gandolfo’s reports that after switching to FavoriteEats just two months ago, it has seen the participation rate in its loyalty program jump by more than 250 percent. The merchant also reports that its marketing database has more than doubled because of how easy it is for customers to join.
Restaurants are not the only ones using iPads and other mobile devices in their locations to enhance the customer experience. A number of retailers have launched similar strategies, including Sephora, Lowe’s and others, to make it easier for customers to find products that may not be in store, pay for purchases and sign up to receive store credit.
“The iPad is the first technology that is at the same time beautiful and approachable,” Mr. Hintze said. “Customers just know how to use it – it delights them,” he said. “On top of that, it’s fast, inexpensive and easily customizable.
“Using an iPad can significantly increase loyalty participation – by 250 percent at Gandolfo’s Deli – while at the same time providing restaurant owners far more in-depth data about the dining habits of their customers,” he said.