New Apps Aim To Make Long Food Lines Extinct

PHOTO CREDIT: BULLERINA.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: BULLERINA.COM

Are you sick of being late to work because everybody had the same idea of getting a Starbucks breakfast? Or how about not being able to satisfy your craving for a burrito bowl because the Chipotle line was out the door? Well look no further because the future is here and there are a few apps taking the restaurant industry by storm. Preo allows customers to preorder and pay for drinks at some NYC bars. Square Order lets people in New York and San Francisco preorder food at restaurants for quick pickup. Both of these apps are just two examples of many that facilitate preordering actions and are both available for iPhone and Android. These apps a revolutionizing the food and beverage industry as their popularity continues to grow. To learn more about these types of apps, click here

Brands Must Move Into The 'Friend Zone' If They Want To Attract Millennials

PHOTO CREDIT: NANIGANS.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NANIGANS.COM

Millennials can be a company's dream. Once a brand creates a personal relationship with this group, they typically remain loyal. Millennials know their power to make or break a brand and are extremely educated as a consumer. There are a few tips and tricks marketers can apply to target this consumer savvy demographic. It is important to set the mood and make your consumer feel inspired. Don't be afraid to get creative and use topics in pop culture to your advantage. Millennials are all about life experiences and discovering new things so provide them with lifehacks and different ways to look at topics. By tapping into the interests of millennials and forging relationships with them, they will go out of their way to support you. To learn more about what defines millennials and their spending habits, click here

Apple's Patent Document Reveals The Inner Workings Of Apple Pay

From the editor: "With the release of Apple Pay, the restaurant segment could be experiencing a potentially large shift in consumer payment options. The introduction of the mobile wallet through Google and Paypal caused a small hype amongst consumers in the past, but with the immense Apple brand behind this new payment method, Apple Pay is sure to become the top methods of payment in the near future. With POS system upgrades and trainings being a complement of Apple Pay, Is your restaurant ready to take on the future?"

But, how does it work? 

No worries, Apple's patent on the near field communication mechanics of the new Apple Pay feature describes in detail for consumers so there are no loose ends.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: APPLE

PHOTO CREDIT: APPLE

iPhones and Apple Watches with Apple Pay use an NFC module to communicate to a merchant's payment terminal. This should put your mind at ease because at no time is your credit card information leaving the secure enclave of your device. Each time a transaction takes place, you are only transferring a single-use digital token so the merchant's terminal never actually knows the credit card number used. Therefore, even if NFC communication is hacked, your information can never be stolen. Now with detailed knowledge of Apple Pay security, NFC payment methods may be able to grow faster. To learn more details about this process as well as the developments in the works for the iPad, click here

Google & OpenTable Work Together to Make Reservations Easy

PHOTO CREDIT: GOOGLE

PHOTO CREDIT: GOOGLE

Google just made it that much easier to make a restaurant reservation. If you have both the Google app and OpenTable app, you can now tell your smartphone to make a reservation using the new conversational search feature for a specific date and time. Along with the OpenTable integration, Google has also added a few updates to make eating out while traveling easier. Thanks to the updates and Google Now, you can ask questions such as "Google find me restaurants near my hotel" and because your hotel confirmation is in Gmail, it will know exactly what to offer you. Click here to learn more about this personalized search experience. 

Facebook Is Rolling Out Location-Based Ads

PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK

PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK

After two years in the making, Facebook has made location-based ads available for all advertisers. With your permission of course, Facebook will now share key information to your local businesses in order to provide you with a better, more relevant online ad experience. This new development can greatly help brands reach their exact target audience by utilizing information about location, age, and gender. On top of that, consumers can click on the ads and receive directions to the business within seconds. These local awareness ads will be coming out within the next couple of weeks. To learn more about this enhanced ad experience, click here.

Domino's Becomes The First Major Fast-Food Chain To Offer A Voice-Ordering Phone App

PHOTO CREDIT: DOMINO'S

PHOTO CREDIT: DOMINO'S

While Siri may have helped some of us answer life's tough questions, if you want pizza, 'Dom' is your go-to. This virtual voice ordering assistant was launched by Domino's and will greatly appeal to millennials. The app, which is available for both Apple and Android, allows consumers to order Domino's Pizza, suggest additions to meals, as well as find coupons. Executives at Dominos understand that staying ahead of the tech curve is significant in today's world, especially when differentiating your brand in such a crowded industry. With 'Dom,' Domino's is playing a key role. This app is paving the way for a possible shift in how we order in the future. Click here to read more! 

Exactly 'Who' Will Succeed Millennials And What Will This New Generation Be Like?

Where did the time go? The youngest millennials are around driving age while the oldest are well into their 30s. As the majority of millennials approach their peak earning and spending years, marketers must begin to understand the next group that will take over. This next generation is growing up in such a different time, post Obama, post the beginning of social media and smartphones, and so much more. Regardless of what they are called, this next generation represents diversity, personalization, and freedoms we could not imagine just a decade ago. What was once progressive is now the norm. Marketers and industry leaders must recognize this and appeal to the new generation that will pioneer the future. Click here to learn more about them.

Illustration Credit: Lindsey Balbierz

Illustration Credit: Lindsey Balbierz

The Mobile Marathon: Smoothie King Races to App Store

Smoothie King

How cool would it be to have your protein-packed smoothie ready and waiting for you post-workout? SUPER COOL. Well, either you need to get a super cool spouse or Smoothie King's new mobile app (Pssssst: The app is probably much cheaper.)

Smoothie King has taken the plunge into the world of mobile technology this year with the launch of their iPad POS systems. These systems are giving consumers the ability to pay with not only cash or credit, but with Square and PayPal as well. Smoothie King plans to use this new technology as the kickstart to their mobile app launch, which will provide customers with loyalty rewards, mobile payments, and detect your presence in the store. With this new beacon technology and app relationship, Smoothie King can know what you want to order without you even saying a word. Now that's chill. Read more here.

Starbucks Steps It Up, Again. Digital Tipping Now Available

PHOTO CREDIT: EXPRESS.CO.UK

PHOTO CREDIT: EXPRESS.CO.UK

Starbucks never fails to surprise us.

 

Starbucks is not only satisfying customers with their latest and greatest implications to the big-time brand, but they are also helping out their employees. By adding digital tipping to the infamous Starbucks mobile app, customers are now able to leave their spare change for the hard-working baristas at more that 7,000 Starbucks stores. Best part about it? This idea bubbled up from actual consumers. Did you know that Starbucks accepts ideas through MyStarbucksidea.com in order to create a friendly, happy environment for not only customers but employees as well??

Online Ordering Data Growing Sales Performance

PHOTO CREDIT: POINTOFSALE.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: POINTOFSALE.COM

Have you notice the trend of more and more restaurants adopting mobile ordering? You aren't the only one. Digital ordering represents a growing percentage of sales within the restaurant industry, even for the smaller brands. The effectiveness of increased sales from the adaption of mobile ordering is not the only benefit, nor is it only for operators.

Based on metrics and geographic overlays, developers are able to track customers next moves by the location in which they currently are in. Kinda creepy from a consumer standpoint, right? But totally effective and useful as an operator! The benefit is not only insights to customer behaviors, but the customer gets the opportunity to gain new experiences and money-saving offers. Sounds like a win-win to me! Read more here about online ordering changing the restaurant biz.

McD's Shares a Slice With iPhone 6 Lovers

PHOTO CREDIT: QSRMAGAZINE.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: QSRMAGAZINE.COM

Looks like Apple and McDonald's is a match made in heaven, pie heaven.

To support the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay last month, McDonald's visited local iPhone goonies at the break of dawn waiting in line on the release day for their new tech product. McD passed out one of their tasty goodies to the patient customers and can you take a guess what they dispersed? Yep, you got it: apple pies. McDonald's shows their support behind Apple's newest release of Apple Pay stating "McDonald's drives innovation in our industry, and we're proud to work with Apple, another iconic brand, to significantly improve our customer experience by accepting purchases via Apple Pay." Read more here about McDonald's and Apple Pay collab.

Mercedes Ramps Up Their Digital Ads via FB & Instagram

Mercedes Ad

Being the first brand to run simultaneous Instagram and Facebook ads, Mercedes has taken the initiative to turn Instagram away from a branding-based platform into a social-heavy campaign.

Through branding-focused ads, Mercedes has generated 54% more click-throughs than any other branding ads. By placing these ads on Facebook, they have also increased their visits to their website by 580%. With this branded campaign bringing awareness to Facebook, this also pulls consumers to Instagram. Instagram, unlike Facebook, does not offer the ability to purchase a 'reach.' Therefore, the overall reach in Instagram is virtually the followers you receive and the people who 'like' your content. Read up more about Mercedes brand-based ad campaign here.

10% Of Digital Ad Spending In 2014 Heads Straight For Facebook's Wallet

PHOTO CREDIT: ADWEEK.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: ADWEEK.COM

Facebook still holds strong as the leading social media platform that consumes total digital media time for adults. With an average of 6 percent - 21 minutes - spent per day on this platform, Facebook will capture 10% of all American digital ad spending for 2014. 

We as Marketers consistently are searching for the latest and greatest ways to market our products and/or services to consumers. Staying up to date on the most recent ad spending is something we all should be aware of. Now, we all want to market on the platforms which will reach the largest audience and create the most engagement - and Facebook is the top target for this, but what's the catch?

Only 30.5% of media budgets are allocated to Facebook, and while this is a large chunk of media marketing spending, don't you think it should be a bit more? With the reach that Facebook accomplishes, what is the right number? Read more here about Facebook's digital ad takeover and how DigitalCoCo can help your business thrive in digital.

Technology Is Changing The Restaurant Experience

PHOTO CREDIT: NEWSOBSERVER.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NEWSOBSERVER.COM

Restaurants typically ran the same way for more than a century, that is, until technology took over. These days you'll find tablets to play games on your tables, mobile apps to quickly order food, and hand-held devices to help the wait staff serve more efficiently. Chili's Grill & Bar recently adopted Android table tablets. Customers can use them to look through menu items, order, and pay. The tablets also have access to news sources as well as games for children. As technology continues to grow, it'll be interesting to see the new ways in which restaurants incorporate these devices into their daily routines. Click here to read more.

Life-changing KNFB Reader App Reads Text Aloud For The Blind

A new iPhone app, KNFB Reader, allows blind people to listen to an audio read-back of printed text. Thanks to the relationship between Raymond Kurzweil, an artificial-intelligence scientist and senior Google employee and the National Federation of the Blind as well as Sensotec NV, this $99 life-changing app was created. People with refreshable Braille displays can also use the app to snap a picture of printed text and have it transformed into Braille instantaneously. This app will also be available soon for Android phones. The possibilities of this KNFB Reader are endless, giving blind people a new level of engagement in everyday life, from skimming magazines to reading menus in restaurants. To learn more about this innovative technology, click here.

 

 

 

The ability to do this easily with something that fits in your pocket at lightning speed will certainly be a game changer.
— Bryan Bashin, Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
PHOTO CREDIT: KNFBREADER.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: KNFBREADER.COM

Smartphone Apps Are Literally Putting Rewards Into Customers' Hands And Reaping The Benefits

PHOTO CREDIT: THINKSTOCK

PHOTO CREDIT: THINKSTOCK

What is the easiest way to reach and reward your loyal customers? Smartphone apps! Restaurant loyalty programs layered into apps make it easy for customers to enroll while simultaneously giving your brand a competitive edge. Starbucks Corp. has pioneered the loyalty app space and now many others follow. Drew French, founder of Your Pie, explains that as a fast-casual restaurant, allowing loyalty members to order their toppings as they wait in line and scan their phone once they reach the register is extremely efficient. Customers are able to pay and obtain their loyalty points instantly. Giving back to customers is a great way to keep your business growing and easily accessible loyalty programs do just that. Click here to learn more.

 

Subway Launches Softcard, A New Way To Pay

PHOTO CREDIT: SOFTCARD

PHOTO CREDIT: SOFTCARD

On October 1st, Subway will launch one of the largest deployments of mobile payment capabilities with Softcard. This technology was created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Verizon Wireless and is providing customers with an easy way to pay and save at over 26,000 Subway locations. What can we expect through this new partnership? In the coming months, Subway will include the Subway Card Rewards Program in the Softcard app, making it that much easier to collect Reward Points. This app is sure to be a hit with millennials because four in ten already wish they could pay for their quick-service restaurant orders by mobile or wireless device. Already a well established leader in the quick-service industry, Subway is now pioneering the movement towards easy, secure wireless payments with Softcard. Click here to learn more.

 

Why Marketers Should Pay Close Attention To The iPhone6

PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER.COM

All the chatter lately has been over Apple's latest announcement of the iPhone6, iPhone6 Plus, and AppleWatch. But how does this new technology change Marketers lives? We're glad you asked.

Not only is the iPhone 6 bigger but... the iPhone Plus is BIGGER. With a larger canvas, it is time for marketers to capitalize on the opportunity to market larger as well. This high-definition experience is ideal for an engagement advertising video for marketers. iOS 8 Notifications are also another new aspect of Apple's new creations which can come to benefit marketers in the near future. What other aspects of Apple's new products will change the marketing world? Read more here to find out.

Fast Casuals and QSR Already Adopting Apple Pay

PHOTO CREDIT: THENYPOST.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: THENYPOST.COM

Apple has once again changed the way the world uses technology. With the release of Apple Pay, iPhone and Apple Watch users will be able to purchase virtually anything through their mobile devices, without having to pull out a wallet. Fortunately, many fast casual and QSR restaurants have already adopted this new payment service, including some of the top competitors in the game: McDonald's, Panera, and Starbucks. Currently, the process of using mobile applications for purchasing purposes is rather tedious. Apple Pay has the ability to make this process super easy, secure and private for it's users. Read more how Apple Pay is affecting the restaurant world here.

Starbucks Gets Mickey Mouse Ears at Disneyland, CA

PHOTO CREDIT: STARBUCKS.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: STARBUCKS.COM

 

Two of the top iconic brands in America have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind magical experience. 


Starbucks and Disney World have collaborated to create a sustainable, innovative, and interactive store at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. As the first Starbucks Reserve Store in the world, this location offers a rare batch of coffee from around the world. Elegant seating for customer/barista interaction was designed to give the look and feel of as if you were at a bar with a personal bartender. A replica of Starbucks Siren logo can be seen in the store in which it is made out of moss, to get the Disney-like whimsy that brings serenity to the store. LEED certified, the store offers an interactive wall that tells the story of Starbucks from beans to cup, as well as interactive touchscreens that gives customers the ability to create sketches of their desire, and a built in camera to capture your visit. To read more about Starbucks at Disneyland click here.