There is a new app on the market that is hoping to make every part of the dining experience better. Reserve will help you find open tables in New York City and Los Angeles restaurants by factoring in the number of people in your party as well as your preferred time range. While OpenTable is free for consumers but charges restaurants $199 a month, Reserve is free for restaurants but charges consumers $5 after each reservation. Reserve has other features including the ability to settle the check. Restaurants are embracing this new app and a few are offering incentives for users. Chef Ming Tsai is creating a tasting menu at his restaurant Blue Dragon, where reservations can only be made through the app. To learn more about this app that is changing the hospitality industry, click here.
iMedia Connection highlights some of the emerging trends that we can expect to see in 2015 digital marketing. Most social media platforms offer sponsored content ads with specific reach. This will continue to be a trend in the coming year meaning if you don't pay for advertising, your followers most likely will not see anything that you are doing on social media sites. Another trend to look out for is marketing automation tools, which can increase conversion rates by over 50 percent. Quality content, mobile-friendly content, as well as ad retargeting will also continue to be a focus. To learn about more of the emerging trends and what they mean for 2015, click here.
Listen up grocery shoppers! You can now use Apple Pay at Wegman's. The supermarket giant is now one of the first grocery stores to adopt this payment method. The company believes it will add even more convenience to their customers' shopping experience by making checkout quicker and easier. The company stands by Apple's easy to use and secure method of payment. Apple Pay does not store debit or credit card numbers, rather it creates an individual account number where each transaction is authorized with a one-time security code. As Apple Pay's popularity continues to spread, one may wonder which large company will adopt it next! Click here to learn more.
And the winner is.............Mobile App! While both mobile websites and apps are beneficial for brands and restaurants, a mobile application allows you to engage with your consumer base more effectively. Placeable performed a study in which they found that Millennials want to see menu options, reviews, promotions and photos in a restaurant's website on top of their location, phone number and hours of operation. Because they spend 86 percent of their time on apps as opposed to 14 percent on web browsers on their smartphones, it would be way more beneficial to develop a mobile app. With an app, you can provide your customers with direct and location engagement, mobile loyalty programs, as well as ordering ahead and mobile payment options. To learn more about the exciting opportunities a mobile app can provide, click here.
Now more than ever, consumers expect digital technologies to be incorporated into their dining experience. However, mobile payment options and table-side menu tablets do not guarantee customers will remain loyal to your brand. In a webinar presented by the NCR called "Closing the Loop: Turning Customer Engagement into Repeat Business," panelists discussed the challenges with digital marketing strategies. Millennials are the driving force behind this immediate adoption of technology in the restaurant industry and brands must utilize it unless they want to be left behind. Having an online presence is vital whether it's through social media or an appealing informational website. Almost equally as important, is having a mobile app. One of the benefits of building relationships with your consumers is the data that results. With this data, you will be able to connect and market more efficiently to your customer base. Blanket solutions are old school and no longer effective in this modern world where personalization is the new norm. To learn more about the strategies discussed in this webinar, click here.
The smartphone application Morsel gives users a chance to take a peek into the minds of food and beverage industry professionals. It creates a culinary community that shares food stories, cooking inspiration, and kitchen hacks. This app was created by a restaurant publicist who felt that chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists had interesting stories to tell, yet no platform to express them. She realized that getting these professional insights out to the public would help restaurant businesses grow. To learn more about Morsel and some of its high profile chefs, click here.
Apple Pay training has begun as this near field communication, Touch-ID payment system reaches stores soon. Consumers can access Apple Pay on their iPhone 6's and 6 plus's via the Passbook application. In order to add a credit card, users can either add one to Passbook through their iTunes account or simply take a picture of their card. Apple Pay will provide a list of recent transactions, automatically update expired cards, and provide users with the ability to easily contact their bank, among other things. To learn more details about the quickly approaching launch of Apple Pay, click here.
Gimbal is pushing for a mobile-only world. With their smart beacons, small location-based data collectors typically placed on the walls or cash registers of businesses, they hope to change the way consumers go through their daily lives. Gimbal recently partnered with Urban Airship, a mobile-relationship-management provider. This union will support any type of brand's location-based mobile marketing actions. In the coming year, more businesses will begin utilizing beacons as more consumers shop on their mobile devices. To learn more about beacon technology and what is means for the future of your brand, click here.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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??
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.
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.
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.