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MojoBistro CEO Chris Pautsch Talks Restaurant Trends with CBS Chicago News

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 5/20/2014 | General


Check out our CEO Chris Pautsch talking to CBS Chicago at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show about MojoBistro and how restaurants use social media and mobile apps to lure customers:

Building Our Mojo in Anticipation of the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 5/16/2014 | General


Our team was on-site this week at McCormick Place to build the MojoBistro booth for this year’s National Restaurant Association Show. We are excited for our third year in a row at the NRA show!

 

Look for our signature fork and knife emblem t-shirts throughout the show. Our team loves hunting for the best food samples. Follow one of our team members around the show and you are guaranteed to eat well!

 

After you snack at the show, make sure to stop by our booth #6070 to find out more about the new MojoBistro app offerings this year including in-app and online ordering. See you there! 

 

Visit MojoBistro at Booth #6070 at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 5/16/2014 | General





Are you heading to the National Restaurant Show this weekend in Chicago? Come visit us at booth #6070 within the Technology Pavilion to check out our new features including in-app and online ordering.

MojoBistro mobile apps are exclusive to the restaurant industry and offer proactive restaurant owners the chance to engage with customers from the comfort of their own mobile phones. Our full suite of app features includes reservation system integration, push notifications, coupons, social media, events, photo galleries, menus, locations, and new this year, in-app ordering!

MojoBistro’s new feature offering this year: Tap into the mobile ordering market without abandoning your existing point-of-sale system with our in-app ordering function. Customers are granted access to your full carry-out or delivery menu within the custom-branded app, they select a time for pick-up or delivery, they can choose to enter their payment info or pay at pick up, and then, you receive a notification of the order on your custom MojoBistro iPad to accept or deny the order. The final transaction goes through your restaurant’s existing point-of-sale system for your convenience. Our all-in-one iPad app ordering management system makes it simple and easy for your employees to manage to-go and delivery orders. And, that’s not all! Your delivery folks will love our in-app map systems with geo-fence to verify that the order is placed with your delivery zone.

Why does your restaurant need a mobile app? A custom-branded mobile app from MojoBistro builds a connection with your customer that goes above and beyond food and atmosphere. Actively build restaurant loyalty and engage your customer base by offering your restaurant virtually in your customer’s pocket. From easy-peasy in-app reservations to no-nonsense in-app ordering, a MojoBistro app offers your diners a non-stop, 24-hour connection to your restaurant.

Stop by our booth this weekend at the 2014 NRA show to get a full tour of our app offerings, including ordering, from one of our mobile app experts.

KeyLimeTie and MojoBistro Staff Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 4/18/2013 | General


Feed My Starving ChildrenDID YOU KNOW: Every hour you volunteer with a non-profit organization in Illinois is worth $22.77 to that charity. (www.volunterringinamerica.gov)

On a recent Saturday in April, KeyLimeTie and MojoBistro staff and their families volunteered for the day at the Feed My Starving Children non-profit organization in Aurora, Illinois. Feed My Starving Children is a charity organization that works to provide nourishment for children in nearly 70 countries worldwide.

Feed My Starving Children uses volunteer efforts to package meals, which results in an increased direct impact to those in need. A single meal only costs 22 cents for the organization to produce, and 92 percent of the organization’s total donations goes directly toward the food program. That’s a great impact of donated dollars!

David Mansch, a graphic designer for KeyLimeTie and MojoBistro, helped organize the event after volunteering at Feed My Starving Children with his own family. He thought it would be a compassionate way for staff members to get to know each other better while at the same time helping others who need it.

Feed My Starving Children“When I volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, I can go to sleep knowing my work made a child's life better,” said Mansch. “With the simple act of helping prepare food, little kids won't go to bed hungry. They can grow up to be happy, healthy adults. Hopefully they will remember the kindness that a group of volunteers showed them in their time of need, and they in turn will pass that on to someone else.”

Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children is a positive team experience for corporations, schools, and community groups. Our organization strongly believes in giving back as a way of business and of life. KeyLimeTie and MojoBistro highly recommend volunteering at Feed My Starving Children!

"I was very impressed with the organization of Feed My Starving Children," said Mary Wenzel, a project manager for KeyLimeTie. "They didn't waste any time putting us to work and were encouraging us along the way to stay on task. I found it rewarding to know that the work we did on Saturday will feed 102 children for a whole year. Just 2 hours of our time produced such big results! It was a great experience, and I will do it again."

Feed My Starving ChildrenMore About Feed My Starving Children
Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children is a Christian nonprofit that provides nutritionally complete meals for starving, malnourished, and hungry people in nearly 70 countries. The prepackaged dry meals – costing less than a quarter each to make – are funded and assembled by donor volunteers in the United States. Our in-country partners use the food to prevent starvation and curb malnourishment in children and families worldwide.Volunteers hand-pack all of our fortified meals. More than half of FMSC volunteers are under the age of 18. In 2012, more than a half million volunteers joined FMSC to package 163 million meals for children around the world.

Do you know of a non-profit organization in the Chicagoland area that could use a helping hand of volunteers?
Our company is interested in more activities such as this for our team to lend a helping hand in the community. Please leave a comment below with a link to the organization’s website so we can look into volunteering for other organizations.


How to Attract the “Foodie” Segment to Your Restaurant

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 4/12/2013 | General


How to attract the Foodie

Foodie is one of those trendy terms that has infiltrated the social media, marketing, and restaurant industries and spawned a plethora of food-themed blogs. You may even consider yourself a foodie, and we definitely consider ourselves foodies here at MojoBistro. According to the Oxford Dictionaries Online, a foodie is “a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet.” Sounds pretty simple, right?

Wrong! Seeking new experiences is high on a foodie’s radar. Attracting the foodie demographic to your restaurant takes a lot of concerted effort. Being a foodie has become a hobby labeled with sophistication, and using the same marketing tactics you’ve always used at your restaurant isn’t enough to attract this refined segment of the population with discerning palates.

Here are a few quick tips on how to start attracting more foodies to your restaurant.

Develop an Innovative Menu with Daily Specials Aimed at Foodies
Foodies want to try menu items they’ve never tried before. Think of the current trendy menu features such as pork belly, foie gras, and duck eggs. So, consider a refresh of your menu often or a delightful array of daily specials at the very least. Consider this statistic from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Package Facts and the 2012 Culinary Visions Panel Survey, “54 percent of casual diners are considered foodies because of their desire to always or usually try new menu items when going to a restaurant.”

Are you catering to this demographic? And, gnaw on this statistic from the same survey, “Three-quarters (76 percent) of U.S. adults enjoy talking about new or interesting foods.” That means, they are ordering your fancy new special and talking about it with their family, friends, and coworkers.

Also, consider sourcing at least some of your ingredients locally. Foodies want to know where their food is coming from, and bonus points if it’s locally grown and sustainably sourced.


Offer a Connection with your Chef and Staff
Foodies desire a personal connection with your restaurant. Mostly likely they are checking in at your restaurant on social media and even posting pictures of your food on their online profiles. That means if they have a good experience, everyone knows. And if they have a bad experience, everyone knows. To ensure your foodie guests have a positive experience make an effort to make a connection with your guests beyond the ordinary.

Chefs and their talents and personalities become important here. Is your chef in the running for a reality show? Or at the very least, is she a social media rockstar? So maybe your chef won’t have her own reality show anytime soon but at least get her a Twitter account or start a weekly blog about her culinary expertise.

Also, consider offering some cooking classes aimed at the foodie segment to engage them with your restaurant and chef. After all, according to the survey mentioned previously, “53 percent of U.S. adults regularly watch cooking shows.”


Create a Custom Mobile App
Once you make sure your menu and staff are foodie ready, show off your new found foodie prowess with a custom mobile app. A mobile app is a fabulous way to showcase your new menu options, cooking class events, and more.

Did you know you can even add “foodie” as a skill on LinkedIn? Foodies wear the label like a badge of honor. So giving them a mobile app to connect with your restaurant no matter where they are, is definitely an investment that will reap rewards with this connected demographic of the population that you already know loves food.


MojoBistro Celebrates Chicago Restaurant Week 2013 with Restaurant Raves

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 1/16/2013 | General


chicago restaurant weekIt’s time for the tastiest week in Chicago folks, it’s Restaurant Week 2013. If you couldn’t already tell, food is our favorite thing here at MojoBistro (next to mobile apps). And, we love when the fabulous city of Chicago dedicates a whole week to our favorite thing! Our stomachs are growling with the anticipation!

Chicago’s Restaurant Week Details:
From Friday, Feb. 1 - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, diners at more than 250 Chicago restaurants can reserve tables to enjoy prix fixe menus at designated rates. Lunch menus start at $22 and dinner menus are either $33 or $44 depending on the restaurant. Prix fixe menu prices exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity. Find out more about Chicago's Restaurant Week here.

Some of our Favorite Business Lunch Places Participating in Restaurant Week:

  • Quay: During the Restaurant Week lunch hours, diners can indulge in any soup or salad with any entree or entree salad from Quay’s regular lunch menu. Plus, you get your choice of butterscotch panna cotta or chocolate hazelnut dome to finish off your lunch on a very sweet note.

  • Nick’s Fishmarket Grill and Bar: Grab a cup of lobster bisque soup, a carne asada cobb salad, and finish it off with a key lime tart for a very satisfying lunch hour. Or, go for the slightly lighter caesar salad starter followed by the pecan encrusted tilapia. Then, take your pick of the white chocolate cheesecake or chocolate molten cake for dessert. You might need a siesta after these rich and indulgent meals!

  • Carnivale: Ready to spice up your lunch hour? How about starting off with a roasted tomato and piquillo pepper soup with roasted garlic, almonds, and toasted bread from Carnivale. Sounds pretty tasty, right? Then, tingle your taste buds with the wood-grilled prime sirloin steak with purple potatoes, cotija cheese, and red wine aji panca sauce. Finally, indulge in the saffron rice pudding with dates, pistachio, and blood orange syrup.

chicago restaurant weekThese restaurants are just some of MojoBistro’s suggested lunch spots to hit up during this year’s Restaurant Week. All three are also offering stellar dinner menus. You can view lunch and dinner menus for all restaurants participating in the 2013 Chicago Restaurant Week on the designated page online here.

Leading up to February 1, we are featuring detailed Restaurant Raves on more of our favorite restaurants participating in this year’s extravaganza of food in Chicago. So make sure you come back to our MojoBistro blog often for Restaurant Raves on where to eat this year! Spots at some of our favorite restaurants fill up quickly for Restaurant Week so make sure to make reservations using the restaurant’s mobile app or online via Open Table.


Tips for Using Social Media to Market your Restaurant’s iPhone and Android apps

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 12/13/2012 | General


Tips for Using Social media to Market your Restaurant's iPhone and Android appsSocial media platforms are the perfect partner when promoting your restaurant mobile app. If you have an iPhone or Android app for your restaurant then most likely you already use social media vehicles such as Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, and Yelp. These are also four savvy ways to promote your smartphone app. Here are some strategic suggestions on how to use these social media outlets to promote your restaurant’s mobile app.


Twitter
Twitter is the best way to interact with your customers and potential diners one on one via the Internet. Start a conversation with your followers and spark their interest by tweeting about events and new menu items at your restaurant.

Asking your followers to participate in a RT (retweet) contest and offering a restaurant gift card to one lucky participant is a fabulous way to get things moving on your Twitter account and build a bigger following. Focusing the RT on a message promoting your restaurant’s mobile app is an even better idea!

At the very least, send out daily creative tweets that your app is available for download (see examples below). Please note, we inserted some of our clients into the sample tweets below just for some added fun, these are not actual promotions currently available through these restaurants.

Sample Twitter Tweets:
“RT to win a $25 Carlucci gift card! Download the Carlucci iPhone or Android app this week for a sneak peek at our new holiday menu!”
“Follow us @CarlucciFood and RT to win a dinner for two! Make reservations for New Year’s Eve using our FREE and handy iPhone app!”
“Download the @Carnivalle312 iPhone app and show it during dinner to receive a free dessert of your choice!”


Facebook
Feel free to use similar messages on your Facebook page to entice users to download your restaurant’s iPhone app. Instead of asking for retweets, you can run a contest to have people post a photo of their favorite meal at your restaurant and ask their friends to “like” both the post and your restaurant’s page. Then, feature some of those photos and credit the diners in your mobile app.

Facebook is a lot more visual so make sure to add some appetizing photos of your restaurant’s most popular dishes whenever you post a marketing message. Or if you have the time and capacity, create a quick video of a customer using your app to make a reservation and post that video on your Facebook page.


Foursquare
FourSquare is a social location-based app that lets your diners check in when they are at your restaurant as well as post photos of what they are eating. Creating an account for your restaurant will allow you to interact with your mobile savvy clients and even know when they are in the restaurant so you can offer them special service. Make sure to post updates on FourSquare to remind already avid mobile app users to download your app to make reservations and receive special deals.

Remember, customers who are using social media daily are more than likely using mobile apps every day as well. Make sure you hit this target audience when promoting your new restaurant app. And the best part, promoting your app with social media is free!


Yelp
Keeping up with Yelp reviews about your restaurant should be a part of your ongoing marketing plan. Yelp reviews can be helpful when gathering feedback about new menu items and the current service levels at your restaurant. Say a customer complains about a long wait on a Saturday night, you can respond to their Yelp review and tell them about the opportunity to make reservations using your FREE mobile app. Ta-da! Providing a Yelp section within your app also puts authentic diner reviews at your customer’s fingertips.


Did you just mumble that you don’t have a smartphone app to promote your restaurant app yet? Click here to get started.

Learn about more ways to market your mobile app!