Keep informed of the latest news, trends, strategies and tips for Restaurants

Mobile Marketing

Should your Business Develop a Mobile App or a Responsive Website?

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 6/2/2014 | Mobile Marketing

By: Kristy Brost, Interactive Marketing Strategist

Recently, a question was posed on LinkedIn as to whether or not a business should invest in a mobile app. The basis for the inquiry was to point out the efficiency of this mega-trend over other current and traditional methods.

The first thing a company needs to have before making this decision is a strategy, documenting what the objectives and goals are and the possible technologies that will accomplish them. In this blog post, we are going to look at the pros of creating mobile apps vs. responsive websites.

Here are three foundational pros of a Mobile App:

1. User Experience: Native apps have a better UX across the board. You should consider touch screen navigation, interactive features, and the incorporated use of other phone features such as GPS and cameras. You have so much to work with compared to other mobile optimized solutions.

2. User Engagement: Mobile apps can significantly increase your user engagement and keep your company relevant by taking advantage of some unique characteristics like social, interactivity, real-time, and geo-location.

3. Works Offline: A mobile app is available offline. Content is provided or referenced within the package.

Here are three pros of a Responsive Website:

1. Single Website and URL: This option covers all devices as content is adjusted based on the device and screen size. No redirects are necessary, which can be annoying on slower connections.

2. SEO: More efficient and can be easier as you do not need to create separate content for a mobile website. However, you do still have to think about what information makes it on the mobile-sized site. A good rule of thumb is to design for the mobile size first and add as you get to larger desktop views. This way your most important content is the focal point at all times.

3. Cost: The cost of a responsive site is usually quite a bit less than a customized mobile app, and there is no extra maintenance required. However, there are companies that have invested a lot of money into solving some common business problems with a mobile app and made that platform available to the market at a lower cost than designing frameworks from scratch.

Overall, the goals of your company should be thoroughly reviewed before making your decision. The technology that best provides the functionality you need and the convenience for the customer should tip the scales in the direction you need to go.

Even if Mobile Apps and/or Responsive Websites are only the latest trends, we have to consider them seriously as all trends are based on a similar, very important notion... they have the POWER to influence A LOT of people, which is what we all strive for in marketing. You just have to find the right formula and use it correctly to turn it into something that will be successful and lasting for your business.

Do you have additional questions about the benefits of either a mobile app or a responsive website? Ready to develop one or both? Contact me today at



Mobile Marketing: Can You See Me Now?

Posted by MojoBistro News | 10/28/2013 | Mobile Marketing

Mobile MarketingMobile phone usage is on the rise, with analysts predicting that sometime in 2013, over 50% of all website traffic will be coming from mobile devices – cell phones (feature phones and smartphones), and tablets. Mobile has become so vital for consumers’ lives that the time they spend on (non-voice) mobile activities will surpass that spent online on desktop and laptop computers sometime in 2013, according to eMarketer.

Is your restaurant business investing in mobile? Now is the time to build relationships with your constantly connected customers. Not sure how to go about creating your mobile success story? Check out this article from Restaurant Briefing discussing the keys to building a mobile presence— from mobile optimized email to text message marketing.

Looking for more tips on how to expand your marketing plan and campaigns? Check out MojoBistro's Mobile Marketing Blogs for more tips and tricks.

Restaurant Marketing Round-Up

Posted by Patricia Gorecki | 10/23/2013 | Mobile Marketing

Restaurant MarketingIs your restaurant marketing plan stuck in a rut? Looking for new, creative ideas to reach out to new and current customers? We've rounded up our top marketing blogs to help inspire you.

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

Social 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.Read more.

QR Code8 ways to use QR codes for restaurant mobile marketing

QR codes were initially used in the automotive industry to track cars across factory lines. Today, QR codes are used more in in consumer advertising and packaging due to the proliferation of smartphones. QR codes are beneficial because they are an easy and mobile access point.Read more.

Top Tips for Effective Push Notifications

Engagement with your mobile app users is key to the continued success of your app. Push notifications are a great way to boost engagement. A study conducted by mobile technology company Urban Airship, proved that while the percentage of users opening an app over time predictably dropped across all apps, 31 percent of users remained active if notifications were in place, compared with just 14 percent for apps without notifications.Read more.

Marketing MythsRestaurant Marketing Myths

You've decided to spend some time dedicated to marketing your restaurant. You do some research, ask friends and family, scoped the internet ... and you are all ready to go with your restaurant marketing campaign. But are you sure you've gotten the best advice? Read more.

Top Tips for Effective Push Notifications

Posted by Patricia Gorecki | 10/16/2013 | Mobile Marketing

Push NotificationsYou have spent time designing and developing a mobile app for your restaurant. You have brainstormed creative marketing campaigns around your app. Now what?

Engagement with your mobile app users is key to the continued success of your app. Push notifications are a great way to boost engagement. A study conducted by mobile technology company Urban Airship, proved that while the percentage of users opening an app over time predictably dropped across all apps, 31 percent of users remained active if notifications were in place, compared with just 14 percent for apps without notifications.

There is a fine line between informative engagement and being too pushy. Campaigns that provide little value to the customer can often lead to opt-outs and app uninstalls. Your users want notifications that are useful so make sure that your notifications provide information that people want to receive.

Ready to start encouraging customer engagement? We have put together a list of helpful tips to keep in mind as you develop your push notifications.

    1. Focus on quality content. It is important that you value your customer’s time. If your message is not worthy of an interruption in their day, do not send it. Send notifications that benefit your customer. For example, Walgreen's notifications remind app users when prescriptions are eligible for refills while Twitter’s app notifies users when they are mentioned in a tweet.

    2. Connect your conversations. Whenever possible, link your notifications to your social networks. Driving users to your pages allows them to learn more about your company and contribute to your ongoing conversations.

    3. Allow users to customize their experience. Let your users fill out their preferences to tailor notifications to their interests. Do they only want to hear about sales and promotions or are they interested in upcoming events. Do they want notifications once a week, only during the early evening hours? Be mindful of these end-user preferences when sending out notifications and your customers will look forward to receiving applicable content.

    4. Make notifications sharable. Let your app users share their notifications with friends and family, even if they have not downloaded your app. The sharing capability will promote viral spread and increase the outreach of your message.

    5. Avoid notification burn-out. Even if you have the most valuable, interesting content in the world, sending notifications six times a day is going to turn off your customers. You do not want your messages to become expected and lose their effect. Focus on timely and important notifications to avoid over-messaging.

And finally, remember that practice makes perfect. Make sure you track your campaigns and use analytics to determine what approach does or does not work for you. It may take you a few tries to find the perfect recipe for your notifications.

Looking for more marketing tips? Check out our Mobile Marketing Blogs for more insider tips and ideas.

An Inside Look at Analytics

Posted by Patricia Gorecki | 7/3/2013 | Mobile Marketing

AnalyticsThe transition to mobile communications is changing the way we work, play and live our lives. Today, more than half of mobile subscribers in the U.S. own smartphones. And as the number of smartphone owners rise, so too does the popularity of mobile apps. The average number of apps per smartphone has risen to 41 apps. In fact, more than 15 billion and 25 billion Android and iOS apps have been downloaded, respectively, since their introduction.

For business owners, understanding their mobile apps and how they drive traffic and build loyalty is vital to success in today’s hi-tech world. Having insight into customer’s mobile interactions allow businesses to create targeted and efficient marketing campaigns and determine best practices in their mobile strategy.

Analytics are an easy way to collect data on customer’s mobile habits - measuring the journey from discovery to download through to engagement. Through tailored reports, users can pull data that it is important to them . Want to know the number of Android versus iOS users? Looking to see what your app’s most popular feature is? Customizing your analytics reports allows you to pull that information.

For restaurant owners with mobile apps, analytics are a great way to track effectiveness and ROI. Track the number of daily app views, determine your most visited areas or even track downloads by location.

Looking to engage in a mobile campaign? Want to determine the number of coupons being redeemed via customer’s mobile phones? Track your success through analytics.

MojoBistro Test KitchenMany mobile app platforms like MojoBistro give restaurant owners the ability to interact with customers via push notification and coupons. These are prime ways to increase your app popularity with your mobile customers. Use these functions to remind them of special events at your restaurant and offer them personalized discounts based on their dining preferences.

For MojoBistro customers, tracking analytics is easy. Within the MojoBistro Test Kitchen, analytics are collected on app usage, downloads and views. Simply log into the Test Kitchen and view your data in easy-to-read graphs. It’s the first step in taking advantage of the growing mobile scene and building a loyal, mobile customer base. 

Eight Tips for Marketing your Restaurant’s Mobile App In-House

Posted by Kate Seiferth | 5/3/2013 | Mobile Marketing

Marketing your restaurants mobile appYou put major effort towards preparing and releasing your restaurant’s iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone apps. Now, you have to dedicate some time to promoting the app to your customers. There are many ways you can advertise your restaurant’s smartphone app without spending a ton of money. Look around you, there are plenty of marketing items within your restaurant that you already print that you can add a plug for your app on. And, you most likely have a ready supply of team members that can market your app to customers simply by mentioning while serving them their ice teas or guiding them to their table.

Make sure to take advantage of these small ways you can market within your restaurant that will not blow your marketing budget. Here are some of our ideas on how you can promote your mobile app within your restaurant with your existing manpower.

  1. Update In-House Marketing Materials: Update your current marketing materials such as posters, table tents, beeper stickers, download cards (like at Starbucks), coasters, postcards, etc. with a plug to download your mobile app from the appropriate app store.

  2. Send Push Notifications: Utilize Push Notifications as a coupon. Basically, make sure that you reward customers that download your restaurant’s mobile app by sending out weekly discounts for using and keeping the app on their phones.

  3. Utilize Social Media: Use Facebook and Twitter as a way to build awareness of your mobile app. Send out tweets and update your status with links to download the app from the iTunes Store, Google Play, or the Windows Store. Increase the chance of more people downloading the app by offering an incentive for showing the app to their server during their next meal such as a free dessert or 10 percent off their check.

  4. Encourage Social Sharing: If someone downloads the app and shares the app on Facebook, then offer them a free dessert. Tons of foodies are taking pictures of their meals and sharing on their social media pages so why not reward them by giving them an incentive to share socially while dining with you? It’s a win win!

  5. Create a Social Media Contest: Engage your social media fans by creating a contest that offers them a reward at your restaurant. Ask them to tweet to their followers promoting your restaurant app with a special hashtag on Twitter, and the person with the most retweets wins a free meal.

  6. Blog About It!: Does your restaurant already have a blog? Make sure to write a post about your new mobile app. Don’t have a blog but you do have a website? Add a quick note on the homepage with a link to download the app.

  7. Release a Press Release: If you create a fabulous marketing promotion for diners that show your app to their server such as a free appetizer, why not share that news with your local media outlets? Right a press release and email it out to the local newspaper about your new app and the special promotions for local diners.

  8. Ask Staff to Participate: Encourage hostesses and servers to promote the app naturally during the dining process. Staff could even show the app on their own phones to customers at appropriate times during their meal.

Keeping up with the engaging features of your mobile app such as sending out push notifications and encouraging social sharing is a surefire way to get customers more excited about your app. Give your customers a stellar reason to download the app and an even better reason to keep your mobile app on their phone by offering incentives!

You don't have a mobile app? Learn more about MojoBistro's mobile app platform!

Good Marketing Ideas Gone Bad

Posted by Mike Mulhausen | 10/15/2012 | Mobile Marketing

Marketing ideas designed to help get more customers into your restaurant are usually grounded in good intentions.  Coupons, events, text deals and mobile apps are all great ways restaurants attract more customers.  Well it’s October and America’s pastime is in full playoff swing.  While your team may or may not be in it this year, the sheer excitement of the playoffs could help add to your overall bar receipts at your restaurant.  While you continue to search for that magical connection to bring in more customers, we wanted to look back at some of those not-so-great ballpark marketing promotions from the past.  At least we can learn from their pain and have some fun reminiscing in the process.

Cleveland Municipal Stadium - 1974
The Promotion: 10 cent Beer Night. 

To bring fans to see the miserable Cleveland Indians, management decided to sell 10-ounce cups of beer for only 10 cents at a game against the Texas Rangers.

What went wrong: Management forgot one small detail:  Drunk people get restless. More than 25,000 fans showed up for the event, most of them already tipsy at the gate. Among the more tame incidents was a woman who flashed the crowd from the on-deck circle, a father-son team mooning the players (good bonding experience, I guess) and fans jumping on the field to meet and shake hands with the outfielders. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians tied the game, but never got a chance to win. Fans started throwing batteries, golf balls, cups and rocks onto the field and one even took the glove of the Rangers right fielder. As the player rushed into the stands to get his glove back, fans starting swarming the field to stop him and threw chairs to block his way.

The Outcome: The Indians were forced to forfeit the game and nine fans were arrested. The AL president forced the franchise to abandon the promotion idea after understating “There was no question that beer played a great part in the affair.”

Comiskey Park - 1979
The Promotion: Disco Demolition Night.

White Sox fans were encouraged to bring old disco records to the park in exchange for a reduced admission price of 98 cents. The records were to be destroyed in between the two games of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

What went wrong: Believe it or not, a lot of people wanted to see disco records destroyed. 50,000 people showed up at the gates and many who were turned away at the gate tried to climb the walls of the stadium to get in. The crowd, who were reportedly heavily under the influence, soon realized that records could double as Frisbees, which naturally led to fans throwing firecrackers and drinks. When the demolition moment came, the explosion was bigger than expected and ended up ripping a hole in the outfield grass. Thousands of fans ran onto the field to join the mayhem, burning banners and throwing objects. The batting cages were even destroyed in the riot.

The outcome: The Tigers refused to take the field, forcing the White Sox to forfeit the game. The quick patch job on the outfield left the grass uneven and players complained about it for the rest of the season.

Dodger Stadium - 1995
The Promotion: Ball Night.

Fans entering the game were given a souvenir baseball.

What went wrong: Turns out baseballs are pretty convenient things to throw. In the seventh inning, fans threw balls at an opposing outfielder when he bobbled a play. The real drama happened in the bottom of the ninth, though. Dodger Raul Mondesi and manager Tommy Lasorda were ejected for arguing a strikeout call, inspiring about 200 fans to throw their promotional balls onto the field. The umps urged the Cardinals to stay on the field, but finally decided to end the game after more fans decided to contribute their gifts to the game.

The Outcome: The Dodgers were forced to forfeit the game, the first forfeit in the National League in 41 years.

Fifth Third Ballpark - 2006
The Promotion: Cash Drop Night.

The West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit’s class-A affiliate, had a helicopter drop $1,000 in various bills from a helicopter after a game.

What went wrong: People love money more than they love other people. Two children were injured scrambling for the cash. A girl received a bloody lip being pushed to the ground, while a seven-year-old boy was bruised when he got trampled in the fray.

The Outcome: The boy was taken to the hospital, but released after treatment. The team management summed up the incident by reminding everyone that they had signed waivers.

Mobile Marketing: The Next Big Thing for Restaurants

Posted by Mike Mulhausen | 9/24/2012 | Mobile Marketing

According to a comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0 study, nearly 86 million Americans now shop on their smartphones. Additionally, the study revealed  that 4 in every 5 smartphone users – 85.9 million in total – accessed retail content on their device in July alone.  

This pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for restaurants to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment. 

Among all interactive marketing platforms, mobile marketing is expected to grow 38% over the next five years with an estimated $8.2 billion being allocated to it by the year 2016.

Restaurant owners who best understand how consumers are engaging in mobile shopping behaviors and design their strategies accordingly will be best positioned to capitalize on these shifting market dynamics.

Some other findings from the study included:

•234 million Americans own a mobile device.
•As of July 82.2 million Americans owned smartphones, up by 10% from April 2011.
•The number of advertisers using mobile advertising has doubled in just two years.
•Revenue from mobile commerce will increase tenfold from 2010 to 2014 in the US.
•1/3 of us would rather give up sex than our mobile phone.

For more info on the study, visit