Tech Trends: Mobile Loyalty Programs Benefit Enterprises and Guests

As part of our continuing series on tech trends, we explore the growing trend towards mobile loyalty programs. These programs replace the traditional punch card or swipe card with a smartphone app that allows enterprises to become more familiar with their frequent guests and guests to collect their rewards on their phones. The advantages are plentiful for both.

Enterprise Benefits

1) Social media marketing
Full integration with social media. When guests share, post, and tweet, they help create online content and spread the word about your enterprise. The ease and fun of the app makes them even more likely to do so, according to expert Kelly Clay.

2) Enhanced guest analytics
Most programs use an online or mobile dashboard that instantly creates graphs, charts, and other analytics about the guests, the reward redemption, and guest feedback. This allows you to spend more time using data, rather than formatting it.

3) Integrated guest outreach
Through the dashboard, enterprises can create email marketing campaigns, post to Facebook and Twitter, and in some cases even send offers directly to guests’ mobile phones, eliminating the need for separate email marketing and contact programs.

The Guest Advantage

1) Convenient redemption of rewards
By replacing a handful of loyalty cards with one app on their smartphone, mobile loyalty programs make it easy for guests to earn and redeem rewards.

2) Fun
Mobile apps also make the loyalty program more game-like by using custom reward levels, graphics, and pop-up alerts.

3) Socially interactive
Guests can even see new offers on their Facebook and Twitter feeds right away and share their visits with friends.

Connect Your Enterprise Now

1) Know the requirements
Most programs require only a computer with Internet access to view the analytics dashboard and a POS system.

2) Pick a program that works with your operations
– Integrate with mobile payment systems, so guests can pay and earn rewards at the same time. Examples include Square and LevelUp.

– Scan guests’ phones using an in-store iPad or scanner provided by the program. Examples include Belly and Passbook.

– Print receipts with QR codes or other information that guests scan themselves. Examples include FrontFlip and Punchcard.

– Have staff push a button on guests’ phones to stamp a virtual representation of the traditional loyalty card. Examples include Perka.

Happy Rewards…TaraPaige Group

Pok Pok’s Andy Richter on a Year in New York

Andy Richter sits down with Eater and reflects on his first year as a New York Restaurateur. His chief surprise? Staffing.

Inventours Barcelona June 9th-14th: Calling All Chief Marketing / Innovators / Design / Branding Officers

Inventours is hosting a Barcelona trip from June 9th to 14th. You’ll join top executives tasked with innovation in insightful, thought provoking stimuli to help improve their new product and services development processes.  All industries are welcome, with a focus on packaged goods, furnishing decor, hotels and restaurant chains. You can view the itinerary here.

Inventours includes global superstar innovators in the fields of product design, architecture, sustainability, technology, food, fashion & hospitality.  They include Ferran Adria (widely considered the most creative chef in the world in history) of El Bulli (the #1 Restaurant in the World before it closed to become an innovation think tank), and Claus Meyer (partner & co-founder of the current #1 Restaurant in the world, Noma), in their workshops/studios, BIG and Cloud-9 architects, furniture designers Nani Marquina, Friz Hansen, Jaime Traserra, and Softline, the INDEX Awards (the largest cash prize in the world in design), product design firms Designit and Smart Design, The Camper Hotel in Barcelona and the Fox Hotel in Copenhagen, and lots more stimulating and inspiring content. Barcelona and Copenhagen were selected because they excel across a wide range of creative fields.
See more about about Inventours at for upcoming program dates and locations.


Edible Brooklyn Presents Brooklyn Uncorked: 5/29, Local Wine and Food Event

Brooklyn Uncorked, an event presenting Long Island Wine and celebrating the last 40 years of local wine, will take place on May 29th at Skylight One Hanson. Food and wine are inclusive, tickets are selling fast.

NYC Hospitality Alliance Event on 4/8: Avoiding Discrimination Claims and Improving Employee Relations

On April 8th, New York City Hospitality Alliance & Fox Rothschild LLP will
present Avoiding Discrimination Claims & Perfecting Employee Relations’


When: Monday, April 8th 2013, 9:30-11:30am
Where: NY Institute of Technology | 16 West 61st Street, 11th Floor

Cost: $20 member
$35 non-member

There has been an increase in employment discrimination claims filed against restaurants and nightlife venues and you need to know how to protect your business and employees.

Join The NY Hospitality Alliance on April 8th, as The Alliance’s Labor counsel and Fox Rothschild’s New York Employment Group chair, Carolyn Richmond helps parse through the issues.

We will cover issues including:

  • Steps to take to avoid employment discrimination charges
  • What can and cannot be asked on applications these days
  • The do’s and don’ts during an employee interview
  • How and what to document in an employee’s “personnel file”
  • Whether an employee handbook really helps
  • What managers could be doing better

Caribou Coffee: On Social Media and Sustainability

Fast Casual reports that Caribou Coffee Company Inc. is joining forces with its fans and Project 7, a manufacturer of eco-friendly products, to plant trees in April. As the first major U.S. coffeehouse to source all coffees and espresso from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, Caribou Coffee, in partnership with Project 7, will plant a fruit tree in Central or South America with each “like” it receives on Facebook in April.

In 2012, this partnership helped to plant more than 100,000 trees, feed the hungry in U.S. communities with 35,000 meals, provide over 3,000 days of shelter for those in need.

To encourage its fans to drink sustainably year-round, Caribou offers all customers who use a reusable tumbler in their locations a 10-cent discount on their beverages. Coffee drinkers can look forward to Caribou’s Earth Day offer when the company gives free coffee to all customers who bring in a reusable mug or tumbler on April 22.

Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates Has Openings: Apply Now


The Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates program offers affordable commercial kitchen space, finance advising, workshops and a diverse culinary community to help grow startup food businesses. They’ve just announced they’re looking for motivated food producers with a focused concept and proven sales to join their program before May 31st.

To learn more visit the HBK Incubates page to see photos of the kitchen, learn about the other businesses they support, and request an application, or call HBK Incubates Director Sandra Vu at 212-369-3331 with any questions.

Empathica and Your Enterprise: Connecting with Customers

Integrating and deciphering your Social Media outreach is no quick feat, but Empathica is working to change that, fast.

Empathica, a global provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to multi-unit enterprises, announced it has extended its market leading CEM solutions to include 3rd Party Feedback and enhanced Text Analytics capabilities. The new universal feedback API allows businesses to import any unstructured text feedback – such as online reviews, social network comments, call center transcriptions, direct feedback, email and open-ended survey comments – and view it alongside structured survey feedback.

“Businesses are tasked with making sense of an intimidating amount of feedback from customers,” said Simon Palmer, chief technology officer, Empathica. “The challenge brands face in filtering inbound data from surveys, email feedback and social media is how to turn it into manageable actions for the company. These new capabilities allow brands to understand how they are executing through structured survey feedback, as well as tap into trends in what customers are saying about them through unstructured outlets, such as social media.”

The ability to analyze both structured and unstructured feedback through one platform gives brand and location managers access to a previously untapped source of actionable insights that can be used to deliver better customer experiences. Brand managers can use this aggregated view to surface strategic insights and identify trends, while location managers can use a focused localized view to train their staff to meet the needs of local clientele.

In addition to the feedback API, Empathica has extended its capabilities in Text Analytics technology with integration into its Empathica Local software program. Features include:

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities allow businesses to analyze both sentiment and frequency of unstructured text feedback.
  • Real-time analysis of comments at all levels of an enterprise, from local unit managers to area coaches and upwards to corporate brand champions, allows businesses to understand the context of comments and issues as they occur.
  • A comments tab that serves a central viewing point for customer feedback.
  • An updated, easy to understand and navigate view that adds to an exceptional client user experience.

Using the Text Analytics tool, businesses can also gather valuable information that they can apply to future marketing and customer engagement efforts. Empathica is able to provide brand managers with the information needed to focus on topics surrounding their brand and which of those topics are discussed most often. The tools also provide sentiment analyses, enabling managers to see what topics are being mentioned in a positive or negative context, including support for multiple languages. Along with topic correlation and a deep linkage of the content back to the operational hierarchy, Empathica provides a complete view of online feedback for multi-unit brands.

For more information about Empathica’s CEM solution and its new features, visit

2 Beans Brings Chocolate and Coffee to Midtown

Coffee and chocolate are for sale at 2Beans, a new Midtown Manhattan shop. This cafe and shop has an Illy European style coffee bar, and bars and boxes of chocolates from around the world. A display case holds specialty chocolate from Chocolat Moderne in Manhattan and Aeschbach of Switzerland, sold by the piece, and slabs of chocolate bark made for the shop: 100 Park Avenue (41st Street), (212) 937-8914, Closed Sundays.

Read Front Burner for more info.

Building two marshmallow companies