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National Restaurant Association - Use mobile to drive revenue

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Use mobile to drive revenue

Until recently, restaurants were slow to take advantage of e-commerce, only using it for gift cards or the online sale of branded merchandise, like t-shirts and specialty food products.
But mobile has changed the paradigm. With more than 90 percent of smartphone users reporting they are rarely more than two feet away from their device at any given time, restaurant marketers have been handed a huge opportunity to build their brands and connect with customers like never before.
Take Starbucks, for example. Long considered a front-runner in mobile and loyalty programs, the company recently launched Mobile Order & Pay, which lets customers place an order in advance and pick it up without waiting in a long line. The company is banking on the idea that busy coffee drinkers will be enticed to order and pay through the app because it’s so much quicker.
Fast-food brands have also thrown their hats into the mobile payment ring. In late 2014 Taco Bell unveiled an advanced mobile app that lets customers order and pay on their smartphones and then walk up or drive in to pick up the food. The company said its app has been downloaded 2.5 million times since its launch. It also recently announced it would add a customer loyalty program in its application later in 2015.
Then there are fast-casual operators, like Panera Bread, who aim to become as fast as their competitors. Panera’s digital ordering platform, Panera 2.0, reduces friction at checkout by enabling guests to order and pay through new digital channels. Customers can place orders online up to five days in advance and schedule when they’ll pick it up. They can also order online from inside a Panera bakery café and have the order delivered to their table.
Ever since Apple Pay introduced its contactless feature last fall, restaurant brands—including McDonald’s—have signed on to accept it at their locations. 
Apple Pay is billed as an easy, more secure way for iPhone 6 users to pay in person and through apps. The solution can also be used by restaurant customers to store loyalty cards and special offers. And since it’s a preferred payment choice among consumers, companies that integrated with Apple Pay for in-app purchases feel it opens the door to restaurants looking to become more competitive.
This content was provided by Heartland Payment Systems, the National Restaurant Association’s only endorsed provider of secure card processing, payroll and loyalty-marketing services.

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