If you run a restaurant, you can rely on suppositions to guide your business. Then again, "My grandmother's sweet potato fries will keep 'em coming back" may be thin when it comes to creating long-term viability.
This was the thinking when pay-at-the-table provider Tabbedout released Periscope recently. Periscope is a set of marketing tools, based on the Austin, Texas-based company's mobile payment app, that let merchants monitor customer use of the app, review customer purchase history and collect and respond to guest reviews. The data comes via the establishment's POS system, which integrates the Tabbedout app.
"Initially we were a mobile payments company [and] that's still our core business — allowing consumers to open, view and pay their tab," Tabbedout Marketing Manager Jake Westerfeld said in an interview during the recent Money2020 conference in Las Vegas. "But what we've realized is there's so much more here. We've actually taken a shift into being a marketing and advertising platform driven by mobile payments."
Periscope allows merchants to see whether customers are new or regulars and to track their average spend and order preferences. The service also lets customers provide real-time feedback, so if those sweet potato fries were cold, the manager can speak to the offended customer and provide an offer immediately to make up for the bad experience. The tools also allow segmentation and targeting of customers for marketing and messaging based on merchant criteria, including the ability to track offer redemption.
"All of that information is really valuable to merchants," Westerfeld said. "They don't have a lot of marketing options ... and they're not marketers on top of it. [They're] bar managers and restaurant owners."
Watch Cary Stemle, editor of PizzaMarketplace's sister website MobilePaymentsToday, interview Westerfeld below:
Cary Stemle has more than 20 years of experience in print and online journalism, covering business, public affairs, politics, sports, arts and culture and more. He has a bachelor's degree in history and an associate's degree in journalism from Indiana University Southeast. He joined Mobile Payments Today in July 2013.