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Applebee’s ratchets up takeout business with mobile

January 25, 2010

applebeesRestaurant chain Applebee’s has entered the mobile space, letting consumers browse its menu and click-to-call to place an order right from their handset.

The main function of the application is to connect consumers to Applebee’s existing Carside To Go service. Carside To Go is Applebee’s special pick up service that lets consumers call in their order and have it delivered right to their car when they arrive.

“I think that restaurants experimented a lot with having kiosks in the store and that didn’t take off,” said Noah N. Glass, founder/CEO of Gomobo, New York. “I think the idea behind kiosks was to let workers focus on the food and streamline operations to increase profitability.

“The mobile phone is the new kiosk,” he said. “With a touch-screen device the customer is walking around with the kiosk in their pocket so you get the self-service capability.

“The bonus is you have taken that kiosk so that the point of sale is being carried around with the customer and is no longer tied to the four walls of the restaurant.”

Applebee’s has more than 1,900 locations, making it the world’s largest casual dining restaurant chain.

The Applebee’s application is all about utility and functionality. When Gomobo created the application, the company was focused on providing Applebee’s fans functionality they want on the go.

Users can view the full Applebee’s menu right from the application:


The application features a store locator, which helps customers find the nearest Applebee’s:


Additionally, consumers can use the application to invite friends via email to meet them at the Applebee’s in their area.

The Deal Maker aspect of the application is meant to help people who cannot decide what they want to eat.

Users just shake their iPhone and the application makes food pairing suggestions and recommends meals.

The Deal Maker functionality is meant to expose people to more menu items, per Mr. Glass.

Here is a screen grab of the Deal Maker function within the application:


“I think there is a big drive to connect with the younger consumer,” Mr. Glass said. “Restaurants see that young consumers are more attracted to social and digital media.

“Restaurants are realizing that in order to get through to the younger generation, it is imperative to have a social and mobile presence,” he said. 

The Applebee’s application marks the restaurant chain’s first foray into mobile.

Mr. Glass said that Gomobo will be making updates to the application in the future, based on user feedback.

“For the customer it’s about how they want to interact with brands and it really is about being there whenever the customer may be thinking about you,” Mr. Glass said. “This application is about convenience.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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