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T.G.I. Friday’s strengthens mobile strategy with payments app

April 26, 2012

The T.G.I. Friday's mobile app

T.G.I. Friday’s orders another round of mobile with a new application enabling customers to place an order and pay their bills via their smartphones.

The new mobile app was designed to enhance the experience for customers in the restaurant making it easy for them place an order and pay for it. The app also includes the ability to find a nearby location, menus and a rewards program.

“Mobile apps for businesses are a critical tool for providing the same things that advertising provides, which is awareness and attraction,” said Steve Signoff, president and CEO of Illume Mobile, Tulsa, OK.

“What distinguishes a mobile app is that it goes beyond this to add to the in-premise customer experience, such as by being able to monitor and pay for your bill while in the restaurant,” he said.

No need to wait
T.G.I. Friday’s has a mobile site and has experimented with using QR codes on menus as well as location-based advertising.

The new mobile app is part of a larger campaign to build awareness for the T.G.I. Friday’s brand. It is being introduced today for the iPhone with an Android version expected to follow soon after.

The mobile payments element of the app is enabled via a partnership with Tabbedout. Using Tabbedout’s technology, the T.G.I. Friday’s app is able to interact with the chain’s point-of-sale terminals to enable customers to input their orders and pay for their bills.

As a result, users do not have to wait for a server to take their order or bring them a bill.  

Currently, users are able to input their credit card information into the app in order to pay. Other payment methods could be added in the future.

The app is also integrated with T.G.I. Friday’s Give Me More Stripes customers rewards program.

With the T.G.I Friday’s app, customers can enroll in the reward program.  Members can earn 1 “stripe” for every dollar spent on food by presenting their membership information to a server. 

In upcoming updates, the points will be integrated with the pay your tab feature.

The app also includes news from the restaurant, is integrated with T.G.I. Friday’s’ social media and enables users to provide feedback.

The restaurant chain will promote the new app as a part of a new national advertising campaign consisting of national TV and digital ads.

Customer loyalty
While a lot of restaurants currently have mobile apps, not many enable customers to pay their bills via a smartphone. Mr. Signoff expects this to soon change as the second generation of mobile apps start appearing with enhanced functionality focused on improving the customer experiences. Additionally, he expects to see a greater focus on developing apps that can provide a return on investment.

The T.G.I. Friday’s app was developed by Illume Mobile, Tabbedout, The Richards Group and Click Here.

A mobile app can play a critical role in building customer loyalty for businesses such as T.G.I. Friday’s that are built on repeat customers.

“For those loyal customers, they want to provide a better, faster, more convenient experience for interacting with T.G.I. Friday’s,” Mr. Signoff said. “The mobile app brings a level of convenience and a level of customer intimacy that encourages repeat customers.”

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