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Wow Bao restaurants offer mobile coupons to drive customer loyalty

May 21, 2010

Lettuce Entertain You taps Mocapay for mobile couponing

Lettuce Entertain You taps Mocapay for mobile couponing

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc.’s Wow Bao restaurant chain is enhancing its mobile marketing initiatives by offering mobile coupons and mobile comp cards.

The restaurant company tapped Mocapay to mobile-enable its customer marketing and gift programs at Wow Bao’s Chicago locations. By leveraging the Mocapay mobile platform, Wow Bao customers can receive special mobile offers and participate in mobile gifting, which offers real-time gift-giving directly to another mobile phone.

“Mobile couponing is going to grow my customer base, it’s going to grow my loyalty base and increase caché—it’s going to create buzz in restaurant, with people asking ‘How do I do that?’” said Geoff Alexander, president and managing partner for Wow Bao at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago. “It’s going to bring some fun to it that other restaurants aren’t doing.

“The fear that we have, when you give someone a gift over the Internet, you have no control once it leaves you—they could forward it to friends, and we’ve all heard the horror stories,” he said. “Mocapay has a way to send a gift card or mobile coupon to people, letting consumers redeem mobile coupons at the point of sale by scanning a bar code, which automatically updates the account, but can only be used once.

“That allows us to not worry about viral incidents that could happen to us, protecting my investment and the nature of my brand—I’m protected from people who might want to spread mobile couponing virally that could hurt me financially.”

Wow Bao, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, has three locations in downtown Chicago.

Specializing in bao—steamed buns, sweet dough with vegetable or meat fillings—Wow Bao offers quick-service Asian fare.

Consumers’s can order bike delivery, domestic shipping or local pickup via Wow Bao’s iPhone application or online.

Based in Denver, Mocapay is a mobile platform for merchants that offers integrated marketing and sales services to enhance customer relationship management.

The platform addresses these merchants’ need for a new channel that will broaden their loyalty and gift programs by mobilizing sales and marketing to reach customers anytime, not just at the point of sale, encourage purchases and build a stronger brand affinity.

Exit41 powers Wow Bao’s mobile ordering capabilities.

Wow Bao mobile coupons
Mr. Alexander said that he believes mobile is the next frontier for the restaurant industry and an amazing channel to directly connect with customers and build brand loyalty to increase store visits.

“We’ve been doing mobile for quite a well—we have been doing a text messaging program for about nine months, and we have about 1,200 followers who have opted in to receive biweekly SMS coupons from us,” Mr. Alexander said.

The relationship with Mocapay is designed to help Wow Bao take its mobile marketing strategy to the next level by incorporating secure mobile payments while also reaching its customers in a personalized manner.

Wow Bao’s mobile platform, powered by Mocapay, is available via SMS and the mobile Web, as well as Wow Bao’s iPhone application and Mocapay’s Android and iPhone applications.

Wow Bao can customize mobile marketing campaigns by specific store location, creating targeted and personalized messages delivered directly to its customers.

Customers can request a mobile coupon with a payment code for a specific Wow Bao location and receive that payment code paired with a bar code on their handset.

The cashier can either scan the bar code or enter the numerical code at the point of sale.

Customers can also view their Wow Bao transaction history directly from their mobile phone.

Mocapay’s mobile software-as-a-service platform features an embedded marketing engine and patented mobile payments functionality that conducts transactions in a multichannel environment.

The company claims that its platform enables secure, hardware-infrastructure-agnostic mobile payments regardless of tender type and transaction location.

Mocapay’s dynamic cryptogram architecture is designed to ensure that every mobile payment transaction is executed securely with a one-time use and perishable authorization code.

Mocapay’s platform will also enable Wow Bao to retain the investment made in its point-of-sale equipment, since no new hardware is required.

“Mocapay gives me the protection that I want so I don’t have to worry about it going viral and damaging me,” Mr. Alexander said. “They provide the application allowing me to send out mobile coupons, and we are the first Micros POS system Mocapay has gone live with.

“They have revolutionized mobile gifting,” he said. “They are leaps and bounds above what other people are doing.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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