viernes, 26 de octubre de 2012

Un bahiense con una aplicación para restaurants

Starbates uses smartphones to build restaurant loyalty

Starbates uses smartphones to build restaurant loyalty
Por Dean Takahashi

Many restaurants have no clue who their customers are, and they often don’t get repeat clientele. Starbates is out to change that.
The Fullerton, Calif.-based company is creating a customizable loyalty program that restaurants can use to track and reward customers. Users can access a mobile app that allows them to check in and earn rewards without having to carry around paper loyalty cards.
“We’re replacing the ‘buy 10 get 1 free’ punchcards and working with restaurants to reward their customers faster to keep engaging them to come back more frequently,” said Jean Chong, chief executive and co-founder of Starbates, in an interview with VentureBeat.
Acquiring and retaining customers has been a broken process for restaurants for years, Chong said. Restaurants lose customers every day and they don’t know why. They have no way of reaching people once they walk out the door. But using a mobile-based loyalty program that gives customers meaningful rewards for showing up will enable restaurants to have a pulse on their business. They can mine the customer data to find their best customers and perform analytics on them. The restaurants can sign up for the program in a matter of minutes.
The customer simply scans a QR code (pictured below) at the cash register. The restaurant can recognize the customer and issue a reward on the spot if the customer has earned it. At one Quiznos, Chong said the customer loyalty went up because the chain sandwich shop gave $2 off to each customer for every second visit.
The company uses a QR code system to reward customers and provide data to restaurants. Chong said the company has a leg up in getting distribution because it has exclusive ties to Premier Food Safety, a business-to-business restaurant service company that she founded. That will give Starbates access to as many as 10,000 restaurants. Acquiring a new restaurant will be less than $100. Starbates will offer a free membership at first and then charge anywhere from $50 to $200 a month for subscriptions.
Starbates’ beta test is complete, and restaurants will now be able to sign up on their own. Starbates can offer double rewards — rewards that include movie tickets, cash prizes, and more. The company has iPhone, Android, and web versions of its app live.
The company was founded earlier this year and has five employees. It is looking for a seed round now but has been incubated by StartEngine, the Los Angeles tech startup accelerator. Rivals include LevelUp, Mogl, Stampt, Punchd, FiveStarsCard, and Bellycard. But with Starbates, customers don’t have to link a credit card to their profile. Anyone with a smartphone can participate.

Venture Beat  

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