The Daily Rail: Chili’s Simplistic Rewards Program Overhaul Paying Off

MARKETING: 6 Mobile Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

Even the smallest towns have more than one restaurant, and it seems like new establishments are opening all the time. In order to build a successful restaurant business, you need to be able to set yourself apart from the competition. Here are some creative mobile marketing strategies for restaurants to help you do just that.


ESPN+ is Here!

The new ESPN+ over-the-top service will (finally) launch on April 12 and will cost $4.99/month – less than Netflix and Hulu. It’s not a carbon copy of WatchESPN, either. ESPN+ will offer MLB, NHL, MLS, college sports, boxing, golf, tennis and other events. It won’t, alas, give you ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

In-Car Advertising?

A recent survey by Ipsos for their spring edition of “What the Future” tackled the subject of advertising in cars, attempting to gauge the potential acceptance among U.S. adults. When asked how useful they felt certain types of advertising would be in an autonomous car, the results were far from overwhelmingly positive, but a certain degree of openness does already appear to be present. The most popular variant, with 49% of respondents saying it would be useful, was being told about specials or sales at stores where the 'driver' has shopped at before. At the bottom of the list were notifications about passing by a restaurant you have visited in the past (27%). Here’s the rest.

Infographic: Is In-Car Advertising the Future? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Peace Out, Plastic Straws!

Eastern Standard, a seafood restaurant in Boston, is nixing plastic straws from its beverage programs after realizing they went through 60,000+ straws every year. Instead, they’re option in favor of eco-friendly, reusable options. They treat their reusable straws like glassware. Here’s more on their switch.


Why it matters to you: Mario Batali is officially divesting from his restaurants.

A few months ago we reported that chef Mario Batali admitted to some of his sexual harassment claims and was going to step down from “day-to-day operations” of his restaurants. He’s gone a step further and is officially divesting from them altogether. According to his partner in B&B Hospitality group, the buyout is going smoothly, which matters less than what he did to get to this point. We’re sure most, if not all, of the currently employed or invested in the company are pretty excited about Batali’s divestment. Former friend Anthony Bourdain said it rather well:

“Retire and count yourself lucky,” Bourdain told the Times. “I say that without malice, or without much malice. I am not forgiving. I can’t get past it. I just cannot and that’s me, someone who really admired him and thought the world of him.”

We think many of these toxic chefs should take Bourdain’s advice here and retire, divest, whatever they can do to sever ties before they kill their companies and put hundreds of people out of jobs. Although Batali might not be taking the hint. The only worse follow up to being caught for sexual harassment is being enough of a jerk that you ruin other peoples’ lives about it further.



Why it matters to you: Chili’s rewards program was overhauled, and simplicity seems to be paying off.

When was the last time you turned down a free drink? How about some chips and salsa to start the meal? They go down easy and should be a total no brainer for restaurants to offer guests. They cost almost nothing and please many. This is Chili’s new angle. The chain realized that guests just want some free stuff and that’s about as deep as their rewards program needs to be. Starting now, anyone who is a part of their rewards program gets their choice of either chips & salsa or a free non-alcoholic drink. Not a bad deal for any involved.

We agree with the simplicity of their program. There is no need to confuse guests with crazy levels of points leading to several different potential options that nobody can easily keep track of. It is hard enough to remember your coffee shop punch card every time you go in (and if you are like us, its usually no less than twice). Basically, keep it simple; keep it stupid. With Millennials being so apt to quit these programs, the rewards need to be immediate and relatively black and white. Chips and salsa or a drink right when you come in is a perfect way to go.