customer rewards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15062/all en-US Big Bytes: Using Tech for Restaurant Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/big-bytes-using-tech-for-restaurant-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-bytes-using-tech-for-restaurant-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/phone_at_restaurant.jpg" alt="Man using his phone at a restaurant" title="Man using his phone at a restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the best things about technology &mdash; according to just about everybody but Congress &mdash; is the wealth of information that&rsquo;s available anytime and anywhere we need it.</p> <p>As the Internet and smartphones have evolved, so too has the way people use this technology. Our iPhones and Androids aren&rsquo;t just for looking up news and directions anymore, they&rsquo;re also an excellent way to save money on food and snacks on the go.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you&rsquo;re a busy career person or just that guy or girl who&rsquo;d rather eat take out than turn on a burner, here are 10 tech-savvy apps and websites that will save you money when those hunger pangs hit, no matter where you are. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheapskates-guide-to-eating-out">A Cheapskate's Guide to Eating Out</a>)</p> <h2>Foursquare</h2> <p>You usually can&rsquo;t score full meals using <a href="https://foursquare.com/">Foursquare</a> specials, but there are probably good deals that you can take advantage of in your neighborhood. In my area, there are lots of restaurants that offer a free glass of wine just for stopping in &mdash; no purchase necessary. At a Ruby Tuesday once, my husband and I scored a free appetizer by asking for the manager as the special requested. We had already eaten our dinner and weren&rsquo;t hungry for the appetizer, which means that we got free dessert instead. Cake is much better than pot stickers anyway.</p> <h2>Restaurant.com</h2> <p>I live by gift certificates from <a href="http://www.restaurant.com/">Restaurant.com</a> for two reasons: 1) They&rsquo;re a great way to try a restaurant that you maybe you wouldn&rsquo;t have otherwise, and 2) they provide an excellent opportunity to save money on a restaurant that you frequent a lot. There&rsquo;s a place around the corner from my house that I visit at least four times a week to finish up my work or to simply connect with others since I work from home all day. I keep my gift certificates in my bag (which, by the way, I buy at the deepest discount available &mdash; mostly 80% but sometimes 90% off; do your Google search), so if I get hungry while I&rsquo;m there I can order dinner without feeling too guilty about it.</p> <h2>Scoutmob</h2> <p>I used <a href="http://scoutmob.com/">Scoutmob</a> for the very first time last week, and it was easy as pie. When I opened the app, I noticed that one of my favorite restaurants was offering 50% off meals with a max discount of $25 (other deals will vary more or less, however). When my husband and I were looking for someplace to eat on Friday, that&rsquo;s the first place that came to mind. Deals on Scoutmob don&rsquo;t cost the user any money, either. You just show up, check in, and hand your phone to your server so that he can verify the discount.</p> <h2>Groupon Now!</h2> <p>This app is similar to Scoutmob in that it shows the deals closest to you at any given time, but unlike Scoutmob, <a href="http://www.groupon.com/now">Groupon Now!</a> charges the users a discounted fee for whatever food item is offered. Personally, I would check Scoutmob first, but the deals are still very good here, too.</p> <h2>Papa John&rsquo;s App</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m singling this app out for a reason. Papa John&rsquo;s has a program called <a href="http://www.papajohns.com/rewards/index.shtm">Papa Rewards</a> that allows registered users to earn points based on the cost of their orders. You receive one point for every $5 spent. Once you receive 25 points &mdash; which to be honest, doesn&rsquo;t take too long depending on how often you order from the joint (we order from here way too much!) &mdash; you qualify for a free pizza. I&rsquo;m using Papa John&rsquo;s as an example here to let you know that these kinds of programs exist (with keychain and punch cards, too), and they&rsquo;re worth looking into if you frequent certain establishments.</p> <h2>GrubHub</h2> <p>When I originally chose <a href="http://www.grubhub.com/">GrubHub</a> to include in this post, I was under the impression that new registrants of the web- and app-based delivery service received a $10 credit to use when placing their first order. That was true at one point, but the deal expired this past November. Because I didn&rsquo;t want you to miss out on GrubHub if you haven&rsquo;t yet tried it &mdash; and I certainly didn&rsquo;t want to deprive you of a chance to save some dough &mdash; I called the GrubHub peeps yesterday, and they were totally excited to offer the first 50 Wise Bread readers (who are new GrubHub users) a $5 <a href="http://wisebread.com/coupons">coupon code</a> to use when checking out after ordering their meal. Just enter WISEBREAD5 before January 23 to redeem this exclusive offer.</p> <h2>LivingSocial Instant</h2> <p><a href="https://www.livingsocial.com/instant">LivingSocial Instant</a> is the exact same concept as Groupon Now! Like I said before, you might find a deal here that Groupon Now! or Scoutmob doesn&rsquo;t have. It only takes a few minutes to compare and save.</p> <h2>BlackboardEats</h2> <p>The <a href="http://blackboardeats.com/">BlackboardEats</a> website/app is a bit more exclusive than the others, with deals targeting only Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. But registered users will receive weekly e-mails good for a percentage off their meal, a free bottle of wine, exclusive prix fixes, secret menus, and more at some of the best restaurants in their respective cities.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Happy Hour Finder</h2> <p>The best part about happy hours is the discount booze and sometimes free food. In fact, I once stumbled upon a happy hour at the Jersey Shore that offered a smorgasbord of food including pastas, sausages, and cold cuts &mdash; enough to feed a crowd full of juice heads and me &mdash; for free. As soon as you open the <a href="http://thehappyhourfinder.com/">Happy Hour Finder</a> app, you&rsquo;ll find happy hours nearby plus their registered deals. There are 13 in my area right now. How many are in yours?</p> <h2>Restaurant-Specific Websites</h2> <p>Before a trip to Dallas two years ago, I did an Internet search for the best barbecue restaurants in the area &mdash; I mean, who goes to Dallas without getting sauce on their shirt? Anyway, the search told me that Sonny Bryan&rsquo;s Smokehouse was highly recommended, so I visited the website to see what it was all about. I&rsquo;m glad I did, too. Right there on the front page was a sign-up form for a buy one, get one free coupon. Total score! So many restaurants have these deals as part of their loyalty clubs and people overlook them &mdash; especially on birthdays when you can get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-birthday-freebies">motherload of freebies</a>&hellip;and a few extra pounds.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-bytes-using-tech-for-restaurant-discounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-beer-apps-to-kick-start-your-summer">5 Great Beer Apps to Kick-Start Your Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-saving-reasons-to-buy-a-food-dehydrator">9 Money Saving Reasons to Buy a Food Dehydrator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-buying-groceries-online-is-great">3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less">The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-app-ondot-is-a-remote-control-for-your-credit-card">New App Ondot Is a Remote Control for Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Technology customer rewards daily deals restaurant discounts smartphone apps Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:24:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 871432 at http://www.wisebread.com Easter Eggs Aren't Only For Easter http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012215816Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I've always been drawn to products that have that extra little <em>something</em> in them.</p> <p>It's always interesting to hear when people discover nifty little built-in &quot;easter eggs,&quot; or extra hidden features that only a few people may notice inside of a product. These easter eggs might be hidden tracks on an album, special hidden features in a game or web application, or a special prop in a TV show. There are plenty of ways easter eggs are added into lots of things we watch, use, or listen to.</p> <p>It may seem frivolous, and yet one more thing to think about, but hiding an easter egg in your product or website can help you build a better relationship with your customers.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Reward the TRUE Fan</strong></p> <p>Sometimes adding a little unexpected something to your site or product can give your fans something to look forward to. The producers of the TV show <em>Psych </em>have included a pineapple in nearly episode to give fans &quot;in the know&quot; something to look forward to.</p> <p>The true fans are the ones you want to reward, and giving them a little extra something lets them know that you care.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Break the Monotony</strong></p> <p>Google <em>loves</em> to <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/217752/googles_top_easter_eggs_gags_and_hoaxes_2011_edition.html" target="_blank">add easter eggs into their products</a>: nifty logos, funny error messages, and April Fool's Day pranks every year. For a company that specializes in something as monotonous as search, they can get away with adding lots of fun extras.</p> <p>When you have a web company that does mundane things, it can be a refreshing break from the monotony with fun, unexpected &quot;treats&quot; for users.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can Add Much-Needed Humor</strong></p> <p>Easter eggs may not be applicable to every type of &quot;boring&quot; company: you probably wouldn't want a fun or comical easter egg on, say, on the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/" target="_blank">Mayo Clinic website</a>. But companies have learned that humor can go a long way to adding a bit of fun. And easter eggs are a great way to add humor.</p> <p>Humor is being used more and more to market more traditional, no-nonsense types of products like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndHOmYCMaXQ" target="_blank">insurance</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0GsNhLt9Ds" target="_blank">online stock trading</a>, or even <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE" target="_blank">soap</a>.</p> <p>Look no further than Google's famed <a href="http://google.about.com/od/experimentalgoogletools/tp/aprilfools.htm" target="_blank">April Fool's Day jokes</a>. Fake products like Google Translate for Animals or the Google Copernicus Center, a fake hiring center on the moon, make people laugh every year.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Add Intrigue</strong></p> <p>When you hide easter eggs in your product, you give the user a reason to wonder what else might be hidden.</p> <p>The PC computer game <em>Myst</em> of the mid-nineties was almost solely based around finding easter eggs and clues hidden on the mythical island. The game centered around the excitement of exploring the unknown and poring over every detail within the game for easter eggs.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Give Your Team a Fun Project</strong></p> <p>Teams who work hard every day appreciate being able to cut loose and create something that doesn't necessarily have the pressure of (directly) influencing the bottom line. It's good for team morale.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can Be a Marketing Tool</strong></p> <p>J.J. Abrams is the master of using easter eggs to sell something. With Abrams' blockbuster film <em>Cloverfield</em> Abrams created <a href="http://www.1-18-08.com/" target="_blank">1-18-08.com</a>, a site with pictures that the viewer could move around and try to interpret a series of events. Viral sites for a drink Slusho! and a Japanese drilling company Tagruato were both created to add to the mythology of the Cloverfield story. Abrams used these sites to tell side stories and add even more mystery and interest around the movie.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can be Viral</strong></p> <p>Easter eggs are inherently viral. What's the first thing you want to do when you discover an easter egg? You want to tell your friends. We humans don't want to share the mundane; we want to share the unique. We're drawn to it. Easter eggs are natural viral tools.</p> <p>At the end of the day, easter eggs show an attention to detail to your customers. Sure, it's all fun and games. But sometimes it's the little things that make the difference to the person using your product.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">12 Times You&#039;re Better Off Without a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-oh-where-are-my-worms-be-on-your-toes-when-ordering-from-small-web-businesses">Where Oh Where Are My Worms? Be On Your Toes When Ordering From Small Web Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center customer rewards Easter eggs marketing promotions small business Sun, 20 Nov 2011 19:47:20 +0000 Glen Stansberry 788828 at http://www.wisebread.com