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Restaurants Aim to Boost Sales with Mobile Apps

From Lisa Terry of Nation's Restaurant News: "To enhance sales and service—and generate consumer buzz—operators in several segments are exploring bring-your-own-technology initiatives targeting users of wireless mobile-computing devices and cell phones. Froots Smoothies is testing an application that guests can access with their cell phones and use to place orders and pay tabs. Among the concepts with such ongoing tests or deployments are:
 
    * Froots Smoothies of Cooper City, Fla., which is piloting technology that turns customer wireless-network-capable cell phones, laptops and PDAs into ordering and payment devices.
    * The Boiling Crab, a casual-dining restaurant in Garden Grove, Calif., that is managing its 300-to-400-name table-wait lists by substituting cell phone calls or text messages for pagers.
    * Branches of Atlanta-based Church’s Chicken, and franchised California outlets of the Jack in the Box and Denny’s chains, which are trying cell phone-based couponing and surveys.
    * A trio of Southern California table-service operations that are letting guests text message compliments or complaints to nearby managers.
 
Many say the initiatives yield multiple benefits, from increasing operational efficiencies to boosting customer satisfaction."
[Editor's note: Check out www.WhereTheLocalsEat.com's own LocalEats app for a guide to the top restaurants in the country, as well as coupon deals at select restaurants in Nashville and coming soon to other cities nationwide.]  
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