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Billy Sims BBQ uses mobile to enhance relationships with customers, franchisees

Billy Sims Barbecue has turned to mobile to connect with current and potential customers and franchisees.

Named after the retired National Football League running back, Billy Sims Barbecue partnered with MacroSolve Inc. to launch an iPhone application, which had achieved 2,300 downloads as of Feb. 15. The local restaurant chain has plans to also launch on BlackBerry and Android in the future.

“When building the Billy Sims BBQ app, we told MacroSolve to focus on our three strategic goals: No. 1, connecting with our current and potential customers, No. 2, offering a service to our current franchisees and No. 3, reaching out to potential franchisees,” said Jeff Jackson, owner of Billy Sims Barbeque, Tulsa, OK.

“As Billy Sims continues to grow into new markets, a mobile app creates a ready to go marketing plan for our new franchisees’ locations that can be launched before the store opens,” he said.

“This helps create brand awareness and build excitement around the app and the restaurant’s opening.”

Billy Sims Barbecue was one of the first clients to launch a mobile application with MacroSolve. It was instrumental in helping identify the needs and the abilities of the app.

MacroSolve operates through its subsidiaries, including Anyware Mobile Solutions and Illume Mobile.

Are you ready for some BBQ?
Billy Sims offers its mobile app users special discounts specific to them via the app.

While Anyware Mobile Solutions offers mobile ordering, Billy Sims is not using that feature at this time, as its business model does not require advanced order placement.

The application is currently following the curbside pick-up model, letting customers order via the app and pay at the time they pick up the order.

Billy Sims BBQ is promoting its app through its various social media channels, as well as at point of sale inside its restaurants.

The restaurant chain has plans to include the application in an upcoming revision of all in-store signage.

One of the primary reasons Billy Sims launched its iPhone app was to develop a new way to connect with their current customers and to gather contact information and feedback from their customers.

The restaurant chain has seen success with this, collecting more than 400 surveys already, all with feedback from and contact information for their customers.

The restaurants continue to collect surveys via mobile on a weekly basis. It has been a fantastic tool for the corporate office and the franchises, per Mr. Jackson.

Upcoming new features within the app will provide Billy Sims with some creative opportunities to market themselves in new and unique ways.

For example, the Billy Sims highlight video reel will be made available soon.

“MacroSolve addresses various challenges for Billy Sims BBQ,” said Clint Parr, president/CEO of MacroSolve, Tulsa, OK. “We help them with gathering feedback from customers and give them the ability to launch a promotion on demand so promotions can be connected to what is currently happening.

“We help Billy Sims respond to the needs of our increasingly mobile society,” he said. “People want information in the palm of their hand right now  – including information on local restaurants.

“This allows Billy Sims to be connected to its customers and potential customers in many markets.”

Final Take
Mr. Parr