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El Torito Grill orders mobile site as part of new digital strategy

El Torito Grill has launched a mobile site as part of a new digital initiative that also includes a social media application.

The upscale Mexican casual dining restaurant chain in Southern California is a subsidiary of Real Mex Restaurants, which operates 200 restaurants under several different names. The new mobile site will help El Torito Grill enhance communication with customers by making it easy to find nearby locations and sign-up for an email club.

“With advancement in technology increasing every day, the expectation of businesses to provide an immersive experience also increases,” said Kyle Nakayama, social media specialist at Real Mex Restaurants, Cypress, CA.

“Our goal is to provide our guests with a seamless experience where they can easily access key information – our menu, find our locations, order a gift card, and connect with us on Facebook,” he said.

Immersive experience
In the header of the new mobile site is El Torito Grill’s Facebook icon. Below that, four categories are showcased: menu, location, the chain’s Email Club and gift cards.

In the footer, visitors can access the full version of the site.

At the top of each page a photo is featured in the banner to provide cross-selling opportunities. For example, food is featured in the banner when users are browsing the drink categories.

“With the Web and mobile site, we have an opportunity to entice our guests with any menu item we want,” Mr. Nakayama said.  

“We felt it important to keep it simple based on the most visited pages from our analytics, but the pages we do have should be immersive and informative,” he said.

The new mobile site, social media app and Web ste were developed by digital agency Automatic, San Diego.

The Web presence for the brand includes rotating imagery, hot spots, Easter eggs, pan navigation and advanced sound design to help make consumers feel a part of the restaurant.

More to come
Large restaurant and fast food chains such as Chili’s and Domino’s Pizza have been aggressively going after the mobile space with apps that enable mobile ordering, mobile advertising and SMS text messaging strategies.

Increasingly, smaller chains are also recognizing the power of mobile to engage consumers on the go and help drive feet in the door at their locations.

Mexican restaurant Pancho Villa recently began enabling diners to pay for their meals via Tabbedout’s mobile application (see story).

Additionally, Los Angeles-based restaurant Pink Pepper used QR codes on its menus and business cards that lead to a mobile-optimized page where consumers can order takeout (see story).

El Torito Grill’s site is built on Automatic’s scalable infrastructure, which will enable the chain to incorporate new technologies in the future.

The chain has six locations in the Southern California area.

“We are excited for our guests to readily find our food, fast, learn about our dishes, and order gift cards,” Mr. Nakayama said. “Guests go to Web sites to find the information they want fast, but it is equally important to feature more in-depth information as wanted.”