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PizzaExpress targets on-the-go customers via iPhone app

Food chain PizzaExpress is keeping up with its tech-savvy consumers and letting them pay for their bill via an iPhone application. 

PizzaExpress worked with mobile marketing company 2ergo. The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store.

“The app was designed by PizzaExpress to make life easier for consumers,” said Rich Millington, pre sales consultant at 2ergo, Manchester, England.

“For PizzaExpress, it was important that they looked at the development of the app from the perspective of the consumer, which they used with both utility and functionality” he said.

PizzaExpress is a restaurant chain in the United Kingdom.

2ergo is a mobile marketing  and business solution company headquartered in Washington.

Pronto pizza
While dining at the restaurant, users can pay their bill by using PayPal software.

Once they have received their bill, users enter a 12-digit code and are prompted to pay via PayPal. Users then have the option to check that the amount is correct and send both the restaurant and the customer a receipt.

After paying a bill, users have the option to store receipts and favorite restaurants.

In addition, users can find a restaurant, view the menu, book a table and store promotional codes and coupons.

“PizzaExpress chose to use PayPal as the service customers pay through because of its speed,” Mr. Millington said.

“There are of course busy times at restaurants and this app helps both diners who are crunched for time as well as the restaurants that don’t have the staff or resources to keep up with busy hours,” he said.

Bite-size mobile
Mr. Millington said that restaurants and mobile is an area generally not tapped into yet in England, and PizzaExpress is using this app as an opportunity to see what’s working on the platform and how they can better engage with users.

“We came into this deal with PizzaExpress already having a clear idea of what they wanted to do with it,” Mr. Millington said.

“The company was already getting big hits on its mobile site, so they approached this app from a user-driven perspective,” he said.

Similarly, restaurant chains in the United States have also embraced mobile, whether it’s through geo-tracking apps or SMS.

For example, an executive from Carrabba’s Italian Grill recently spoke about the importance of mobile at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2011. (See story).

PizzaExpress has a mobile strategy that includes several platforms, per Mr. Millington.

“PizzaExpress is looking how they can incorporate mobile into already existent advertising, such as print and Web,” Mr. Millington said.

“They are looking at everything from mobile sites, sms campaigning and messages and social media,” he said.