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Dallas restaurants boost loyalty programs through time-sensitive mobile promotion

The restaurants’ loyalty programs are powered by the Front Flip app. Through May 16, Front Flip is offering consumers rewards for using the app at some of their favorite local restaurants.

“Smartphone technology is quickly replacing old loyalty programs that rely on punch cards and email clubs,” said Sean Beckner, cofounder/CEO of  Front Flip, Leawood, KS.

“New loyalty programs run on mobile apps that deliver offers, alerts and redemptions electronically, all at your customers’ fingertips,” he said. “And for the restaurant owner or operator, there’s the benefit of having a window into customer visits, demographics and even direct feedback on the quality of the customer experience.”

Front Flip is a free iPhone and Android app that works with local shops, chains and restaurants to boost loyalty programs. Consumers can then download the app to scan QR codes that are placed on in-store collateral to vie for prizes.

How it works
Twenty restaurants in the Dallas area are building up buzz for their loyalty programs with Front Flip’s $100 Challenge.

Residents are encouraged to download the Front Flip app to participate. Each consumer who downloads the app will receive ten $10 in-app gifts that can be redeemed at different restaurants in the area.

The restaurants then choose what deals that they want to offer, such as free menu items with a purchase. The offers are good for one month and are automatically loaded into the app.

Additionally, the restaurants are also rolling out a Facebook campaign with Front Flip to drive in-store traffic.

Dallas residents can play games on Front Flip’s Facebook page at Users are then prompted to “Like” Front Flip on Facebook and can then use the app to scan on-screen QR codes every day for a chance to win prizes from the individual restuarants.

Loyal users
Front Flip launched last year with a focus on small businesses and local restaurants that rely on repeat customers to drive loyalty.

Some restaurants, such as Midwest pizza chain Minsky’s Pizza Cafe and Bar saw initial success with the app. Minsky’s reported that nine of its locations racked up more than 17,000 QR code scans in the first 140 days of using Front Flip (see story).

“The number of U.S. mobile coupon users will rise from 12.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million in 2014, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones,” Mr. Beckner said.

“With the free Front Flip mobile app, customers can access deals in-store and on the go,” he said. “Every time customers visit a participating restaurant or retail shop, they scan a Front Flip code for the chance to win prize on the spot, like half-price appetizers, buy-one-get-one entrees and even a free massage.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York