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TouchBistro taps Uber to drive restaurant visits with promo code

TouchBistro, an iPad point-of-sale solution that has integrated with many restaurants, is tapping ridesharing mobile application Uber to drive restaurant sales by offering patrons a promotional code for $20 off their first Uber ride.

The partnership, which is currently being rolled out in Toronto with plans to integrate in more cities at a later date, aims to provide even more convenience to diners at TouchBistro-affiliated restaurants such as New York City’s Jack’s Sliders & Sushi and the Crosstown Pub & Grill of Naperville, IL. Participating venues will be given promotional cards with customized codes to hand out to customers, who may then download the Uber app to access their $20 credit.

“Since all consumers want to make it home safely after an evening of merriment, I expect they will appreciate any restaurant or bar that offers them a free ride home with Uber,” said Alex Barrotti, CEO and co-founder of TouchBistro, Toronto, Canada. “It’s nice to know you have a way home if you consume too much, or just want to feel pampered and relaxed on your way home after an enjoyable evening out.

“We are already seeing a very positive response from restaurants that use TouchBistro in signing up to offer the promotion. Since the promotion can also be used by consumers at a future date, I believe it will encourage a future visit to the TouchBistro venues handing them out.”

Driving restaurant traffic
With the holiday and winter season bringing inclement weather and many festive cocktails, TouchBistro believes that the Uber partnership will drive more traffic to restaurants, due to consumers feeling more at ease knowing they have a responsible ride home.

Once the restaurant receives the promotional codes, it can instruct guests to sign up for the taxi and ridesharing app and instantly access their free ride, worth up to $20. The offer is only valid for new Uber customers.

Venues that are interested in taking advantage of the partnership may sign up via an Uber Venue Partnerships Google document. Participating Toronto eateries include Cocoa Latte, Café Novo, Dundas and Carlaw, 416 Snackbar, Marben Restaurant, Live Market, Patios, Niche, 3030 and Agave y Aguacate.

“Uber approached us in Toronto where we have over 500 restaurants in the downtown core,” Mr. Barrotti said. “It was clearly a smart alliance – both companies strive to provide exceptional customer experience, both companies support the safety of consumers as part of our social service initiatives.

“The paths of our services intersect at restaurants and bars – so we are able to help not only consumers but the venue owners as well through this partnership.”

The Uber app is available for iPhone and Android mobile devices.

Point-of-sale technology
TouchBistro is also aiming to ramp up sales in the food and beverage sector with its point-of-sale technology designed for iPad. Restaurant staff can use the TouchBistro mobile application to take orders at tables and send them wirelessly to the bar or kitchen.

TouchBistro has found that this helps eliminate order errors, along with the need to run between tables and a bulky terminal to input orders into. This in turn allows restaurant owners and general managers to run the business more efficiently and create a streamlined experience for their diners.

The TouchBistro app can also integrate with mobile payment platforms, such as Apple Pay and PayPal’s Pay at Table app.

Ultimately, TouchBistro and Uber are hoping that consumers can have a stress-free night out and feel secure that they have a safe ride home, especially as winter weather becomes heavier. Uber is also an optimal choice for those who do not want to select a designated driver or do not feel comfortable driving in heavy traffic or parking in densely populated locations.

“When two respected companies engage in a joint marketing partnership like this, each company is able to leverage the traction enjoyed by the other company, and each company increases visibility with potential venues and customers where the partner has already established a good reputation,” Mr. Barrotti said.

“This inevitably boosts commerce for each company.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York