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Wolfgang Puck takes restaurant reservations mobile

Chef Wolfgang Puck is making it easier for fans to book reservations at his restaurants from their mobile devices.

In addition to booking a meal, the app also gives users access to step-by-step recipes to Wolfgang Puck?s dishes. The app, which has been available for one week for iPhone and iPod touch devices, claims to have been downloaded 20,000 times.

?I wanted to share my life and recipes with everyone,? said Wolfgang Johannes Puck, Los Angeles.

?The iPhone is such a useful tool in an elegant package,? he said.

?In the end, it is about making life easier.?

Wolfgang Puck is a celebrity chef and restaurateur who operates more than 20 restaurants in the United States.

Quick dining
The app uses the device?s location to find the nearest Wolfgang Puck restaurant for users.

Consumers can browse through a list of restaurants, view photo galleries and menus and contact restaurants directly with a click-to-call feature.

The reservation portion of the app is powered by OpenTable. Users can search for available times by typing in the number of people in their party and a date and time.

The app then finds all available times and lets users finish their booking by entering their name, email address and phone number.

The app heavily integrates social media by letting consumers share content with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Users can also buy Wolfgang Puck kitchen ware and goods via the app. In the next two weeks, users can look for mobile-exclusive deals and offers inside the app.

However, when users tap on the links, they are taken to a Web site that is not optimized. Although it is a good idea to include a commerce element, the feature falls flat by leading to a screen that does not fit a mobile device.

Secret sauce
The other big draw of the Wolfgang Puck mobile app is to give users access to recipes.

The app aggregates recipes in one place and lets users sort by course or by typing a keyword into the search bar. According to Mr. Puck, the company is looking to add an additional 30 recipes to the app this summer.

Each recipe includes an overview of the dish, an ingredient list and step-by-step instructions.

For parts of recipes that are time-sensitive, users can set timers, which is a smart feature that takes into account real features that mobile users most likely need while cooking.

Users can check off which ingredients they already have in recipes and add the other items to a virtual shopping list.

Some recipes also include videos that users can watch to see how a dish is prepared.

With features such as shopping lists, videos and timers, the Wolfgang Puck app is an example of how companies need to think about the types of features that consumers will most likely be using the app for.

By including detailed recipes in addition to the ability to book restaurants, the Wolfgang Puck app is more utility-based than a basic branded app and gives fans of the restaurant and food a way to connect with the company.

?We want to make your life easier and more convenient for you wherever you are,? Mr. Puck said.

?The app gives you VIP access to whatever we do and our target audience is everyone,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York