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Leon?s restaurant serves up app, SMS alerts to reach consumers

Leon?s on the Restless Ribbon, a Tulsa, OK-based restaurant, is using SMS alerts and an iPhone application to reach its on-the-go consumers.

Consumers who sign up for the SMS alerts receive news and specials. The iPhone application also lets consumers know about specials and promotions, but it also acts as a sounding board with surveys and questionnaires.

?I knew this would provide Leon?s with a tool that would allow us to more efficiently and more directly reach our customers,? said J.L. Lewis, owner of Leon?s, Tulsa, OK. ?I see it being a way for my current customers, my loyal customers, to have 24/7 contact with the restaurant.?

Mr. Lewis said that the mobile programs will continue to drive repeat business by letting consumers know what is going on in the restaurant.

While it may drive repeat business, Mr. Lewis said that he does not see it driving new customers outright, although there is a possibility of viral promotion.

Leon?s is a restaurant, pub and sports bar.

Reaching the consumer
The application sends consumers promotions on the weekly specials, beer of the month and happy hour deals.

MacroSolve Inc.?s DineInsight powers the application.

Mr. Lewis said that having an SMS program and an application is ideal for his consumer base.

?Although smartphones are very popular and growing in popularity literally over night, a large percentage of the population does not have smartphones,? Mr. Lewis said. ?The combination of the SMS message and the iPhone app allow me to reach a larger percentage of customers.?

Mr. Lewis said that the mobile programs let his restaurant reach a wider audience because of how widely used mobile devices are.

He said that Leon?s customers who are in college may want to know the beer and food specials whereas business customers want to know what big game the restaurant will be playing that night.

Mr. Lewis said he predicts that coupons within the application will be popular with its customers.

?I want to reach my customers where they are,? Mr. Lewis said. ?They can be shopping, working, attending a kid?s sporting event, at the park or working out and still have access to my message on their phone.

?Our phones are now an extension of us,? he said. ?We use them to store information about the things we are interested in.

?My loyal customers are interested in what is happening at my restaurant and now that information is available on their phone.?