Fast food seems like the ultimate Smartphone application for an increasingly mobile society. On average, U.S. adults eat 4.8 meals per week in a restaurant, according to a Living Social dining out survey. Yet, while 57 percent said eating out used to be a regular thing it is now seen by many as a “special occasion.” That’s where saving money with geo-targeted, on-the spot coupon offers through a mobile phone can mean a great deal for restaurant and foodie alike.
While you can’t download a pizza or a burger in your data stream, Seattle’s FORKS Mobile has the next best thing in mind. An App that geo-locates where you live, shop and travel and delivers electronic coupons to the closest participating eateries. The specials range from fast food options like Quizno’s to local restaurants seeking to attract new diners.
Using the smartphone app is very much a “download and go” process. No printing is required, no group purchasing is necessary, and no profile creation is needed to savor the savings. Redeeming deals is done simply by showing the establishment the coupon directly on the smartphone, making the process both eco-friendly and convenient.
To reward customer loyalty and encourage consumers to come back for more good eats, FORKS has integrated an easy-to-use loyalty program for users who frequently visit a given restaurant. After a purchase has been made, patrons are invited to “stamp their card.” Each restaurant is assigned a unique QR code that app users can scan with their phone to earn their “loyalty point,” which brings more discounts deals specifically for regular customers.
FORKS Mobile is currently partnering with some of the country’s largest successful restaurant chains, such as Papa Johns, KFC, Dominos Pizza, and Taco Bell.
Additionally, the company continues to grow its national footprint as it has grown its coupon database my over 8,000 deals from single-owner establishments across 50 states.
Surprisingly, with a concept this large, FORKS has made its own way thus far without incubation or outside investors. “When we get to the point where we know what we need to spend the money on, then we might consider it. So far, it’s been all bootstrapping,” said FORKS CEO Cole Van Leuven. “We weren’t afraid to pitch an almost functional prototype to a billion dollar restaurant chain.”