This Week In

This Week in Restaurant Technologies #017 — Starbucks, Amazon, Local Marketing

This Week in Restaurant Technologies, with Nate Riggs and Brandon Hull

Nate Riggs and I are back for a new episode of This Week in Restaurant Technologies.

This week, we go deep on a couple of intriguing subjects for restaurants: mobile wallet and local social media. My microphone died just before this episode kicked off, so I apologize for the inconsistent audio volume. We’ll be back in a good place next week.

This Week in Restaurant Technologies Show Notes


At the 1:00 mark we dig right into Starbucks recent announcements as publicized at Recode. The big coffee brand has two big plans in the works:

  1. Order ahead via mobile app. You may not know that 14% of Starbucks’ transactions comes via their mobile app already. They’ve got a rapidly increasingly number of consumers who are comfortable with using their app, but isn’t everyone uncomfortable with the Starbucks line.
  2. Use of the Starbucks mobile payment, stored value, and loyalty program outside of Starbucks, with participating retailers. This is pretty compelling for Starbucks, but who’ll jump on-board?


At the 8:21 mark we bring Amazon into the discussion, with the recent news that their own wallet app is now available on the Google play store. While it’s pretty stripped down for now (you can’t add credit cards to it via your smartphone camera; you can’t make mobile payments with it; it’s not available on iPhones), I think there are big things in store with this as Amazon gets more insight on local transactions.

Millions have trusted Amazon with their credit cards on file. Will they trust Amazon to take care of the payment, when that functionality comes, at your restaurant? I think so.

Read:  This Week in Restaurant Technologies #019 -- The Sharing Economy, Michael Atkinson & Sosh Concierge

Restaurants Look to Local SEO

At the 12:56 mark Nate transitions us to talking about a great article at QSR Magazine addressing social, mobile, and local SEO. Survey after survey suggests that local SEO is where it’s at for driving visits and sales. And it’s common sense that local, mobile searches drives visits TODAY.

Personally, I think more and more people find restaurants locally by firing up specific apps — not merely doing a browser search. Check out our recap of how consumers search for restaurants. It was an informal, non-scientific survey, but insightful nonetheless.

Brands Localize Social Media 

At the 18:25 mark we move to our final subject — how brands are going beyond clever or funny brandwide social media usage and into local social media. This conversation was also fueled from an article at QSR Magazine. We also get into how brands communicate via social — how sanitized or copywritten posts and tweets are. Strong opinions by Nate on this!

As a side note on this, check out Rockbot’s case study and guide to local social media (great work by Rockbot on this).

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About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.