MojoBistro marked its second appearance at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, held at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois from May 18-21. Once again, the show was a huge success, drawing in a crowd of interested restaurateurs and potential partnerships. The app design station featured at the booth was extremely popular, attracting convention goers with the opportunity to have their very own app created while at the show.
MojoBistro’s app design station provided attendees the opportunity to preview what a custom branded mobile app would look like for their restaurant. Onsite design covered all available features including event calendar integration, menus, reservation capabilities, social media connections and coupons. In addition, attendees’ apps were personalized using the available App Icon and Splash Screen features as well as the customizable app backgrounds and fonts.
More than 60 lucky attendees were given the opportunity to reserve an app preview in advance of the show. In addition, all convention attendees were able to have MojoBistro’s onsite design and development team create a preview app while at the show. In total, over the course of the show, more than 200 restaurants took advantage of the opportunity to preview their mobile app. Interest was so high, that MojoBistro required offsite assistance to keep up with the overwhelming demand.
In honor of the show, MojoBistro is offering a show special available through June 15, 2013. Simply purchase the 12-Month, $99 Interactive Subscription—providing you with a robust collection of features including event calendar integration, menus, reservation capabilities, social media connections and coupons—and you will receive Built By MojoBistro app design ($250 Value) and 2 Free Platforms, one of which must be Windows 8 ($499 Value).
Take advantage of this great offer and you will have the opportunity to create a unique app tailored to your brand and style. It’s the perfect way to successfully build upon your growing mobile presence.
Want to learn more about MojoBistro and our advanced, in-app features? Contact us today!
MojoBistro has partnered with Microsoft Corporation to provide an additional platform for its restaurant-centric mobile apps. The partnership will be highlighted at the upcoming 2013 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, held at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois from May 18-21. This will be the second NRA show for MojoBistro, who will be promoting its newly created Windows 8 phone platform at their booth, #5670, within the Technology Pavilion.
The Windows 8 platform, resulting from the collaboration between MojoBistro and Microsoft, will enable restaurant owners to reach their mobile customers through additional channels. The enhanced platform will feature all the advanced, in-app features currently found in MojoBistro’s existing Android and iOS apps including event calendar integration, menus, reservation capabilities, social media connections, coupons and the ability for customization and personalization.
A Microsoft representative will be available at the MojoBistro booth discussing the Windows 8 features that will be available in the next release and answering any questions NRA attendees may have about the new platform and its capabilities.
To celebrate this successful partnership and new platform launch, stop by the booth during the show and you will receive a free Windows 9 app!
Can’t make the show? Sign up today for your 12 month MojoBistro subscription and you’ll get three platforms free (Windows, iOS and Android). Now is the perfect time to go mobile. Let MojoBistro help you reach your on-the-go customers today!
Want to learn more about MojoBistro and its advanced features? Contact us today!
Veteran visitors of the National Restaurant Association Show (NRA Show) know that eating all day at the show comes par for the course. If you are still hungry afterwards, it’s a miracle. However, if you are visiting from out of town for the 2013 NRA Show, you might want to take this opportunity to try some of Chicago’s unique and delectable dining venues—even if it is just to grab a cocktail, craft brew, appetizer, or dessert.
Here is a roundup of some of MojoBistro’s favorite haunts in town to try while you are visiting:
Union Sushi and Barbecue Bar, Near North Side, $$$
230 W. Erie St., Chicago IL
I wasn’t an obsessed sushi fan until I found Union Sushi. Now I am hooked! Union is my go-to place to hangout with girlfriends after work for cocktails and sushi. Whether we sit at the sushi bar, by the barbecue, or in the dining room, we always have a fabulous time! Read our full review here.
The Cape Cod Room, The Gold Coast, $$$-$$$$
The Drake, 140 East Walton Place, Chicago, IL
There is truly something magical about the historic Cape Cod Room at The Drake. Perhaps it is the divided dining spaces and enormous wooden booths that create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, making you feel like you are dining in your own home. It could be the historic relevance, literally carved into the famous wooden bar, of a restaurant that dates back to 1933 and has continuously been named as one of America’s finest dining spots. Read our full review here.
Market Restaurant and Sports Bar, Near West Side, $$
1113 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Looking for the perfect place to watch the big game, to enjoy a cool drink year round in a covered and heated beer garden, or to take in the beautiful Chicago skyline unhindered? Look no further than Market Restaurant & Sports Bar. Read our full review here.
Mercadito Chicago, Near North Side, $$$
108 W. Kinzie St., Chicago
Mercadito just might be my favorite Mexican restaurant in Chicago! It definitely gets my vote for restaurant with the best margarita in town. There is simply nothing better than a margarita on the rocks made with freshly squeezed lime juice and good tequila after a long week at work. Hands down as far as I’m concerned, Mercadito has one of the freshest and tastiest margaritas in town as well as a first-rate line up of tequilas. Read our full review here.
The Gage, The Loop, $$$
24 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
Just steps from Chicago’s famed Millennium Park, The Gage combines the laid-back atmosphere of a European pub with the refinement and high-quality menu of a top-notch dining establishment. The vintage decor, from the historical facades to the floor-to-ceiling windows evoke a feeling of classic elegance. For a peak at the past, check out the early 20th century theater magazine advertisements for Gage hats that line the staircase to the restaurant’s lower level. Read our full review here.
Chuck's Manufacturing, The Loop, $$
224 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601
This unique dining destination is conveniently located at the heart of Chicago’s renown Michigan Avenue. The atmosphere can only be described as bold and eclectic, resembling something out of a Roald Dahl novel. Bold acrylics and bright CMYK colors—the base colors used for all color construction—represent the restaurant’s manufacturing roots. Read our full review here.
Read all of our Restaurant Raves here. And, don’t forget to stop by Booth #5670 at the show to say hello to MojoBistro!
On May 18-21, MojoBistro will be participating in the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, held at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. For the second consecutive year, MojoBistro will be showcasing its comprehensive, convenient and accessible mobile app platform. Make sure to visit MojoBistro, located at Booth #5670 within the Technology Pavilion, as they will be pulling out all the stops with their new, interactive app design station.
MojoBistro understands that between running a restaurant and catering to customers, it can be hard to find the time to develop and implement a mobile app. Creating your mobile app doesn’t have to be a chore. With MojoBistro, restaurant owners can simply follow the integrated wizard to create a fully functional, personalized app. At this years’ show, MojoBistro is focused on showing customers just how easy it is to create a fully-functional, top-of-the-line, mobile app for their restaurant.
Convention goers can check out MojoBistro’s intuitive Test Kitchen at their booth’s design station. Featuring an integrated web wizard that navigates users through the content entry process, the Test Kitchen makes it easy for customers to created a fully personalized app. The MojoBistro team will be on hand to build a fully custom branded mobile app preview for interested visitors.
Onsite design will cover all available app features. Using the Test Kitchen, guests will be shown the development process and have the opportunity to personalize features including event calendar integration, menus, reservation capabilities, social media connections and coupons. In addition, attendees can update the appearance of their app using the available App Icon and Splash Screen features as well as the customizable app backgrounds and fonts. For a more in-depth view of our available features, check out our MojoBistro: Feature Series.
Make sure to stop by Booth #5670 to learn more about how MojoBistro can help your restaurant connect with the mobile market and let our developers create an app for you! Want to learn more? Contact us today!
It is tempting to create your restaurant’s mobile app and then leave it in the app store for your customers to discover on their own. However, it is a more prosperous tactic to be proactive and promote your app where you know your customers will see it—in your restaurant!
In addition to consistently promoting your restaurant’s mobile app on marketing materials throughout your restaurant, it is also a smart idea to keep your app updated and filled with fresh content. Do you have a seasonal menu special that could be added? Do you have a special happy hour or wine tasting event that you can promote in the calendar section of your app? These are all savvy ways to keep your app content fresh and engage your mobile app audience.
Basically the rules of encouraging users to keep your restaurant’s mobile app on their phone are simple. Keep the app updated, promote your app around your restaurant, and utilize the interactive features of your app to keep app consumers engaged. That means dedicating a couple hours each month (at least) to looking over your mobile app for any holes that could be filled with new content. Think about new events, photos, menu items, and more that you can add to your app to spruce it up on at least a monthly basis.
Here are some more specific suggestions for engaging your app consumers:
Hook Customers with Mobile Coupons and Keep Them Coming Back to Your App and Your Restaurant!:
Offering app users a special coupon immediately after they download your restaurant’s app is a smart start! Providing them with an instant benefit is a tasty incentive to join your mobile base. Follow up on a routine basis and give them soon-to-expire coupons to drive consistent traffic and encourage customer loyalty.
Utilize Push Notifications to Increase Customer Engagement with Your App:
Be clever and timely with your push notifications to increase customer response. Instead of the standard number “codes” try something more memorable, like a clever phrase promoting a new menu item or special event. Send out fun facts or tidbits of information about your restaurant or menu in addition to specials and deals. Whatever you send, make sure that you are providing valuable information to you customers.
Allow Diners to Make Reservations Through Your App:
Putting reservation capabilities in the palm of your customer’s hand is a delicious benefit for them to keep your mobile app on their phone. And with the ability to make online reservations ranking near the top of the list in a Washington Post survey, it is important that your restaurant meets this growing demand. Making it easy to book a table with your restaurant’s mobile app is a simple way to turn diners into loyal app users.
Create a Loyalty Program:
Speaking of loyal customers, why not use your app to offer a loyalty program and reward customers for frequent dining? Loyalty programs allow restaurants to collect important information from customers like contact information, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. You can then use this information to tailor deals specifically to each individual app user. Talk about fabulous customer service!
Read more about promoting your app in-house with marketing materials.
We're raving about Torajiro Sushi! If you haven't taken the time to check out this hidden Lincoln Park favorite, now is the time to stop on by! You'll be glad you did! Check back weekly to find other Restaurant Raves for great dining spots around the Chicago area.
Torajiro Sushi, $$, Chicago
432 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614
Reviewed by: Trish Gorecki
Looking for a true hole-in-the-wall Chicago dining experience? Craving some top quality sushi in the Windy City? Torajiro Sushi in Lincoln Park is the perfect spot for those looking for a quiet place to hide away and enjoy fresh, authentic sushi dishes.
Transcend the front stairs into the garden-level restaurant and you are instantly greeted by the chef. The walls in this cozy and quaint sushi joint are lined with postcards sent by loyal customers from their worldwide travels as well as the traditional oriental mainstains such as Samurai swords, paintings and scrolls. The atmosphere is super friendly with the staff open to providing suggestions, explaining menu items or even showing how the rolls are prepared. Closely positioned tables make for a laid-back but inviting experience.
The quality of the food is superb. From the standard selection of sushi rolls to Japanese entrees such as udon, shrimp tempura and chicken teriyaki, you are sure to find the perfect meal. The Spicy Tuna Maki is guaranteed to become a favorite, with its combination of tuna, scallion and spicy mayo, while the Sweet Potato Maki is a unique twist on the growing popularity of sweet potatoes.
Don’t miss out on the featured specials. Try the Fiery Torpedo Maki, featuring spicy tuna and shrimp tempura. The combination makes for a delicious and super spicy roll. Be sure to order the amazing Chicago Fire Maki! This deep fried roll dipped in a spicy sauce and served without rice is by far the most interesting and delectable way I have ever seen spicy tuna prepared.
No matter what you order, Torajiro is sure to delight. Make sure to check out this hidden gem the next time you are in the neighborhood!
Visit our blog for weekly updates to our Restaurant Raves.
You put major effort towards preparing and releasing your restaurant’s iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone apps. Now, you have to dedicate some time to promoting the app to your customers. There are many ways you can advertise your restaurant’s smartphone app without spending a ton of money. Look around you, there are plenty of marketing items within your restaurant that you already print that you can add a plug for your app on. And, you most likely have a ready supply of team members that can market your app to customers simply by mentioning while serving them their ice teas or guiding them to their table.
Make sure to take advantage of these small ways you can market within your restaurant that will not blow your marketing budget. Here are some of our ideas on how you can promote your mobile app within your restaurant with your existing manpower.
- Update In-House Marketing Materials: Update your current marketing materials such as posters, table tents, beeper stickers, download cards (like at Starbucks), coasters, postcards, etc. with a plug to download your mobile app from the appropriate app store.
- Send Push Notifications: Utilize Push Notifications as a coupon. Basically, make sure that you reward customers that download your restaurant’s mobile app by sending out weekly discounts for using and keeping the app on their phones.
- Utilize Social Media: Use Facebook and Twitter as a way to build awareness of your mobile app. Send out tweets and update your status with links to download the app from the iTunes Store, Google Play, or the Windows Store. Increase the chance of more people downloading the app by offering an incentive for showing the app to their server during their next meal such as a free dessert or 10 percent off their check.
- Encourage Social Sharing: If someone downloads the app and shares the app on Facebook, then offer them a free dessert. Tons of foodies are taking pictures of their meals and sharing on their social media pages so why not reward them by giving them an incentive to share socially while dining with you? It’s a win win!
- Create a Social Media Contest: Engage your social media fans by creating a contest that offers them a reward at your restaurant. Ask them to tweet to their followers promoting your restaurant app with a special hashtag on Twitter, and the person with the most retweets wins a free meal.
- Blog About It!: Does your restaurant already have a blog? Make sure to write a post about your new mobile app. Don’t have a blog but you do have a website? Add a quick note on the homepage with a link to download the app.
- Release a Press Release: If you create a fabulous marketing promotion for diners that show your app to their server such as a free appetizer, why not share that news with your local media outlets? Right a press release and email it out to the local newspaper about your new app and the special promotions for local diners.
- Ask Staff to Participate: Encourage hostesses and servers to promote the app naturally during the dining process. Staff could even show the app on their own phones to customers at appropriate times during their meal.
Keeping up with the engaging features of your mobile app such as sending out push notifications and encouraging social sharing is a surefire way to get customers more excited about your app. Give your customers a stellar reason to download the app and an even better reason to keep your mobile app on their phone by offering incentives!
You don't have a mobile app? Learn more about MojoBistro's mobile app platform!
If you haven't dined at Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern in Lincoln Park, you definitely need to add it to your list! Combine the amazing history with the delicious meal and you have a perfect night out. Check back weekly to our Restaurant Raves to find more great dining spots around the Chicago area!
Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern, Lincoln Park, $$
1655 N. Sedgwick St., Chicago, IL 60614
Reviewed by: Kate Seifreth
Looking for a little bit of dining history to accompany your savory meal in Chicago? Then you definitely have to stop by Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern in Lincoln Park, just a few blocks from the Second City Theatre in Old Town. You might recognize the barbecue restaurant from its cameos in the Bonnie Hunt, Jim Belushi, Minnie Driver, and David Duchovny movie, “Return to Me,” from 2000. The joints old school ambiance could have something to do with the fact that Frank Sinatra used to also hang out here when he was in town. It’s like stepping back in time when you enter Twin Anchors.
If you want to dine here on a Saturday night, be prepared to wait. Nestle up to the bar with your favorite brew and prepare to work up a crazy appetite as you watch the platters of ribs go by to other lucky diners who scored a table before you. They don’t take reservations here. It’s first come, first served. We arrived around 6 p.m. on a Friday night and waited about 45 minutes for a table of four. The place was packed to the brim!
Everyone in our dining party ordered the ribs. No doubt that ribs are what this restaurant is best at! I devoured a full slab slathered in the new Prohibition sauce, which is just the right blend of fiery and sweet. My side of creamy spinach was healthy and naughty at the same time. Twin Anchors is definitely a place to indulge. If you are watching your calories, the restaurant also offers chicken and healthy salads. But I recommend you go big or go home. Get the full slab of ribs, slather them in sauce, and wash them down with a couple draft brews.
And before you leave Twin Anchors, make sure to get an Instagram picture with your crew under the “Positively No Dancing” sign! If you are looking to impress a date that is new to the city or your family visiting from out of town with your Chicago knowledge, make it a unique night out Chicago-style with dinner at Twin Anchors and a show at Second City or Zanies. I’m pretty sure Sinatra would approve.
Visit our blog for weekly updates to our Restaurant Raves.
MojoBistro will once again be participating in the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, held at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois from May 18-21. This year will mark MojoBistro’s second time at the NRA show. Make sure to take the time to visit MojoBistro, located at Booth #5670 within the Technology Pavilion, as they will be pulling out all the stops with their new, interactive app design station.
Show attendees will be able to check out MojoBistro’s integrated web wizard while the MojoBistro team builds them their own custom branded mobile app. Onsite design will cover all available app features including event calendar integration, menus, reservation capabilities, social media connections and coupons. In addition, attendees can personalize their app using the available App Icon and Splash Screen features as well as the customizable app backgrounds and fonts. Learn more about available features with our MojoBistro: Feature Series.
In addition to this year’s app design station, MojoBistro will also be offering 99 apps for pre-show reservation. Interested parties will be able to reserve a spot in advance of the show and MojoBistro’s designer with create a custom mobile app just for them, ready to be viewed immediately upon arrival. It’s a great way for busy attendees to see a finalized, branded mobile app for their restaurant without having to do any of the design work—MojoBistro will do it for you! Only 99 app reservations are available and they are going fast! Click here to grab yours today!
No commitment and no contract make it the perfect opportunity to test drive a mobile app for your restaurant.
MojoBistro was built specifically to offer restaurants a robust collection of features for both iPhone and Android at an affordable price, while enabling restaurants to easily create a unique app tailored to their brand and style to successfully build upon their growing mobile presence. Want to learn more? Contact us today!
Trish Gorecki is raving about Gumrai Thai! We think you will love it, too! Check back weekly to find other Restaurant Raves for great dining spots around the Chicago area.
Gumrai Thai, Thai, $$, Arlington Heights
170 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Reviewed by: Trish Gorecki
Classic wood interiors, colorful cushions and oriental decor are trademarks of Gumrai Thai, a quaint Thai restaurant toting high quality, authentic cuisine. Enter into the dimly lit, expansive dining area and you are immediately greeted with friendly customer service and delightful aromas.
The menu is filled with tantalizing Thai favorites as well as selections of traditional Chinese and Japanese cuisine. I highly recommend you start off your meal with an order of crab rangoon. The crispy pastry shell is cooked to perfection while the crabmeat, cream cheese and celery filling is sweet and savory.
Follow this up with an authentic Thai entree prepared with fresh ingredients and premium spices. The Panang Curry, available with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu or vegetables, is simmered in thick coconut milk along with citrus leaves and red peppers for the perfect blend of flavor and spice. You can’t go wrong with an order of Pad Thai. This classic Thai meal features stir-fried thin rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts and green onions and is topped with crushed peanuts. And don’t miss out on sampling some Thai-style fried rice. Unlike traditional fried rice meals, Thai-style fried rice is sweet and is filled with egg, onion, carrot, green peas and corn. It is definitely a great choice for diners looking to try something different.
Sushi lovers will enjoy the wide selection of budget-friendly options ranging from the traditional Spicy Tuna to the unique and flavorful Sweet Potato Maki, combining sweet potato, cream cheese, avocado, spicy mayo and tempura crumbs into a delicious and hard-to-resist treat.
The presentation is superb and expertly showcases the tantalizing menu offerings. Serving sizes are enormous and a true value with each meal easily feeding 2-3 people. Don’t like to share? Take some home. Believe me, it is just as good the next day!
Nestled into a popular strip mall along the bustling intersection of Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway, Gumrai Thai is the perfect choice for a unique dining experience in the ever popular suburb of Arlington Heights. Ample parking is available in the adjacent lot and parking structure, and the restaurant is also conveniently located just steps from the train station, making it easy for diners from the suburbs and the city to stop in and enjoy an amazing meal.
Visit our blog for weekly updates to our Restaurant Raves.