Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Diners can find locations, book tables, view menus and pay the bill.
PizzaExpress, a United Kingdom-based chain of 370 restaurants, has developed an iPhone app that lets diners pay for their meals with their phones, charging a payment card or PayPal account.
Developed by 2ergo, a mobile technology company, the app enables consumers to locate a PizzaExpress restaurant, book a table, view the menu, store coupon codes and pay their bills. The app opens up another way for a diner to interact with PizzaExpress, says 2ergo.
Within the app, a consumer enter his credit or debit card information or signs on to his PayPal account to complete a payment. Payment information is stored on PayPal’s servers or in PizzaExpress’ store point-of-sale system if the customer uses a credit or debit card. PayPal is integrated into PizzaExpress’ POS software.
PizzaExpress had to ensure the app could connect to the company’s point-of-sale system and coupon redemption software in order for the app to be more than a simple restaurant locator. “We knew there was no point just launching an app for the sake of it, so we waited until we had a system that could genuinely improve our customers’ experience of eating out at PizzaExpress,” says Mark Angela, chief executive.
The free app is available in the UK iTunes store.
Mobile pizzas are hot in the U.S. Pizza Hut offers apps for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and devices running the Android operating system. The company reported the iPhone app generated $1 million in sales during the first three months it was available. And just this week Domino’s debuted an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
“We are committed to making sure we’re connecting with our customers wherever they are, and now that means providing users with the convenience of ordering using their iPhone or iPod touch,” says Chris McGlothlin, Domino's Pizza chief information officer. “The Domino’s app engages customers who are looking for the easiest and most convenient ways to order online, and we’re excited to offer this new option.”