Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
For a few months now you might have seen table tents on Alpharetta-area restaurants touting a service called MyFavEats. And if you’re like me, you probably dismissed the service, perhaps thinking of it as the deal website dejour.
Curiosity got the better of me so I googled MyFavEats. Soon I learned that Alpharetta-based Radiant Systems was behind this start-up. That was enough to get me on the hook. Here’s a local creation that combines current technology with food. That’s right up my alley! I installed the app on my Android smartphone and have been using it for a few weeks now.
The fact that Radiant is behind MyFavEats is significant. They make point-of-sale hardware and software applications used in stores, gas stations and restaurants. So essentially they are already in the back of the restaurant, now they’re trying to put their technology in the hands of the consumers. If they can successfully merge the two, they have the chance to present unique opportunities to both restaurateur and foodie. More on this in a bit.
To the end user, MyFavEats is like a restaurant loyalty card combined with a daily deal site. Using location-aware mobile technology you check-in, registering your visit and marking off another notch on your virtual loyalty card. Much like physical card-based systems, a certain number of visits earns you a free meal or a discount depending on the restaurant involved.
What peaked my interest as an Alpharetta-area restaurant customer is the number of locations participating. The GA-400 corridor is the first testbed for MyFavEats. I found it easy to locate restaurants offering free daily specials or first check-in deals, cashing in on three half off deals in under a week.
Wanting to learn even more, I reached out to Radiant and their Vice President for Strategic Development, Chris Lybeer. We discussed the technology over lunch at a participating MyFavEats restaurant in Alpharetta.
Lybeer explained that MyFavEats was hatched at the ATDC technology incubator on the campus of Georgia Tech. Radiant’s goal, in some respects, is to create a dossier on your dining habits at a restaurant. By linking a consumer’s visit to their order in the point-of-sale system, the restaurant can learn about their individual likes and preferences. Sales and promotions can be uniquely targeted.
You might be concerned about privacy but consider this; your grocery store or pharmacy is collecting similar information with their sale cards. MyFavEats is similar. Imagine this scenario… using their inventory software, a restaurant realizes they have excess tilapia fillets in their fridge. They pull up a list of frequent customers and discover that Lee eats a lot of fish sandwiches at lunchtime (which is true). They ping me with a special sale on fish sandwiches.
By linking hand-held technology to the point-of-sale terminal in a restaurant, Radiant can offer much more than sales to restaurant patrons. How about the ability to review your order on your smartphone or even pay the bill? It’s pretty easy to do when the mobile technology syncs with the back office. It’s all coming soon from the smart minds at Georgia Tech.
The technology is still pretty new and they’ve got some snags to work out. I experienced some software defects while trying to redeem prizes at a few restaurants. The application is still in a beta testing period at the moment so be patient. Yet Alpharetta-area restaurant goers have a unique opportunity to be first adopters with MyFavEats. The deals are free and numerous.