MyFavEats – A Review

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.

9 Responses to “MyFavEats – A Review”

  1. Robert July 29, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    I’ve been using MyFavEats since I saw their information at Taste of Alpharetta. This is such a great service! I have saved a load of money at restaurants that I always went to anyways!

  2. Greg July 29, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    You had me until you mentioned they use this to track what, when, and where I order items. I know I’m strange, but I refuse to shop at Kroger for just that reason – I don’t feel they have any right to keep a database of every item I buy. No, I don’t have anything to hide. I just don’t appreciate their desire to essentially follow right behind me with a clipboard and write down everthing I do. Sorry about that.

  3. Brian July 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I adore this reward program. I feel as if it beats the other deal programs because it not only entices me to try new places but gives me an incentive to keep coming with the gift card rewards. Simply Genius

  4. Tessa July 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Greg,

    That would totally be an optional thing for you to participate with. The only thing they actively track is your checkin and redemption activity which of course they are obligated to so they can report that data back to the restaurants. This program is very much designed to be customizable and you determine how involved and how deep down the rabbit hole you go with them. It is not necessary to be that ‘followed’… Just wanted you to be aware of that, I feel your concern but it does not have to be like that unless you feed it all that info!

  5. Lee July 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    Greg,

    The privacy aspect was something I specifically asked them about, knowing that it could be a concern. MyFavEats believes they can offer a significant benefit to the consumer if they know this information. Only time will tell. At this point, there are some technical and business processes that need to be firmed up before they can truly link checkins to your specific order.

  6. Kim July 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Greg,
    Right there with you. I won’t shop at Kroger for the same reason. I won’t get a smartphone b/c of the RFID chip in it! 1984!

  7. Michael August 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Thanks for reaching out to us at Mogley today as well! What makes Mogley different than MyFavEats is that we’re also a mobile payment platform. Once you link your credit card to Mogley (all CC information is securely stored with a PCI-compliant third party company) Mogley will also let you tip and pay directly from your iPhone (Android app forthcoming!). Meanwhile, you’re still receiving your reward “punches” just like on a physical loyalty card.

    Finally, Mogley is a local Alpharetta business designed specifically for small businesses. We’re already live at Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, Steady Hand Pour House at Emory Village and Copper Coin Coffee in Woodstock, and have even more retailers lined up.

    Mogley will be coming to a local retailer near you soon!

  8. Lee August 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Thanks Michael. MyFavEats is rolling out mobile payments now. There are a few Alpharetta-based restaurants doing it.

    They sound like very similar apps, both with Alpharetta connections. MyFavEats seems to have more restaurants on-board at this point though.

  9. Lee August 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Now, that being said… if you can get Dutch Monkey to give out a free dozen on first check-in, then game on! :-)

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