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services it first launched nearly 18 months ago (PizzaExpress makes dining mobile-friendly, 16 June 2011, Emma Woods, Pizza Express marketing


manager, spoke exclusively to Retail Technology, about the progress of the company’s mobile innovation. When PizzaExpress launched its new mobile application, it gave customers the option to pay their bill automatically via their smartphone and brought PayPal to the High Street for the first time. It also enables customers to find a restaurant,

K High Street restaurant chain PizzaExpress is continuing to develop the instore mobile

view menus, and store special offer codes and receipts.

The roll out of free customer Wi-Fi via

The Cloud and new electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) facilities also supported the launch. “PayPal is for groups of people who want to pay faster,” said Woods. “The demand came from urban groups and families. Work to develop the app with PayPal has been ongoing for a year now, while the Cloud facilitated the work.” “We’re still in early adoption days,”

she reported. “But we felt it was important to be pioneers, because the consumer landscape is changing so fast. We had 100,000 downloads within the first week and 400,000 customers

continue to use it, with around 200,000 doing so every month..” As a result of this success, Woods

said PizzaExpress increasingly uses digital technology to improve the customer experience. “We’ve overhauled the website, to make it more intuitive,” she continued. Customers can now book a table and see relevant offers and, because we’ve got The Cloud Wi-Fi, we can also serve that to them direct in the restaurants too.” Woods said that the digital investment has supported an important marketing channel. “Email, web and app all need to work together,” she added. “And this project has shown just how important digital channels have become.”


OXO Tower restaurant successfully used a customer database built using Livebookings services to drive £150,000 in sales and save £15,000 in costs for the Queen’s Jubilee event. With one of the best views of the Thames, the OXO

Tower’s dining terrace provided the perfect viewpoint from which to watch the largest procession of flotillas ever assembled sail down the river, in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee earlier this year. The venue wanted to realise the revenue potential that this opportunity created by offering 300 tickets, priced at £500 each, to a luxury diamond jubilee event. OXO Tower initially contacted customers that had

previously attended events at the restaurant. This was made possible from its commitment several years ago to collect and correctly segment diners contact information and preferences. “We collect email addresses, and mobiles telephone

numbers through the Livebookings widget and over the phone,” said Jacinta Phelan, director of Harvey Nichols Restaurants, which operates the OXO Tower venue.


“All customers are asked to opt in to our mailing list for restaurant, food and wine news. We also take as much information as possible from a customer when we are talking to them. We create a customer profile, which appears every time they book and is updated after each booking.” The venue has also built its database through the

Livebookings’ network of partner websites, such as Square Meal and Time Out. Phelan said: “We sold out in just two weeks by calling our

ticket event regulars and then anyone we had put on a waiting list. We always run a waiting list from the moment of placing an upcoming event on the website and we always give them second option after our regulars. We restrict the amount of tickets per person so we can accommodate as many regulars as possible.” She concluded: “In this particular case each guest had

pre-paid, so a substantial amount (approximately £15,000) had been saved if we were to pay a third party a 10% fee. We also did not have to advertise outside of our own website, which was another big saving.”

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