P.F. Chang’s: Making Amends with Mobile

By the Editors

There’s no denying that mobile is changing many aspects of our lives. We use our mobile devices to access the news and weather, and connect with friends on social networks. Mobile is also making the dining out experience more convenient for many people. In past posts, we’ve covered several restaurants that are doing interesting things in the mobile space. Today, we’d like to focus on P.F. Chang’s mobile marketing efforts. Here’s how the popular restaurant is using mobile to connect with customers, and here’s what you can learn from their case study.

It’s fair to say that P.F. Chang’s is a household name. The restaurant has been serving up delicious American Chinese cuisine to hungry guests since 1993. Restaurant founders Paul Fleming and Philip Chiang opened up the first P.F. Chang’s location in Scottsdale, Arizona. Soon after, they began expanding their franchise, opening four more locations by 1996. Today, the restaurant chain has over two hundred locations worldwide. P.F. Chang’s can be found in North America, the Middle East, and Central America.

P.F Chang’s ran their first major mobile campaign in the spring of 2012. The mobile banner ad campaign, which ran in the popular Pandora music iPhone app drew criticism from mobile customers and marketers. The banner ad itself was attractive and appealing. It focused on the restaurant’s inexpensive lunch menu, offering 20 dishes under $10 and mobile users could click on it to find a nearby P.F. Chang’s. The problem was that when potential customers clicked through, they were directed to a traditional landing page rather than a mobile-optimized website. In order to find what they needed on the restaurant’s website, mobile users had to spend extra time scrolling and zooming. Chances are the campaign would have been much more effective if the landing page was optimized for mobile devices. It was truly a missed opportunity.

Since then, the restaurant has focused on improving the mobile experience for their customers. P.F. Chang’s launched their first mobile app later in 2012, and developed a mobile-optimized site making it more convenient for customers to find the information they were looking for using their smartphones.

The P.F. Chang’s app lets users explore the menu, providing a series of mouth-watering pictures to go along with dish descriptions. Mobile customers can also place orders on their phones, find nearby P.F. Chang’s locations, and reserve a table at the restaurant of their choice.

The restaurant has also launched a mobile website, making it easier for customers who haven’t downloaded the app to access the content on their site. The mobile site offers customers similar features to the mobile app, but they can also choose to enroll in the P.F. Chang’s popular Warrior Rewards Program and check balances on their gift cards.

P.F. Chang’s may have missed the mark with their banner ad campaign, but they are working to make amends with mobile customers through their app and optimized website.