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Would You Like Beacons With That?

McDonald's franchises are serving up more than fries with its burgers in Columbus, Georgia. They're offering a side of beacons.

The fast-food company has tapped the bluetooth low-energy beacon solutions provider Piper to deliver iBeacon technology to consumers by providing them with coupon offers, timely alerts, employment opportunities and customers services upon arrival at the restaurant. The custom mobile app is available for iOS and Android platforms and get the deals into customers hands once they opt in to the smartphone option. Customers can see the deals once they are in close proximity to the restaurant and they can also choose to customize what type of messages they receive.

“Everyone is looking at their phones, millennials especially, and that’s where we’ve decided to engage,” said Jack Pezold, an owner and operator of McDonald’s franchises for more than 40 years. “We know our customers and Piper’s beacon solution allows us to cater to their tastes, preferences and behaviors, making it easy for them to get more value and enjoyment out of their McDonald’s experience.”

The initial rollout involved a four-week test in Columbus and customers who installed the app were lead to save an Apple Passbook offer to their device or through Piper's Android app. According to data collected, the response was strong: "More than 18,000 offer redemptions for the promoted items featured" were used.

“Based on our current performance, we plan to expand our coupon efforts across multiple dayparts through Piper so we can continue to measure consumer response. We’re also adding additional Piper beacons to push employment offers and customer satisfaction surveys, both of which are having early success,” Pezold said.

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