Chili's – Training Servers About Foursquare in 8 Words

by Jason Keath on Jul 08, 2010
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FoursquareAnother national chain has hopped onto the Foursquare band wagon with a national special.

But instead of just $1 off, you get something for free. And instead of having to be mayor, you just have to check in. And instead of coffee for one, you get chips and salsa for everyone.

And the smartest part of the entire special is how Chili’s handled the need to train every server they have across over 800+ locations. They simply added 8 words to the special that told server’s how to log the coupon, “Chili’s servers, use coupon code #23 to redeem.”

One of the most annoying aspects about using a Foursquare special is sometimes having to explain what Foursquare actually is to the employee. This removes that barrier in large part. As soon as you see the look of bewilderment on the face of your Chili’s server, you can jump straight to the “it says to use coupon code #23.” Done.

Starbucks offered the first national Foursquare special, where the mayor of any of their chains could get one dollar off their recently relaunched frappuccino drink. It was a somewhat limited offer, but gained them lots of buzz for being the first of it’s kind.

More and more people have also been wondering what the real value of offering a special to only one customer per store might be and when Foursquare and other social networks will transition into a loyalty program for all customers. This is a great step in that direction, incorporating more than just the mayor.

Judging by the fact that Foursquare is 5 times larger than it’s main competitor, Gowalla, and growing 75% faster, we suspect to see more national chains moving in this direction.

(via @TristanWalker)

Post Author

CEO and founder of Social Fresh, the social media education company. Jason is a social media consultant, a social media speaker and industry analyst. He consults with corporations and agencies on social media strategy, building community, and influencer...

  • Just enjoyed my free lunch at McAllister's. Every Monday the mayor gets a free meal. One of the few specials in Charlotte that is worth it.

  • Is this at every McAllister's or just a local special?

  • Every McAllister's in Charlotte.

  • Tom Cummings

    Great post, and a great example of brand's overcoming the issue of not all employees even being aware of some of the newer social tools. I found your post via comments and replies to a post I wrote this week about how companies will have to identify and train their “middlemen” (those employees who aren't directly involved in social campaigns but who interact directly with consumers, and therefor need to be in the loop).

    If you're interested, check it out — would love feedback on the idea in general:


  • ty_frank

    I disagree entirely. I recently had to explain the mayor special @sportsauthority even tho I showed them the image, it showed them which coupon code to use…they still had to be corrected 5 times by me, including having zero clue what foursquare was. It would be great if they actually communicated to their employees rather than throwing them to the wolves.

  • Mswas

    Doesn't Chili's put free chips and salsa on the table for everyone when you sit down? Regardless of 4square…

  • guest

    Learn the difference between it’s and its.

  • nimrodTino

    The hostess nor server knew what foursquare was at Chili’s in Downey, CA.

  • nimrodTino

    The hostess nor server knew what foursquare was at Chili’s in Downey, CA.