Using Foursquare to Drive Sales at a Restaurant

AJ Bombers, a Milwaukee restaurant, is no stranger to using Twitter and Foursquare.  Restaurateur Joe Sorge first hosted a party for his patrons to earn the Swarm Badge, which boosted traffic and sales by 110%. Last week Sorge set out to top his previous efforts, this time enabling customers to earn Foursquare’s “I’m On A Boat!” Badge, which requires them to check-in to a location that has been tagged “boat.”  Sorge partnered with a local outdoor retailer to have boats at AJ Bombers, so that customers could earn the badge.

According to a report on HubSpot by  Kipp Bodnar, this past Friday more than 231 people had checked-in to AJ Bombers’ “I’m On A Boat!” Badge party. The event resulted in the single best day of sales ever for the restaurant, and AJ Bombers had to turn away customers for a lack of space.

Even better for the restaurant: the publicity helped boost traffic all weekend.  Saturday was its 5th biggest sales day ever and Sunday was one of the best as well. The word-of-mouth buzz created by Friday’s event and the speed in which it traveled online was responsible for the uptick in sales. The conclusion: marketing stunts can drive a single day of traffic, but social media events can build sustainable and real-time word-of-mouth results that can have an impact on long-term sales.