Mogl is a new restaurant cash back rewards program that allows businesses to offer incentives to diners to fill their seats at targeted times, and provides an easy way for those customers to support food banks by donating all or part of their reward. No coupons are required. Instead users connect their credit card information to Mogl through a smart phone app, and the cash rewards are registered automatically when they use that card at a participating restaurant. The program demonstrates one more way consumers and business owners are using smart phones for financial transactions, although payment does not actually go through the app.
Restaurants enrolled in the Mogl program can offer cash back deals at targeted hours, typically times that they are not busy. Push notifications go out to the users to alert them to nearby deals. A new study by Visa recently announced that the new system is increasing dollars spent by 14.37 percent overall and daily transactions by 16.65 percent for participating businesses. In addition to filling seats, Mogl offers the attraction of not having to use coupons, which require employee training and cause customers headaches.
Originally the app offered a standard 10 percent cash back on dollars spent. The program has since become real-time, allowing the restaurant to target certain times of the day, and change that discount schedule at any time to counteract lulls in business, offering them the opportunity to fill seats at non-busy times, while offering customized cash back offers to customers. They can also shut off the discount offering if they are busy. Restaurants offering the highest cash back offers rise to the top of the search list.
Customers can choose to support local food banks by donating all or part of their cash back. Mogl co-founder Jon Carder says it only costs 20 cents to provide a meal at a food bank. Users can store their donation preference in the app, or choose to keep the cash for themselves. Besides the money donated to local food banks, Mogl sends 10 percent of proceeds to Virgin Unite, which is the charitable arm of the Virgin Group, who invests in sustainable solutions to the hunger problem throughout the world.
Carder says that he realized the hunger problem is out of control. Fifty million Americans are “meal insecure,” and they may miss as many as 16 meals per week.
Since being founded, the program has had the equivalent of more than 550,000 meals donated, as well as giving $3.5 million back to users, who have spent over $40 million at participating Mogl restaurants. The service is currently offered at approximately 2,000 restaurants in five California cities, as well as Phoenix. To get the service added in another location requires five restaurants and 100 users to sign up. The company is partners with Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
For years, children have been told to eat their vegetables because there are starving children in the world, leaving the question of how eating helps feed other people. Mogl’s cash back program with their support of food banks helps to answer that question, as well as filling restaurant seats and helping American businesses.
By Beth A. Balen