Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does it cost to use MealMobs?
- What does it mean that MealMobs is "in Beta?"
- Where can I find MealMobs?
- What is the deal with your restaurant referral program?
- Why can't I post a review?
- Can a restaurant respond to my review?
- What is a Meal Deal?
- What is a Loyalty Program?
- How do I redeem Meal Deals and Loyalty Rewards?
- What is this "Approval Pending" link?
- How long does it take to get a loyalty reward approved? What if I haven't heard anything?
- Can I use the same purchase toward a "spend" loyalty program and a "visits" loyalty program?
- What happens to the leftover dollars when I have more than enough credit to redeem a "spend" loyalty program?
- Any advice on tipping?
- Why should I bother to post an "out-of-network" purchase?
- What if I can't find the restaurant I am looking for on the website?
- What if I want to upload a receipt via mobile but I don't know the restaurant's "short code"?
- Why is my purchase "incomplete" and what does that mean?
- Am I supposed to include the gratuity in my total when I upload my purchases?
- I can't redeem another Mob Loyalty reward because I already have one pending - what do I do?
- I can't redeem another Meal Deal because I already have one pending - what do I do?
- A restaurant "denied" my purchase - WTF?!?
- How do I contact the Mob? I'm cold and scared and can't find you...
How much does it cost to use MealMobs?
Nothing. Nada. Zip. It's free. Users do not pay for our service. Our restaurant partners, who are eager to earn your business, pay for the service based on how many MealMobs members visit their restaurants.
What does it mean that MealMobs is "in Beta?"
Being "in Beta" means that we are a new company and we are still in the process of testing our service and collecting customer feedback. We are currently focusing our efforts in New York City, South Florida and the Washington, DC area. We anticipate coming out of beta and releasing an updated version of our service in January 2012, after which time the Mob will start to pop up in other cities!
We would love your opinion, comments and suggestions and to facilitate communication with us, have included a feedback link on the right side of our website on every page. Please let us know what we are doing right...and what we are doing wrong.
If you are enjoying your experience with MealMobs we would really appreciate it if you would tell your friends and favorite restaurants about us. Thanks.
Where can I find MealMobs?
MealMobs can be accessed on the web and on mobile devices. Our website is www.MealMobs.com (duh) and our mobile site is located at m.MealMobs.com. We will be rolling out applications on each of the major mobile platforms in the near future. If you register (hint, hint), we'll send you an email when that happens.
What is the deal with your restaurant referral program?
We would love your help recruiting your favorite restaurants to join MealMobs and we are not above bribery. Yep, we are willing to pay you for your efforts if you are successful.
Here's how to do it. Visit the MealMobs listings for your favorite restaurants and look for the "Recruit This Venue" link. This link will appear only if the restaurant has not yet signed up with us. Follow the directions from there. Then, launch your own charm campaign at your "go-to" joints to get them involved with MealMobs. We'll give you plenty of ammunition to make that conversation fruitful.
Once your target becomes a paying customer of ours, we will happily send you a $100 gift certificate for food and drink at that restaurant. Sweet deal, no?
Why can't I post a review?
Our restaurant reviews functionality is COMING SOON, so please be patient! Note that once we get our act together and turn on the reviews function, you will be required to post at least one purchase transaction at a restaurant in order to be able to write a MealMobs review of that restaurant. Requiring proof of purchase is something that sets MealMobs apart from other restaurant discount and review sites -- restaurant owners and fellow MealMobs members care about your opinion and want to read your review because they know that you have actually been there! Too many review sites these days are clogged with bogus reviews. Not on MealMobs my friend. Not on MealMobs.
Can a restaurant respond to my review?
While our restaurant reviews functionality is still COMING SOON, we'll give you a sneak peek and tell you that the answer to this question is "Yes".
In keeping with our philosophy of not allowing anonymous reviews, any participating MealMobs restaurant will have the opportunity to reply once through our system to any user who posts a review of their restaurant. The restaurant reply will not be posted publicly as we are not looking to encourage a public "he said/she said". Instead, the restaurant may just wish to thank you personally for a compliment or may ask for more information or a chance to earn back your business if something went wrong.
Any further communication between you and the restaurant after their reply is totally up to you and would happen outside of MealMobs at your discretion.
What is a Meal Deal?
Meal Deals are special offers posted for MealMobs users by restaurants who are part of our network. There are generally three types of Meal Deal offers:
- First Time Offers from restaurants you have never tried before.
- One Time Offers that you can use at specific restaurant...but only one time.
- Evergreen Offers that you can use over and over again.
Some of these deals may be restricted to certain days and times. All Meal Deals are limited to one per customer, per day.
To find Meal Deals near you, use the restaurant search function on MealMobs to find restaurants with active offers. Some Meal Deals are posted on short notice by restaurants looking to fill empty tables at the last minute, so be sure to check back with us often!
What is a Loyalty Program?
Loyalty Programs are participatory incentive systems that are used by restaurants to reward repeat customers and to thank them for their patronage. Through MealMobs, restaurants can offer three different types of loyalty programs:
- Visits Based Programs reward you for posting a certain number of purchases at a restaurant. Visits based programs are usually subject to a minimum spend per purchase to qualify.
- Spend Based Programs reward you based on the cumulative dollar value of your spending at a restaurant.
- Location Based Programs reward you for visiting a certain number of restaurants in a group or a chain. Like visits based programs, these programs are usually subject to a minimum spend per purchase.
How do I redeem Meal Deals and Loyalty Rewards?
Just find an offer you like on MealMobs.com. If you are eligible for this offer (Meal Deal or Loyalty Reward), there will be a "Redeem Now" link. Click the "Redeem Now" link next to the program information to get your redemption voucher and code. You can either print or email the voucher to yourself. Just be sure to bring that redemption code with you when you go to the restaurant.
Please note that loyalty program rewards are subject to eligibility requirements and restaurant pre-approval. It may take you a few days to get approved, so don't wait to redeem until an hour before dinner!
Your loyalty program progress can be reviewed on the homepage of your profile. To find loyalty programs that you are eligible to redeem, log onto MealMobs.com and look for programs on your "Making Progress" list on your own profile page that are highlighted in blue.
What is this "Approval Pending" link?
After submitting a Loyalty Reward request you'll see that program listed as "Approval Pending" on your profile page. Please give approval a couple of days before you rough up the restaurant manager.
Once the restaurant approves your request, you'll receive an email notification and the program will move to the "Ready to Redeem" section of your profile page with a "Get my Code" link that you'll use when you are ready to go to the restaurant and cash in the reward.
If a couple of days have passed and you have yet to be approved, contact the restaurant directly.
How long does it take to get a loyalty reward approved? What if I haven't heard anything?
Most restaurants in the MealMobs network are able to respond to redemption requests within 2-3 business days. If it has been longer than that and you are anxious to get your reward approved you might want to contact the restaurant directly. Unfortunately we aren't authorized to approve redemptions on their behalf or we would do it for you!
You'll receive a notification email once the restaurant has processed your request, and you can check the status of your redemption requests at any time by logging onto MealMobs.com and checking your profile page to see if the reward is still "Approval Pending" or if it has moved to "Ready to Redeem."
To ensure you are properly notified, please make sure the Meal Mobs domain is on your safe senders list in your email client.
Can I use the same purchase toward a "spend" loyalty program and a "visits" loyalty program?
No. If a participating MealMobs restaurant is offering both a spend-based program and a visits-based program any purchase that you have posted to the restaurant can only be applied to one of the programs - no double-dipping!
What happens to the leftover dollars when I have more than enough credit to redeem a "spend" loyalty program?
If you have more than enough spend credit to redeem a loyalty program, any surplus spend can be carried over to use toward a future spend based program redemption at that restaurant. For example, if you wanted to redeem the program "Spend $250 with us and receive a $50 gift card" but your total spending at that restaurant totaled $270, you would carry the extra $20 of spend ($270 minus $250 - math is fun!) in your "piggy bank" for that restaurant and can apply it to a future redemption.
Any advice on tipping?
If you redeemed a great Meal Deal or Mob Loyalty reward please remember to calculate any gratuity off the pre-discount total. Restaurant servers work hard and depend on tips to make a living - don't punish them because you got a great deal!
Why should I bother to post an "out-of-network" purchase?
"Out-of-network" restaurants are ones that are not currently part of the Mob and are not offering special deals or rewards to Mob members. Even though they don't have a Mob Loyalty program active on MealMobs, we encourage you to post your out-of-network purchases for several reasons:
- Posting out-of-network purchases can help us to convince a restaurant to join the Mob, which will lead to you getting better deals and the loyalty rewards that you deserve.
- Restaurants that are out-of-network today may eventually decide to join the Mob. When they do, they may honor any existing purchases you already posted towards their new Mob Loyalty program.
- Every purchase you post to MealMobs increases the total amount of spend you have recorded with the service, which will add credibility to your reviews and increase your attractiveness to participating restaurants as a prospective customer - so you receive more and better offers.
- Posting a purchase at a restaurant will allow you to write a review of that restaurant so you can share your opinion and feedback with the MealMobs community.
- Finally, we just might be working on some super secret ways to reward our early adopters for helping us get MealMobs off the ground, and if we do so (wink, wink) I bet we would base those rewards on your overall usage of the service!
What if I can't find the restaurant I'm looking for on the website?
It's probably not in our database...yet. We are still in Beta and are slowly building our database of restaurants. Also, if it's a new restaurant, there's a good shot you are the first MealMobs user to post your purchase there. Whatever the reason, if you can't find the restaurant you are looking for in our database, we would greatly appreciate it if you did us a solid and created a new listing.
How? Simple. Run a search for the restaurant based on where it should be located. At the end of the search results list, you will find an "Add Restaurant Listing" link. Adding a restaurant listing will only take you a minute and we'll be your best friend. Seriously - thanks.
Once you add a new restaurant to the database, you'll immediately be able to post your purchases there.
What if I want to upload a receipt through the mobile site but I don't know the restaurant's "short code"?
Each "in-network" MealMobs restaurant is assigned a unique short code to make it easy for you to do a quick upload of your receipt via our mobile site m.MealMobs.com. If you are at an in-network restaurant you can get the code by asking a staff member or by looking for any of the on-site MealMobs signs and postcards.
If the restaurant is not a part of the Mob (yet!), you should still upload your purchases. To upload a purchase without a short code, choose "no" when we ask if you have a code and you'll be prompted to search for the restaurant in our database.
Why is my purchase "incomplete" and what does that mean?
An incomplete purchase is one that needs to be modified before it can be counted towards a Mob Loyalty program. Usually, a purchase is considered incomplete because you have not yet attached a receipt picture that proves your spending data. You can link to incomplete transactions from your profile page or from the restaurant's MealMobs page to attach a receipt image and complete the post.
Am I supposed to include the gratuity in my total when I upload my purchases?
The $$ field on the purchase upload forms is for pre-tip amounts only! If you use a post-tip amount and submit a Mob Loyalty reward request the restaurant will deny the request and kick back the purchase for you to update it. While our restaurant customers all hope you experienced great service and left big tips, they have set up their Mob Loyalty programs to count your pre-tip spending only.
I can't redeem another Mob Loyalty reward because I already have one pending - what do I do?
If you have already requested a Mob Loyalty reward from a restaurant, you need to redeem that reward before you can request another from that restaurant. When you actually redeem the reward in the restaurant, they will mark you off "the list" and you'll be good to go again on the website to request another reward. If a few days have passed since you redeemed your reward and you are still locked out, please contact the restaurant directly. If you are not able to resolve the problem with the restaurant, please reach out to us (Feedback link - to your right).
I can't redeem another Meal Deal because I already have one pending - what do I do?
If you have already requested a Meal Deal redemption code from a restaurant you need to redeem that offer before you can request another from that restaurant. When you actually redeem the offer in the restaurant, they will mark you off "the list" and you'll be good to go again on the website to request another Meal Deal there.
If the restaurant forgets to mark you off, you can beat them to it by uploading the purchase at which you redeemed the Meal Deal. Uploading that purchase will let us know that you've been back to the restaurant, and we'll mark your Meal Deal as "redeemed" automatically.
Note: if you are NOT going to be able to use a Meal Deal that you've already requested - whether you just missed the chance to use it or really want to change your mind and request a different one - please let us know by using the "Feedback" link (to your right) so that we can cancel the code in our system and unlock you for future Meal Deal redemptions at that restaurant.
A restaurant "denied" my purchase - WTF?!?
How dare they! Seriously though, restaurants can deny purchases you submit towards Mob Loyalty rewards if they feel something is amiss. You'll get an email if this happens and the restaurant should include a short note of explanation, but denial generally occurs if the information you posted (pre-tip total, date, check number, etc.) does not match the information displayed on the receipt picture.
Don't worry, you can update your purchase and resubmit it later towards a future Mob Loyalty reward. To update a denied purchase, access it from either the "Activity" tab of your profile section or from the "My Activity" tab on that restaurant's MealMobs page.
How do I contact the Mob? I'm cold and scared and can't find you.
Settle down over there, this is getting a little weird... There is a "Contact" link at the bottom of every page on the website if you need us and a "feedback" link to your right. Either path is an effective way of reaching us.
We hope that you found these FAQs to be very helpful, but if we didn't touch on the topic you were looking for or if you have additional questions based on what you've read, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear your feedback about our site and service.
To reach out to us directly, please use the "Feedback" link that can be found on any page on the site. Thanks for checking us out!!