JNR Spotlight: How to Eat at the Best Restaurants When Traveling

A good meal is always desired but often hard to find when traveling to a new city or destination. Tourist traps can lure you in with the promise of a 5-star meal and leave you only with the corresponding bill. Thanks to a host of new apps, it is now possible to find great restaurants even when you are not familiar with the area.

Here are three of our favorite travel food apps:

 

This app and website has just been redesigned to make it even more user friendly from its initial release. The premise is a review site similar to Yelp but with a twist… only local chefs who rank highly in their area can add content to the site. You can even find out which dishes are trending locally without having to follow food bloggers and you can find restaurants within walking distances of your location. While these expert reviews are currently limited to the USA, Canada and London there are plans to expand to many more cities and countries in the coming months.

 

Viator gives you food and drink itineraries from all over the world, many with special deals and promotions for the users of the app. The app allows you to book directly from your phone and can recommend restaurants based on hotel location with interactive maps.

 

This app is part of the popular restaurant payment platform, Dash, and allows you to explore the atmosphere of participating restaurants before committing to a meal there. Real time data tells you how crowded the venue is and its integration with Dash makes bill splitting easy.

 

A great dining experience in and exotic destination can make the difference between a good trip and an amazing trip.  Unfortunately, planning your meals can often be left to the last minute with little research going into the decision. These three apps make it easy for you to make the most of your trip with ease.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Image: “Chef’s Market” by Yelp, Inc is licensed by CC by 2.0

JNR Spotlight: Prepaid Card Incentives

The idea of developing a prepaid card incentive program has been around for many years but now with new generations and demographics adopting prepaid cards in their personal life, the advantages of cards over cash are becoming easier to see.

A paper released in September, 2014 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia titled Millennials with Money: A New Look at Who Uses GPR Prepaid Cards highlighting the increased uses of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards brought to light some of the main reasons for increased adoption of these financial tools as well as some of the advantages of them.

As consumers continue to become disenfranchised by the financial industry, companies and organizations need to find a way to distribute money to individuals who do not have bank accounts. Reloadable prepaid cards create a means to do this. There is now a large group of individuals who have taken to using reloadable prepaid cards as a substitute to direct deposits into traditional checking accounts.

As is expected, there is a direct relationship between a person’s age and usage of these cards, with younger people adopting the technology more rapidly.  However, there is a large segment of middle and high income households that already employ a range of traditional banking services now adding reloadable prepaid cards to their wallet. Combining conventional banking services with prepaid cards creates a hybrid tool that is easy to manage and even easier to use.

Key Findings:

  • More than 73% of respondents stated that they expect their usage of prepaid cards to stay the same or increase in the coming year
  • 53% of respondents that currently have a prepaid card agreed that owning a prepaid card is a good alternative to a checking account
  • 42% of respondents indicated that their prepaid cards offered a significant advantage over cash
  • 59% of respondents agreed that prepaid cards helped them “manage money better/ spend less”
  • 62% of respondents stated that prepaid cards helped them avoid overdraft fees

As the demand for reloadable prepaid cards increase, so too does the demand for prepaid card incentive programs. It is becoming clear to companies that sales goals, employee engagement and loyalty are easier to reach when rewards are given on a reloadable prepaid card rather than with cash or merchandise. A 2013 survey of more than 1,400 people revealed that respondents preferred prepaid cards as rewards for a purchase.

To learn more about how JNR can create a custom prepaid card program for your organization and leverage the higher perceived value of card over cash, please call us today at 949.476.2788 or email info@jnrcorp.com.  You can also find additional information on our website.





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By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

Media Industry Spotlight: The Changing Landscape of the Media Industry

Many aspects of the media industry have changed over the previous decade, and magazines in particular have had to evolve with the landscape. The business model that these companies operated within for a century no longer seems to be as effective. There is a need to stay connected to the core products that built up great media companies, but also a realization that the profit from these areas is decreasing.

The ever evolving landscape of the media industry brings a series of new challenges and opportunities.

Challenges:

  • Increased competition
  • “Digital Disruption” – the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect existing business models
  • Technological advances
  • Growing mobile usage
  • Ad blocking software

 

Opportunities

  • Big data analysis that can deliver business benefits
  • Better customer insight
  • Ability to monitor and understand trends
  • Ability to align business models with customer requirements
  • Evolution of multi-channel advertising platforms
  • Ability to target key audiences and identify new opportunities to up-sell and develop new services
  • Digital advertising growth

 

While print magazines are still a core product for most companies, it is now common for media organizations to embrace other revenue streams and adopt new technologies and trends to succeed. Building new audiences across multiple platforms and expanding beyond traditional content can be a step in the right direction. A strategy for success during this time of change involves leadership embracing the evolution, recruiting employees with the appropriate technical skills and shifting the culture of the company.

Are you feeling the pressure of the changing landscape of the media industry? Call JNR to see how we can help through customer loyalty programs: 800.434.4546

By JNR Incorporated

 

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Magazines” by Marina Burity is licensed under CC By 2.0

Indian Travel Spotlight: Top Ten Tourist Attractions

Last week our Indian cultural exploration pointed out some of the lesser-known, yet unforgettable and unique experiences that the country has to offer. Now we shift our attention to the more common, touristy attractions that India is most known for. Visits to these destinations are popular for good reason and we would recommend that you include as many of these spots on your itinerary as possible.

If you crave variety in your life then India is one of the best places you can possibly visit. Diversity in landscapes, ethnic groups, languages, music, monuments and places to explore make India very unique.

Top Ten Indian Tourist Attractions (List courtesy of Touropia)

10. Kerala Backwaters

The Kerala backwaters are a chain of lagoons and lakes that lie parallel to the Arabian Sea coast in the Kerala state. The waters are home to many unique species including crabs, frogs, mudskippers, water birds, otters and turtles. Houseboat tours are the best way to experience the area.

9. Lake Palace

Located in Lake Pichola in the city of Udaipur is this 18th century-built royal palace. It houses a luxury 5-star hotel and is accessible by boat.  Read more about how to experience this destination in our post about unique Indian experiences.

8. Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple is located in the city of Hampi and grew into a large complex under the Vijayanagara rulers. Some say that it has been operating since it was built in the 7th century AD and therefore is one of the oldest functioning Hindu temples in India.

7. Palolem

Palolem is a developed southern beach in Goa that is stunning at first sight. It is a natural bay surrounded by headlands on both sides creating a calm sea. There are plenty of affordable restaurants, hotels and nightlife in the area to enjoy in addition to the natural beauty.

6. Kahna National Park

Kahna is one of the best places to see a tiger in India and one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. Bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines highlight the amazing landscape. Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel “The Jungle Book” was inspired by this very place.

5. Harmandir Sahib

Sometimes referred to as the Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib is the primary tourist attraction in Amristar and the most important religious place to the Sikhs. Construction of the temple began in the 16th century by Guru Ramdas ji. The upper floors were covered in gold in the 19th century giving it the signature look it has today.

4. Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is located in the remote westernmost corner of Rajasthan near the Pakistan border and is a wonderful desert town. The yellow sandstone walls rise from the Thar Desert like something you would expect to see in Arabian Nights.

3. Ajanta Caves

These rock-cut cave monuments date back to the 2nd century BC and were abandoned around 650 AD. The Ajanta Caves were forgotten until 1819 when discovered by a British hunting party. Murals throughout the caves depicting many different scenes such as battles are still well-preserved.

2. Varansi

Varansi sits on the banks of the River Ganges and is a sacred place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. The city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

1. Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal needs little introduction as it is the obvious top tourist attraction in India. Located in Agra, the mausoleum of white marble was built between 1632 and 1653 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. It is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture and contains white domed marble mausoleums, reflecting pools and extensive ornamental gardens.

Download our incentive travel whitepaper to see why rewarding dealers, customers, employees and advertisers with trips to exotic places can strongly impact your company’s bottom line.

Check back next week or subscribe to our email feed to be updated when we post our final installment of our Indian Travel Spotlight next Thursday.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “sunset on Lake Pichola” by ruffin_ready is licensed under CC By 2.0

Are You Focusing on Customer Retention Enough?

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by as much as 95% according to the Harvard Business Review.

Take a moment to grasp how powerful this statistic is. Despite the fact that there is a massive opportunity to improve company profitability by placing an increased focus on customer engagement and loyalty, many companies devote very little time and resources into keeping their existing customers happy and coming back for more. The lifetime value of one loyal customer can be extremely high when you take into account their purchases over the years.

We all understand that customer acquisition and awareness building is vital to growth and should be prioritized. However, it is time that customer retention is treated as an equally important initiative.

Customer Retention is Downplayed (Source)

  • 34% of those surveyed said they will increase their investment in acquisition in 2014, compared to only 18% heightening their focus on retention
  • 71% of content marketers said one of their main goals is acquisition, while only 65% cited customer retention and loyalty
  • 31% of marketers feel that their personalization efforts had a “high impact” on awareness compared with only 24% on retention and loyalty

To break it down into dollars and cents, we look to a powerful B2C example that demonstrates exactly how much more profitable it is to sell to a current customer than to acquire a new one.

The study determined how many pairs of shoes the company had to sell to achieve a profit of $100,000 under two particular conditions.

Under the first set of conditions, the company is investing a great deal of money into advertising to generate sales. Since 98% of their business is first-time buyers, they are spending $20 in acquisition, $10 in general administrative costs, $5 in shipping, $50 in product cost and have a profit margin of $15. High advertising costs and lower loyalty are causing acquisition costs to spike.

At these costs, 6,600 pairs of shoes must be sold in order to gain a profit of $100,000.

If they flip the script and devote 98% of their budget to selling to existing clients, the profit margin increases by $20 per unit to reach $35. $100,000 in profit will now be achieved when only 2,800 pairs of shoes are sold. That is a 58% decrease (3,800 units) in amount needed to reach that profit target.

Although the advertising and profitability numbers will be different for every industry, a similar picture remains. It is far more profitable to gain repeat business from your existing customers than to seek out new customers by exhausting large advertising budgets and/or devoting resources to lengthy selling cycles. New business is a must, but the value of repeat business is severely undervalued.

With that said, incentives for repeat customers should be considered. This might be as small as offering a $1 off discount coupon on the purchase of a car wash to a consumer or as extravagant as gifting a trip to South Africa for an advertiser that exceeds $10,000 in spend. Size of customer purchase will greatly affect incentive choice.

Sometimes even a simple, genuine “thank you” can go a long way…and this does not cost more than a moment of your time.

For more ideas on some interesting ways to thank customers, check out “24 Classic Tried-and-Tested Ways to Thank Your Customers” here or send us an email at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com to pick our brains. We have been implementing programs for companies with some of the most loyal customers in the world for over 30 years in a variety of industries and would love to share our findings with you.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.