AAdvantage Dining

Old Dec 29, 09, 10:39 am
  #1  
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AAdvantage Dining

Anyone know how to (or been successful at) request/ing AAdvantage Dining to add restaurants? In my current city, it lists "Pizza Hut" is the only place. While Pizza is a good every once in a blue moon, I wont be eating it 12x a year to jump up to the 5points/$ level.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 12:56 pm
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It's something the restaurant has to request. It's sort of a loan from the Rewards Network to the restaurant, where they take the payments back as people in the network dine there. I always look at a restaurant that joins as one that is possibly heading into financial trouble if they need to go that route to borrow money.

While I'm not 100% sure, I think there may be just a marketing deal now too, where there is no "loan" just promotioins and the rest on the network.

Either way it costs the restaurant money, so unless they need the business they probably won't be interested.

If you know of a restaurant interested, they can go to reachdiners.com for information on how to apply.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 1:00 pm
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Wow, only one restaurant? I feel for you. When I lived in So. Cal. there were a lot. When I first moved to Austin it was not as many but now more are beginning to pop up.

I think the choice is up to the restaurant themselves. They can choose to be in the program. I would ask them.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 4:00 pm
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I'm curious about this too. My brother lives in Easton, MD and searching his zip code comes up with zero restaurants in a 25 mile radius.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 4:27 pm
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I have been emailing back and forth with a woman named Misha (a supervisor at the FL headquarters), and she told me to submit a list and she would forward it on to her marketing department, who would then contact them.... so who knows. She says they target smaller, independent, local restaurants?? (Pizza Hut..screwed that one)

However, I would disagree with the part about only restaurants in financial trouble or in need of customers requesting to join this program. I would not consider Pizza Hut one of these. In my hometown of St Louis, MO, most of the places match the local place response. I will keep everyone updated if they actually add any of the places I submitted (about 20 of them).
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Old Dec 29, 09, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
It's something the restaurant has to request. It's sort of a loan from the Rewards Network to the restaurant, where they take the payments back as people in the network dine there. I always look at a restaurant that joins as one that is possibly heading into financial trouble if they need to go that route to borrow money. While I'm not 100% sure, I think there may be just a marketing deal now too, where there is no "loan" just promotioins and the rest on the network. Either way it costs the restaurant money, so unless they need the business they probably won't be interested.
I think that this is at least partially true - you do see a number of newly-opeing restaurants that don't last very long (both as RN members and also in the sense of remaining open for business).

But there are some other, long-term places that seem to go onto RN for (seemingly) marketing-driven reasons. Two examples in my area: Tijuana Taxi, a two-location local Tex-Mex restaurant / sports bar, has been a steady RN member over the last 5 years or more. The place is packed during fall-wintwe sports events and generally on weekends, but less busy during spring-summer. I could see them deciding to offer RN year-round, so that their RN-driven customers don't need to guess or worry that the restaurant is playing the "only available some days" game.

A second local chain, Quarterdeck (s seafood restaurant-cum-sports bar), put their eight locations on RN last spring. At the same time, they launched their own in-house Loyalty Card scheme. By late fall, all of the Quarterdeck locations had left RN. It's another place that doesn't seem to lack for customers, so my guess is that Quarterdeck used RN to launch the in-house program. When you think about it, getting Rewards-driven customers to try the place, and also getting them on the premises so that they could be enrolled into the in-house loyalty scheme, was a pretty good idea.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 6:11 pm
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I think once they settled and paid the $64 million to the thousands of restaurants in California they were charging 100% interest on their loans they introduced the marketing only part of the program. That was two or three years ago. They would loan them money (sorry, they do not write loans, they do cash advances against the diners coming in) they would then collect twice that amount as repayment for the cash advance. By calling it a cash advance, Rewards Network tried to get around California law requiring interest of no more then 10% unless they were a licensed lender.

I think now some restaurants need to do whatever they can to get people in the door. I know in my area I've tried a few places only because they were part of one program or another, so it does work. I always feel bad though putting the card down on the table, knowing the restaurant will not see a penny from that charge probably, it all goes to Rewards Network as payment for their services.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 6:44 pm
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Aadvantage Dining really helped a Chadra Meza small restaurant near my office get up and running. It is now a successful place (and off the program). The AA miles got folks from our building to go to the place and many of us dine there currently.

Would the place have made it without Aadvantage Dining? Who knows. But they are making it now.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 9:00 pm
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Since the question relates more to AAdvantage Dining than general restaurant discussion, I'll move to AA.

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Old Dec 29, 09, 9:12 pm
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How many miles do people get out of AAdvantage Dining? I do about 10,000 miles a month....if I'm considered a particularly heavy user, maybe I should pester them for more bonus miles....
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Old Dec 29, 09, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by AA_CPA View Post
How many miles do people get out of AAdvantage Dining? I do about 10,000 miles a month....if I'm considered a particularly heavy user, maybe I should pester them for more bonus miles....
Wow - you are earning about 10,000 miles a month from AAdvantage Dining? Sounds like a heavy user of the program to me. I have earned about 6500 miles total this year. I did reach VIP status in the Fall - 12 dines a year? 10? but we generally don't do more than 1 or 2 AAdining meals a month - there are just 3-4 restaurants in the area that we like. We also take advantage of any bonus promotions, when we can.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 11:11 pm
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Double jeopardy - since the thread actually relates to AAdvantage Dining by Rewards Network, nee iDine, it will be packed off to the iDine / Rewards Network Forum now, with a referral link left in the American AAdvantage Forum.

/Moderator
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Old Dec 30, 09, 1:23 am
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I assume by year they mean calendar year? Or is it any 12 transactions within a 365 day period. I guess I will know in a few days... we will see if the meal balance goes to zero. The only reason I signed up for was to get the 1500 bonus miles after spending $25. That was fairly simple. In addition, I guess the 3 miles/$ is alright if I was planning on eating a specific place. If only there was more than Pizza Hut.
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Old Dec 30, 09, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
I'm curious about this too. My brother lives in Easton, MD and searching his zip code comes up with zero restaurants in a 25 mile radius.
IME, zip code searching is not reliable. Search on address and/or on metro instead. I almost always search on address, the exception being when I'm taking a road trip and want to try and find things along the route -- then I use metro search. (Edited to add: of course in the case of a small town like Easton, slim pickings are likely. The nearest iDines are 30 to 40 miles away: on the beach, in Annapolis, and in another small town to the south. Metro search shows those.)

As for recommending restaurants, you cannot really recommend them specifically to AA's version of Rewards Network (so this thread ought to remain in the iDine forum).
I've managed to get one to re-up and two others to take a serious look at it, though neither joined.

Two steps:
Talk it over with the owner and send them to http://www.reachdiners.com/ and (866) 518–3463
Send an email to [email protected] and recommend the restaurant, providing as much contact and other info as you can (e.g., phone, email, physical address, web site, cuisine, price range and why you love it).

Rewards Network is downright eager for these kinds of referrals because when they contact the restaurant it is not quite a cold call.

Last edited by ZeppoX; Dec 30, 09 at 3:48 pm
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Old Dec 30, 09, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by AA_CPA View Post
How many miles do people get out of AAdvantage Dining? I do about 10,000 miles a month....if I'm considered a particularly heavy user, maybe I should pester them for more bonus miles....
I would agree you are quite heavy. I earn maybe 5,000 miles a year but my average check is ~$15-20. There's a thread in this forum now about our yearly totals...you should check it out and post there.
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