Checking in at the Saloon

My trips to Chicago have become at least an annual if not semi-annual event. Given the frequent nature of the trips, I have taken to eating a meal at the Saloon Steakhouse. I like the place for its value (good cuts of meats at good prices) and location (off the Magnificent Mile). As part of my recent trip in late March, I checked in through Foursquare and got an interesting insight into who eats there. Places that offer a sales promotion through a location-based software such as Foursquare generally offer a discount from checking in. In this scenario, a restaurant, diner, or outlet is trying to attract first-time customers; usually tourists.

The Saloon offered the sales promotion if it was your third check in. In this scenario, a restaurant, diner, or outlet is trying to attract repeat customers; not usually tourists.

I find The Saloon's approach different because of its location. The access door is off from the Seneca hotel, which two blocks east from Michigan Avenue and one block east of the John Hancock building. To enter the Saloon, you have to enter first the Seneca.

I started eating at the Saloon because I stayed at the Seneca. However, the Saloon is not otherwise tied to the Seneca. That is, you cannot charge your bill from the Saloon to your Seneca room.

I am surprised that the Saloon is attempting to build repeat customers given its location and access point. I understand offering a sales promotion activity to Seneca customers or to area hotel customers as there are about five hotels in a two-block radius. I would not expect many workers from the John Hancock building to walk over to the Saloon for a drink and/or dinner.