Push Notifications Explained

The goal of this document is to provide the details on how we do push notifications of truck locations to nearby foodies.

Background on Push Notifications

You may be wondering “what exactly is a push notification?”. For those not in the know about this bit of techno-jargon: a push notification is an alert that shows up on your phone. Common examples are: new email alerts, new text message alerts, Amazon telling you that your package has shipped, etc.

The Mobile Nom app uses push notifications to let foodies know when a food truck or food truck event is currently open near them.

Users are also able to opt out of receiving notifications from our app, or any other app, if they so choose.

How do we know where a foodie is located?

Whenever a user first opens the Mobile Nom app, they’re asked to grant access to their current location. On Android, this is a simple “Yes/No” prompt. On iOS, users are given the choice of “Always / Only while using the app / No”.

If the user has given the app access to their current location, then the app will periodically let us know where they were most recently located, generally within a few hundred feet of their location.

If the user hasn’t given the app access to their current location, we’re still able to approximate their location, based on their IP address. This is much less exact than using the device’s GPS sensor, but it is usually at least accurate to their current town/city.

Sending a notification

When a location on a food truck’s schedule becomes active, we’ll send push notifications to all devices near that location that have opted to receive notifications from us.

The rules are as follows:

For Food Trucks

Toolbox subscribers vs. non-subscribers

By upgrading to the “Digital Marketing” feature of the Mobile Nom Toolbox, food truck owners get access to all devices within that 3-5 mile area, as dictated by the rules above.

Non-subscribers are limited to send to at most 10 devices that are near their current scheduled location.

How many foodies will be notified of my location?

This is highly dependent on where your scheduled location is located, and the concentration of users that have the Mobile Nom app in that area. The more users that have the app, the more will receive the notification that you’re nearby.

In a general sense, locations in densely populated areas or city centers will deliver the highest number of push notifications to nearby foodies.

We’ve also begun to roll out weekly statistics emails to food truck owners, which among other things, will include how many foodies that your truck has reached during the week for your locations.