Mobile apps for restaurants are all the rage–and for good reason. According to a Pew Research Center survey completed in 2015, 68% of American adults own a smartphone. It may be safe to assume that this number has grown, as has been the trend for years.
Many brands have been slowly pushed into making their websites and online services more “mobile friendly”, meaning optimized for use on ever-popular cell phones and tablets. Taking this movement toward a mobile-focused future a step further, some companies have seen big benefits from developing their own mobile apps.
Mobile apps for restaurants, in particular, have seen great successes in recent years. From major pizza chains to mom-and-pop taco shops, it seems like everyone can benefit from the following big benefits.
Mobile Apps for Restaurants: The Benefits
- Order Accuracy: We all know the feeling as consumers: getting to the counter before fully locking into your order. Oftentimes, customers are forced to make a knee-jerk choice or fear holding up the line for regulars who may already have their order in mind. This worry is no more if your restaurant allows for in-app ordering. Better yet, your cashier no longer has to worry about confusion over whether the order required extra pepperoni or extra red peppers–the customer can pick it all out themselves via the app, which will be relayed as chosen on the user’s cell phone, mostly mix-up free (barring user error).
- Loyalty: Apps are a highly efficient way to track loyalty programs for customers. Ditch the stamp or punch cards for a digital version that does the same automatically each time your customer completes an order. You could even reward loyalty with special birthday coupons or anniversary deals sent directly to the user.
- Quicker Service: Though we absolutely see the value in the face-to-face communication of greeting a customer, placing their order and handing it off, why not give potential customers the option to place an order and pay online, allowing them to more quickly pick up their goods and go? Many restaurants have actually seen higher sales by providing this quicker option of service, meaning increased profits and more customers served–a real win/win.
- Larger Orders: As we mentioned, giving customers more time to think about their orders via mobile apps can improve accuracy, but it also gives them a chance to find a greater number of menu items that they may have missed otherwise. Whether exploring the dessert menu for the first time or finding a tempting upcharge item to add, giving them more time to analyze the options available is hardly a bad thing.
Beyond the above benefits, mobile apps for restaurants also simply provide an ease of service that customers have begun expecting from their favorite restaurants. More often, a restaurant’s mobile and online presence is viewed as just another piece of the restaurant’s overall branding. Combining an up-to-date mobile experience, car signs, traditional advertising and other aspects of quality branding could make your restaurant too tempting to turn down.