Today, with the proliferation of mobile devices across the globe, the growth and demand for mobile apps among people to cater to their diverse needs also have been witnessing a proportionate hike.
With such an increase in the mobile phones usage, many business owners in varied business verticals have started evincing interest to develop a mobile app for their business purposes and the restaurant industry is not an exception to this.
The food/restaurant industry is one of the fastest growing sectors has been keeping pace with technological advancements to cater to the ever-changing demands of their customers.
The increase in mobile apps development has facilitated restaurant businesses with steadfast on-demand delivery services. A majority of excellent restaurants are now striving hard to invest in a sensible Android or iOS app to enhance their turnovers quickly.
In the year 2015, the total revenue generated via diverse mobile applications for the restaurant industry has touched $160 million. It is one of the highest incomes earning for any sector in terms of the sale of mobile apps.
According to Level Up, Mobile Loyalty and Rewards programs integrated into the application raise your customer base that is likely to spend by 15% when making a purchase. The number also witnesses a hike up to 72%, when customers realize they are close to redeeming a reward.
1. Reasons why Mobile Apps are necessary to run a successful restaurant business
It is not a denying fact that in today’s tech-savvy era, having a useful mobile app is vital for the successful growth of a restaurant business. Consider the example of Starbucks, a reputed brand name in the food and beverage industry.
According to a study, this brand could accomplish more than 15% of the total monetary transactions through their dedicated mobile application alone; this is something that you can’t ignore at all.
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So, if you are still confused over the fact whether getting a mobile App Development for your business is worth the investment or not, here are some of the reasons why you ought to opt for an active mobile app to run your restaurant business efficiently.
Improvement in Bookings
When you introduce an efficient mobile app for your restaurant, making the bookings become effortless and are incredibly convenient as customers can quickly check on their own about seat availability.
The customer can fill up the necessary information via the Restaurant app. From the restaurant end, sending a push notification confirming the booking also becomes much more comfortable. At the same time, the cancellation of a reservation becomes even smoother.
Referral and Loyalty Programs
For a customer regularly patronizing to a restaurant, it is a usual practice to offer that particular customer specific loyalty program. It would not only assist in enhancing the customer base but would also help to boost sales.
Providing with customized offers to customers make them feel special; they understand that you care about them. Integrating the Mobile ordering app is an easy way for restaurant owners to keep track of information of their customers along with their past orders.
It enables to incentivize them in the form of personalized discounts on special occasions like their birthdays or anniversaries or special orders etc. Hence, an apt app helps to manage such referral and loyalty programs to retain the existing customers, along with attracting new customers.
Smarter Orders for Take-Outs
Researches indicate that most of the time, during peak hours, customers find it challenging to access the restaurant phone line to confirm the order.
Alternatively, a uniquely designed app like Mobile ordering can enable customers to choose the dishes they like and place the order effortlessly. Even from the business owner’s side, handling orders via an app is handy.
Easy Payment Processing
No one wants to wait in a queue for a long time to make payments for the take-out orders. This issue can find a solution by incorporating payment processing feature in an app. It would help to avoid the hassle at the front desk. Also, it would benefit in the following ways.
Avoiding the risks where customers order and then never show up to collect the order. No need to verify and tally again and again the paid and received orders. Any Mobile Application Company will give prime importance to it.
So, by devising a potent mobile app like the Restaurant app, restaurant owners can cater to the needs of customers with improved menu access. Moreover, this would ensure better ROI along with enhanced customer engagement and cordial customer relationship.
2. Essential features for restaurant app to take it to the next level
Mobile apps and the restaurant industry today are inseparable entities that are transforming seamlessly the way restaurants extend their services to customers. Whether customers are on the go or ordering food from home, Restaurant app can handle everything that you expect from a restaurant.
It is an excellent benefit to restaurants too. For the outgoing customer, they can make reservations in a flash whereas customers who prefer to stay at home can either make an order in seconds or can have their food delivered directly to them.
Before venturing into developing an app for your restaurant, it is essential to understand what features we need in it. Given below are the most critical elements every restaurant must take into account to build a customer-friendly app. Sure, you are free to add more features into your app, but without compromising on the following features:
Push notification is like a double-edged sword; it can make or break an app. So, if the Business app to be successful, it needs to be used in a sophisticated and subtle manner. However, if it is overused or abused, then the push notifications can annoy users resulting in adverse impact for the restaurant business process.
You need to manage the Push notifications carefully. Sending push notifications in the middle of the night is never a wise idea. Instead, the customers’ needs to be asked about the medium in which they want notifications (SMS, Email, Push Notification), also the specific time.
One more thing which the restaurant owners must ensure is that the notifications sent must add some value to users and must not be a plain advertisement or gimmicks. Managing Push Notifications in this manner will help in growing the app substantially
Online Ordering and payments
The Mobile ordering app lets customers eliminate waiting for the order to be taken and processed. Also, the ability to pay for the food items ordered beforehand takes the customer convenience one step ahead.
Statistics indicate that customers who order online tend to visit a restaurant 67% more often than those who don’t. Also, 26% of customers state they use a restaurant app for the ease of making payment for their orders beforehand.
Not only does this make the lives of the customers easier, but it also enhances the restaurant owner’s efficiency and accuracy in handling orders. Both benefits offer a clear edge over competitors in this industry. With this, a big chunk of the restaurant’s revenue accessed from mobile payments, just like Starbucks’ 21% of all US sales in 2015.
Take a look at McDonald’s mobile app. McDonald’s does two important things: It can avoid creating bottlenecks at cashiers. Enhance the lead time allowed for order preparation, because the customer still must physically arrive at the selected McDonald’s location for pickup, which facilitates smoother operations.
Loyalty, rewards and discounts programs
According to Statista’s finding of 2015, 37% of customers make use of the mobile app to look for discounts. At the same time, 26% of customers use the app for Redeeming/earning loyalty points.
Apart from these stats, the most important fact is that the cost of attracting/acquiring a new customer is 5-fold higher than the value of retaining one. Thus, it is evident that earning brand loyalty is cheaper than building brand awareness through using Restaurant app.
It is precisely why some of the reputed names in the industry pay heed to their loyalty programs. For example, Starbucks could successfully enhance their sales by 80% by introducing loyalty programs.
As one of the top-rated mobile app development companies with an emphasis on the food & drink category, Citrus Bits has developed loyalty apps for some of the world’s biggest restaurant brands and social media influencers.
“Over the past few years, we’ve helped Burger King build an excellent mobile app that is currently used by millions of users throughout Latin America. The app has already delivered more than 1,000% ROI for Burger King,” says Harry Lee, CEO of CitrusBits. “We are now in the process of planning significant feature enhancements to the mobile app, to allow Burger King to expand its growth potential further.”
The good news is that — apart from McDonald’s, Starbucks, and a host of other significant players in the restaurant industry space — most restaurant businesses are very much in the same situation.
Many are now started recognizing the growth potential associated with Restaurant app and are beginning to make plans to extend better and more engaging mobile experiences to customers.
The full spread usage of location-based services such as beacons and geo-fencing have facilitated brands the capability to engage with potential customers, even before they step into the location.
It is the modern-day equivalent of handing out flyers to a passer-by, promoting restaurants deals, discounts, menu improvements, and other news. According to Level Up, restaurants making use of beacons could witness 8%-12% new customers, every week.
Customer feedback portal
Customer Feedback is the simplest and most efficient way of accessing insights to enhance the restaurant app. It is essential to continuously review and update the app to keep up with the competitors.
By including a feedback system in the Restaurant, Mobile app can enable users to share their experiences as it helps the restaurant owner to know customers’ demands which help enhance the user experience of the app.
An efficiently developed Business app can manage the restaurant staff and enhance the efficiency of the business process. This feature ensures that the restaurant is never over or underemployed. It also facilitates to track employees’ performance up to date.
It can enable the restaurant owner to make necessary modifications based on the employees’ performances. It eventually can enhance the efficiency and output of the restaurant as there would always be an optimum number of employees present to finish the task on time.
Social media integration
Zuckerberg plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger by 2020 https://t.co/6XvdNsugbV
— Android Authority (@AndroidAuth) January 25, 2019
The social media integration forms a permanent feature for every app used by industries out there today. Restaurant industry apps are no exception to this. This feature allows to review customer’s experience and needs, take pictures of and upload them to their social media accounts such as Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook, etc.
It does not stop with this. The restaurant owner can capitalize the social media and tie it with his loyalty/discount programs to tempt existing customers to earn points and rewards for inviting new customers/friends. It dramatically helps to attract new customers, while enticing a onetime customer to become a repeat customer.
Almost three billion people are expected to use smartphones worldwide until 2020. This estimate is adequate to get an idea about the significance of mobile apps.
To capitalize on the ever-growing number of smartphone users, businesses across various streams evince interest to make use of the mobile app and hotel industry is no exception. IT companies have set new milestones of popularity and have helped to augment revenue to many restaurants.
As it is evident, the performance of the restaurant industry has changed vastly due to the use of different mobile apps to streamline and add value throughout the food-buying process.
Whether you are a restaurant owner interested in improving your sales, customer loyalty and retention or you are looking to venture into online food ordering or delivery service – the features mentioned above are a must to be included into your app.
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