Mobile apps have changed the way businesses operate in our world today. Awe-inspiring things are happening in all areas of life. If you take a look, it’s easy to see that online, especially mobile presence; this is something every business is after. The reasons for these are simple and obvious, better brand awareness and you can build mutual loyalty with your customers, and your sales increase. In our world today, there is a mobile app for everything. Lots of businesses are improving their customer experience with mobile apps, and the restaurant business is no exception.
At Instamobile, we help restaurant owner make their own restaurant mobile app for iOS and Android with our premium Restaurant app template,, which is ready to be published to the App Store and Google Play right out of the box.
Almost every restaurant is established to offer its customers a highly satisfying and convenient experience. Admittedly, the growth of any business depends on the revenue generated by operating it.
Over the last few years, various sectors, including the food and restaurant business, have utilized information technology solutions to enhance their performance, efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. There is a substantial development of technology which aids the restaurants and food delivery businesses alike. The restaurant market has attracted a lot of people since the time technology started playing a vital role in redefining the restaurant business. Restaurants of different sizes are developing mobile apps that their customers can use to make reservations and order takeout.
Having a mobile app creates a continuous interaction between you and your customers. Customers seem to have developed a fascinating image as far as technological integration is concerned. It has made things like menu viewing and ordering activities easier for them. With the support of technology, the food industry is up and thriving again. The food sector has managed to appear as a highly profitable industry due to its broad potential and the growing demand for restaurants of different food themes in various cities.
There are many ways a mobile app can serve and improve your business. There is no denying that for a restaurant, a mobile app is not less than a blessing. This is because it allows not only your customers to have a look at your services but also helps your restaurant to remain as a strong brand image in the users’ minds. It solves the purpose of providing basic information about the restaurant. To cut a long story short, people don’t always want to cook their food. They better head to a beautiful place or stay in their homes and order some food. That’s why a restaurant needs a mobile app. This mobile technology has a significant influence on the restaurant business. As marketing rules and trends change, online became a presiding environment for your customers, and you can advertise in new ways because people do not leave their smartphones for a minute.
Generally, 90% of smartphone users search for places in the neighborhood, and, as a result, 90% of them act within 24 hours. There’s a lot of advice out there on how important it is for your business to have a mobile app and make sure you have a mobile presence. Most of the advice you find app development companies provide online with no care for your business. There is a multitude of reasons why your restaurant can benefit from having a customized mobile app and here is why you might really want to get there, below are ten reasons why your restaurant needs a mobile app.
1. Increase Your Restaurant’s Brand Awareness
A well-executed mobile app for your restaurant can significantly contribute to your brand awareness. When you create restaurant apps, you increase the scope of your brand awareness, which makes customers exposed to your brand for longer, increasing the chances of your attaining top-of-mind status... this is because the app is always there on the mobile phone of your customers, reminding them all the time about your business. If your app and branding are done correctly, your brand will be seen more often; your foods, soups and other delicacies will be the talk of the town. With increased usage, it will get the recognition needed for customers to think of your restraint ahead of any other. In TV advertising, “effective frequency” is defined as how often you see a brand. As a rule of TV Adverts, hearing or seeing your brand approximately ten times is what advertisers say to get people thinking about your restaurant when thinking about their next meal, whether it be taken out or dine in at your restaurant.
Along with this, you get the option to send push notifications to the users highlighting the special days’ deals. And every single notification from your restaurant on the users’ device is equal to an opportunity to create deeper brand resonance in the customers’ minds. But with so many competing brands, neither brand awareness or top-of-mind awareness is easily achieved by small or new establishments. A well-designed restaurant mobile app can not only grab the attention of new and potential customers but can also keep them engaged in numerous ways. For instance: by offering features like quick-and-easy order-pay-takeaway (or delivery) with just a couple of clicks, you can target busy professionals who are pressed for time and avoid long queues. Apart from this, customers can be encouraged to use social media platforms to like and (or) follow the official page, check-in, and (or) spread the positive word of mouth, helping you bridge the gap between your restaurant and new customers.
Here are some of the features your APP ICON should have
- The colors used, and the design itself should be consistent with the app, and all other aspects of your brand.
- Take a look at apps in the same category – does your app stand unique among all the others?
- Avoid using words in your app icon since they make the design difficult to read.
2. Beat the Competition
Much smaller, and even some larger restaurants, do not have a mobile app for their business. To compete in today’s market, as well as in the future, you must offer a mobile app to your customers. If you don’t customers will make purchases from your competitors. Most of the app examples included in this article have been for chain restaurants.., small businesses and restaurants can no longer ignore the benefits of having a mobile app. Launching your mobile app ahead of your local competitors can give your restaurant a valuable boost – both in terms of visibility, awareness, and incentives.
Using a mobile app will allow you to be more noticeable when you market your app and the features and benefits it offers to customers. At the same time, those features and benefits will be more appealing to new customers when you are the only restaurant offering them. And as long as your food, ambiance, and service are just as great as the features in your mobile app, these new customers could turn into long-term customers. Remember, you want to stand out for all the right reasons.
3. To Cultivate Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is one of the most important reasons why you should have a business app. In today’s world, a customer loyalty program in your app plays a vital role in improving return visits. Loyalty programs are one of the top three motivators for customers to spend more, and your mobile app is the easiest way to offer your customers a convenient loyalty program
There is no exaggeration in saying that customers using loyalty programs are at a higher chance of returning. So, reap this benefit by providing a great restaurant app in line with the ideas of creating a rewards program and the idea of promoting reviews and social shares. On Black Friday 2015, a pizza joint called Pizza Ranch ran a promotion that gave their loyal customers double points for coming in and buying from them that day, which generated 67.6% more business for that day than they normally do
By offering incentives to your loyal customers for making referrals and offering a deal for first-time visitors, you can both increase your client base and customer retention. It’s imperative to make a true and sincere connection with your customers. Treat each customer as it’s your only, and soon they will start referring your place to their friends and share it on social – word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way to get recognized after all. This connection will make them a loyal lover of your restaurant. A mobile app is a way of staying closer to your customers, and being just a “fingertip” away at all times.
Beyond that, you can incentivize your customers to refer their friends and family to your restaurant by offering them points their bill based on how many people they refer to your restaurant. These things usually signal people that your spot is customer-friendly, delicious, and cozy… and you keep a fire burning with the help of promo tool within your mobile app – they even don’t need to open the message, it appears on the screen and voila, they already know they got 30% off their business lunch today.
4. Exposure to Social Media
Getting your customers to share positive experiences on social media is a great way to advance the word of mouth and social proof around your business… boosting your reputation in the mind of the public, leading to increased customers over time. Particularly if you run either reservation, ordering, or payments through your mobile app, you can set a review rating pop up after a transaction is completed to ask your customers to review your restaurant on one of your online profiles or share their experience with friends and family on social media.
When the customers feel satisfied with your restaurant services, it tempts them to share their experience with family and friends regarding what they have eaten and how the excellent services were. The online social networking sites are providing an excellent opportunity for sharing and caring. You can use your app for social sharing purposes by integrating social media APIs. Thus, you can enable your customers to share their experiences and opinions instantly. Either during a meal or after, they can freely share everything with their comments and pictures they have taken or given in your app. A discount can be given to customers who share the experience with their loved ones.
5. Enticing Visuals
The mobile application can display your delicious food items in a more enticing way than the website. Much in the same way you’d use images of your food on your website and in your menu to prompt a desire for the plates, you can insert enticing photos of your food on your app. Pictorial representations of your delicacies could easily attract more customers than an army of reviewers and word-of-mouth influencers. There is a distinct difference between photographing your famous artisanal ice-cream and photographing a bowl of vegetables. Your mobile app should use professionally styled photographs. Take time to add new photos to the gallery every time you host a special event or add new items to your menu. These shouldn’t always be professional photographs – using your smartphone is quite okay. And the only editing they should be subjected to is a bit of brightening, and maybe some other enhancements. Take this a step further by encouraging your customers to send you any photos they take in your restaurant, and of your food.
Seeing an image of food that’s “ready” to eat taps into a core… and the better it looks and the hungrier we are. For example, Pizza Hut displays a partially-eaten pizza front and center on their app’s main screen to arouse a sensation of appetite in the dinners. So even if you weren’t that hungry when you opened the app, you are now.
6. To Answer Various FAQs
You and your staff have to answer dozens of questions each day, and a good number of them are probably the same questions you’ve already answered a thousand times. A Restaurant App should offer FAQ pages to know the solutions to common issues and a contact form to establish an email relationship. With a bit of planning, these questions and their answers – can be integrated into a mobile app. Not in the form of a traditional FAQ, but rather worked into relevant sections of the app. For instance:
- Your sales hours section could now include details of any days on which you won’t be open for business.
- Your booking form could include details of the maximum party size you can accommodate.
- Your contact number can be configured so that customers can call you with a single tap, and without even having to leave the app.
However, beyond ordering, reservations, and delivery directly into your app’s functionality, you can also add a Click-to-Call button for customers who want to establish direct contact with your customer service department or point of contact person in real-time. It seems like a small detail, but it cuts down on the customers need to google your phone number, note it down somewhere, and then call you to get their question answered. With this feature, it’s instant. The line with the phone icon and the store’s number is a click to call link i.e.; all a user has to do is tap on it to start a call to that branch.
According to research commissioned by Google, 60% of people who search on mobile users click to call, so when you put that feature directly in your app, there’s no need for customers to do a Google search for that number and stumble across a better deal from a competitor.
7. To Collect Usable Market Stats
Analytics as a definition is defined as “the study of past historical data to research potential trends; to analyze the effects of certain decisions or events with the goal of analytics being used to improve the business by gaining knowledge which can be used to make improvements or changes.” How does this help you as a restaurant owner? Using market analytics, you will be able to determine what customers are buying or not buying from you. As a result of the analytic data, you may decide to remove or modify some food items on the menu.
Analytics help to fine-tune your menu to meet your customers purchasing trends by providing you with a lot of stats to consider – overall market expectations, ordering time and frequency, preferred foods, feedback on the quality of food and service – basically all you need to keep fresh and know where to improve continuously. In today’s ever-increasing mobile world, having your business at your customer’s fingertips is essential for business growth and retention.
8. To Get Detailed Review and Testimonies
Reviews are not only an opportunity for your customers to document their experience; they should also be seen as strategic brand focus points. By incorporating the review and feedback section in your restaurant app design, you get ready-made access to all the opinion customers have about your restaurant services. Customer reviews and testimonials provide priceless feedback on how your business is going, where changes need to be made, and what direction to continue taking the business.
Reviews and testimonials can also be used as a powerful marketing tool for your restaurant. If a negative review comes through it gives you the chance to make the necessary changes to correct the issue.As a restaurant owner, it very important to respond to reviews in your app as responding to feedbacks shows that you read and value what your customers say. One way of managing negative reviews is to apologize publicly and then start a private conversation with the reviewer in which you respond to the points they raised... negative reviews are not often unnecessary attacks. They are usually genuine customer feedback, and they may even highlight issues you were not aware of.
With in-app reviews, you encourage customers to use your app, while making it easier for new customers to find reviews of your restaurant. Remember – the more useful your app, the longer people keep it on their phone, and the more exposure your restaurant gets. However, if keeping most of your reviews in your app will limit exposure, you can instead link directly to your restaurant’s website page. This way you are getting exposure outside of the app, but still encouraging customers to use your app to post or read reviews.
9. To Improve Customer’s Hospitality
It is important to build good relations and communicate regularly with them to keep them intrigued and engaged. In the hospitality industry, it is quintessential to build a strong bond with customers. Fortunately, we have mobile apps for restaurants, which is equivalent to the mini version of your restaurant in the customer’s pocket, which provides excellent opportunities to collect real-time insight and data on customer behavior. Like what customers spend, why they spend and what they spend on every time they are interacting with your restaurant. For instance, one can accumulate rich data on demographics, order history, preferences, special occasions, etc. and use this information to create a personalized dining experience for the customers. Furthermore, they can be urged to use mobile coupons only available on apps. Besides, you can also make home delivery and pre-ordering an easy process for customers. With all these features it will not be wrong to assume that this personal touch will touch their hearts
10. Take-Out Orders
The concept of take-outs or takeaways dates back into antiquity, with street and marketplace food vendors common in Ancient Greece. Modern restaurants continue to benefit from offering take-outs, and we aren’t talking only McDonald’s and the local fish and chip shop. While not all restaurants offer take-out, there is nothing wrong with casual and family-style restaurants that do offer take-outs except when the order ends up being wrong because you couldn’t understand the person calling the order.
There are a few ways you could incorporate this feature into your app but always consider user-experience when doing so. When accepting a take-out order, it necessary to collect some of the customer’s information. You could ask them to submit their name and contact details each time, but wouldn’t it be better to get them to register through your app? That way, you collect all the information you need once only, and as long as the customer doesn’t log out of the app, they don’t need to enter their personal information each time they order. This would also simplify the experience of making a booking through your app and improve your analysis of app usage. As with any registration process, collect only the information you need.
Finally, for this to benefit both you and your customers, you need to ensure you have a system in place to manage orders placed via your app. notifying customers of the order’s progress and handling collections and payments should also be a feature of the system.
Features That Help Make Great Restaurant Apps
- Search Option to Look for Food Items or Restaurants
- In-App Payment
- Order History
- Social Media Integration
- Chatbot’s /Customer Support System
- Customer Review and Feedback Option
Gone are those days when cafes and food joints used to rely heavily on the traditional form of advertising to communicate with masses. It is time to get some upgrades and welcome yourself to the world of mobile applications. Because, believe it or not, the world has become ‘mobile’ and is always on the wheels. So to catch up, your restaurant needs to wear rollerblades. In simple words, you must get your customized mobile app to stay ahead of your game.
Moreover, technology use is not just limited to the restaurants’ business-to-consumer activities, but it also yields fruitful results in carrying out business-to-business activities. Restaurant owners have liaison with the vendors who supply them with raw materials regularly.
After considering the benefits of being online and having mobile visibility, restaurants can make a significant impact on their sales. All they need to do is use the power of the mobile app. Of course, we need different marketing strategies to promote and take any business to the heights of success, yet mobile apps play a remarkable role.
The use of restaurant mobile apps by customers is expected to continue to grow as more restaurant owners begin to understand the advantages of having custom mobile apps for their restaurants. Whether yours is a food delivery app or it is a restaurant finder app, or it’s a simple food ordering app, you are on a successful route.