Industry  |  Mobile  |  Technology

Things you need to know about mobile apps to boost your restaurant business


With almost half the world predicted to have access to a smart phone by 2020, businesses need to be capitalising on the potential that mobile apps can offer. You might be under the impression that apps only work for certain types of business, but the reality is that they have wide-ranging potential. This is especially true of the restaurant industry.

New apps like Zomato and Yelp have led the way in terms of the potential of apps for the industry, and new titles with new methods of working are being developed all the time. As an example, consider the fact that an app is now responsible for almost 16 percent of Starbucks’ sales and you begin to see what kind of numbers we are talking about here.

Types of restaurant app

There are already several types of restaurant app on the market. These include coupon apps, wait time apps, rating apps or food ordering apps. One or more of these types will almost certainly be a viable option for your restaurant business.

The key to app success is working out what your goals are for app use and development, and finding the angle that works best for your brand and business model. You may even be able to develop a feature-rich app that combines the best of several different app uses to expand and grow your business.

One of the main types of restaurant app is one that showcases the menu. Adding an interactive menu option to your app lets diners decide what they want to eat before they arrive and also gives you a chance to display the kind of food you offer. The menu should be easy to view, with pictures of certain meals, information about ingredients and portion sizes all helping you to sell yourself.

Mobile ordering and payment apps are another must-have for restaurants. If you don’t currently have a takeaway option, then you should seriously consider it. More and more people are using apps to order their favourite restaurant food to eat as a takeout option, with companies like Deliveroo capitalising on this market. Providing a takeout option is a great way to boost revenue without having to invest in larger premises, more staff and expensive facilities.

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The loyalty programme app is another big winner. They give smaller restaurants the chance to level the playing field with the big chains, with superior loyalty schemes keeping customers coming back for more. An app is a convenient way for people to keep track of their accumulated points and produce higher levels of returning business.

Of course, you need to try and integrate your app with social media and other review sites. This will make it easier for customers to leave a review and for potential clients to see what others have been saying about you. You should try and encourage people to take and upload pictures and leverage all your app ideas through the big social media sites.

The benefits of a restaurant app

There are several major benefits to developing or using an app for your business. Apps let customers place orders with the maximum convenience. The easier you can make it for people to get what they want, the more likely it is that they will place an order. If you can make purchasing your food or services as easy as pressing a button on your phone, you will improve your sales conversion rate.

Apps also make it possible to serve a larger number of customers at the same time. So, long queues and frustrated people waiting in line can become a thing of the past.

Apps also have a huge branding potential by promoting awareness about your restaurant. This is your chance to get your logo out there, and get your name noticed in the right places. And once customers know who you are, then they will be more likely to visit your restaurant the next time they feel like eating out or getting a takeaway. It is through these kinds of processes that you can build a loyal client base and an app could be a very important part of doing this.

Why businesses use apps

If you’re still unsure about the potential of an app, then there are some more numbers that should convince you to take them seriously. A massive 83% of adults use their mobile devices to search for restaurants and opening hours. So, if you don’t have an easy to access mobile presence, you could be missing out on almost nine out of ten enquiries.

If you’re considering using your app to offer promotions or discounts, then three out of four people would consider coming to your establishment at off-peak times to make use of these.

In addition, almost four out of five diners say that technology can make the dining experience better. That could be in terms of looking at the menu beforehand, placing orders or getting access to special deals online. Even if it’s a simple table reservation service, you can set up an app to make the entire experience more user friendly.

Of course, developing an app is not an easy thing to do so it’s very likely that you will need some outside assistance. A mobile app development specialist will help you to outline and achieve your app goals. They will be able to assist you in creating the most suitable kind of app for your business, developing a feature-rich app that harnesses all the power of modern mobile technology.

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If you currently own or run an establishment and are looking for ways to grow your brand, reputation and revenue then restaurant mobile app development should be something you are seriously looking into. It is by no means just the big chains that can benefit from an app, and you should be seeing this as a way to level the playing field with the businesses that can outspend you in every other way.

Give your branding a boost, access new markets such as the takeout option, integrate with social media and harness the power of good reviews. Successful restaurant app development can help you achieve all of these things, and with the right development partner, it can be a lot easier than you might think. Get in touch with our development team to find out more about how we can help you to grow your business. With our experience in the industry, we think we can help.