Gone are the times of asking locales or referring to yellow pages and travel guides for finding nearby cafés and restaurants. We are living in a mobile-first world, where more customers than ever before are tapping on their mobile screens to kill their hunger pangs, especially on-the-go.
According to a survey conducted by JiMobile, 83% people use their smartphones to find a restaurant while travelling.
What does it all mean for your business? Well, it’s a wake-up call for businesses to jumpstart their app development plans if they haven’t done it yet. Whether you run a ritzy bar or a coffee shop in the downtown; a multi-cuisine restaurant chain or a corner pub, a dedicated native app puts your business right in their palms.Without a native app, there are no chances of your business being found on mobile which in turn means missing out on potential revenues.
Here are 8 ways building a food ordering app can benefit your restaurant business.
1. Getting Discovered
You might be selling the best dimsums in the town but is it any good if only a handful of people know it? A mobile app makes your business more discoverable both among prospects and existing clientele. As a matter of fact, 51% of mobile searches on Google are for restaurants. Unlike the digital, mobile ecosystem is not yet saturated and presents a better scope of discoverability. Even if you have a great website and a robust social media presence, having a mobile app in the mix will help you gain maximum visibility, increase footfall and improve the bottom line.
You can always showcase your menu online but having a mobile app gives you so much room to play with, taking your ordering and menu capabilities to a different level altogether. Unlike printed menus, adding and updating photos, videos and descriptions to the menu is easy as a pie with drag-and-drop functionality. One more reason why apps are a notch better for showcasing menus is that studies show that compared to telephonic orders, customers tend to place larger orders while ordering through app. Built right, a food ordering app can grow your average order size.
3. Allowing Reservations
Some of you might be thinking, we already have a system for our customers to make reservations on our website. That’s all good. But making reservations straight from your app is more convenient compared to ordering online, making a call, going through the IVRs or talking to a personnel – All it takes is the tap of a button. This comes handy for the busy lot of diners who are already crunched for time and prefer to place their orders on-the-go.Plus, you get to bag more reservations with last minute offers sent via push.
4. Promoting Your Business
You are good at your business but marketing is really not your thing and you don’t have the bandwidth of employing mobile marketing agencies to spread a word out there. Well, then don’t. Smartly deployed, a mobile app lets you promote your app like a pro without spending a single dime. Powerful mobile app builders like Instappy features robust social integration letting you share deals on social and feed live tweets, pins and posts on your app via rich media social APIs, thus driving more referrals. Besides, any average person today look at his/her phone dozens of times per day. If your app manages to make a place on the user’s phone screen, he/she ends up looking at your icon as many times, making your brand more familiar. Even if they are not actively using your app, just looking at your icon might whet their appetite and bring more orders.
5. Driving Repeated Footfall
One of the biggest challenge for a business, more so the hospitality sector, is to get repeated footfall from customers. A mobile app comes loaded with integrated channels of communication making it easier for you to update your users about the ongoing deals and offers and keep ‘em coming back for more. Studies show that today’s mobile savvy users expect businesses to fit in their on-the-go lifestyle and those which do, become their preferred go-to place to order food or dine in.
6. Running Loyalty Schemes
Traditional loyalty cards and printed paper coupons are relics of the past. Mobile loyalty cards are in. When the users’ personal device becomes their loyalty card, there are no chances of missing the end date, losing the card or leaving it at home – and obviously, they’re way more likely to use it. With the advent of mobile loyalty programs, it’s easier than ever to extend offers to prospects and existing clientele. Running loyalty programs might seem like making an additional investment, but considering the long term benefit it promises, it’s worth every dime.
7. Staying Connected
Say, you just added a new cuisine to your menu or did a little makeover to your ambience or you are offering specials on the menu. Usually, you wait for your existing clientele to pay a visit and discover for themselves. But what if your customers get to know as soon as you do it? With a native app, you can! Powerful mobile app builders like Instappy comes loaded with inbuilt marketing tools such as personalised push notifications and in-app messages allowing you to keep your users in the loop of ongoing deals and upcoming events.
8. Soliciting Reviews
In today’s data native age, the consumer is becoming more empowered and take informed decisions. Reviews are gaining more prominence than ever. Before heading out for dining (or on-the-go), customers like to read reviews of the place and if they had an exceptionally good experience (or a bad one), they like to leave reviews on portals like Burrp, UrbanSpoon or Foursquare. Now with advanced app analytics, you can track users’ order history, shopping behaviour and likeability for your app. Instead of taking a spray-and-pray approach in rating prompts, you can identify your loyal users and specifically solicit ratings and reviews from them.
A mobile app makes the whole thing more streamlined for your patrons, be it taking the pick from the menu, ordering the food online, having it delivered at home or making a reservation. You must have realized by now, mobile apps present an endless array of possibilities for your restaurant business. Without a robust mobile presence, you surely are losing an edge over your competitors. May be, you’re already convinced and can’t wait to get started, but considering the cost, time and expertise it takes to build a full-fledged mobile app, you would rather settle for a web-only model.
Head over to Instappy, a zero-coding Rapid Mobile App Development platform that helps startups, small businesses and large enterprises alike to go mobile, without having to incur high costs, wait for months or hire pro developers. Find out more about Instappy’s mobile solutions for your restaurant business here
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