By Helen Morrice

Today, it is almost not possible to find a person who leaves the house without a smartphone. Neither is it possible to find a city that does not have a restaurant or other eateries. What is still possible, and it is getting more and more weird, it is to find a restaurant without a mobile app.

People use smartphones for work, to keep in touch with their friends, to entertain, to order food, to book a table in their favorite places. Creating an app for your restaurant is the best way to keep in touch with your visitors even if they are not there. Then why not to turn the advantages of modern technologies into competitive advantages of your business? Here is what you need to know about creating a restaurant mobile app.

Benefits for a Restaurant Using a Mobile App

Brand Recognition and Reminders

By creating an app for your restaurant and giving your clients an ability to download it, you create an additional occasion for your clients to think of you. Being 24/7 in their smartphones, an app becomes extra reminder about the restaurant. You can be in touch with them by sending information via push notifications such as new seasonal menu, exclusive discounts, event dinners and other loyalty and bonus programs.

A Memorable User Experience

Being able to look through the menu, check the prices, identify their favorite foods, book a table or cancel one without leaving the house or even talking to anyone, isn’t it cool? Today the preference is given to those places that are relevant to the mind of their visitors.

Easier Order Fulfillment

Instead of relying on old-fashioned handwriting or speaking voice, clarifying what the customer tries to order, ordering with an app makes the process clear and understandable. Delivery orders via the app come in the same organized way with the particular needs of the clients written in the comments form. In-app payment makes the process less risky for the delivery personnel.

Effective Management of Seating Capacity

By providing an in-app table booking, you can easily control the flow of guests, receive reserves 24/7 — even if the restaurant is closed — and enhance the overall efficiency of the restaurant. If you run a restaurant business in a city of touristic attraction, booking via the app will help you to get more seats filled, as people plan their trips long time ahead, and yes, they book tables in restaurants. Excluding the necessity to book the table over the phone, you give your international diners the green light to reserve a table in your establishment.

Benefits for Customers Using the App

Easy Access to the Menu

Very often we make our decision about the food we want much faster when we see what the food looks like. Creating an online menu with attractive photos of food means increasing the number of orders. Your customers assess the food they see, compare it with the price, and make their decision. Clear and noticeable “Order now” or “Add to basket” button simplifies the process.

Location-Based Offers and Discounts in Real Time

Email messages are fine, but they make take days until read. Thus, information about the special discount day can be read many days later. Push notification is a quick and easy way to inform your diners about the goodies they get if they call on you today. Usually, the decision is made on the spot; maybe they were just looking for a place to eat.

Loyalty Programs, Coupons, and Other Benefits

Many companies in the restaurant business and other industries encourage their customers to use mobile apps by providing additional bonuses as an incentive. For example, each order placed via the app gets a 10% discount. Restaurant owners can analyze the received data and offer improved bonus programs to stimulate app usage and online ordering.

Features to Integrate into a Restaurant Mobile App

You may choose all of them or choose the most demanded by your clientele, but whatever may be the feature, it must solve the customer’s problem.

  • Menu – Create the menu with photos and description of dishes, ingredients and possible variations of the dish.
  • Gallery – Show pictures of the restaurant, display video of the restaurant and special evenings. Let people see how they can spend time at your place.
  • Reservation and Contact Information –  You can create an online form for booking, create “call me back” button, show the location of the restaurant on the map and list all ways to contact you.
  • Loyalty and Bonus Programs – Reward customers by offering them additional discounts or gift dishes for spending certain amounts or ordering through the app.
  • Push Notifications – Send information about special occasions, discounts or time-limited deals.
  • Social Media – Integrate social networks and use an additional channels for sales and promotion. Encourage clients to use social networks to tell about your app, leave feedback, share photos and comment on interesting posts.
  • News and Events – Keep your visitors updated with the latest news from your community.

How to Create a Mobile App for Your Restaurant

The choice depends upon your skills and resources for investment. There are three options to choose from:

  1. Program the app yourself
  2. Use an app-building software
  3. Hire a team or an individual developer

A mobile app for your restaurant can bring a significant number of bonuses to your business. Think of all your competitors who do not own mobile apps. With the help of the mobile app, you can be one of a kind of your niche and attract more visitors amongst all demographics, especially the millennials. According to statistics more than 50% of people in the U.S. aged from 25 to 34 stated that in the past three months they had used apps to pay at a fast food restaurant. By using mobile technology, you create a competitive advantage in your restaurant segment.