Why Mobile Apps Will Soon be First on the Menu of Food and Restaurant Business
By Ambab Infotech
What would you choose – a restaurant that lets you order ahead via an app and have your food ready when you get there? Or a traditional restaurant where you have to place your order only once you are seated, and have to wait for your food? While some people do prefer the latter, it is unsurprising that more and more people are opting for the former.
Time is a precious commodity in our fast-paced world, and when people can save time, they will. Restaurant apps have a whole variety of features that are revolutionizing the food and restaurant business, and those that don’t include an interactive app in the next few years will get left behind.
How can Mobile Apps help a Restaurant Business?
Here are just some of the benefits a mobile app brings a restaurant and its customers:
Reserve Tables: Many restaurants that have apps allow customers to book a table in advance. When the customer logs onto the app, they can see if there are tables available, and reserve the number of seats they need much like booking tickets for a show or movie.
Interactive Menus: Interactive menus on an app benefit both the customers and the waiting staff. Customers can learn more about the dishes on the menu by clicking on them and get information on calories and potential allergens like nuts and dairy and so on. This feature saves waiters who are already hard-pressed for time, from having to answer these questions.
Ordering and Tracking: With an app, customers can send their orders directly to the kitchen and even track the progress. Customers don’t have to wait for their orders to be taken, and there is less chance of human error of waiters mixing up or getting orders wrong. Also, with the tracking function, customers have a better idea of when to expect their dish.
Payment and Points Updates: Bills can get computed as orders are being placed so that customers know how much they are spending. Payment methods can also be selected, offering customers with flexibility. Loyalty points can also be added, with each complete order.
Customer Feedback can be Recorded: Customers can leave their feedback on the various areas via the app. Feedback on service, food and even dietary preferences can be updated using the app.
Which Restaurants are already doing it right?
The good news is that restaurant apps are not just in theory but are actually in effect already. Many of the larger restaurant franchises have already got their app up and running, and to great advantage. Some notable examples include:
Starbucks: The Starbucks app has been running for years, and customers love it. Points add up to free drinks in the loyalty program. Customers can pay directly through the app, and customers can order ahead and skip lines. It’s working like a charm.
Taco Bell: Taco Bell is another food chain that is using their app to maximum effect. With the app, customers can do everything that has been mentioned with the Starbucks app, as well as customize orders to their special preferences.
Wendy’s: With Wendy’s app, you can easily find a Wendy’s near you by entering your postcode, among all the other advantages. More importantly, however, Wendy’s has used its app to start a Veteran Advantage scheme which honor’s the US veterans with special offers on patriotic days.
Other chains using apps are Chipotle, Shake Shack, Domino’s and Burger King.
How the Latest Technologies can be Leveraged for Better Customer Engagement?
One estimate states that nearly 100,000 restaurant reservations are made using mobile apps in a month. And with the number of mobile users only going up with each year, this number is likely to grow. It is obvious that using a mobile app has become the preferred mode of interacting with restaurants for millennials and Gen Next.
Here are some ways technology can be used for better business:
Location Settings: GPS technology allows restaurants to identify if anyone with their app is within a certain radius of their location. This, in turn, lets the restaurant message customers telling them about special offers or new menu items that could bring them to the restaurant.
AI: Artificial Intelligence can take all the customer data a restaurant collects from the app and turn it into meaningful insights. Customers can be offered their preferred means of payment as the first option, menu suggestions can be made based on previous orders, and menu items can even be discontinued based on bad feedback.
Translations and Modifications: Menus on an app can easily be translated for tourists, menu items that are not available can be crossed out, and sub-menus for special occasions can easily be added when required.
Ambab can help you create mobile applications that will enable you to reach out to new customers in your area, engage them and also retain them. With all the new features offered by mobile apps for restaurants, it is increasingly becoming important to develop applications for your restaurant business as it gives you a competitive advantage over other restaurants in your area.