Apps are changing the way restaurants do business. But what if you aren't sure you're ready to invest the time and money needed to make your own? Here are 10 reasons why a restaurant mobile app is essential to your business.
1. To Eliminate Friction
When potential customers try to interact with your business online, they often experience what is called 'friction'. Friction occurs when things get in the way of this interaction.
A massive source of friction for mobile users occurs when a user has to search for your restaurant website on their mobile browser. First they must key in your business name and suburb, search through the results and hopefully select your website. This can take up to 40 keystrokes and is a very annoying exercise for your potential customer and will often result in the user going elsewhere.
Compare this to a restaurant that has a mobile app - the frustrated user experience is replaced with a completely seamless one. The Friction is eliminated. Whenever a user wants to connect with you all they have to do is open your app. Suddenly, what used to take 40 key presses now takes only one!
2. Online Orders
Online ordering systems are great tools for customer convenience. Having a mobile app with online ordering allows your customers to place orders for takeaway and home deliveries via the app, making ordering only one simple click away. You also eliminate your competition from the user experience. Your customers no longer have to use a 3rd party online ordering app which lists your business next to all your competition.
Taking online reservations via your mobile app makes perfect sense for your business and your customers. Mobile use is exploding so give your customers a reservation process that is smooth and easy to use.
4. Push Notifications
Push notifications are a great way to alert your customers about sales, specials and one-night-only deals. They can also be used to send casual announcements about your menu that aren't important or long-lasting enough to print up an actual flyer: "Visit us for fresh catfish caught just this morning!" For online ordering, coupon codes can be pushed to your customer's mobiles quickly and efficiently, and at zero cost.
When their stomachs are rumbling, they don't have all day to find your place. The good news is that a restaurant mobile app with built-in GPS navigation can direct all of your potential patrons right to your door.
Whether you're hosting a themed celebration or a cooking class, a restaurant app can get the word out to all of your most loyal customers. Not only will you save money on advertising, but your announcements are guaranteed to reach people who are already interested in what your business has to offer. That's why they downloaded the app in the first place!
7. Customer Engagement
There are many ways you can use your restaurant mobile app to engage with your customers. For example, if you have an online gallery, people can submit, share and rate photos of their meals much like they already do on social media sites like Instagram.
8. Social Media Integration
Apps are an easy first step into the world of digital marketing. Viral content is the new currency of businesses, and having a strong social media presence can help you achieve it. Let your app serve as a launching point for your virtual branding.
9. Loyalty Program
You've probably seen loyalty programs offered by retailers and department stores, but were you aware that you can offer the same thing through a mobile app for restaurants? Just send out vouchers and e-coupons to everyone who has downloaded your app.
10. Demographic Information
Who are your best customers? What are their ages, genders and income levels? When you use analytics data through your restaurant mobile app, all of this valuable information is only a click away.
11. An Edge Over Your Competitors
Last but certainly not least, a restaurant mobile app will put you on the cutting edge of digital marketing. Many restaurants are still using old-fashioned advertising techniques, so if you upgrade yours, you'll have the advantage over all of your rivals.
These are just a few reasons you should consider investing in a mobile app for your restaurant. The 21st century is here, and it's time to join it!