What does an app do for my restaurant?
Will an app improve customer service and customer loyalty for my restaurant?
Must I have a restaurant app just because my biggest rival has one?
A pretty simple, convincing, short and beautiful answer is:
In an interesting development we are witnessing a shift away from old school websites to bigger experiences. People are choosing to spend more and more time with apps because they are personalized, intuitively designed, and task-oriented. Mobile apps are the culmination of mobile commerce technology. They are standalone applications that are installed on user devices, offering the user a richer experience which allows for the power of device capabilities and OS technologies.
Of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones in use, 1.08 billion are smartphones.
Statistics show that the average person spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for.
Restaurants are the single most popular search on the mobile web. Just think about that for a second. If you’re a restaurant owner and don’t have a mobile-optimized site or App, YOU ARE ALREADY MISSING OUT on one of the most important tools for bringing in customers. The loyalty effect of apps can absolutely be compared to that of a club card, particularly if it includes possibilities of getting discounts or other incentives through the accumulation of loyalty points. Moreover, these applications establish a way for the restaurant to communicate directly with its clients, whom it may inform about promotional offers, discounts, special events, etc. in a much more effective way than through traditional advertising.
You can increase visits from your current customer base by offering a mobile loyalty program through your app. Each time a customer visits your restaurant; your staff can give them another virtual stamp. When their virtual card is full, you can offer a small reward. Existing customers are one of the most cost-effective sources of increased revenue– they already like your restaurant, so inviting them to visit more often is rarely a difficult sell. Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more.
A mobile restaurant app lets you offer mobile ordering and the ability to browse menus online, which increases sales. Customers can send in orders when they’re on the way home or otherwise tied up and unable to call in. And it lets them skip the line, which increases customer satisfaction. Mobile ordering also provides an easy way to upsell side dishes, desserts, and add-ons, increasing your average order size and helping you boost profits. 62% of consumers are less likely to choose a restaurant if they can’t read your menu on their device. If your customers simply can’t read your menu, the next logical step for them is to search for another restaurant (your competitor). Avoid the dreaded pinching and zooming on smartphones and keep the experience as easy as possible when your customers are still in the decision process.
One of the most reliable ways to ensure customers actually come to your restaurant is to have them make a reservation. There’s a reason why over 100,000 reservations are made every month on Apps & mobile websites.
Business Hours are clearly visible. Other than location, business hours for your eatery establishment are critical for making sure customers add you onto their dining schedules. It’s even more effective when the information is clearly visible right on your App & mobile website.
If your customers are having a good time, your mobile app can make it easy for them to submit a favorable review of your business online. The better your online reputation is the more new business you’ll earn when searchers are looking to explore new dining options in their area. A restaurant with good reviews is almost always at the TOP OF THE LIST when the time comes to try a new spot out. A well designed app should also make it easy to create links to the clients’ social networks. So that a satisfied customer might use Twitter, Facebook or any other social network to share a recommendation or positive review, which is obviously a very efficient way to attract new clients.
A mobile app is like a blank billboard sign. You can do what you want with it; you can make it stylish, functional, or informative. But what you really want to do is create an app that has features your customers will love, while at the same time is well branded and beautifully designed.
Last, but not least, the most important reason why you should consider building your own mobile app is customer loyalty. With all the noise out there — roadside banners, billboards, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, coupons, websites, website banners, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers, and making them a loyal lover of your product and/or service.
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Author: Rodney Goedhart