A lot of businesses have found ways to use mobile apps to increase customer engagement and make more sales since smartphones first became ubiquitous around a decade ago. In the restaurant and hospitality industry, however, a custom, branded app can offer some extra benefits that other industries don’t necessarily see because the app can be used at the business location to do things like place food and drink orders.
There are lots of things that can be implemented within a restaurant mobile app, from a booking system and online menu guide to a loyalty scheme and even online payment. The most technologically innovative restaurants are already seeing their investment in feature-rich apps for customers paying dividends.
Here are some of the benefits an app can give to a restaurant business, and why customers also love them:
Decreased Obstacles to Booking
A customer can use their mobile device to look up the number of any restaurant and call and check if they can make a booking, or even book through a mobile site, but when they already have the app for a restaurant they like on their phone, which can tell them table availability and let them make a confirmed reservation in a couple of taps, then they are more likely to take the easy option and choose this restaurant over other options. When they also get some kind of loyalty rewards for doing this, they are even more likely to frequent the restaurant.
It Lets People Get All the Menu Info They Want in Advance
Say a customer is on a new diet and wants to know if a restaurant they go to has any healthier options than the dishes they usually order, or they want to bring along a friend who hasn’t tried the restaurant before but who has allergies or is vegan. With an app that covers the menu and also gives extra details that a paper menu doesn’t about ingredients and nutritional data, the customer is much more able to ensure there are suitable items for their whole party and plan what they want to eat in advance.
This helps them, but it also means the restaurant doesn’t lose out on customers because they assume, for instance, that a BBQ joint won’t be any good for a vegetarian friend or a pizzeria won’t have anything gluten-free!
Easy To Activate Promotions
With an app, it can be a lot easier for the restaurant to tell customers about new offers, or even make promotions exclusive to app users as an incentive to get people to download it and register for loyalty programs. For the customer, this can also make it easier to redeem vouchers or take advantage of deals using their phone, rather than having to print vouchers or note down codes.
These are but a few of the ways restaurants can leverage having their own apps to boost repeat visits and let their customers feel more valued.