Developing Mobile App For Restaurants
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A Guide On Developing Mobile App For Restaurants

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The restaurant business is always booming and they always have a bunch of customers to serve at any point in time. Coming up with an app has helped the restaurants to serve the customers quickly and easily. Diners are changing and they are more prone to share their experiences of restaurants and its food on social media, so it is about time that restaurants change and match with the latest trend too i.e; build a mobile app for the business. Today the popularity of the restaurant is decided based on the mobile app experience that it offers.

So whether it is about booking a table or ordering food, the mobile app does all the work with ease.

Benefits of A Restaurant App

Mobile app development for restaurants offers a number of benefits both from the customer’s and restaurant owner’s perspectives. The same has been explained below:

From The Restaurant Perspective

  • Brand Recognition and Reminders

When you develop an app using old restaurant POS systems for your restaurant and make it available for downloads, you create a situation where people get to know more about you. With more amount of time spend on smartphones, apps act as a reminder about your existence on their phones. You as a business get to use this opportunity to send notifications for special deals, food events, exclusive menus and much more.

  • Easier Order Fulfillment

Order from the app makes it clearer to understand the order better rather than depending on voice or handwritten notes. Again, the order on the app comes in a clear format which also mentions about the special needs of the customer written under the comments section. For the delivery personnel, the option of in-app payment makes things easy as he does not have to deal with the money or finding the change.

  • Effectively Managing The Seating Capacity

It will be easy for the restaurant to manage the in-flow of the customers and reserve tables by coming up with in-app table booking facility which works round the clock even when the restaurant is closed.

For the restaurants which run on tourist destinations, this app can seriously help the restaurant as most of the travelers prefer to make prior booking of things which will include tables too. So the restaurants will know the moment when the tables are occupied or are available for the local people.

From The Customer Perspective

  • Easy Access to The Menu

For the customers, it becomes possible to choose the menu easily and quickly when they exactly know what they are ordering. When the restaurant comes up with an online menu which shows attractive photos of the dishes alongside, the number of orders placed increases.

Customers can see the food, they can know how it will look like when presented on the table and so can decide easily whether they wish to go for it or not. The menu should also include the price of the dishes as well as the ingredients to make it easy for the customers. The buttons like ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Order Now’ should be clearly visible and easy to find on the app.

  • Offering Real-Time Location-Based Offers and Discounts

Email marketing has been a good option to reach the users but when it comes to sending daily deals of food, email messages may stay in the inbox unread for many days. So for the customers, the deal will be off by the time they open the email and check the message.

So choosing push notification can be an effective way to offer your customers what they can get on a particular day. Again, customers are keener to look for offers when they are at the spot and so offering location-based deals when they are just looking for a place to eat can be ideal.

  • Loyalty Programs and Other Discount Benefits

Restaurants, as well as other businesses today, follow the trend of encouraging the buyers to use mobile app for making purchases. The encouragement comes in the form of discounts or other benefits. It can be like a 10% discount when you purchase from the app or like free delivery when you make a purchase of a said amount or more. Based on consumer behaviour, restaurants can offer improved bonus programs.

Features that should be present in the Restaurant App

When it comes to features you may plan to keep them all or chose some which may interest your customers. Whatever you chose you to need to ensure that you do it in the best interest of your customers.

  • Menu

Come up with a menu with description and photos of the dishes, enter ingredients and if possible mention the varieties too.

  • Gallery

Come up with Gallery that showcases the photos of the restaurants, add in videos and some glimpses of events taken place in there. This will give an idea to the customers what they can actually expect at your place.

  • Reservation and Contact Information

On the app you can have a “call me back button” through which the customer can contact you directly, you can have an online form for booking, show the restaurant as well as its branches on the map, etc. You can do your best to list as many ways as possible where the customers can contact you.

  • Loyalty and Bonus Programs

You can reward your customers by offering them additional discounts when they purchase from your app. Some restaurants offer a discount when the customer makes first delivery through the app, gifting dishes when the customer has ordered above a certain amount or offering free delivery services can be good too. You can also come up with special deals for the customers who make a purchase from you regularly.

  • Push Notifications

Just send push notification on limited time deals, daily deals, special offers or festive discounts instantly.

  • Social Media

Now integrate with social networks and use those channels for marketing and promotion. Encourage the customers to talk about your brand, leave feedback, share their experience, photos, etc. on social media. It can also work well when it comes to making sales.

  • News and Events

Keep your customers posted about the latest events or special dishes or even a food festival at your restaurant from time to time. You can also use this to share the latest news in your community to the readers.

Promotions and Online Presence with A Restaurant App

Compared to websites, mobile apps offer an added advantage. Customers can easily let the world know where they are dining and even add in some photos on their social media profile. While for the restaurants, they can send in push notification regarding some special deals when the customers are present in the same locality as the restaurant. This can seem to be encouraging and a better means to boost sales.

Moreover, online presence has become a crucial factor for any industry. Having social media presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. will help the restaurants to attract a number of customers towards it in the most effective manner. Apart from online marketing, restaurants can gain much from online rating and reviews. Positive reviews from the customers will bring in more business for restaurants.

Guidelines to Follow to Build Mobile App for Restaurants

Related: The Essential Guide to Mobile App Development Outsourcing

Always keep in mind to plan for the whole process before you start with restaurant app development. There are a few things which you should take care of before starting with the development and they have been mentioned below:

  • Competitor analysis

Before starting with development make it a point to analyze your competitor apps and check the feedbacks received. The main agenda behind this process is to know the features that are popular among the people. You can also find out the common elements in the design and keep the same in mind.

  • Choice of a mobile platform

The next important thing you need to do is to choose the development platform. As restaurants will be focused on bringing in more audience as possible, it should be kept in mind that the solution should support Android and iOS. With cross-platform app development, you can achieve it within your budget and have an app developed which works well for both worlds. For the same, you can have a reliable mobile app development company for low-cost budget hired for the job.

  • Match design and existing features of the restaurant

It is important for any business to make sure that the design matches with the existing concept of the restaurant. The features of the brand should be reflected in the app design and presented properly.

  • MVP creation

If you think that the development budget is quite large then you can create MVP to implement authentic functionality. This will help you recognize your target audience and this way chances are very less for you to face losses if things go south.

Conclusion

Building a mobile app for restaurants is turning out to be a crucial thing. With more focus on reaching customers in a better way and beating competition simultaneously mobile app serves the purpose completely. You should think about choosing one-stop mobile app development company which will be capable of offering you the right solution as needed.

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I am an international Digital Marketing SEO and content expert, helping brands and publishers grow through search engines. I am Outbrain's former SEO and Content Director and previously worked in the gaming, B2C and B2B industries for more than a decade.
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