Last February, I wrote a blog on the emerging trend of restaurant apps and questioned if they were here to stay, and now, just ten months later, I have that answer: they are definitely here to stay! In just under a year they have gone from a new trend to now ubiquitous.
Restaurant apps allow guests to help themselves. Guests want to be able to easily view the menu, place their order, make a reservation, and find a location. If you can do all these things, make sure you do them well. Guests expect a seamless user experience within an app; if you make it easy to use, they will use it over and over again. The National Restaurant Association reported that guests who place an order online visit the restaurant 67% more frequently than those who don’t order online.
Guests expect a seamless user experience within an app. If you make it easy to use they will use it over and over again.
Here are some of the app features that are proving to be quite valuable for restaurant guests:
- • Online ordering – Guests can use restaurant apps to not only browse the menu, but also create their order for pick-up or delivery
- ◦ Save your favorites – By using the app, you are able to save your favorite orders. If you order the same thing every time, customize your order just how you like it and save it so you can easily duplicate it next time.
- ◦ Save your payment information – This one is iffy for some users but can prove to be quite valuable, not having to input your credit card info each time really streamlines the process. Who isn’t in a hurry now a days?
- ◦ Schedule your order ahead of time – Know you want Panera for lunch but will be stuck in a meeting right before lunch? Schedule it now! Or know there will be a long line and want to skip right to the front to pick up your order, conveniently waiting for you.
- ◦ Upselling – Based on a guest’s order, restaurants can suggest other items they might like, or add-on’s such as drinks or dessert. NCR reported that Taco Bell’s mobile app order totals are 20% higher than in-store order totals. This is due to the easy access for adding extra toppings advertised and the ability to order for a group.
- • Loyalty programs – Everybody loves free stuff, if you’re at the point of downloading a restaurants app, you’re likely to be a member of their rewards program – or you should be!
- ◦ Get points – Guests can input their loyalty member information and ensure it is utilized for all their orders.
- ◦ Check their account – Guests can check the status of their next reward or what rewards they currently have.
- • Locations – Thanks to the handy GPS system in your phone, the app will know where you are and what locations are close to you.
- ◦ Find a location – If you are looking for the closest location, you can use the app to locate it.
- ◦ Reserve a table/call ahead – Once you find a location you can make a reservation or call ahead to that particular location.
- ◦ Get directions – Use your phones GPS to get directions.
- • Notifications – Utilize push notifications to draw back guests, alert them of specials, drive more sales!
Having an online presence is so important for restaurants, not only on a national level, but more importantly on a local level. To stay with the latest restaurant trends or to amp up your restaurant’s digital game and start driving more sales, contact us today.