Restaurant mobile app development can help your business stand out and delight customers in the competitive restaurant industry. Mobile apps and digitization have been transforming most industries, but restaurants, in particular, have been realizing the business value of mobile app development. Restaurant apps can benefit everyone, from owners, managers, and delivery staff to customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated dining restrictions that came with it helped drive investment in restaurant app development. Still, restaurant apps have been growing in popularity for years since mobile delivery apps proved to be such a hit with consumers. This post will explore the common types of restaurant apps, the business benefits of developing a custom restaurant app, and the latest trends in restaurant app development.
Common Restaurant Apps
Before deciding if developing a restaurant app is the right choice for your business, it is important to know what types of mobile apps are popular with diners. The mobile apps that are most popular in the restaurant industry are:
- Order and delivery
- Loyalty program
- On-table payment
Order and Delivery
The entire industry was changed by mobile apps like UberEats and DoorDash. Today, consumers expect to be able to order food and have it delivered to their location via a mobile app. The problem with online food ordering apps like UberEats is that they charge restaurants fees that can hurt their bottom line. If restaurants try to pass too much of these fees onto their customers, they risk losing business due to high prices.
Savvy restaurants are realizing it is more beneficial to their business to ditch online delivery services in favor of their own mobile app that allows users to order food and get it delivered. Selling food online represents a significant portion of new restaurant app development as more businesses try to take advantage of consumer interest in mobile app ordering and get out from under the prohibitive fees charged by delivery apps.
Customer loyalty programs have long been a facet of retail, but restaurants are starting to see the brand value in creating loyalty programs too. A loyalty app allows your restaurant to offer regular customers deals and special promotions. Loyalty mobile apps benefit restaurants in a few key ways:
- They encourage interaction with your brand.
- They encourage customers to order more food from your restaurant.
- They help attract new customers that want to take advantage of special offers.
- They help restaurants collect detailed customer feedback and information to create new marketing campaigns and offer new promotions and specials.
Loyalty programs are a way to give back to your most valuable customers. Developing a mobile app to help customers and your business track rewards and purchases also creates a unique marketing channel that gives your business direct access to customers. Restaurants can use this direct marketing channel to get important feedback and data so that service, food, and menu offerings can be improved.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on the restaurant industry. While things are starting to return to some semblance of normalcy, many people are still wary of too much direct interaction. On-table payment apps give customers the ability to pay for their food and drinks without having to wait for a server to bring them the check. Waiting for the server to return to your table after a meal can be annoying to customers who want to leave. On-table payment apps allow customers to skip the wait and get on with their day.
On-table payment apps can also be used to place orders. Restaurants could benefit from allowing customers to send tickets directly to the kitchen from a mobile app. With this type of restaurant app, servers can spend more time focusing on providing top-notch customer service without worrying about taking orders or bringing out a check.
The Benefits of Restaurant Mobile App Development
The app development process takes time, requires a skilled project management team, and demands financial investment, but having a custom restaurant app can have significant benefits for your business, including:
- Improved customer experience
- More brand recognition and loyalty
- Seamless payment processing
- Clear customer feedback
Improved Customer Experience
A well-designed restaurant app has the potential to significantly improve the experience your customers have when interacting with your business. A great customer experience leads to repeat business, increased brand awareness, and more food orders. Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition in the restaurant industry. Develop a world-class mobile app to get a leg up on your competitors and deliver an unforgettable experience to your customers.
More Brand Recognition and Loyalty
A restaurant app is a valuable marketing channel that can help your business increase brand awareness and drive customer loyalty. Today, people spend a large amount of their time using their phones and mobile devices. Creating a mobile app for your restaurant allows you to reach your customers where they spend the bulk of their time. A restaurant app will also help you build brand loyalty through special offers and promotions.
Seamless Payment Processing
Paying the bill can be a sticking point for certain restaurants and customers. For example, some restaurants only take cash or can’t do split bill payments. A mobile app can help your restaurant improve its payment processing and allow your business to accept more types of payments. Offering more payment options and flexibility not only pleases your customers, but it expands the amount of business you can do as a restaurant. Plus, it can help servers and support staff earn bigger tips than the spare bills that someone has in their wallet.
Clear Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is vital to restaurants. If you want to gain a clear picture of how your service staff is performing, which dishes customers like and which dishes they don’t, and other feedback that can help improve your restaurant, a mobile app is the most direct way to gather customer thoughts. Use customer feedback to make improvements to your menu and service and improve the experience of your customers.
Trends in Restaurant Mobile App Development
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven consumer demand for mobile food ordering and delivery. The consumer trend towards using mobile apps to find restaurants, order food, check menus, and make payments will only continue to grow. Another important trend in restaurant app development is the inclusion of the latest tech advancements such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, blockchain, and 5G.
The eCommerce industry has already started using these technologies to improve the customer experience by providing more individualized, unique experiences. Utilizing the latest technologies in your mobile app will give your restaurant a head start on your competition. Soon these technologies will be widely used in restaurant app development, now is the time to be a first-mover.
The value of restaurant app development is clear from a business perspective. If your restaurant is ready to create a mobile app, reach out to an app development partner. An experienced development partner will take the time to understand your business and guide you through the complexities of restaurant mobile app development, so you can be sure that you are choosing the right technologies and tools.