With people spending more amount of time on their mobile devices than ever, the popularity of apps continue to grow. While some apps are good to kill time, there are applications that can help your restaurant business connect better to your customers and drive revenues. Building a mobile app for your restaurant is crucial to grow in today’s hospitality industry, and to gain a competitive advantage. It is the easiest and most engaging way for your customers to find information about you, menu, services, and even order for home delivery ( if your app includes ordering facility). It is a great platform to interact with your customers, both existing and potential, in real time and know their feedback about your restaurant. This would eventually help to improve your services and food quality, and boost your brand image.
Innovations in mobile continue to grow at a rapid pace, and to stand out in the competition, your restaurant app should include more than just locations, menu, and nutritional information. It should deliver value to your customers in real-time; something that is worth their time to download your app. Customer expectations are high. Discussed here are the top features that your restaurant mobile app should have to meet their changing demands, and deliver real value.
Loyalty Programs and Discounts
While many restaurant apps are designed to deliver improved customer experience, they seemingly fail to engage and retain them. Did you know – the cost to acquire a new customer is 5 times more the cost to retain an existing one? Therefore, the focus should be on driving customer loyalty and retention with your mobile app.
Loyalty programs, discounts and special offers made available to your customers when they order online or visit your restaurant is a good way to stir their buying interest, and to retain loyal customers. Reward them with loyalty points for every visit to your restaurant, and these points can be used later to get attractive discounts and special offers.
This is one of the most common features that a restaurant app should have. It should be able to identify the user’s current GPS location, and guide them to your restaurant. Simply providing restaurant address is not enough. It should help your customers find the restaurant conveniently. Having location navigation feature enabled will help boost your business because it will encourage your customers to visit your restaurant in real-time. The feature is especially helpful for users who are new in the city.
Making Reservations with the Option of Cab Booking
Commuting to the restaurant is often a problem for customers, especially if they do not have their own vehicle or are new to the city. In such cases, customers prefer a cab ride to their favorite dining venue, and if your mobile app is able to make it more convenient to book a cab, it would enhance their experience. If your app provides the option to book a table, incorporating cab booking facility with it will surely drive overwhelming response from your customers.
Zomato, online restaurant search giant, has recently tied up with Uber to provide cab service for customers to easily commute to the dining venues in 27 cities across 13 countries. Such added services reduce traveling costs considerably, which is certainly an added benefit from the point of view of your customers. No wonder, it would garner customer royalty and retention. People would be more inclined to visit your restaurant because your mobile app also helps book a cab at much reasonable rate.
For improved customer experience and loyalty, it is vital to deliver real value to customers via your app. Giving them an option to make payments via the app can be rewarding for your business. According to National Restaurant Association, more than 50% of restaurant visitors prefer electronic payment methods. This indicates the importance of providing them a simple and alternative mobile payment option instead of traditional payment methods.
Payment with Credit Card or Debit Card, or e-wallet options can be great options. Your app should provide the option to pay via Credit Card or Debit Card once the food is delivered or to make booking advances. E-wallet allows your customers to prepay in certain amounts, and hold a balance in their account, which can be debited during bill payment. It minimizes the hassle and inconvenience of cash payment.
Special offers and promotions are always attractive for your restaurant visitors, and only notifications send at the right time and to the right people, make them sense. Therefore, Push Notifications is an important feature that your app should have, informing your customers about deals and discounts on time. Notifying your customers about offers yield increased customer responses, and encourages a lot more to take up the deal. The feature can also be used to send notifications about what’s new in the menu or other attractive news to keep your customers continuously engaged.
Any mobile application, and not just a restaurant app, must provide users an option to put reviews about the brand, product or service. Now, there are two ways you can benefit from this feature. First, if you get tons of positive reviews from your customers, writing great stuff about your quality of food and services, it would encourage others to download the app or visit your restaurant. Second, even if you get negative reviews, you should be able to leverage the information from it to provide improved services and meet customer complaints. Having a review feature in the app helps build loyalty and credibility for the brand or business.
There are several options when it comes to build a mobile app for your restaurant business. Be sure that you incorporate the above features as mainstays to deliver improved customer experience to drive footfalls, engage and retain them. In addition to these, other common features include Menu, Social Media Integration, Easy Checkout, Recent News, and more.