Awesome things happen in the mobile world nowadays. If you take a look, you will notice that almost any business considers having a mobile app now in order to boost sales, increase brand awareness and show loyalty to customers. The restaurant industry is not an exception.

In this article, we will identify and analyze the benefits of mobile app development for restaurants. Hope that this example will help you determine how such a solution could be useful for your specific business.

The market share of restaurant mobile app development demonstrates one of the highest growth rates in comparison to other spheres. For example, in 2015 it reached $160 million. This result is twice higher than the revenues of 2014.

As almost any business nowadays, the restaurant industry continues to be influenced by customer-facing mobile technologies.

We can observe two main trends in the market of restaurant software:

  • Customer-facing technology. Restaurants begin to integrate tablets (iOS, Android) and consumer technology into the dining experience to meet client demands for faster checkouts, easier payment options and entertainment, such as gaming.
  • Tablet hardware. In addition to the above point, there is an increase in solutions for line busting in quick service restaurant environments. Servers use apps for tablets and other mobile devices to take orders in restaurant locations.

There are a lot of restaurant apps for Android on Google Play and iPhone users enjoy a great variety of restaurant apps for iOS too. But why do people use them? What is so special about them from the user perspective?

Let’s take a look at Statista’s survey of top reasons to use restaurant apps that was conducted in late 2013:

Top Reasons to Use Restaurant Apps
Top Reasons to Use Restaurant Apps

During the survey, 46,1% of the respondents stated that they used restaurant mobile apps to check for hours of operation. The statistics looks great if to take into consideration the time it was collected. Imagine how the market has grown since then and what changes and opportunities it has brought.

Let’s get back to our times. Nowadays restaurant apps, no matter whether they are custom or built with the help of ready-made templates, offer various features to satisfy even the most sophisticated needs and desires of their users. Among the most trendy functions are getting in an online line to reserve a table prior to arriving at a place, ordering dishes and/or take-outs, purchasing coupons and collecting bonuses.

Allowing users to make online purchases in a simplified way as well as providing them with easy-to-access information about your business are not the only advantages of having a mobile app. It is a great tool for direct marketing and communication with your clients, standing out from the crowd, increasing brand awareness and personalizing your services.

Sounds good, right? Isn’t it high time for you to start your digital business? If you would like to know how to build a mobile app for a restaurant, there are 5 tips to consider. Let’s get down to them.

5 Points You Should Take Into Account When Developing a Restaurant App

The following guidelines will help you understand what to pay attention to if you want to make a good mobile app.

  • Loyalty

The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times higher than the cost of keeping an existing one. Just think about it. That’s why so many companies pay great attention to the loyalty of their clients providing them with various discounts and benefits. Take a look at the below-given stats to learn how some famous companies managed to increase their sales with the help of loyalty programs.

Increased Sales Due to Loyalty Programs
Increased Sales Due to Loyalty Programs

  • Payments

Global transactions in the mobile payment industry are forecast to reach $1 trillion in 2016. Isn’t it the right time to earn your place under the sun?

Number of Mobile Payments by Company
Number of Mobile Payments by Company

  • Location-based marketing

38% of U.S. consumers have used mobile coupons for in-store shopping. The statistics is impressive. It means that 38% of customers made repeat purchases and increased the company value of their providers by a simple means - a coupon.

Increased Company Value
Increased Company Value

  • Ordering

35% of restaurant mobile apps include an ordering feature which allows their clients to make new purchases easily and, in most cases, at their doorstep. Convenient. Modern. Customer-oriented.

Ordering via Apps
Ordering via Apps

  • Entertainment/Functionality

Business is all about people. It is your clients who generate profit for you and decide whether your new car will be Hyundai, Mercedes or Jaguar. Keep customers engaged with your brand, interact and stay in touch with them.

Engaging with Customers
Engaging with Customers

What Makes Mobile App Solutions for Restaurants So Effective?

An important point is that mobile apps are supposed to be very user-friendly. It means that the user interface should be convenient not only for customers but also for restaurant management. From the point of view of a business owner, a mobile app provides a useful electronic catalog, helpful feedback, convenient shopping forms, and order lists. Nowadays, implementing a payment processing system is a MUST for a restaurant.

Our life is easier with mobile apps so let’s take that advantage! Customers and users want to diversify their nutrition, enjoy their food and atmosphere, not thinking about payments and bills. For restaurant mobile app developers it’s an obligation to provide high-quality, user-friendly and convenient solutions.

Additionally, a mobile app for a restaurant allows a business owner to leverage the performance of staff and reduce organizational costs. There is always a possibility to integrate it with an existing IT solution that is already used in order to achieve a very flexible combination with a lot of advantages. For example, when it is necessary to change the cost or the names of several dishes, add or remove menu items there is no need to input a stock list twice.

Since several solutions are integrated, all changes made in one system will be automatically updated in another one. It can save time greatly as there won’t be any need to manually transfer orders that come from a mobile app. An employee can simply confirm them within the system and send them to a POS-terminal which will print them out. Thus, a mobile app for restaurant ordering ensures instant receipt and the most rapid processing of orders.

Halfway to Start the Development of Mobile Apps for Restaurants

We have gone through some good points and statistics which show the benefits and advantages of having a mobile app. Of course, those are not the only ones you may have in your own solution. Based on a specifically established process there is an opportunity to build any type of a mobile app which would meet all necessary requirements. Sometimes, developing a solution only for a definite business may turn into a new great startup as there might be a demand for similar products on the market.

You absolutely need a mobile app for your restaurant, cafe, bar or simply for your business if:

  • You would like to interact and stay in constant touch with your clients
  • You would like to inform them about your restaurant news or special offers
  • You would like to receive and deliver orders via a mobile app
  • You would like to show to customers directly and individually how you care about them

Some common tools and guidelines that are being used traditionally for better interaction with customers are not so efficient anymore. Just compare them with push notifications delivered directly to users’ smartphones which are at hand most of the time. So, it is really necessary to develop a mobile app for a restaurant if one of the following two points is true:

  • You care about your company's brand and would like to keep up with innovations.

or

  • A great number of your customers are simply using their smartphones while waiting for their orders in line and you haven’t wondered yet how to make this work for you.

Because of today’s rapidly growing and changing market, developing a mobile app is vitally important anyway. Сompetitors will not give you time to think long and will entice your customers. One of the obligatory rules to follow in modern business is: to stay afloat and grow one should keep up with progress and innovations.

Things to Consider Before Starting Restaurant App Development

As the number and variety of solutions for the restaurant industry are increasing significantly it is important for a business owner to evaluate where investments into technology will have a greater impact. So far, most prioritized practices include:

  • Aligning mobile apps with brand positioning
  • Making sure that mobile apps and solutions are secure and easy-to-use
  • User-friendly ordering to make a great first impression
  • Navigating and showing the payment flow and information in order to make a good final impression
  • Considering the necessity and possibility of integrating a mobile app with existing IT solutions that are already in use

Finally, if you are considering to start the development of a mobile application for a restaurant note that in 2016 it is a need rather than another privilege. Without an app your business is more likely to lose valuable clients. Mobile apps may stand as a great marketing tool which will help to engage better with your target audience as well as to leverage your credibility.

Conclusion

We at MLSDev have experience in developing custom mobile apps for restaurants and our proven expertise helps us to meet all the requirements.

There are two options for building mobile apps: native development and cross-platform development. We have tried both and support only the first one now. Our experience shows that hybrid solutions have too many drawbacks to meet the quality standards we respect and preserve in our work.

The choice of a development platform is completely your prerogative and depends on the outcomes you expect to receive. If you are ready to sacrifice some aspects of performance then a multi-platform app could work for you. If you are aimed at getting the most out of your project, native iOS and/or Android mobile applications are the best for this purpose. Remember about your client preferences before choosing a platform. Research can help you define what devices they use. A restaurant app for Android seems to be a good solution for a start as the market share of this OS grows in the U.S., Europe, and China. Nevertheless, Apple is still its greatest rival, so restaurant apps for iOS are very popular too.

McDonald’s Baltics is a great native iOS and Android solution for all people in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia who are devoted to this restaurant network in the region.

McDonald's Baltics App Developed by MLSDev
McDonald's Baltics App Developed by MLSDev

The application is really great as it can always be at hand informing the users about the latest news from McDonald’s. The app is very user-oriented and offers deals according to the personal preferences of the user and their behavior. It also provides information about new products, promotions and nutritional facts. Users can search for the nearest restaurant and review details about it. All this increases customer loyalty a lot and helps to stay in constant touch with them. Isn’t it great to be so close to your clients? Be sure, they will reward you with their attention and allegiance in return.

TableFever is a great native solution where you can search for available restaurants nearby, and book a table.

TableFever App Developed by MLSDev
TableFever App Developed by MLSDev

Isn’t it great? You can go directly to the app while having a short break at work and arrange everything for the evening. No need to wait. Everything is ready at the time set by you beforehand. Magic!

Looking for developers to create an app for your restaurant?

Feel free to contact us. We’ll provide you with all the necessary guidelines and do our best to achieve positive results together with you. Our well-established process and high quality of work are the keys to a successful implementation of your project.

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