During the pandemic, restaurants nationwide doubled down on emerging mobile payment tech and online ordering solutions. While consumers are rewarding those that have adapted and punishing technological stragglers, it hasn’t been easy for restaurants to make the shift on such short notice.
That being said, if your restaurant has yet to create a mobile app of its own, we encourage you to place it at the top of your 2021 to-do list. A restaurant mobile app not only encourages customer loyalty and attracts new clientele, it solves a number of long standing problems for restaurant owners. We’ll explore those problems and how an app addresses them in greater depth below.
1. Increases Restaurant Revenue
Profit margins are slim in the restaurant industry–hovering around 3-6%. This makes it difficult to allocate more budget to initiatives that will increase business. Mobile apps provide restaurants with features they can leverage that have an immediate effect on revenue.
- Geographical push notifications: A mobile app can distribute offers and information to customers based on their location. For example, if someone is within a few miles of a specific restaurant, the app can alert them that it’s open and provide the daily specials.
- Referral programs: Whether customers are rewarded for bringing friends or sharing their dining experiences on social media, a referral program is an excellent way to leverage loyal customers to promote the restaurant for you.
- In-app ordering and saved preferences: This feature alone helps bolster spend per customer through simplification and familiarity. Ordering a favorite meal is made frictionless within a mobile app, with previous orders saved for convenience.
2. Enhances Customer Loyalty
Research suggests as much as 52 percent of all restaurant patrons are willing to download and install your app for a chance at enjoying a rewards program. In fact, 80 percent of these same customers would return to your restaurant just to take advantage of any rewards they have accrued.
That’s why it’s time to reach beyond antiquated punch cards and upgrade to a dedicated mobile app that allows for the creation of promotions that encourage customer loyalty such as double reward points on specific days. This immediately creates demand and provides incentives.
3. Improves Customer Service & Communication
While customer service used to hinge on the friendliness of the wait staff, now it encompasses far more. Customers expect convenience, faster service, and easy communication. A mobile app supports all three demands, affording restaurants the same benefits as a website but available directly on their smartphone.
- Personalized messaging: Once a customer has been to a restaurant, personalized recommendations can be sent regarding specific orders or offers for loyal customers.
- Order tracking: After an order is placed, customers can track exactly where their food is in the process with updates through the mobile app.
- Push notifications: Notifications are as beneficial to customer communication as they are to revenue. With an open rate 50% higher than emails, push notifications enable and nearly guarantee direct communication with clientele. They can be easily updated on the status of their order or reservation.
4. Facilitates Inventory Management
Improved inventory management can make going mobile that much more of an asset for a growing restaurant. Restaurants especially understand how inventory management can impact their bottom line, with 60% of struggling restaurants citing operating and food costs as their top challenge. Tying inventory data to orders can help keep costs under control as you scale to meet new demand. In-app notifications of specials make it easier to promote surplus inventory, or avoid inventory shortages, while suggestive orders help drive the sale of seasonal or supply-driven menu items, optimizing inventory usage and profit.
5. Streamlines Order Fulfillment
As orders come in, they become increasingly tough to keep up with. The process of having a dedicated person to cover the phones, capturing details and conveying them to kitchen staff, and having it prepared to go out the door before the customer arrives leaves a lot of room for error. By leveraging a mobile app, however, to-go orders can be instantly added to their order system.
Documenting even the smallest details help curb avoidable mishaps with everything from adding extra mayo to modifying the main dish.
Create Your Restaurant Mobile App With Mauka Technology
A mobile app is another step toward building an exceptional customer experience, one that differentiates your brand from competitors. That’s why it’s critical to choose the right partner to help develop your app. Here at Mauka Technology, we specialize in developing apps for the restaurant industry, with a speed-to-market model and an emphasis on superior customer service.
Mauka makes apps that address each of your pain points as a restaurant owner and bring out the inner brand advocate in your customers. We take your business objectives seriously and deliver real results with minimal risk and low upfront costs. Contact Mauka today to get started on your very own restaurant mobile app.
To learn more about Mauka Technology, simply schedule a short call with one of our leadership team here.
We also encourage you to visit our website: mauka.us