Mobile apps are so versatile and predominant that there is a good chance your prospective consumers are already using them. You may not even need to have an app developed specifically for your business.
Below are six ideas to enhance customer experience with restaurant mobile apps:
- Generate good press and get found - There are a number of excellent apps for your restaurant to achieve two powerful business objectives - get discovered and get good press. Urbanspoon for Android and iPhone allows users to find restaurants in a locality. Restaurant ratings and reviews on the Urbanspoon website guide millions of browsers. What can you do to achieve high ratings on Urbanspoon? Offer a great eating experience and ask diners to review your restaurant. Yelp and HomeDine also offer similar benefits for consumers as Urbanspoon, and have large user bases for restaurants to target.
- Send push notifications to customers - Alert your clientele to weekly specials, discounts, new menu items, and promotions. Geo-targeted push notifications can be sent to app users near your restaurant to entice them with coupons and specials. Push notifications have a much higher open rate compared to emails.
- Reservations - In-app reservations are a time saver for your business and your customer. This feature also enables restaurants to efficiently allocate labor and tables.. You get to spend more time providing your patrons with a memorable experience rather than managing your restaurant traffic. The OpenTable app is a free download for restaurant reservations and is known for its detailed database of restaurants in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
- Order placements - A natural extension of using apps for reservations, mobile apps such as the one by Mappsolutely allow users to place orders from within the app. Takeout restaurants can use this feature to cut down lines and order fulfillment time. Online Orders online tend to be bigger than those placed on-site.
- Harness social media - There are a number of social media-specific apps that allow you to post on social media sites and interact with your audience. Apps allow patrons to click images and post to their timelines along with their opinions about the restaurant. Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter have dedicated apps on their websites for this purpose.
- Run loyalty programs - Restaurants that enable patrons to leverage loyalty for extra benefits report an increase in business. Belly is one of the best apps out there for managing loyalty programs. Customers only need to look up participating restaurants in the vicinity, rack up points, and in exchange earn discounts and other kinds of preferential treatment.
Mobile apps can help restaurants grow business in a number of ways. You need to decide on the avenues you wish to pursue, draft a plan, and put it in action. In addition, play to your strengths when using mobile apps. For example, use mobile apps to educate users on wines, if your restaurant's stock of wines has an exceptional reputation.