Every year, people outdo themselves when it comes to sheer laziness. Who can blame them? In our technologized universe, there are a great many people breaking their heads over making the lives of a greater many people easier, that too, in ways you wouldn’t even have thought possible a decade ago!
In this very realm of laziness comes the restaurant delivery business. Also, consider the fact that the conversion rate for customers who search for restaurants is nearly 60% within the hour; meaning, nearly 60 out of a 100 people will turn into customers immediately after searching for your restaurant, provided that you have an updated Google Pages entry, and so on.
But we’re diverging. Provided that the customers do not want to come to your restaurant physically, they would like to have the option of delivery. For a company like Starbucks, $1.6 billion of a $10 billion revenue occurred due to mobile based transactions; and if you see our other articles, Starbucks is quite the dominant player in the F&B industry.
Gone are the days when a restaurant considered it an exciting add-on to have a mobile-optimized webpage, which effectively serves as the virtual storefront. Now, mobile apps are becoming a necessity for boosting revenue.
The forces of globalization have shaped us in a way that provides access to a variety of cuisines, all with their own environments – the next step is getting that quality fare right at your doorstep. This is also not limited to simply high-quality fine-dining experiences at home, but also to the ‘alternative’ mode of consumption where the consumer makes informed decisions – veganism, low-carb diets, poultry raised with loving care and what not.
The concept of a select few loyal patrons for a restaurant is also something that will only be found in the realm of nostalgia – consumer loyalty programs with the help of mobile have increased the number of patrons by a thousandfold and more. In addition, your most loyal patrons may actually just be the ones sitting at home and abusing Netflix; the age of mobility has really blurred those boundaries.
Here are a few more statistics to help you on your way –
In 2015, total revenue generated via mobile applications for the restaurant industry reached $160 million. This happens to be one of the highest revenue growths for any industry in terms of mobile application sales.
Mobile Loyalty and Rewards programs integrated into the application increase the amount your customer is likely to spend by 15% when purchasing, says a LevelUp report. The number jumps up to 72%, when a customer realizes they’re close to redeeming a reward.
According to Business Insider, the mobile food ordering industry will grow to $38 billion by the end of 2020.
69% of customers prefer to order food online via their mobile device.
You potentially risk losing 62% of your potential customers if they can’t read your menu on their mobile device.
While some companies may have a definitive agenda in pushing clients to develop an app in order to make money, the question no longer remains whether one should have an app or not. The larger question is: How does one hitch a ride on the mobile Restaurant app wagon? Also, how does one not fall prey to mediocrity? We shall succinctly discuss that in this post.
Analysing your business
You need to first do a lot of homework when it comes to your restaurant business. What kind of cuisine do you serve? What does your brand portray? Is it an expensive, gourmet experience you provide? Or is it one of those healthy alternative food places? Or is it specifically tailored to the ‘food-on-the-go’ experience? Otherwise, is it like an on-demand platform that helps customers find restaurants around them and enables delivery?
Only then can you get down to the brass tacks and answer this question:
What kind of mobile app will truly help your business?
The Feature Basket
The industry obviously has standards as to what kind of features should be included when one talks about restaurant delivery.
The all-round reference based app like Zomato, for example, includes features like:
Enables the user to look up restaurants near them, complete with a rating and review system which aids in choice.
Browse through the facilities the restaurant provides, along with their menu (with greater detail for each dish) and ambience.
Enables users to locate the restaurant through GPS.
Enables users to post their own experience and rating, along with a reward system that is actualized through a profile.
Booking Tables in select restaurants.
Restaurant exclusive discounts and offers.
Online and Seamless Payment.
Enables Order Tracking, and consumer service on the fly.
What one also needs to understand is that this cannot be a downsized web experience. Mobile, and web development are two different things, and should necessarily be treated differently. Tech companies that provide such slipshod solutions should be avoided, in addition to you making an intelligent decision and creating a fresh identity via mobile.
The power of location
Geo-tagging, and geo-location are one of the most powerful tools your restaurant business can have. Using location-based technology in an effective manner does one powerful thing – makes the consumer’s decision for them. How so? Well, most consumers can be quite indecisive – and as we’ve been observing, the value of time-bound decision making is increasing steadily. This works to the advantage of the brick and mortar restaurant.
Say, you put out a push message to people in the vicinity with some lucrative offers (free drinks, appetizers; you pick!) – now, the person who may not even have wanted anything to eat is probably thinking about it, and in addition, those who couldn’t make their decision about where to go, now have a no-brainer option! You make this time-bound – say, tell them to walk into the place in the next 30 minutes to avail this offer, and the seats may just fill up faster! This is a great way to carry out guerilla, improvised marketing.
Investing in good location based technology will also ensure that people know where they’re going, find the right place, and don’t get sidetracked into another restaurant while they’re walking that last stretch to your restaurant’s front door.
Buying that Loyalty
Another big bonus is the added level of personalization that comes with the mobile app. Mobile-based loyalty programs are brilliant, and way more effective for one simple reason – unlike a gift voucher or a card, a phone is unlikely to go anywhere from the consumer’s side.
From reminding the consumers of your existence periodically, to sending them notifications based on their preferences, to keeping a virtual loyalty point-based system; the potential usability of a mobile app far outweighs any other mode of engagement when it comes to access, periodicity and personalization.
A Statista 2015 survey indicated that 37% of the customers use mobile apps to look for discounts, while 26% of them use the app for Redeeming/earning loyalty points.
Another fact you may want to keep in mind is that the cost of attracting/acquiring a new customer is 5 times higher than the cost of keeping one i.e. earning brand loyalty is cheaper than creating brand awareness and attractiveness.
Prfire, in London, has undertaken a study that has some more findings supporting this trend: 65% of restaurant customers would be willing to download your restaurant’s app if you promised them exclusive offers and deals from time to time, and a whopping 80% of those people would proactively return to your restaurant to avail them, even if it simply means buying more from you!
The Vanishing Queue
In this age of rapidity, the queue has become the sworn enemy – in fact, it is now almost synonymous with obscurity. Everyone is now in the business of making queues vanish, and the restaurant business is no exception.
Cashless, online transactions, along with the promise of doorstep delivery is all the rage right now. Fulfilling orders for applications has never been easier since the advent of the mobile app. The front desk and other staff can handle other things as one-click, in-app payments become the norm.
Food Tech Connect states that 98% of 18 to 34-year-olds, “them millennials” who’ve paid a bill via mobile would like to do so again. But beyond simply paying, 35% like to place their orders on smartphone or tablet, and 40% actually prefer a mobile payment over other options.
The same goes for the principle of booking tables, which has become integral to the restaurant app universe. People prefer booking in advance, without having to haggle at the doorstep and wait in a queue – particularly when it comes to notoriously famous places, or specialty restaurants.
The social Media Bug
Well, when we’re talking mobile, social media can’t really be that far, can it? Another added boost to your restaurant will definitely be more social presence through the app – people can review, rate and recommend other people to come to your place organically, and you don’t have to lift a finger!
Or you can lift a finger and tie up your loyalty program with social media portals like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram in order to entice repeat customers, and snag newer ones. Quite a lot of potential for interconnectivity here.
Want to hop on Board?
Well, this is of course not the end of this discussion – I’m assuming that the gears in your head are perhaps churning towards the finer points of how to build an app. Well, integrating all these features into one single app is kind of our business; we just like potential customers knowing what all to expect when it comes to mobile app development.
This way, the discussion is more informed, and you have an idea of what features to integrate into your mobile app, specifically tailored for your business. When we say the finer points, we just don’t talk humdrum technicalities (layers of code) – we include things like the look, the feel and the overall experience (UI/UX design) your app will provide to the consumer when it comes to the restaurant app, and we will aim to do it right.
So why not give us a call and find out for yourself? Maybe your idea will be the next disruptive force in the market, and we’d definitely love to be on board!