Mobile marketing is a must for all restaurants from the biggest chain restaurants to the smallest takeout shops.
Recent studies by SinglePlatform and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey show that restaurants are the most searched industry on mobile devices. Not only do many people search for information on their favorite or centrally located places to eat, but they make their decisions on where to eat based on what they find.
There are many reasons that a restaurant could need a mobile app. Here are fiveof the best reasons to consider getting a mobile application in order to benefit their restaurants.
1. Customer engagement
One of the main reasons that anyone gets an app for their service or business is to get their customers engaging with them. An app places customers in a position to interact directly with you and your business through your app. Your business because interactive even when they’re not in your restaurant.
They can use connect with social media to share images and comment on the fan wall or participate in giveaways or contests. The gallery feature on your restaurant’s app can serve to show your users exactly what’s on the menu for them. You can run a contest from your app – allowing customers to upload and send in images in order to enter contests makes them more likely to interact with your app.
And never forget, the best way to get customers engaged is to give them a way to interact with you directly. They love that stuff and the feeling of having a favorite business owner’s contact so that they can let them know of any in-house problems is one that will get customers chomping at the bit to use your app. Email forms and the fan wall feature of your app will allow your customers to talk directly to you and feel as if they’re directly impacting your business.
2. Loyalty Programs and Customer Rewards
Show me someone that doesn’t like coupons or the opportunity to earn points via loyalty programs or push cards and I’ll show you someone that has a wallet full of rewards cards and a keyring full of loyalty tags. With good reason, they hear either of those phrases and will do anything to get away from them.
But having an app can get customers to want to use loyalty programs.
And having your app for your restaurant or takeout shop means that they will be more and more likely to come in on the spur of the moment. Instead of having to plan their trip to your establishment around what punch cards they have in their wallets, customers can just drop by, knowing that anything they need is on their phone. All they have to do is come in and eat at one of their favorite restaurants and they’ll wind up rewarded for it.
The use of loyalty programs and virtual punch cards on their smartphone apps can make a restaurant all the more appealing to consumers. Not only can customers eat their favorite meals, but they can get rewarded for it. Via word of mouth and social media sharing, the restaurant can build a reputation as one that rewards people for eating there or ordering takeout.
Loyalty programs and customer rewards in a restaurant’s app are major ways to make recurring customers out of consumers and provide them with a feeling that they’re getting something back for their money – aside from food of course.
3. Using Geo-Fencing to alert users to sales, coupons, or special events when they’re in the area
Geo-Fencing is a popular new tool that can literally bring hungry customers to your restaurant.
The way that geo-fencing works is simple: when a consumer with the app for your restaurant downloaded moves into a certain space around your restaurant, they automatically get a push notification with store information or special deals for that day.
Picture it: geo-fencing gives you the ability to take advantage of consumer drive to impulse buy. Consumers can’t help themselves, that’s literally the point of impulse buying. And what is one thing that people tend to buy the most often when seized by the urge to impulse buy?
For the restaurateur, this is the ultimate coup.
With an app that uses geo-fencing and coupons that ping users when they’re in the area, customers will just flock in to your restaurant.
4. Push notifications
We’ve done an entire article on push notifications so here are the basics and how they can and will work for your restaurants.
Push notifications remind users that your app is there. When they get that reminder, they tend to visit the app itself to see the notification or take advantage of whatever the notification offers. For a restaurant, the value of push notifications is endless. Push notifications provide restaurateurs with the ability to speak directly to consumers.
What can you do with push notifications?
- Share the special of the day before lunch every day.
- Announce special events such as entertainment and holiday reminders
- Send out links to coupons in the app.
Literally, the sky’s the limit with push notifications.
5. Reservations/Food Ordering
The same goes for ordering your food without having to actually talk to people. Consumers are more likely to order food, when they can do it from their phone. With the native Food Ordering feature that all of our restaurant apps can ask for, restaurants see a direct return on investment, placing ordering power in the customers’ hands. With easy online management, your hostess doesn’t need to worry about mishearing another order or missing one entirely.
Another feature that should make restaurateurs leap to get an app?
The reservation feature.
Tied to popular platforms like urbanspoon, Yelp or OpenTable, the reservation feature allows app users to make reservations. Not only can the app integrate popular restaurant reservation systems into your app, but you can create a customized system specifically for your needs.
Is your interest piqued?
Consider contacting us today for a free consultation!
Let’s get your restaurant an app in the Android PlayStore and iTunes AppStore today!