Are you unsure whether developing a mobile application for your restaurant would be a prudent investment for your business? Are your thinking of diving into the online food ordering a delivery business? Take a look at these statistics to understand exactly what you’re missing out on:

  • In 2015, total revenue generated via mobile applications for the restaurant industry reached $160 million. 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, reports LevelUp. The number jumps up to 72%, when a customer realizes they’re close to redeeming a reward.
  • Online and in-app ordering have helped restaurants, big and small, increase their basket size by 25%, says Olo.
  • 69% of customers prefer to order food online via their mobile device.
  • If they can’t read your menu on their mobile device, you’re losing 62% of your potential customers.

The math is simple.

Whether you’re a 10 table, family-run restaurant or a multi-branched restaurant chain, if you don’t have a dedicated mobile application, chances are you’re missing out on at least a 20% increase in sales.

Restaurant Mobile App Development

A consumer facing mobile app is not the only way to improve your sales. You can invest in a holistic mobile solution that lets you improve not just your sales but your restaurant side management of waiters, table reservation, ordering system, payroll, ingredient purchases and much more.

Essential Features for Restaurant App

Now that you’ve rightfully decided to invest in a mobile application for your restaurant, the next thing to decide on is what features to put in it? We’ve compiled a list of 5 of the most important features every restaurant app needs to have to be loved by the customers. Sure, you can add more features into it, but you shouldn’t compromise on the following features:

Loyalty, Rewards and Discounts Programs

According to Statista’s survey of 2015, 37% customers use the mobile app to look for discounts. While, 26% customers use the app for Redeeming/earning loyalty points.

Besides these stats, the most important is the fact 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.

This is exactly why some of the big names in the industry pay close attention to their loyalty programs. For instance, Starbucks successfully increased their sales by 80% when they introduced loyalty programs.

In-App, Online Ordering and Mobile Payments

Online and in-app ordering lets your customers avoid the lines or the wait for the order to be taken and processed. The ability to pay for their orders beforehand takes customer convenience one step ahead.

Online Ordering and Mobile Payments

Other than that, customers who order online tend to visit the restaurant 67% more often than those who don’t. While, 26% customers state they use a restaurant’s app for the ease of making the payment for their orders beforehand.

Not only does it make the lives of your customers easier, it also improves your efficiency and accuracy for handling orders. Both of these advantages give you a clear edge over your competitor, whether they’re right across the street or across the pond.

Before you know it, a big chunk of your revenue will be coming from mobile payments, just like Starbucks’ 21% of all US sales in 2015.

Location Based Services

The prevalence of location based services like beacons and geo-fencing have given brands the ability to engage with potential customers, even before they step into the brick and mortar location. Consider it as the modern day equivalent of handing out flyers to passer-bys, promoting the restaurants deals, discounts, menu improvements and other news.

According to LevelUp, restaurants using beacons successfully see 8%-12% new customers, each week.

Table Reservation

Your restaurant may be small but it may be popular enough that your customers find it difficult to get a table at walk-in. Or maybe, your restaurant is a high-end eatery that only accommodates prior reservations and not walk-ins.

Table reservation

Whatever your situation, your restaurant mobile application should have a table reservation option for your customers. This helps cut down customer frustration that undoubtedly arise from long waits to get a table and gives them the opportunity to perfectly plan their evening.

Social Media Integration

Social media integration has become a permanent feature for every app out there. For the restaurant industry even more, what with the customer’s need to review their experience, take pictures of and upload them to their social media accounts like Instagram, SnapChat, FaceBook etc.

Not just that, you can leverage the social media and tie it with your loyalty/discount programs to entice existing customers to earn points and rewards for inviting new customers/friends. This greatly helps in attracting new customers, while at the same time enticing a onetime customer to become a repeat customer.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a restaurant owner looking to improve sales, customer loyalty and retention or you’re an entrepreneur investing in your next venture of online food ordering and/or delivery service – the above features are a must to include into your app.

However, depending on the range of your business and your needs, your app can be both consumer-facing and/or business-facing. If you’re looking to have both, then your app can be your comprehensive solution for handling the day-to-day management of your business as well as your customers.