Last month, McDonald’s Corp begun testing its long-awaited U.S. mobile ordering app after almost a year in development. The testing will go for a few more months before the app hits public beta. Why so much of testing?
Well Starbucks Corp ran into various service hiccups when they launched their app a few years ago. App orders poured in faster than they could be processed, forming backlogs that drove away annoyed walk-in patrons.
Owing to growing competition, and the fear of losing its ‘Hip’ tag, Starbucks Inc pushed the mobile app development and rushed the half-baked app through the testing phase.
The rest is an important chapter in the history of restaurant mobility solutions that no restaurant coming with a mobile app will ever dare to ignore.
Many restaurants see mobile as a way to win back customers. Some sees it as a way to build an edge over their competitors but the project carries risks, far more than most restauranteur can fathom.
What are those risks? How to mitigate them? I have listed five tricks.
1. Scale gradually
Don’t make your app available to everyone at once. Rather, make it available to a closed group of people you believe the number app server can handle.
If everything goes as per the plan, bring more closed group into the testing circle. If you’re launching the app country wide, create such groups in every state.
When you want to expand the testing circle, open the circle to new invitees. This will test your app for inconsistencies and give you enough idea how far you must scale up your app server to cater new app users.
Once you start receiving enough good news and are confident enough, launch your app to public on the respective app stores.
2. Staff training
The customer management system your restaurant staff are familiar with may need updation to absorb the changes brought in by the new mobile apps.
This may include a major overhaul to the entire CMS or addition of minor elements. the CMS may be integrated with newer tools to make way for the app compatibility.
The POS systems may need an upgrade too. whatever is the case, you must train your staff to those changes. this may incur additional cost but believe me ‘ROI’ is almost certain.
3. Additional IT infrastructure
If you’re expecting a huge spike in the number of app orders owing to an irresistible app only offer, keep additional IT infrastructure in place in case a temporary hike in traffic overburdens your current IT capacity and you must add additional capacity to keep up with the traffic.
Collapse of the app server at the peak of an exciting offer is the last thing your customers expect.
4. Map integration
Map integration is fundamental to restaurant mobility solutions if you expect your delivery boys to deliver orders on time. finding the way to Cecilia chapman’s place at 711-2880 Nulla St.
Mankato takes far more time than reading the street address takes. Delivery boys you hire are perhaps well acquainted to the city, but you, certainly, can’t expect them to know where Mrs. Chapman lives or every other place in mankato.
Asking for direction from a passerby leaves too much to imagination. take a left turn after 15 yards is hard for an average human to decipher.
5. Track order status
Epic Delivery, for example, lets a person to track his food order on a map.
When Sam orders his favorite burger from the fast food joint app installed on his mobile, he expects to know more than what delivery time is but “is his food cooked?”, “how far on a map is his food from his home?” and “when will it reach him?”.
The more Sam knows about the status of his order more unlikely will be him to cancel the order or call the restaurant for the order status. This saves the time of both the customer and restaurant staff.
If you’re a restaurant owner, you must invest in one of the restaurant mobility solutions in the market to stay relevant to changing time.