There are various advantages for Small businesses to have app development, but the only reason which is holding them back is simply fear of change. It’s a good practice for every entrepreneur to ask himself that what decision has they made for their businesses so far which help them improve the outcome. The first thing before getting into the actual brass tact that how a mobile app is fundamental for businesses, the importance of statistics must be considered beforehand. Regarding smartphones and internet use, over 85% of Singaporean now own smartphones, which was just 36% back in 2012. This statistics pretty much indicates that smartphone users have increased their usages from 8% in 2013, now to 18% in 2017, which will gradually rise. The penetration in other parts of the world has also increased, such as In United States, 77% users are now equipped with a smartphone where in the United Kingdom, the amount has reached to 81%. Another solid statistics indicated, that the number of minutes spends on mobile phones has surpassed the time spend on desktops. This opens up bright opportunities for app developers.

Any business requires from their stakeholders to “understand the market” and what behaviour does general public tend to show. As time goes by, the changes started to emerge among the society, which implies adaptation for businesses accordingly. Now as the number of people has increased their smartphone usages, it’s wise to say that entrepreneurs should use this technology for their business as well. The most significant benefit one may realize by using a mobile phone is to have easier engagement with their customers. The benefits for Restaurant business owning mobile app has far-reaches its disadvantages. In this blog, we will look into how a Restaurant app could profit itself using mobile app technology.

Increase your Bookings

The most substantial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for any restaurant is to have an increase in customers each day, whether it’s in the form of booking a table, or for a fast food chain, takeaways. It all depends on the customers. Not only this KPI gives a good indication of a restaurant’s popularity, but it is also used to predict sales per head hence enabled the restaurant business to asset growth rate. With booking a table, come risks as well, such as mismanagement, mismatch people per table ratio and the uncertainty of “no shows”. Besides all these fallbacks, creating convenience in booking method is the dominant consideration for a restaurant business to get noticed among its competitors and public. For a standard booking process, customers have to book using a phone call which has its own drawbacks, like calling during busy schedule tends to make a customer wait for his turn, giving details to staff member and waiting for possible accommodation and registering with your name, mostly spelt inaccurately and frustration starts to build up.

For business owners, hiring a person to manage bookings can also by tricky. The staff member must possess the skills to have an engaging telephonic conversation, which must be polite and extremely concise, continuing with managing bookings records with all personal information, also to confirm the availability of booking and follow ups. Since human is involved in this process, the possibility of human error is perceivable.

Having understood the statistics of people owning smartphone increases each year, it has been found out that fewer phone calls are being made subsequently. According to a study, between the years 2013-2016, people now being able to hold voice calls has been increasing from 8% to 30% during a week. For businesses that have already used online booking method through a website, you would begin to understand the benefits of it and the accessibility you are providing to yourself and your customers. Having a website and online booking through it does has the same functionality as booking using a mobile app with one major benefit, which is called push notification.

There are numerous advantages of using push notification in your app. Like, it will help you to confirm the online booking from a customer, without calling them directly. Using a push notification helps you to provide a reminder to your customers about the booking, or if the customer wants to cancel their previous booking, they can do so without much hassle. Captail Grille, an American fine dining restaurant has provided us with a living example of how creating mobile apps can be a source of enjoyment to their customers. For starters, the process of booking a starts with selection (if a restaurant has more than one location) succeed by placing a suitable date and time. If a suitable date and time are unavailable, the mobile application will suggest an alternative date and time for their customers without any unnecessary wait and inconvenience. A good addition for the mobile app besides booking a standard table is to have some added information for booking large parties and executive dining and birthdays.

The importance of Loyalty

It’s very uncommon for business not to provide a loyalty program to their customer these days because customer loyalty is vital for sustaining a business. This loyalty program, how insignificant it seems should not be taken lightly, as it provides some incentive to their customers and helping them to consider your restaurant more often. These loyalty programs are generally accepted by masses if it follows these two rules.

– It doesn’t incorporate time-consuming and complex structure for registration.

– A customer does not like to have physical cards to keep for themselves in their wallets or pockets.

Hiring an app developer to build a mobile app for this cause will assist your restaurant to cater to these issues perfectly. The registration for loyalty programs can be completed through the app by asking necessary information, thus saving time and eliminate annoyance. The app can also register restaurant visits for the customers, making loyalty card unnecessary to have with all these problematic procedures like swiping, punching or stamping your card. Using the mobile app and producing campaigns for loyalty programs, you can now categorize as many offers as you like, for example, discriminating lunchtime with dinner, also to provide an incentive for more special customers, like how often visit your restaurant for drinks, but can now have a meal with lowered rates.

Through loyalty programs incorporated in your mobile app, you can achieve two things: have a motivator expect for your customers to visit more often, and to have a marketing strategy combined with push notification. A customer can now keep track with your daily or weekly offers for your restaurant, and through that, you can provide a substantial output of your customers.

Expand your Brand Name

The most important part of any marketing campaign is to provide brand awareness and ideally become the top-in-mind brand status among the masses. Due to the highly versatile competition and budget involving in a marketing campaign, it’s not feasible for small businesses to pursue typical and expensive marketing strategy. If we talk about brand awareness with restaurant, it’s even more complicated. You may grab market attention through your outstanding service, tasty food, and flashy decoration, but without emphasizing on returning customers, you’re only at the mercy of word-of-mouth recommendation.

Studies show that a business must expose their brand toward customers for at least 10 times before it becomes a repeated phenomenon. So having a website, social media marketing and online presence helps, but the exposure is usually 1-2 times only. Having a mobile app for your restaurant is the easiest way for brand awareness. It’s certain that users may not use your mobile app daily, but once its installed in their phones, they certainly see the app icon everyday which indirectly helps you to promote your brand name. Before applying this into practice, its important to understand the science behind icon and brand awareness for mobile apps.

– The app icon must be observable at different screen sizes, against different background overlays.

– The colors and design of the icon must be consistent all over, your website, pamphlets and other areas of your businesses.

– Do some research about your competitors; does your icon stand out?

– Your app icon shouldn’t use any words, as it contradicts with the structure of the icon and becomes hard to read.

It is important to realize that app development for restaurants is not social media apps. People will not use it every day, but the effort for app developers developing mobile apps for restaurants should be considered as an app which is good enough to keep being installed inside people’s mobile. As long as people don’t delete the app, it gives a clear indication to restaurant owners that people finds their app helpful and valuable. It also helps your brand to promote itself for an even longer duration and provide in-direct brand awareness reaching top-of-mind position.

Provide Answer for every Query beforehand

FAQ section or Frequently Asked Question is often used in websites to answer some directed question to clear minor ambiguities from people heads, but for mobile apps, FAQ doesn’t suit positively. For including answers to some general queries which restaurant staffs repeatedly has to answer, a mobile app can be of great importance. The information perceived inside a mobile app has to follow design principles which not only helps customers to know about their primary queries, but enables your mobile app suitable in terms of its ergonomics. Try to leave FAQ for most vague queries as its boring to comprehend information from it.

Advanced take-out ordering

The idea of take-out existed since the birth of food itself. The restaurants still receive great business from their take-out services, and it’s not only for fast-track restaurants like KFC and Fish and Chips kiosks. There are certain restaurants that don’t offer take-out services, but nevertheless, it can always provide you with a profit. It is now imperative for Restaurants to own a mobile app for their business, whoever deals in take-outs due to indications found out from a study below:

– 73% of takeaway staff realizes that usage of phone calls during peak hours was a major obstacle for a decrease in their business.

– 63% of consumers pointed out the take-away calls staff member tone to be disruptive and not friendly, which made them to refrain from calling back again.

– 34% of customers has experience phones to be engaged during Friday to Sunday and Peak hours.

Unsatisfactory phone connection, order mismanagement, asking customers to repeat the order is few of the issues which evidently emerge from phone calls take-out mechanism. A well-structured mobile app helps the customers not only book a table in advance, but also order a takeout digitally. Using third-party services such as Food Panda, UberEats, etc. would help you to provide takeout’s digitally, but will decrease the ownership of your brand. Through your personal app, you can add electronic takeout system, you only need to look after user-experience. When taking the order from a user, the important information should be easily collected from user. Abstain from asking to re-enter the same information from the customer, like name, contact details and address. Once a customer doesn’t log off from the app, his information should be persisted inside the app, thus making the order process quicker and reliable.

According to App Institute, Restaurants that adopted online takeaways system into their app saw increase in profits by 51% over 12 months of time, 105% increase in order and 112% increase in average annual spending per customer. Besides registering new orders for takeaways, you app can also have other benefits such as tracking order, payments and order progress.

Secure Payment options

Your mobile app hasn’t reached to its maximum capacity if it doesn’t include in-app payment methods after placing a take-out order as completed. This method is only valid for take-outs not booking tables. A better payment option not only removes the hassle of cash handling between clients to restaurant, but also provides lesser clutter at front desk of the restaurant for wait to pay the bill. In short, in-app payment option provide benefits such as
– It removes the danger of customer ordering and unable to collect for the order

– Provide collection mechanism for customers streamlined, and keeping the restaurant counter clean and Queue free.

– Eliminates the requirement for continuous checking of payment collection for an order.

Incorporating online payment methods inside your app not only benefit your customers but provide immense profit to your business as well. The staff member dedicated to keeping a record of collection and safe guarding cash in counter could become involve in other areas of the business, hence provide growth and gain for your restaurant.

Eye Catching Visuals

In the department of food, high quality photographed images of dishes and cuisine plays a comprehensive role in attracting more people. Even if restaurants working with old-school methods, try their level best to produce good looking menus with lush and artful images of dishes, to provide great sensation to place an order just by looking at it. Make sure the visuals should be authentic and capable of providing out-of-the-house experience.

It is necessary for your digital platform, both website and mobile app, to use high definition images to stable authenticity. It’s important to update new images into your app as it brings life to your methods and many people can’t help but to take notice of your credibility. The photographs taking from your mobile can also work, but the color and contrast must be refined with some extra work. Avoid using unnecessary Photoshop skills, which eliminates the sense of authenticity into the images and design. Another way to produce quality content into your app is User Generated Content (UGC). It requires absolutely no effort from your end, and has an amazing result outcome. It provide recognition among your customers which can go a long way for establish unique credibility and persona. This method is more feasible for family restaurants. For fine dining, you can integrate Instagram photos and use that as a source of popularity. Ask local celebrity to eat at your restaurant for free and take photos from them, who have high Instagram followers, can provide a considerable amount of attention and hype for a time being, though this method will require effort from owner’s end.

SleekDigital is a Mobile App Development Agency in Singapore that helps businesses transform digitally. We also offer digital transformation consultation and general digital consultation for companies who are looking for suggestions of different systems to be integrated. This is more of companies who lack a digital consultant to propose technologies. Arrange a digital consultation with us today!