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Imagine walking into your favorite restaurant, skipping past the long peak-time rush lines, picking up your food and walking out the door. Now imagine it only taking a few taps on your mobile device to make it possible.

What if in this scenario you were also able to get notifications on deals and specials and save your favorite menu items for easy ordering the next time around?

Mobile apps make our lives easier and more fun in so many ways. Who hasn't heard the popular phrase: There's an app for that!

Now there are custom mobile restaurant apps that make eating-out even easier. Not only are these mobile apps changing the way customers connect to restaurants for the better, but they are also helping maximize revenue by incorporating six new abilities:

1. Advanced menu ordering

The popular restaurant chain, Chipotle, was looking for a way their customers could have full access to the restaurant menu and place an order from a mobile device. They wanted to include a pick-up time that would not require patrons to wait in long lines. We made it possible by creating the app for that.

The advanced menu portion of the app allows customers to access the full restaurant menu, place an order directly from their mobile device and specify a pickup time. The app also gives the customer the ability to save their favorite menu items, making it even easier to order the next time the craving hits.

2. Secure payments

Customers and restaurateurs no longer have to worry about the safety of mobile app transactions. With Chipotle's app, customers place an order and can securely pay for their food, dodging pay lines. The time saved not waiting in line not only makes for a happier customer, but also increases the efficiency of staff.

3. POS integration

POS integration with your mobile app can benefit back-of-house procedures, which will in-turn create a better experience for the guest. Apps that integrate seamlessly with your POS system can send orders directly to the kitchen, rather than requiring action on behalf of employees. This reduces wait time and labor costs.

4. Cross promotions and alerts

By sending out mobile device notifications, restaurants are able to easily promote specials and deals to their customers.

5. Loyalty and gift card systems

A lot of restaurants are now offering loyalty cards and it can be overwhelming for customers to try to keep them all in order. Offering the ability to store loyalty and gift card data means customers do not have to carry physical cards, they can view earned and past points and also are more likely to redeem them and not lose those credits.

6. Social network integration

Social media allows you to have a more personal relationship with your customers and see what they are looking for. By reaching out to customers via social media you include them in the every day decisions you're making for your restaurant. By engaging customers on social networks you are also able to anticipate customer needs and fill them before they end up as bad reviews on other websites.

Part of our goal with mobile restaurant apps is to streamline a technically challenging process and simplify it for the user all while maximizing revenue and customer service for the restaurant the app serves.

Simplifying the restaurant experience by using custom mobile restaurant apps is great for customers, which in turn is great for restaurant revenue.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • kent williams
    12775118
    Great story. Restaurant owners should definitely be getting involved and in fact there are several free or very low cost options out there for them to get started immediately. We have found www.samy.com to be a great performer and then there are some others like Perka and Yowza which are interesting as well. These are the future of search engines for restaurants.
  • Steve Szewczyk
    12759940
    Tampa based MenuPad Inc. has a product line of iPad applications designed around the insight that businesses and consumers have various levels of comfort and understanding with technology. MenuPad Premium puts consumers in total control their dining experience, allowing them to order and pay when they want. ServerPad provides the wait staff similar efficiencies and is designed for restaurants that want to retain control. PayPad is a bill pay solution that keeps the credit card at the table and allows restaurants to collect feedback at the end of the meal. The full product line is available at the company's web site. Also check out the case study Apple did on them.
  • Simona Martin
    12468802
    Cool App. Have you heard of Yiftee? They enable you to send an instant gift to your friend from any local merchant in your area... or theirs. He/she receives the gift notification on their email, text or Facebook. They redeem the gift by displaying their smartphone with the digital gift voucher (powered by MasterCard) to the shop clerk. Super easy. Yiftee gifts are green (no packaging, printing or jet fuel) and support local businesses by sending in full paying customers into the local shops and restaurants. They usually spend more than the gift voucher amount. It's a win-win-win-win for giftors, giftees, local merchants and the environment. Oh, and if the gift is not redeemed after 90 days, it goes back to the giftor. No more gift cards sitting in drawers for years. I'm sending most of my holiday gifts via Yiftee.
  • Kylie Michaels
    12358248
    Great read. I use the app Boppl everyday thanks to all these points listed above. Just need them to setup in Australia for when I go home!
  • Burton Langille
    11637562
    We build loyalty programs and mobile apps for restaurants because restaurants probably gain more direct benefit than any other business. I've owned many businesses and used mail drops with great success (still a place for them) however a mobile campaign, either SMS text or push through an app, will produce 10x's the response. Our site is wincustomerloyalty.com and generally work at a local level however always glad to share ideas that may help others. Very interested in the iBeacon technology for restaurants for better engagement.
  • Jennifer Buczek
    10869067
    http://ordersnapp.com offers customized mobile apps, and a responsive design website and social media marketing with their all-in-one package. We're working on having the ability for our clients to send push notifications of coupons or daily specials and hope to have it completed by the end of the year.
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Mobile News & Musings

Latest posts by Jess Taylor
Jess Taylor
Jess Taylor is the CEO of Blue Rocket that offers custom mobile application consulting services from mobile app conception through development and testing and store launch for Apple iOS and Android platforms.
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