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.
/ 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.