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Did you know that the number of people ordering food through mobile apps expanded from 36.4 million in 2019 to 49.5 million in 2022, representing a 36-percent increase in just three years? While this rise in online food orders may seem like a result of third-party food portals apps like Doordash or Grubhub, statistics reveal that 70% of American consumers prefer to order directly through a restaurant’s own branded app or website.
In addition to customer preference, having a mobile app can provide immense benefits for your restaurant, including increased revenue, free marketing, and streamlined operations. In this article, we’ll discuss why your restaurant needs a mobile app in 2023. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Increase Customer Convenience
Because 43% of people place food orders online when they don’t feel like cooking, mobile apps have become an essential component of modern restaurants, as they provide the convenience that customers crave. By offering an app, restaurants allow customers to hold the establishment’s menu in their pocket, making ordering a meal at any place or time easier than ever.
Restaurants can also enable customers to book and reserve tables in advance through the app and discover important information like upcoming offers and seasonal specials. This can ultimately attract and retain customers since the features aim to save their valuable time.
2. Encourage Repeat Purchases
In the restaurant industry, it is much more cost-effective to retain current customers than to acquire new ones. That’s why finding opportunities to transform customers into regulars is a critical part of the business.
Perhaps the best way to do so is by offering a loyalty program that rewards customers who regularly order from the restaurant. This can be done by letting customers scan an in-app QR code at the restaurant or use the app to place their actual orders. Points will then be added to their account that can eventually be redeemed for different rewards like a free food item or 10% off their next purchase.
Overall, this is highly effective in customer retention, especially seeing as 41% of consumers say rewards programs encourage them to buy from restaurants. It also helps to gather customer information that can be used for personalized marketing strategies.
3. Social Media Integration
Another perk of having a mobile app for your restaurant is that it will allow for social media integration across various platforms. This integration will enable users to “check in” to your restaurant via the app, giving their stamp of approval to all their online followers.
Customers will also have the ability to share offers and other information about the restaurant directly from their phones, which will help your restaurant reach new customers and engage with existing ones.
From a marketing perspective, this is extremely advantageous, as it will provide an organic advertising strategy that’s completely free and driven by the customers themselves.
4. Referral Programs
Similar to social media integration, your app could also offer a referral program that will benefit your restaurant as well as your customers. These types of programs work by letting customers share the app through a user-specific link, and if any recipients sign up, then the user will be given reward points that can be redeemed on future purchases.
Referral programs essentially encourage loyal customers to refer your restaurant to friends and family by incentivizing word-of-mouth marketing. And, with 92% of consumers trusting peer recommendations more than any other form of advertising, this can prove to be a vital means of promoting your brand, garnering new business, and increasing customer retention.
5. Better Internal Organization
A mobile app can go a long way in boosting your restaurant’s internal organization and overall productivity. This is because a mobile app can streamline your day-to-day operations by allowing customers to complete various tasks through the app, including booking reservations, ordering meals ahead of time, and paying prior to arriving at the restaurant.
In addition to helping restaurants keep track of orders and reservations more efficiently with digital records, a mobile app also provides important insights into your customers and their preferences, which can be easily used for targeted campaigns and other marketing purposes.
Want To Build Your Own Restaurant Mobile App?
Inspired to build a restaurant app of your own? Idea Maker specializes in developing custom mobile applications that are tailored to each of our client’s individual needs. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about how our expert developers can help your restaurant stand out with a mobile app.
You may also like: Detailed Guide on Building a Food Delivery App for your Business