MRM EXCLUSIVE: Building an Efficient Restaurant App

A good mobile app keeps the customer engaged and the business relevant. Done right, it can bring in new clients and maintain current ones, increase sales and help improve product. But for that, it needs to be useful to the customer and efficient to the business – so what is it that makes a good mobile app for a restaurant? Here is a little checklist to help you make a useful and engaging mobile app.

Reward Your Customers

A good app stays with the customer and keeps the customer loyal to the business. A restaurant has a range of tools to reward its mobile app users, such as exclusive deals and a points loyalty system. Racking up points can be satisfying, and encourage the user to choose your restaurant over competitors – after all, there will be a sweet reward in the end.

Bring in New Ones

Incentives for referring friends and family for additional points or store credit can go a long way in bringing in new customers and keeping old ones. Giving extra points for referrals or social media shares will mean more recognition and higher brand value, and thus more customers and higher sales. Recommendations from trusted people are always more valuable than regular marketing – and a mobile app is an excellent opportunity to get them.

Give Exclusive App-Only Deals and Offers

As an incentive for people to download the app, you can offer exclusive discounts, promo codes and special offers. Once downloaded, you will be able to alert users about happy hours or hot deals, or just encourage clients to visit the restaurant. Either way, once downloaded, you’re half way to securing a loyal customer.

Receive Feedback

Relationship between the customer and the business can go both ways. With a mobile app, a product can be tailored to the customer, and vice versa: an app gives the business an opportunity to hear first-hand from the customer. Is there a way to improve a product? Maybe something to add? A suggestion or an idea? An app gives a simple and direct way for a customer to have their say. Everyone wants to be heard, and loyal customers are the people you want to hear from.

Gain Insight

With a mobile app, a customer can choose to enter personal data – providing the business with useful insight about user preferences. By employing an algorithm that makes sense of data customers give you, you can make a better product. For example, knowing what times customers are looking to eat, most searched items on the menu or insights about your demographic. Of course, this should only be done with the customer’s explicit consent.

Showcase Your Restaurant

Seeing selected photographs and best products will educate the customer about your restaurant and show it in the best light. An app is your space: make it reflect your business, showing the customer its best sides and encouraging them to visit. As a bonus, you can connect to review websites you choose, helping customers get to know your business better.

Make User’s Life Easier

Within an app, you can provide new and exclusive functions your customers want. Order takeaway to get picked up within minutes? Check. Search the menu? Check. Reserve a table? Check. Make the user’s life easier by providing special functions in the app, making it useful and saving the user’s time. Your customers will be grateful.

Stay Relevant

Notifications are exclusive to mobile apps and can be invaluable to your restaurant. Reminding users of happy hours and timely discounts, for example, when they haven’t stopped by in a while, can encourage more frequent visits. It’s like having a personal manager for each customer – without the cost.

All in all, a good app is useful to the customer and will help grow the business. “Done right, you will make it invaluable to your customers and acquire a useful tool for developing your product”, said Vas Diachenko, Founder and CEO of LoyaltyPlant. Make your customers feel special, get their views and provide a better product – all with one move.