Why Your Restaurant Needs a Mobile App

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Let's be honest, who enjoys calling a restaurant to place an order over the phone. Even before we dial we are anticipating our call not to be answered because we know how busy the staff are going to be serving their walk in customers.  There are also times when our order is misinterpreted and incorrect when we collect it.

It is really easy to understand why online ordering for restaurants is perfect. Great for the customer and also great for the team working in the restaurant who can deal with the order at a convenient time for them (not when the phone rings).

Considering its 2016 and we all have smartphones it is natural that people will want to order online from their phone. Sure the online ordering websites work on the small screen but they are not optimal. A far better experience for the customers if when they can use a dedicated mobile ordering App.

Lets take a look at some of the key features that a restaurant mobile orderingApp should provide:

Mobile Menu

We have all wanted to re-order something that we had before but we can't recall what it was called. Rather than the embarrassment of trying to explain over the phone the mobile menu will clearly display every item, options available, pricing and hopefully an image as well. With a clear menu you are ready to order. You also have the added bonus of images, you can see a picture of the dish you are ordering.

In App Ordering

It's so convenient to place an order from an custom built mobile ordering App. The ordering process can be set up to include payment processing or simply to place the order for payment upon collection. Pre-payment works well when ordering at a restaurant where there is a line up at the point of payment. If your restaurant will be delivering then pre-payment is not so important as the customer can pay the delivery driver.

User Verification & Account Management

Customers should log into the App in a way that helps verify their identity. The App should also recognise returning customers and make it easy for them to see their order history and to re-order.

Order Verification

The App will perform some checks and balances to make sure the order is good before sending it through to the restaurant. If payment is included then a pre-authorisation on the card should be done first to check the card credentials. The order should also be constrained by opening hours.

When the order reaches the restaurant there needs to be a way for at the restaurant for the order to be accepted or declined. Just like with the traditional call, two way communication is key so that the customer knows their order has been received and is being prepared.

Marketing

This is not often mentioned, but if you have your own App for your restaurant and your customer uses it you are advertising in the most valued advertising space on the planet.  Your logo is now somewhere on the home screen of you customers smartphone. Re-ordering from your restaurant is now the easiest option that you customer has if they are feeling hungry. They will see your app every time they use their phone and always have access to your latest menu and opening hours during holiday periods.

Did you know that Facebook, Twitter and Google all have specialised advertising options for Apps? You can advertise your App to people who are geographically located within a defined radius of your restaurant.

Summary

When your app goes live in the app stores your customers will have a far more enhanced ordering experience and be more likely to order again from you. 

You staff will also love not answering the phone and picking up the mobile orders at their convenience.

You will be able to promote your menu easily through social media and dedicated App marketing channels.

You will love the savings. Especially if your app provider does not charge commission on orders placed.



Steve Tucker is the co-founder of CumulusPoint Smart Ordering Solutions. CumulusPoint was founded in Calgary in 2011 to provide affordable, mobile ordering to independent restaurant owners across Canada, USA and UK.

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