Isn’t it amazing that the average Indian consumer exceeds 5 to 7 hrs on their mobile devices every day?  In fact, during the last year, this amount has increased by 69% and it is expected to continue to grow as more useful mobile apps appear on the market.   Five percent of the five hours a consumer spends on their mobile devices each day they are using shopping apps including restaurant apps.  Use of restaurant apps by consumers is expected to continue to grow as more and more restaurant owners start to understand the benefits of having custom apps for their restaurants. There is a multitude of reasons why your restaurant can benefit from having a customized app. We have boiled it down to a few of the most important reasons.

Direct Marketing Channel

Restaurant apps serve many functions as they can provide news feeds, offers, promo codes, loyalty programs, prices, search features, user accounts, etc.  One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your restaurant when it makes sense.

Imagine being able to be get messages to your customers 24 hours a day. This is what a mobile app can do for you! A good mobile app will give you the ability to send customers direct messages, offers, event information and other newsworthy information at strategically important times of the day. Perhaps you send an offer message in the morning for dinner discounts to help fill the restaurant in the evening. Maybe you send messages overnight to boost the morning breakfast crowd. The way your customers use these interactions is helpful as well. After using the app for a while you will be able to determine what the best messaging plan is for your restaurant to fill tables or increase online ordering, which in turn will increase your revenue..

Much in the same way you feature tantalizing images of food on the menu to prompt a desire for it, you can upload enticing photos of every item your restaurant sells on the app. Adding images of food that’s “ready” to eat taps into a core, animal desire to keep ourselves nourished and fed. The better it looks, the more likely we are to act on it.

Provide Value to Customers

Implementing a loyalty program makes it possible for customers to collect rewards via the mobile app. By creating a loyalty program, you are rewarding the customer for their patronage, which in turn will result in repeat business and increased revenue. Happy customers means more word of mouth which will result in more app downloads, new customers and even more increased revenue.

Build Brand and Recognition

A great mobile app for your restaurant can significantly contribute to your brand awareness. It is a new and exciting beginning for your branding. With a new app you will be able to style the look and feel of the content to your liking. However, your ultimate goal is to have a feature-rich app customers need while simultaneously showcasing your brand. If your app and branding are done correctly, your brand will be seen more often. With increased usage it will get the recognition needed for customers to think of you as their “go to” for restaurant preference.

Improve Customer Engagement

People today use their phone for much more than making calls! In fact, most prefer to use them for texting, social media activities or online shopping. Allowing customers to order food directly through your app instead of calling in an order is going to provide a superior customer engagement. How many customers would prefer to use the smart features of their phone versus waiting for you to answer the phone to place an order? According to Food Community Forum, 98% of 18 to 34 year-olds who’ve paid a bill via mobile would like to do so again. But beyond simply paying, 35% like to place their orders on a smartphone or tablet, and 40% actually prefer a mobile payment over other options, especially for restaurants offering quicker service.

Beat the Competition

Many smaller, and even some larger restaurants, do not have a mobile app for their business. In order to compete in today’s market, as well as in the future, you must offer a mobile app to your customers. Soon, customers are going to expect you to have an app. When you don’t customers will make purchases from your competitors.

Cultivate Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is one of the most important reasons why you should have an app. In today’s world, businesses are constantly vying for our attention by way of social media, push notifications and streaming media, to name a few. This leaves a small window of time to get your customer’s attention. It’s imperative to make a true and sincere connection with your customers. This connection will make them a loyal lover of your restaurant. A mobile app is a way of staying closer to your customers, and being just a “fingertip” away at all times.

Collect Usable Analytics

The definition of Analytics per the Wikipedia is, “the study of past historical data to research potential trends; to analyze the effects of certain decisions or events with the goal of analytics being used to improve the business by gaining knowledge which can be used to make improvements or changes”. How does this help you, the restaurant owner? From the analytics, you will be able to determine what customers are buying or not buying from you. As a result of the analytic data you may decide to remove or modify items on the menu. Analytics help to fine tune your menu to meet your customers purchasing trends.

Gather Food Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials provide priceless feedback on how your business is going, where changes need to be made and what direction to continue taking the business. Reviews and testimonials can also be used as a great marketing tool for your restaurant. If a negative review comes through it gives you the chance to make the necessary changes to correct the issue. This type of customer interaction helps you keep a finger on the pulse of the restaurant by being alerted to the positives, as well as the negatives, and allowing you to make the necessary changes to increase revenue and customer satisfaction.

Show me the money

This may be last in the list but it is definitely the most important! Multiple studies have shown having a multifaceted mobile app will increase revenue significantly over time. Mobile apps benefit your business by offering direct marketing and customer engagement to each individual user 24/7, provides value to the customer through online ordering and earning rewards through a customer loyalty program, and builds your brand by gaining invaluable analytics, reviews and testimonials. In today’s ever increasing mobile world, having your business at your customer’s fingertips is essential for business growth and retention.