The Benefits of Having a Mobile App for Your Restaurant
If you already have a great website for your restaurant where your customers can navigate through your menu and place their orders online, you might think that a mobile app does not add much value to your business. Consider the fact that people are using their mobile devices more than desktop or laptop computers for quite some time now. Therefore, chances are more and more of your customers are accessing your restaurant's website and placing their orderers on their mobile devices. If you want to meet your customer's where they are, then you need to ensure that they are getting the great user experience you offer on your website on their mobile devices as well. Besides that, there are features such as push notification and offline access that are exclusive to mobile apps. Mobile apps are also powerful marketing tools that let you go beyond what you can do with a website. A mobile app for your restaurant is something worth considering.
A Mobile App Offers Better User Experience on Mobile Devices
There are ways to improve your website to make it more compatible with mobile devices such as configuring your website with the size of mobile devices they are accessed from or adding features such as tap-to-call or location services. However, the user experience offered by a mobile app which is specifically designed for a mobile device is much better than one offered by a mobile website. Good user experience keeps your customers happy and engaged which in turn will turn them into loyal customers.
With a mobile app, your customers can save their personal preferences such as login credentials, preferred location, payment details and so much more when they install the app on their mobile device. This information is securely stored on the app so that the user doesn't have to enter it every time they want to place an order.
Another feature that is specific to mobile apps is offline access. When a user installs your mobile app, certain information such as location address, hours, or menus can be saved on their devices so that they can access this information even if they are not connected to the internet. This feature is not available on a website.
Mobile Apps are Powerful Marketing Tools
It might be challenging to get your customers to install your app on their devices but once they do it, your app will always be on their device in front of them. This is a very powerful marketing strategy which is beyond what your website can do. Your app logo on your customer's phone reminds them of your restaurant every time they look at their phone which is on average 46 times a day!
Another powerful marketing tool that is only accessible via a mobile app, is push notification. With push notifications you can nudge your app users even when they are not using their mobile devices. You can use push notification to send deals and promotions to your app users to drive them to come in to your restaurant or order online. You could also send updates to your customers after they have placed their orders. For more information about push notifications check out this post: The Magic of Push Notifications for Restaurants
That being said, building a customized mobile app for your brand costs a lot more that building a website. A native mobile app is developed for specific platforms such as iOS or Android. Therefore, you would need both versions if you want all your customers to be able to have access to your app as opposed to a website is accessible to anyone on any device. However, there are ways that you could build your mobile app more cost effectively. At Craver we have built a mobile app platform specifically designed for restaurants. You can sign up with us on a monthly subscription and we will build a high quality customized app for your restaurant at a fraction of a cost of building your app from scratch.