These days, online channels are critical to successful restaurant marketing strategies. Companies, big and small, are turning to digital initiatives like social media, email marketing and search engine optimization to reach consumers and facilitate community.
Perhaps most notable, is the rise of the restaurant mobile app. These software applications built for smart devices have been making waves in technology culture since the launch of the App Store in 2008.
Restaurants, in particular, are employing mobile apps to attract new and existing patrons with exclusive deals and other benefits. To ensure your app offers significant benefits to your target audience, you’ll want to launch an app that offers these five components:
1. A menu with high-quality images.
This is a foundational component on which other value-enhancing features should be added. First timers like to know their options. Give the people what they want and simplify their decision-making process. Never forget the undeniable power of a burrito glamor shot!
2. A rewards program with exclusive deals.
Speaking of value, this is a big one. A 2015 Statista study showed 37% of restaurant mobile app users are in it for killer deals. Without a rewards program, an app is like a Crunchwrap with no crunch. Check out Taco Bell’s unique rewards program here to see how they’ve offered value to their audience.
3. A nutrition page with allergen information.
Consumers with food allergies and special diets are growing in number. They make up a significant portion of the market and to fail to consider their needs is to forfeit valuable business. Increasingly health-conscious consumers want to know what’s in their food and where it was sourced. This transparency will greatly enhance consumer loyalty.
4. An online order form that remembers customers’ orders.
The convenience of ordering ahead really can’t be beaten – especially when the app remembers customers and their preferences. Spare patrons the hassle of waiting in line, cut down on staff costs and increase efficiency with an online order form that already knows what the customer wants.
5. Location information.
Include addresses of all locations to help make it easy for customers to find the restaurant nearest to them. Some pioneering franchises, like Chick-Fil-A, are even tracking customers’ locations through their app to ensure food is hot and ready for pick-up the moment customers arrive. Tracking customers’ locations also allow restaurants to send push notifications to customers when they are within a certain distance of a location. If used strategically, this can drive a significant amount of traffic.
Every restaurant mobile app needs a menu with high-quality images, a rewards program with exclusive deals, a nutrition page with allergen information, an online order form that remembers customers’ orders and location information. Start with this foundation, then get creative! There are countless ways to engage with customers through your restaurant’s mobile app.