15 Reasons Why Restaurants Need a Mobile App

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Mobile applications are enriching lives with tech and innovations that have altogether brought a dramatic transition in our perspective of viewing the world before and now.

In this digital age, with over 6.648 billion mobile users (almost 83.32% of the world’s population), mobile apps are paving ways for businesses to shine amid the fiercely competitive market.

Some restaurants are closely witnessing this dramatic change.

The success achieved by them through application can answer pretty well why your restaurant needs a mobile app too!

With the rise of food delivery demands at homes, mobile applications are unlocking vast opportunities for restaurants to lead the league.

Today, restaurants can work on a hybrid model and scale themselves from a few locals to millions of customers in a state or city.

A study by Deloitte reveals that over 79% of U.S. citizens have some kind of restaurant app on their phone—a trend that has already evolved.

Being a restaurant operator,

  • Are you making a mistake by not having a mobile app?
  • Can a mobile app literally help you?
  • Is it an expense or a source to increase returns by 10X?

Keep your eyes on this article because it carries a brief explanation of why your restaurant needs a mobile application.

15 Convincing Reasons Why a Restaurant Needs a Mobile App

Post-pandemic, a new focus is now on serving convenience and a personalized experience to customers that are eating more at home or in their offices than at a public restaurant. But that’s not enough to convince us to use a mobile app.

There are some additional remarkable reasons that will ultimately get you the answer to why my restaurant needs a mobile app. So let’s begin.

1. User Retention and Building Brand Image

Customer retention is above all mainstream considerations for a business. The more they retain, the more returning orders your business will have.

How is it helpful? Well, the cost of acquiring new customers is higher than the cost of retaining existing ones.

A single, retained user can get you lifelong returns. A study by Harvard Business School found that a company’s profits increased by 25–95% with only a 5% increase in user retention.

Concerning this precious element, restaurants are increasingly using mobile applications for their business.

A single app is helpful at monitoring business relationships with customers so that preventive steps could be taken when brand loyalty is at risk. The application can help maintain close contact with customers.

Simultaneously, it even aids in identifying “what is retaining visitors” and “what is warding them off from becoming your returning customers.”

In-app messaging is also an exciting benefit served by the restaurant app on mobile. The feature keeps users updated on the exciting offers coming from restaurants.

But that’s a wholly different topic, which is covered properly in the point next.

2. Share quick updates with customers.

Delays in the procedures are disliked by customers. They will hardly contact you again if your first attempt at the service fails to impress them.

Things that may invite such an unexpected event can be avoided by avoiding the following mistakes:

  • No arrangements were made for a quicker response to people’s queries.
  • Unclear modes of interactions
  • Repetitive errors in the order placements
  • Absence of clear information on faulty orders
  • Lack of professional standard

But you can avoid them readily if you have a well-working application in place. One of the commendable benefits served by mobile apps is that business interaction with the customer is improved.

As such, a customer is instantly updated about their orders through the app as soon as any recent update concerning their request takes place.

The real-life example can demonstrate it pretty well: suppose a customer has placed an order online; a receipt will be shared with them for the work done instantly before they exit.

3. Strengthen your local network

Mobile applications have also been found quite helpful to strengthen the local network. Mainly if you are advertising it among a local audience or advertising it through your restaurant and somehow get local installs, it will take only a few days for your brand to become famous locally.

Moreover, you can give your application some local touches or include some cuisines popular in your city or town in the menu.

But how does it happen? Well, you must, thanks to the sign-up features given in almost every restaurant application. The customer is required to give his or her “email” or “phone number” when signing up for the app.

Following this, they get access to the application. But the process gets precious contact details to the restaurant owner, which they can use for retargeting or remarketing to the customers.

Some applications even use GPS-driven software that gives customers an idea of how many people around them have placed an order from the restaurant.

4. Taking manual interaction to automation

Well, it shouldn’t be too difficult to answer why your restaurant needs a mobile app. The application has an abundance of benefits that you must take into account.

The most notable is automation. Mobile applications are empowering digital shopping cultures. The trend is profoundly being embraced by the restaurant industry now, which is aiding in a smooth transition from manual operation to automation.

For example, earlier restaurant staff had to physically contact their customers. But today, mobile interactions have taken over the task.

Most information will be entered live by the customer when placing an order. Similarly, order calculation, checkouts, and receipts are handled by the smart software of the application.

Also, mobile apps have the capability to recommend and re-recommend cuisines as per the personalized choices of each unique customer. Thanks to the cookies and caches of mobile apps that keep an eye on the user’s activity on the application,

5. Reach out directly to your customers.

Reaching out to customers directly is unprofessional. But there’s no other great alternative than maintaining direct contact with the customers.

This is where the restaurant application comes to the rescue. If your application has been installed on the user’s phone, you can contact them directly. But avoid unnecessary calling or messaging. No customer likes it at all.

The mobile application acquires visitors’ contact details when they check into the platform. Simultaneously, the application owner or developer can use these details as a powerful tool to market or remarket to customers.

In most events, it has been seen that issues—related to payments or something else—occur with the customers. Challenges spike when no contact details were taken beforehand. But such issues are rare with mobile orders.

Since you will have the customer’s contact details beforehand, reaching out directly to your customer would be a matter of a few seconds, and resolution will also be instant.

6. Hassle-free Reservation

Order placement is sometimes tough on-site. Multiple challenges keep arriving one after another when needed ingredients aren’t available in the grocery store or refrigerator.

The biggest topic of concern to customers is the “NOT AVAILABLE” or “NA” sign. It can disappoint them or sometimes take them to other restaurants where the order is being fulfilled timely.

However, customers never mind if the item isn’t available right now. But the thing that can create a vast gap between them and your restaurant is delays or hassles.

Mobile applications are addressing this problem pretty well. Restaurants can keep their POS system integrated with these mobile applications. So that as an item isn’t available or runs out of stock, the concerned department is instantly alerted.

If any of the food items aren’t available right now, the customer can take them later.

7. More Returning Visitors

Your restaurant may have delicious cuisines to serve; some of them might be so unique that they are found only at your restaurant in the city. Thereby, you can create a stronghold in the market.

If people genuinely like your cuisine, they are likely to share it with others. This is where you can recommend that they install your restaurant app and order food to their homes.

Why will they do it? Well, they are more likely to accept your recommendation because they themselves have appreciated your service, which indeed has been improved with the mobile app. But in case they don’t, you can launch a referral tool. You can request that they share the app with their family and friends and earn a reward.

But you should try to serve tasty cuisine, because it works in most cases. So that, as you ever bring more new cuisines into the kitchen, their previous experience with your restaurant cuisines alone could do the trick. Simply alert them to the latest happening in your kitchen via your restaurant mobile app and get them back.

This will contribute to more returning visitors to your restaurant and will even encourage referral visitors. Your restaurant application will be shared among a group of friends and families, and it will go like this.

Why my restaurant needs a mobile app and how it can help grow my restaurant business will be properly answered through the actions performed by mobile apps.

8. Improve on-site services

Mobile applications are well-known for improving on-site services. Since most mobile activities are examples of automation, omitting major manual operations has become easier for restaurants.

The benefit has primarily been served by restaurant POS integration with mobile apps that streamline operations. Simply put, a manager can watch the ongoing business operations live in a single window.

Simultaneously, this leads to quick decision-making and a faster response to the customer’s query. If any customer is interested in visiting the restaurant, a wonderful experience could be served, as ensured by the mobile app.

For example, if items weren’t ready to be served at the time the customer approached the restaurant, they would have the option to choose “at-home delivery service” to enjoy at their residence.

It makes sense for small shops to experience more customers at the site because mobile ordering can clear a lot of congestion. People fed up with waiting in the queues for long hours can order the chef what they want without any mutual interaction.

They only need to wait for the delivery boy to come and get them food as requested earlier. However, a streamlined pick-up experience must be practiced by the restaurant for timely order fulfillment.

9. Source valuable feedback

Feedback is a weapon to conquer in both the online and offline industries. These feedbacks unlock opportunities for a business that are rarely seen by marketers or restaurant operators themselves.

But it’s worth understanding them first; only then will you be able to source information. In a nutshell, feedback is divided into three main categories:

  • Positive feedbacks
  • Negative feedbacks
  • Questioning or Suggestion feedbacks

Positive feedback is a positive indication that your restaurant business is doing well. Similarly, it is a sign to maintain the same work standard.

On the other hand, negative feedback is a sign that things aren’t going well. These feedbacks will carry aggression and negative words only. Thus, a restaurant will have to scout itself for the thing that is contributing to a bad user experience at the restaurant.

Questioning feedback is deemed one of the most sought after as it is quite helpful in identifying the mistakes they are making. These feedbacks sometimes even include negative keywords as a suggestion.

However, this feedback is likely to be missed or ignored manually. But they are actionable if feedback is coming through an app. The restaurant owner itself can keep an eye on these valuable reviews from customers and make sure that a bad experience is also improved.

10. Reduce Operational Expenses

A drop in operational expenses is a sign that a business is flourishing. Nowadays, most restaurants are shifting to the “Cloud Kitchen” business model, wherein shop and dine-in facilities aren’t required.

Only a kitchen—whether it is rented or owned property—is necessary to carry out the tasks. Most brands are scaling their businesses alone on at-home delivery models.

They don’t offer dine-in facilities to customers. The entire business ecosystem of these restaurants depends entirely on mobile apps. Yet they are witnessing a great response rate from customers. Customers themselves claim that they are satisfied with the service.

However, the business model does not just save real estate investment or expense for a business.

Other expenses that come along with catering to the dynamic needs of customers on the spot, e.g., utility expenses, cost of entertainment sources, and washroom expenses, are also eliminated.

The only expense that comes along with the business model is the cost of delivery services. You can outsource delivery guys on a salary basis. Alternatively, you can have your food delivered via an aggregator or third-party service provider.

But in case your budget isn’t providing you the freedom to invest in mobile applications, you can go with an online ordering system like App2Food, where restaurants can get a custom-built application at no cost.

11. Easy Menu Access

Beside functionality, a quality trait mobile applications are widely known for is easy menu access. These applications facilitate smooth decision-making for customers on the particular item they wish to eat.

Usually, menu cards at a dine-in restaurant are full of clutter. It leads to an even more problematic situation for the customers when they find only text with a price tag on the card, utterly unaware of which food category it belongs to.

But on the other hand, mobile menus provide customers with peace of mind. The restaurant operator simply needs to publish the visuals and description of the food item on the app, and its automated features will handle the rest themselves.

Customers can walk through the options and search for relevant items to order. The benefit is remarkable for non-US residents.

As such, depending on the restaurant operator—whether they have provided essential data concerning the food menu—a non-US resident at your restaurant will place his or her order without any confusion.

Selecting food items from a menu card is also a source of hesitation for most customers. But the issue is warded off with the mobile application. After all, people get the option to explore the menu alone and order food that they can have at home if they fear going out in public. They will still get to enjoy it.

12. Unique Promotional Opportunities

Why does your restaurant need a mobile app? The biggest answer is promotional opportunities. These opportunities keep flourishing, from occasions to special restaurant launches.

However, the only thing that may take your time and effort is the initial push for the application. You will have to be strategic to grab the first 1K and 10K installs. Once you achieve the target, your customer chain must automatically expand through referrals and social awareness.

A study reveals that 77% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a shop or restaurant if they were advised about it by their family and friends. It is the power of referral.

So set a goal that you at least make your first 1,000–10,000 customers and give them such a brilliant service that they even bring more good friends to your application.

Once the target is achieved, you can market to them more of your great products with the power of mobile applications. To simply illustrate the unique promotional opportunities on the app, these are:

  • Banner ads
  • Pop-up adds
  • Recommendation ads
  • Notification ads
  • SMS Marketing
  • Email Marketing

The conversion rate of SMS marketing is higher than any other marketing tool you carry in your marketing basket. Email marketing is the second-most-preferred alternative by most businesses.

13. Social Sharing Benefits

There are over 4.62 billion social media users worldwide. People can’t miss even a single day to check into at least one of their favourite social media platforms, because it is part of their lives.

It keeps them in touch with their family and friends. That’s where businesses are digging for opportunities to find a way to connect with billions of people on social media apps.

However, the objective is hard to achieve with manual operations. But this is where applications connect the dots. Let’s understand it better through a real-life example:

Suppose a customer has recently purchased an item through the restaurant app. He liked it and now wants his friends to try it too. If the application features social sharing buttons, he can simply share the food item with his friends through a link.

It doesn’t matter if they have installed the app or not. The link will either take them to the restaurant’s website or take them to the Play Store or Apple App Store, where they can install the app to purchase the item that their friend had purchased earlier.

14. Increase sales among millennials

Compared to elderly folks, millennials account for the maximum mobile application consumption. A survey revealed that over 59.85% of millennials reported using 3–5 apps regularly.

Also, compared to any other age group, millennials are more likely to eat tasty food varieties at restaurants. This presents a chance for restaurants to target millennials and increase sales directly through mobile applications.

15. Strategic Checkout

Beside all these great reasons, another reason your restaurant needs a mobile app is the smooth checkout process. Payment processing comes with many great benefits, some of which are even strategic from a marketing perspective. Such marketing opportunities are fairly limited at dine-in restaurants.

Customers quietly leave the seat after they are done eating. But mobile applications play a trick. During checkout, it tries to collect feedback from customers; the page even recommends purchasing more great items. Not only this, a customer is also taken to further entertaining sources, which are indeed a strategy to make them a returning customer.


So these are the top reasons insisting on having you have an application for your restaurant. But if you are still hesitant to try them out because you are short on budget, no worries! You can use the Online Ordering System by App2Food, which lets you create a custom-built application at almost zero cost.