Building an app to support your services and increase customer service in the hospitality industry is not a new strategy, but most restaurant or hotel owners have not yet explored the huge benefits involved in developing an app for their business.
In this article, we will explain how you can and why you should expand your services on mobile — highlighting the essential reasons for innovating on mobile in the hospitality industry.
So why should you Innovate on Mobile App?
About 3 billion people are expected to use smartphones worldwide in 2020. Also, because of the rise of smartphone usage, mobile devices now account for 50% of total time spent on digital media (comScore). Approximately 90% of the time spent on smartphones are spent on mobile apps (Smart Insights). These stats show the importance of mobile apps for businesses and individuals.
Starbucks is one company that has massively exploited and enjoyed the benefit of using an app to increase sales and customer loyalty. A recent study found that Starbucks has the most regularly used loyalty rewards app (48%) among a list of major restaurant chains.
Starbucks CFO Scott Maw said most of the company’s same-store sales growth has come from customers that have digital relationships with the company and those that are in the Starbucks Rewards program.
The company grew loyal customers through digital engagements. Offering reward programs, providing user-friendly UI design, offering mobile ordering and payment features, and integration with other services like Spotify to launch a new digital music experience with their app.
Also, like Starbucks, other hospitality businesses have also benefited from mobile apps. By using their app to interact with their customers in and outside the business.
Basic Features you can add in your App
1. Real-time Menu
This feature allows you to change the menu in your app according to what is available in real time. Also, you can add new items on the menu as soon as it is released in the restaurant so the customers will be aware of the new addition, keeping them informed of changes in real time
2. Customer Account
Customers profile is one essential feature in a business app. It gives you insight and data on the behaviour and actions of your customers. You can use this insight to provide better services to your customer. This feature allows your user to log in or register and manage their account.
3. Ordering Features
This feature enables your users to order from your store easily from the app. You can decide to inculcate a delivery system or allow users to order for food and pick up at the closest store location.
4. Payment features
You can integrate your app with payment platforms that enable your users to order and pay online. You can offer reward programs like Starbucks to encourage users to order and buy online.
5. Customizable layout
The UI of the app should match and fit the theme of your restaurant. Giving your customers a feel of your restaurant even when they are interacting with your app anywhere in the world. This feature can leave a positive perception in the mind of your customers
6. Social media integration
Your mobile app should support integration with the social media profiles of your users. So your customers can be able to share your menu on social media, discount or coupons on social media
7. Enable push notification features:
This feature allows you to send notifications to your customers on the latest promo, offers, discounts. Also, to inform them on upcoming holidays’ special or maybe to suggest breakfast combination for a breakfast buffet
Other basic features are
- Real-time messaging and calls (customer support)
- Whilst and cart
- Favourite orders
- Product search
Benefits of building an App for your Restaurant
- Increase digital engagement
- Get new customers and increase customer loyalty
- Online seat reservation
- Online ordering and instant payment
- Location-based deals with ibeacon technology
- Real-time analytics on your users’ behaviour
- Increase social media presence for your brand through social media integration
- App store online publicity through reviews and ratings
How to Market your App
They are different ways you can market your app, and gain customer acquisition. You can read up different marketing strategies.
Other ways are;
- Traditional advertising/in-store sign
- Free wifi to enable your customers to download the app
- Discount to Customers that make payments from the App
- Local celebrity endorsement
- Search ads (local search ads)
How Much does a Restaurant App Cost
The cost of building an app is dependent on the type of app you want to develop. Building an MVP app will not cost the same as building an app like Uber or Starbucks. Some important factors are;
- The features needed in your app
- The platform you are building your app for
- The team are using for your app (mobile development agency or freelancers)
- The time frame in building your app
If you want an estimated amount of how much it will cost you to build an app you can contact our mobile specialist for a free consultation
At Sprinthub mobile, we don’t just believe in building an app. We believe in creating a mobile solution. When you develop your app, you are bringing an innovative strategy by providing a mobile solution for your business.
If you have any question or need more enlightenment, you can leave a comment below, and we will reply ASAP.