Mobile phones are the most common personal items among consumers, and people keep them within reach at almost all times. Naturally, it makes good business sense to have a strategy that makes use of mobile capabilities.
In recent years, restaurants have realized the revenue potential in mobile phones, especially considering the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurant and delivery apps now serve as a sales and communication channel through which restaurants have direct access to the consumer.
If you’re ready to take your restaurant to the next level with mobile ordering but don’t know how to get started, the following steps will make the process more manageable.
1. Build an App
An app is a perfect real estate to occupy customers’ phones. They allow your restaurant to interact with customers on its terms. As a marketing tool, they are very cost-effective communication channels between the restaurant and the customers.
The app should center around your customer and their needs. Restaurants are an experience, and your app should have the same feel. The restaurant’s unique selling points and personality should shine through the app.
It’s not just about design, but function too. The app has to add value to the customer experience so it must be easy to use, especially when it comes to making orders.
2. Find the Right POS Software
Investing in an intelligent, distributed POS system is in the restaurant’s best interests. When evaluating options for mobile POS software, look for an option that can connect the consumer to the restaurant’s ordering system directly. The software should cater to both online and offline orders and should support easy integration with your other existing business software.
Additionally, a POS should accept any payment method, whether the customer wants to pay in cash, by credit card, NFC, or a digital wallet.
3. Share on Social Media
If you want to encourage customers to make orders from there phone, your marketing strategy needs to meet them where they are. To bring in more customers, focus heavily on Instagram and Facebook marketing. Post high-quality photos of your food and share your daily specials, and customers won’t be able to resist placing an order.
4. Start Small
As with anything in business, when launching mobile ordering, be realistic. Create a launch strategy that your restaurant can manage and set achievable goals.
Create a minimum valuable product (MVP), which is an app with the essentials only. This makes creating an app easier as there is no pressure to go all out. Once the MVP app is launched, you can garner feedback from your core customers on its performance.
The early adopters will give you insights on features and improvements that could make your app appealing to more customers.
5. Simplify the Ordering Process and Customization Options
Viewing the menu and placing an order should be a simple process. This may require the restaurant to streamline its menu and make it easy to read on a mobile phone. Keep in mind that the app also allows you to use images, videos along with descriptive text to sell your food.
Customizing the app makes it more fun to interact with. Customizing the food ordered also makes it more fun to experience your food. Generally, customers like to personalize their experience, so always allow them to do so.
Also, leave space for customers to give feedback. Customers value being heard, and you could gain valuable insight into your restaurant’s brand perception from the comments.
6. Loyalty Programs and Other Special Offers
Everybody loves a good deal, so use that to your advantage. To get customers to download your app, offer special discounts or exclusive gifts through the app. Restaurant loyalty apps add tempting incentives to customers—to get the most out of the program, they need to make more purchases. Having a rewards app will help you beat out the competition and secure loyal patrons who prefer your restaurant every time they want to order out.
7. Train Your Employees
A mobile app will bring new sales channels to the restaurant. Restaurant owners should understand that the app will bring operational changes.
Before launch, it is crucial to train and educate staff on the new tech and how it will affect operations. The flow of orders, content, and protocols for mishaps must all be known to provide a seamless service.
Make the Leap and Go Mobile
Initiating mobile ordering is an elaborate journey that will require you to remain focused. Keep your values and goals in mind as you build this new capacity and always put the customer in its center. The mobile ordering app must be maintained and updated once it launches to provide an efficient and effective service. In time, you’ll have a new sales channel that your customers love.