To App or Not to App? Mobile Apps for Restaurants

Does your restaurant, bar, or other location need its own mobile app? Some consultants will tell you that it definitely does – and they can get you one for just the right price! Others will claim that it’s just a waste of money.

 

The truth about mobile apps is that what you need depends on various factors like your budget, your current website, and your clientele. The two most important questions you should ask yourself are: “Do I have a mobile-friendly website?” and “Who is my target audience?”

 

Is Your Restaurant’s Website Mobile-Friendly?

 

If your answer is “Yes,” then you are safe without a mobile app – but you may want to get one anyway, depending on your competition.

 

If your answer is “No,” then unless you have an enormous percentage of guests who have told you they’d like to order from their iPhones, Androids, or iPads/Tablets, you should first make your website mobile-friendly.

 

Who is Your Competition?

 

If you operate a restaurant that competes with someone like Chili’s (whose restaurants can now take orders via mobile apps) when it comes to target demographic or overall experience, then as much as I hate to say it, you probably need to “keep up with the joneses”.

 

Repeat Customers Might Use Apps More

 

Using an Android or iPhone app to order food at a restaurant can be a bit challenging, frustrating or potentially scary. But once customers have gotten used to ordering this way, they are more likely to think of it as fun, fast, and convenient.

 

It’s likely that your regulars will be the first to become comfortable with apps. So, if your most frequent or loyal customers are sporting lots of mobile devices inside of your restaurant, you may want to go for the app.

 

But is it Worth the Price?

 

Having a mobile app developed can run you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Will it be worth it for you to have one for the Android and one for Apple devices (because you will likely need both)?

 

Ask yourself this: Am I likely to lose business this year if I don’t have a mobile app for my restaurant? If so, then you should get one as soon as possible.

 

There are other reasons you might want to use them – the novelty factor can attract more guests if you’re the only one doing this in your local market, for example. But unless you are set to lose money in the immediate future, mobile apps are optional for the time being.

 

 

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7 Responses to “To App or Not to App? Mobile Apps for Restaurants”

  1. To App or Not to App? Mobile Apps for Restaurants « Jim Balis' Blog | Smart Phone Restaurant App Says:

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