Mobile Websites for Restaurants vs. Mobile Apps for Restaurants

While patrons still rely on traditional media like print ads, newspaper reviews, and word of mouth to guide their restaurant decisions, an increasing number are also using the Internet and their mobile devices for the same – and often in strange ways.

 

Mobile Usage is Growing Every Year – and Why this is Good for Restaurants

 

Every year, more people reach the web more of the time through mobile devices – and less through “traditional” means like laptops and personal home computers.

 

While this may not be a great thing for computer manufacturers, it’s great news for the food service industry. Why? Entertainment, shopping, and dining out are three things that the average smartphone user looks for when he or she is out and about.

 

If your restaurant is able to connect by way of mobile device, you’ll get “impulse traffic” for sure. But more importantly, you’ll get groups of friends and other medium-to-large parties who didn’t start the night with a restaurant in mind – but who now want to walk through your doors.

 

Should You Go for a Mobile Website or an App?

 

If you have to choose between the two, spend your money first on a mobile-friendly website. Mobile websites are one-size fits all for every kind of smart phone, as well as other mobile devices like tablets and touchscreen iPods.

 

If you want mobile apps, however, you need to build one for each operating platform. Straight out of the gate, that means you need one for Android, one for Apple (iPods, iPads, and iPhones), one for Blackberry, and one for Windows (for the up-and-coming Windows phone).

 

What You Should Put on Mobile Websites for Restaurants

 

The difference between a mobile site and a regular website can be confusing if you’re not immersed in the online world. The long and short of it is this: a mobile site is a stripped-down version of your restaurant’s regular website.

 

A mobile website should give your same basic information, without all the bells and whistles of your great design. You may even want to leave off some of your content, in order to keep it simple.

 

A mobile website should have: easy-to-find contact and location information (integration with Google Maps is a plus), phone number, booking information, and business hours.

 

If there’s anything else you want to add, that’s all up to you. Discounts for mobile or first-time customers are usually a good idea, but the most important thing is to make sure guests can easily find your menu – and then easily find their way through your doors!

 

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