Posts Tagged ‘mobile apps’

To App or Not to App? Mobile Apps for Restaurants

February 3, 2012

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.



Does Your Restaurant Website Fail to Make the Grade?

November 30, 2011

Let’s face it: the restaurant website is often a bit of a dinosaur when compared to other cutting-edge technology online. Just having a website is not enough these days. You need to make sure that you have all your bases covered when it comes to this key element.

Print vs. Online

You’ve probably seen it before. The phone books pile up outside grocery stores, apartment complexes, and subdivisions. This ancient antiquity will soon be unrecognizable by our children. So why would you spend your money on advertising in phone books, newspapers, and magazines if you don’t even have a respectable website? Make sure that any of your marketing efforts are covered online first. Then if you have more of a marketing budget, you might want to try print.

The good news is that you can gussy up your business online even with a tight pocketbook. If you have to hire someone because you just don’t have the time, it will still only be a fraction of the cost that you would spend on a one inch ad in a phone book or other type of advertising collateral.

A Few Simple Solutions to Make Your Restaurant Website Design Work for You

Are you still operating your website with a static html page? It’s time to make some changes. Try switching to a content management system (CMS) that features sliders of your menu items.

Is your website compatible with smartphones? If it isn’t, you can get an app that will take care of that. Even if you just feature your address and phone number with the app, it’s better than not having a mobile website. In a recent survey conducted by Google, over 89% of people use their smartphones several times per day to conduct commerce and find phone numbers. It’s essential to be able to view your website on a smartphone—otherwise, it’s just on to the next business in the time it takes to click back.

Can your customers sign up for special coupons and offers on your website by email? You’re missing out on a golden business opportunity, especially with the extreme couponing craze happening right now.