With 2017 in full swing, restaurants should take advantage of a brand new year and test new and innovative ways to increase their customer loyalty and streamline their business. Technology is constantly changing, so it is important for restaurant owners to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and solutions that could not only improve the customer experience, but bring in additional profits as well. That’s where a mobile app comes in handy. A mobile app can add substantial value for restaurants by boosting repeated business.


Here are some helpful tips on why restaurant owners should incorporate a mobile app:


Mobile Loyalty Rewards

With technology and payments becoming digitally influenced, creating a mobile app that is integrated with loyalty rewards is essential. In today’s society, consumers are constantly interacting and engaging with their smartphone device. With a mobile app, restaurant owners can send out specific promotions and specials going on through a push notification, allowing them to communicate with app users instantaneously. An example of a push notification restaurant owners could send out is offering a free kids meal with the price of a full entrée.


"The Chick-fil-A app almost immediately hit number one, simply because they added support for loyalty programs," said Ben Gray, Digital Experience Analyst with Applause. "The more chicken sandwiches you buy, the closer you'll be to earning free food." And, as the saying goes, the best things in life are free.


According to a recent study, 65% of restaurant consumers would consider downloading a restaurant app if they were to receive special offers or discounts occasionally, and 80% claimed they would re-visit a restaurant to redeem the benefits, even if it required purchasing several items before receiving a free item.


More Accurate Orders

Mobile apps also help improve the accuracy of orders, as consumers have full control over filling out their order from start to finish. Not only can a consumer select what items they want to buy via a mobile app, but they also can customize, delete or add specific items to their order as well as list any special requirements. With a phone order, there is a higher chance of human error regarding an incorrect order or incorrect payment information being entered.


Taco Bell and Starbucks both have a mobile app that allows consumers to place their order directly from their app, without ever having to talk with an employee over the phone. Not only have both businesses seen an increase of accurate orders, but have also saved money since they aren’t wasting as much food on inaccurate orders that have to be remade.


"The brands that supported loyalty programs, digital coupons, mobile payments — those tended to score considerably higher than the rest. That's where Domino's, Taco Bell, and Starbucks really stood out over the rest. I think that's the future of this industry,” said Gray.


Increased Sales

For younger generations, such as millennials and Gen Z, mobile apps are one of the main ways to place orders. A study conducted by Food Tech Connect found that 40% of 18 to 34 year olds prefer to make a mobile payment to other methods of payments and 35% wish to place the orders on a tablet or smartphone. This is especially true at quick-service and fast casual restaurants. By accommodating the younger generations, a restaurant will certainly increase their sales and business revenue as a whole.


Mobile apps have become a popular tool that many restaurants are now using. Not only can mobile apps integrate loyalty rewards, but they also improve the accuracy of orders and help increase overall sales. As a restaurant owner, make sure and stay competitive within your market and get set up with a mobile app today.