5 Things Your Guests Want From Your Restaurant’s Mobile App

Posted on October 11th, 2017 by Breck Hapner

The popularity of restaurants’ mobile apps cannot be denied. A recent survey of 11 restaurants found that about 40 percent of customers visiting their websites did so via their mobile phones. Mobile app development is a win-win for both customers and restaurant owners.

They make it more convenient for customers to engage in online ordering, and studies have shown that they also lead to increased sales for owners. The key is use API integrations to design an application that customers will find appealing and that will make them want to use it repeatedly in the future. That loyalty translates into profits for you, the business owner. So what are the features that customers look for in a restaurant’s mobile app?

1. Rewards, Rewards, Rewards

Loyalty & reward integration for restaurants allow easy access to programs, promotions and discounts in a mobile app make it highly appealing to customers. Instead of standing in line in your restaurant and fishing through their wallet for a loyalty card or trying to remember their rewards account number, a mobile app can store all of that information and streamline the process of, for instance, accumulating and using reward points.

Many chains that have experienced success with their mobile apps – such as heavy-hitters Starbucks, Domino’s and Chick-fil-A – offer special promotions only available to customers who use their mobile apps. It stands to reason, then, that customers see the appeal of mobile ordering and increasingly prefer it over placing an order in-person.

 2. Customization Options

While it is of course possible for customers to walk into your restaurant and place a custom order at the register or with your wait staff, they feel a greater sense of control over their order when they can take their time and select precisely the options they want on a mobile app. They also might be more inclined to select add-on items when they essentially have all the time in the world to peruse your menu and “play around” with their order until they decide on exactly what they want.

A mobile app can also add a check-out feature showing customers what add-on items that people placing similar orders have selected – such as appetizers, desserts or beverages. Customers can explore your menu and discover items they might not have considered ordering before, while you can experience growing sales thanks to an effective mobile app.

3. Order Scheduling

Also giving customers a greater sense of control over their purchase is the option to schedule an order in advance. Working professionals, parents and others with busy schedules enjoy the ability to place an order for a later time so they’ll know their purchase will be ready and they don’t have to think about it until it’s time for it to be picked up or delivered. Today’s consumers enjoy having a sense of autonomy over their purchases, and allowing for order scheduling within your mobile app can help them toward that end.

4. Push Notifications

Though customers should be given the option to turn off push notifications from restaurant mobile apps, many of them find them useful and convenient. Building push notifications into your app will allow customers to see such “milestones” as when their order has been received, when it is being prepared and when it is ready for pick-up or delivery. Those who wish to place orders in advance particularly benefit from push notifications.

5. Intuitive UX Design

Perhaps above all else, your restaurant’s mobile app should have user experience (UX) development featuring an easy-to-navigate design. A first-time user should find it to be intuitive. The menu and customization options should be easy to locate and navigate. Your hours of operation and contact information should be prominently displayed on the main screen. Rewards and promotions should have their own screen and should save a customer’s information.

The checkout screen should allow for editing and deleting items and should include fields for promo codes and tips. A few well-placed images of your menu items can also make the app visually appealing and entice customers to purchase certain items – however, it is important to be certain that those images don’t crowd the design. In short, your mobile app should be clean and clear, simple and modern, and entice your customers to use it again and again.

Is Your Mobile App Optimized For Customer Satisfaction?

If you’d like to ensure that your restaurant’s mobile app is well-suited to your customers’ preferences, the team at DineEngine® is here to help. We listen to customer feedback when developing mobile ordering software for your restaurant. Please get in touch and tell us about your needs and goals for your mobile app. We love nothing more than to create enhanced digital experiences that will make both restaurant owners and their customers happy.