Why It’s Best To Integrate Your Restaurant Apps With 3rd Party APIs

Posted on October 30th, 2018 by Breck Hapner

You may have implemented web development or mobile app development to promote your restaurant and take online orders. That’s great.

But does your app feature API integration with other third-party apps? You could be missing out on a lot of opportunities if it doesn’t.

Unless your web and/or mobile app already has the kitchen sink, there’s a good chance you’re going to end up wanting to leverage other technology. You may not feel the need right away, but later you will wish that you had built this capability into your app.

So, here are several reasons why it’s best to integrate your restaurant app with third-party APIs.

You Can Offer More Payment Options

Today, customers love to pay in a variety of ways, whether it’s debit, credit, Bitcoin or otherwise.

Now, this isn’t to suggest that you need to accept payments via Bitcoin. But maybe you’d like to let your customers pay for their order using PayPal. The ability to integrate with an app like PayPal would make this process more streamlined.

So, if you want to give your customers access to more payment options, that could be a good reason to build third-party integration functionality into your app.

You Can Tap Into The Power Of Social Media

Some customers abandon orders because they don’t want to have to create another online user account.

But if you integrate your app with social networks, you could give your customers the ability to create a new account simply by logging in using their favorite social network. This can remove a barrier for customers who may not have ordered otherwise and streamline the login process besides. So, it’s an opportunity to hit two birds with one stone.

Another possibility is that you could get your customers to share about their order or post a review on social media. The more exposure you can get, the better, so social sharing functionality could end up proving beneficial to your marketing overall.

You Can Engage Your Customers & Market More Effectively

A POS is a powerful tool. But it doesn’t do everything. What if it connected directly to a customer relationship management platform (CRM)?

That could open a whole new world of possibilities. You could stay in touch with your customers via email and let them know about your latest specials or events. You could apply discounts or loyalty programs. CRM integration could take engagement to a new level, encouraging more return visits and leading to more connection with your best customers.

Just remember to follow applicable laws and regulations. These days, getting your customers to double opt-in to receive marketing communication from you is the norm, so beware.

You Can Create Personalized Experiences

People love to use the internet on their smartphones. Whether they’re at home or on the go, it offers a convenient way for them to quickly access what they need – relevant information, event tickets, online ordering and more.

Restaurants often have location-based deals. So, if your app can pinpoint where your prospect is and offer them a promotion based on their location, you can increase their likelihood of following through on an order they started.

These days, customers don’t just want a personalized experience. They’re coming to expect it. Integrating with third-party APIs could give you the opportunity to create more pertinent offers for your prospects.

Conclusion: Only Worry About What Matters To You & Your Audience

Your customers probably won’t care if your app integrates with Slack, an instant messaging tool for business, or Dropbox, a file-sharing app. These examples may seem ridiculous, but the point is this – your app doesn’t need to integrate with everything.

You only need to be able to connect to apps that: a) matter to your audience, or b) matter to your business. The rest doesn’t matter. So, if it helps your customers or helps you streamline processes at your business, you should prioritize those integrations over others.

Some third-party API integrations to check out include Aloha, Heartland, LevelUp, and Stripe for payment processing; Fishbowl, Patronix, and Punchh for loyalty & rewards; and Olo and Qu for online ordering technologies.

Mobile App Development for Restaurants

Are you interested faster checkouts, resulting in bigger orders and happier customers? The experts at DineEngine® offer a customer-centric approach to building the best possible applications for your business. We utilize customer feedback when prioritizing the features we build into our mobile applications. We are eager to hear about your goals and your customers’ needs so we can help you deliver the best possible dining experience.