Did you know that an average American eats a commercially prepared meal four times a week? As a whole, that is roughly 18.2 meals per month eaten outside of the home. While most would agree that eating out is almost always more expensive than eating in, sometimes that trip to the pub down the street or the local pizzeria seems too convenient to pass up. But how often have we decided to go out with friends, and then struggled to find a mutual destination for everyone?
Did you know that an average American spends over 2 hours a day on their mobile device? That levels out to almost 60 hours a month. Today’s technology provides us with the luxury of viewing a restaurant’s location, phone number, ratings, food, menu, and prices before we even set foot in the establishment, or even when we are on our way driving there!
It is stated that restaurants are the most searched business type on mobile devices to date. In a recent study, 97% of 1500 smartphone users said that they had searched for one or more restaurants on their mobile web browser in a six month period.
The result? 75% of consumers stated they made a decision of where to eat based on their search.
However, what if the customer became quickly flustered with a site that was difficult to navigate because it was not mobile-friendly? What if they eventually gave up, saying they would rather eat somewhere else where the menu was familiar?
This is why a mobile-friendly site is mandatory for any restaurant determined to succeed and boost its clientele.
Taking It A Step Further: The Mobile App
Restaurant owners: You all know how imperative regular customers can be to an eating establishment. While regulars can sometimes pose some annoyance to bar or wait staff if they have developed a sense of heightened entitlement over the years, they are usually reliable in knowing their order, and leaving a consistent tip. Depending on who the regular is, a sort of partnership can develop. When you consistently provide good food and good service; they continually bring you business in return.
Now imagine your app downloaded on the device of a faithful regular. They not only promote your name via word of mouth, but now they carry your restaurant brand with them wherever they go.
On the other hand, a fair-weather customer can equally benefit from downloading a restaurant app on their smartphone or tablet. Depending on the design of the app, customers can experience rewards and special offers at their fingertips, link social media, receive push notifications, write reviews, make contact with the staff, and more, allowing the customer to feel included. Furthermore, each time the app is used to post to Facebook or Twitter from smartphones for check ins, status updates, and photos, it can act as free advertising as it provides instant online stimulation for the business. The mobile app is not just an instrument of marketing, but an interactive tool between a restaurant and its patrons.
Small business owners may be uncomfortable with the prospect of the work and investment of a mobilized website or an app. Understand that the price paid for marketing a business that is available at the swipe of a phone can increase customer traffic up to 46%, ultimately resulting in overcompensating the initial cost of making the switch. In a 2015 study of the State of Mobile Commerce Report, it is stated that in the last two years, time spent using applications increased by 90%. It is predicted by next year that 10 billion mobile devices will be in use. That means more iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Androids, Tablets, etc. than people on earth.
Mobility is the future. Do not lose your customers to Applebees. Upgrade today and stay ahead of the game!