How to Develop a Mobile App for Restaurants and Market it to Improve Conversions?
A successful restaurant is measured on several metrics. However, the biggest motivator is the taste buds of the customer having food at the restaurant. With a vivid experience, and unique service, you can get the customer to your restaurant; however, nothing beats the competition like a delectable dish.
Having said this, the modern day customer looks for convenience beyond every other aspect. If your restaurant can offer the convenience of providing bookings via phone or deliver the food to their place and offer the services they are looking at, then you have already achieved a good number of conversions.
A restaurant app is indeed your saviour from the modern customer’s perspective. It is important for you to have an app that can connect you with the customer, engage them with your restaurant, and help you offer an impressive experience.
The most difficult aspect of restaurant apps is the creation. You need to be absolutely sure of what you want the app to do, and the ultimate purpose of the app before you begin development. Here we will talk about how to develop a mobile app for the restaurant, and the different things you need to consider.
Developing a restaurant app
Define the purpose: What is the end goal you aim to achieve with the restaurant app? Do you want increase in bookings? Do you aim to offer more home deliveries? Do you want people to know what is served best in your restaurant? The purpose of the app will help you define the features.
Select the technology: Are you going with a native restaurant app or a hybrid app? Do you wish to develop an iOS only app or an iOS and Android app? This will entirely depend on where your target audience is present, and which ones are likely to convert. It will also depend on the features you are planning to introduce in the app.
Select the layout: It is time to define the UI for your restaurant app. How systematic do you want the navigation to be? Where all do you want to place the buttons? How easy or difficult do you want the app to be for your users? You can choose a ready-to-use template from the many available or, go for a custom template. This will entirely depend on the plan and the type of app you are developing.
Features for the application: At this point, you need to plan for the features that you want to introduce in the restaurant app:
- Mobile ordering: The online ordering menu should be separate from the regular menu. This restaurant order taking app should allow the users to add the food items they wish to order, mentioning the quantity. The cart should be user friendly. The payment gateways should be secure, and most of the payment methods should be linked.
- Restaurant menu: The menu should be available in the application for users to know what food items are available at the restaurant. The customers can decide the meal before arriving at the restaurant, making the whole service quicker and faster. They will also know the price, deals and even the new specialities available.
- Information: General information should be made available on the restaurant app. This should include things like what’s available, what’s new, where the restaurant is located, a little history on their existence etc.
- Maps: How to reach the restaurant should be integrated into the app via maps. This will make it easier for the user to locate the restaurant and help them reach faster.
- Coupons: The app should include discounts and coupons that are applicable for the day or month. The coupons and discounts should be easy to avail.
Define the experience: Make sure you have defined the UX for the application early on. This will help you plan the layout and arrange the features as per the UX decided.
Test the application: Before launching the application, it is essential to test it multiple times. This will help you notice any bugs or errors that are present in the app before uploading it to the store.
Finally, you need to market the app so that it increases the downloads.
Marketing the app
Here are a few strategies that should help you with app marketing and increasing the visibility of the application:
- ASO and Keywords: Your gateway to increasing the app store downloads is a clean optimization strategy combined with usage of keywords that the user is likely to enter. You need to research well before you commit the ASO for your app.
- Promotion within restaurant: Make sure that your restaurant has enough banners promoting your apps. You can announce free food or even a free drink with the food, if the user downloads the app. This will help in increasing the downloads for your app.
- Promote on yelp: Yelp is an excellent restaurant finder app. Most of the people who are going to use the restaurant app will be present on yelp. This will increase the discovery of your app and improve conversions.
- Social media promotions: If you have a restaurant page that is active and being followed by the audience in your segment, use it to promote your app. You can offer some motivator to the audience, making them download the app.
These are just a few ways to market your restaurant mobile app. You could have a video ad within Youtube videos to gain some attention or go for advertisements within other apps to promote your restaurant app.
It is important that your restaurant has a mobile application. However, not knowing the purpose can damage the very foundation of your app. So, make sure you are aware of the purpose of the app and the goals you aim to achieve with the application, before proceeding with the planning and development of your restaurant app.
Build your own restaurant a well-featured app now!
Vishal Virani is a Founder and CEO of Coruscate Solutions, a mobile app development company. He enjoys writing about technology, mobile apps, custom web development and latest industry trends.