Launching a digital platform at the right time can boost business.

While the outlook of the hospitality sector looks positive, the war in the restaurant industry is heating up every day. On one hand, there are an increasing number of new restaurants popping up. On the other hand, most restaurants close within first three years. Whether you are an established or a new player operating fast food, casual dining, or luxury dining, it is imperative to reinvent your restaurant.

May be you have upgraded your menu, refurbished your interiors, and have been offering great deals and doing heavy promotions, but customers don’t knock on your door often. Have you ever considered that lack of mobile presence could be a reason? This is the age of mobile-savvy customers who expect your restaurant to provide them information on-the-go before they choose to dine-in or order-in.

If you have done everything to rev up sales, yet nothing seems to be working, it’s about to time to go mobile. Here are telltale signs your restaurant needs to develop a mobile app.

1. Your competition is beating you to it

Perhaps you were too blind or busy to notice, but your competitors have already lured your customers with their mobile apps. The fact that they are doing this should be strong enough sign for you to create a mobile app.

2. You are expanding into the online ordering space

It is highly unlikely that you don’t have a website, a social media account, or a partnership with a food delivery service. Take a look at your sales figures—are online orders picking up or contributing a major chunk to revenues? Are you planning to provide doorstep food delivery? Then act quickly, because you already have an existing base of customers who prefer online ordering and wouldn’t take long to convert into mobile app users as well.

3. Your target audience is young

Though smartphone ownership varies across the demographic groups and regions, there is the highest penetration in between ages 20-29,and millennials are using them more than any other generation. In fact, according to a report by Morgan Stanley Research, they make up 51 percent of fast-casual restaurant customers. The fact that a mobile app can let them interact with restaurant at a faster speed and with more convenience means that they prefer to download food apps.

4. You want to engage your customers

You may provide the best food, service, and deals, but the point is whether the new customer knows that before walking into your restaurant. Existing customers are aware, but is their loyalty wavering? This is an obvious sign to launch a mobile app. You can send customers personalized push notifications informing them of menu updates, offers and discounts, order history, location-based deals, reservation reminders, and more to keep them engaged. A study by eMarketer reveals that push notification can boost engagement up to 88 percent.

Simply put, mobile marketing is the need of the hour for any business, including restaurants. It drives brand value and keep customers connected to you. 

Expert Takes, Feature