Why Restaurants Need An App in a Covid-World
As restaurants begin to reopen their (physical) doors under new Covid-rules, now is the perfect time for this industry's players to move into the Mobile App game. Below, I've highlighted some of the reasons a Mobile App could be a restaurant's game-changer.
The current contactless limit is £45, meaning any amount above this and you will be touching a Chip and PIN machine (Google & Apple pay users, you’re in the clear). With an app, diners can insert their payment details (safely) and pay on their phones. This eradicates the need for payment devices, without the need for a server to approach them (decreasing physical interactions, a big plus for cautious patrons).
Until Covid is under control, most customers will feel safer completing all transactions on their own devices, and dining out is meant to be a relaxing experience, right? An app makes this as stress-free as can be.
Streamlined Booking System
With such reduced capacity, it is vital restaurants maximise their revenue streams, and this means filling tables with patrons. An app is a great place to have a slick, easy booking system for your customers, but it can also be a PR machine.
With push notifications, you can alert app users to real-time promotions and entice them to dine when things are quiet. With the government rolling out the 50% ‘Eat Out Help Out’ food discount scheme, why not send a friendly reminder that customers will get 50% off their bill Monday to Wednesday? An app can help increase bookings on these typical quiet days.
Talking of maximising revenue streams, imagine being able to offer each table their own personal server. Sounds great, right? With an app, diners can view the menu at any time, order any extras or their next round of drinks, specify their dietary requirements, summon - and pay - for the bill, all from their phone.
An app is not just your PR machine, it is your extra hands on deck, taking orders and cutting wait-time as servers focus on dishing out food (and drinks). In doing this, the app continues to decrease physical interactions between staff and patrons.
Repeat business is key, and an app couldn’t make this easier. With a simple online booking system, safe & secure payment being 1-click away, an automated receipt sent to the customer’s email address, you can push a new USP to repeat diners: complete experiential convenience.
This will resonate with customers as they enjoy their uncomplicated restaurant experience, allowing them to unwind as they focus on the food, the drinks and the company. Leaving the restaurant with a positive experience - while knowing a similar visit is a click away - is going to increase the likelihood of a repeat visit.
Education - The way we dine out has changed massively, and it can be quite overwhelming going to a restaurant and figuring out all the new in-house rules (one-way walking systems and separate entry/exit points are the new norm). With an app you can guide them to view your restaurant regulations prior to their visit, allowing them to be confident in what to expect when they arrive.
Talking of customers being comfortable with new regulations, the current protocol is to take contact details from diners on arrival, as the government recommends measures for a Track & Trace system. Common practice is for these details to be written on A4 listed paper, which won't instil confidence in customers as they consider how secure their details are, and how reliable this Track & Trace method is.
With an app, reminding customers that their details are already stored securely will offer them assurance, knowing if there are any links of the virus to restaurant they will be notified accordingly (and their details will be stored compliant with GDPR).
Anything that settles nerves of patrons is going to increase their satisfaction, and at a time like this, we want to reward them for offering their custom with a calming experience. With an app, this can start before they've even walked in the door.
There you have it, some of our favourite concepts on what an app could do for restaurateurs, we hope they’re insightful. If you’d like to talk about where to start with app creation, we’d love to hear from you (just click here).
Under the current Covid restrictions, an app could be your restaurant’s superpower; a vital - virtual - member of the team.