restaurant app features
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

How can you boost revenue, streamline your service, interact with and cultivate new customers? Get a mobile restaurant app.

Now more than ever, restaurants across the world are innovating and coming up with creative ideas to stay afloat during difficult times.

However, these innovations have become increasingly popular and more of a standard for restaurants. The mobile restaurant app, in particular, makes it easier for restaurants to enhance their reputation, revenue, and customer loyalty. That is if they have these five essential restaurant app features.

What is a Restaurant Mobile App: 5 Key Restaurant App Features

A restaurant mobile app is a tool where you can constantly keep your guests updated about new launches, events or promotions, and updated contact information.

The optimal restaurant mobile app should include:

  • Helpful push notifications
  • Built-in delivery and takeout orders
  • Plenty of discounts
  • A simple interface that comes with an accessible and inclusive design
  • A loyalty program

Together, these restaurant app features will make your app more attractive and valuable to your consumer.

You might also like: Restaurant App Statistics Infographic

Helpful Push Notifications

Push notifications are a great way to keep your customers informed and stay connected without actively sending out the information yourself. For example, your restaurant may have recently introduced a new menu item.

You can update the information on the app’s back-end, prompting it to send out a notification to all app users.

When they receive the notification, it may pique their interest, prompt them to place an order online, or stop by in person to try the meal.

What Customers Expect and How You Can Do Better

With notifications, customers expect to stay up to date with the restaurant’s goings-on. If you send out a message every once in a while, the user will probably lose interest or forget about the app altogether.

Instead of letting the notifications go to waste, you can implement push notifications that you personalize to the user based on their app interaction history.

If a customer typically searches for new discounts every week, help them out and send special offers each week to keep them informed and interested.

The customer is more likely to interact with the app or continue placing orders if they see that one of your restaurant app features is sending out deals.

Built-in Delivery and Takeout

restaurant app features: delivery

Given the recent climate, the restaurant industry has to quickly pivot to include free delivery and takeout options that they might have otherwise not had.

Restaurant delivery and takeout services have become increasingly popular and are vital to maintaining profits.

If you haven’t implemented these restaurant app features already, you should consider doing so. Expanding your services to include takeout, delivery, and pickup will only boost your revenue.

Steps to Implementing a Delivery Service

First things first, you need to create a specific takeout and delivery menu.

Rather than using the same full menu used for in-house dining, you might want to consider shortening the options to some popular items to keep production costs down.

Once you have your menu established, add it to your app to allow for prompt delivery directly from your application. Skip restaurant mobile app development by letting us do it for you.

White-Label, Branded Restaurant App Get your own mobile app complete with pickup and delivery.

In-House Delivery vs. Third-Party Delivery

Third-party delivery services can make this process easier by helping you attract new customers. However, with in-house delivery, you get to keep all the profits.

Even if you have to hire your own drivers, you will have complete control over the delivery process. Plus, you won’t end up paying up to 30% of each order to third-party apps.

Worried that third-party services run 24/7 and you can’t? Well, you can if you activate scheduled orders. This feature allows customers to place orders at any time with a later fulfillment date.f

Not to mention that with your own online ordering system, you control the restaurant app features you have.

Read more: 7 Reasons Why an In-House Online Ordering System is the Best Choice

Plenty of Discounts

restaurant app features: promotions in menu

Offering plenty of discounts will hook prospective customers and keep current customers satisfied because they give them a reason to try your food.

You’ll reach a wider clientele if you offer discounts and deals because people don’t want to spend a fortune on a meal. Instead, someone looking for a bite to eat will gravitate toward the restaurant with plenty of special offers and promotions.

A great example of discounting’s positive restaurant impact is a restaurant week. Fundamentally, a restaurant week is an event where many restaurants join together to offer fixed menu prices.

Even though you reduce your menu prices, it makes the items that some people couldn’t afford before readily available, thereby helping you reach new customers.

Hosting or participating in a restaurant week can boost your brand’s popularity within the community.

The public will view your establishment as trendy. Plus, you’ll get a better reputation within the community because you participate in something that helps boost the local economy.

What about Upselling?

Upselling is the idea that you can tempt customers to purchase more than they initially intended by hinting toward better deals or combinations.

For example, your customer might want a sandwich and a drink, but you can upsell them with a combo deal in which they get a sandwich, a drink, and a bag of chips.

However, upselling doesn’t only have to occur with in-person dining. One of the many benefits of mobile apps for restaurants is that they allow automation. You can implement upselling restaurant app features directly into your app.

For example, if a user clicks on a specific product, you can implement an automated pop-up suggesting combinations that go with the item.

Another frequently used upselling technique restaurants use on their applications is offering beverage or dessert options before a customer checks out.

Doing so reminds the customer to purchase the extra items they may have forgotten or would not have bought otherwise.

These techniques are subtle but effective.

You can take an even more subtle approach to upselling within the app’s menu descriptions. How? By describing complementary items on the menu to nudge customers to try one of those options and add other dishes on the side.

A Simple User Interface

restaurant app features: user-friendly design

For a customer, there’s nothing worse than having to navigate through confusing restaurant app features to find basic information, and this is where simplicity in design comes in.

Instead, aim to create something minimalistic and easy to navigate so that your customers can use the app effortlessly.

Create a basic home screen that lists the available options, such as the menu and order now buttons.

A cleaned-up home screen will give the user options to choose from without having to scroll or search for them.

How the Online Ordering Process Should Look Like

Your customer should be able to order from a computer using your website or a mobile device using your mobile app for restaurant ordering.

Thanks to the app’s simple interface, your customer can easily navigate to your order online option. There, they’ll click on the menu items they want to purchase, much like they would in any online shopping platform.

When they’ve concluded adding their items, the platform will direct them to a page where they can input their payment and contact information (which they can save for future orders).

Suppose you want to interact with your customers further on the app, other than through push notifications. In that case, you can add a section for first-time customers to identify themselves.

Benefits of Speaking with a First-Time Customer

When your server interacts with first-time customers, they have more opportunities to upsell. New customers are typically interested in learning more about your menu items.

They might also take your server up on their suggestion to try a specific menu item. Someone who has dined with you before might already know what they want to order.

Including first-time customer identification as one of your restaurant app features allows you to connect with first-time patrons even if they’re not physically inside the restaurant.

You can hook up the option to a chatbot or give them the option to call the restaurant directly to discuss the menu.

What is Customer-Driven Marketing?

This doesn’t mean simply rewarding customers but instead cultivating a unique loyalty program that customers will want to engage with and that will help you increase profits.

The more you interact with your customers through deals targeted directly to them and their needs, the more likely they will return to your restaurant.

What are Statistics Modules?

Statistics modules will help you understand your customer base’s activities and enhance your app for better results.

Statistics give you in-depth insight into the inner workings of your platform. The modules can show you what’s working well and what isn’t so you can work on addressing complications and better boost your revenue.

Some statistics modules you might want to consider are Hotjar, Hotjar alternatives, or Google Firebase.

These modules provide detailed data behind the scenes about different app elements and how customers interact with the platform.

For example, if your app has a ‘contact us’ page, you can use the statistics module to see how many times customers visit and use the page.

Have you noticed that the contact page rarely gets clicks throughout your application’s lifetime? Then it might not be worth being a part of your restaurant app features. You can take it down or revamp it to make it more attractive and accessible for your users.

Your Own Loyalty Program

Developing a customer loyalty program will help you cultivate a relationship with your customers and keep them coming back.

You may have noticed other restaurants with loyalty programs, such as “buy nine donuts & get the tenth for free” or something along those lines.

Offering complimentary drinks or desserts is often a good idea because they’re more cost-effective than mains, but they’ll still impress your guests. Also, who doesn’t love free food?

What are the Benefits of a Loyalty Program?

The possibilities for loyalty programs are endless, but a popular strategy includes creating a membership card that records each time someone visits your restaurant.

Once they’ve hit a target number of visits, they get a gift or free menu item.

You can add this to your restaurant app features so your customers can see how far they are in achieving a free item or another incentive. This keeps your customer interacting with your establishment.

Hilton Hotels created a very successful Loyalty program called HHonors. The program allows users to plan their entire stay using their mobile app. It works similar to the Starbucks or the Dunkin’ app, where customers can hook up their payment information and pay via QR code on the app.

Using the app more and more earns the customer more reward points to redeem for more free things. Thus, an endless cycle of interaction and use takes effect.

However, when deciding on a loyalty program, choose the method that best suits your business needs. For example, you’ll probably do best implementing a Single-Card Loyalty Program if you have a single-location restaurant.

If you have numerous locations throughout the area you’re in or throughout the country, you will reach more customers with a Multi-Card Loyalty Program.

What are the Benefits of Gift Cards?

Gift and loyalty cards are a great way to increase revenue and sales, gather valuable data, and make consumers feel appreciated.

Gift cards will allow customers to offer a meal at your restaurant as a present to new customers. Therefore, they can potentially lead to new customers and make your restaurant more accessible.

That’s All on Restaurant App Features

2020 caused the restaurant industry to innovate and turn to creative solutions faster than any other industry.

While many thought this would be temporary, these ideas launched a new wave of innovation for restaurants. They created new ways to reach customers and boost revenue, especially by creating digital, interactive platforms.

We hope you enjoyed looking at some of these restaurant app features and other ideas you can implement to keep up with industry changes and boost your revenue.

This article is a guest post.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She delivers business-optimized content to help restaurants boost sales and grow their brand.