Some Facts and Reasons to Consider a Mobile Web App -
Mobile "smartphone" devices now account for 50.4% of all phones. The major chains all have mobile apps that are growing in use. Pizza chains report as high as 20% - 30%+ of their incoming orders come from mobile device. (See www.pizza.localmobil.com for a sample pizza app example.) Fine restaurants that serve wine report great acceptance of tablets to present their wine menus. (See www.your.localmobil.com for another sample.) Those statistics are predicted to increase to 50% of all orders in the next couple years. Mobile isn't on the coming horizon, it's already here.
Those national chains (i.e. franchisors) build apps that are designed not only to make mobile ordering easy, but to cost their franchises for each incoming order. So, they require the user to first enter a zip code, email address, location, etc., to allow them to have a method of determining which franchisee to charge. ($1 per order charged to their franchisee is not uncommon.)
Mobile apps designed for franchise use also focus on totalling a sale so that they can charge the customer and intercept the payment to keep their share before the franchisee gets paid. So, they build their apps to calculate and total, which can take a lot longer to do than a user has patience for. Ask yourself if it's better to simply welcome the customer when they pick up or at delivery and collect using your current merchant processing? It is, it's cheaper, faster, more secure and the customer is more comfortable with a simple, straightforward app, which is what we build at LocalMobil.
The practices used by national chains have not been designed to create the best user experience, but to create a revenue stream, register users on a list they may not want to be on, gain more control of their franchisees and modernize to enable and engage the "best" customer...the smartphone user.
Smartphone users have 50% greater discretionary spending, spend more often, are more loyal, network more and use social media more than other customers. They also like to do business with mobilized restaurants and will order using their device whenever possible.
Because the features requested by major chains require them to "use and control" the users phone, development must center around native apps that must be uploaded to the app stores which require approval. Updates must also be approved by app stores. Native apps can cost many, many thousands of dollars to design and manage on a yearly basis. Users have to download these apps to order a pizza. These apps take up room on the users phone and "capture" user information they don't share with their franchise, such as where they travel, their contacts, GPS location, web search history and much more.
This is a web based app that has none of the problems or issues listed above. The user chooses - or not - to only place an icon on their phone to make it easy to click through to you when they choose. This app captures no personal data and our apps aren't downloaded but are more like clicking on a website that is specially designed to work on EVERY smartphone, tablet...even on a desktop with just a click. No approvals or apps stores...just sales increases.
Using mobile web instead of native, we designed this app with the additional following flexible features and benefits for independent operators -
- No need for customers to register to order
- No need to rebuild your current website
- Your app immediately works on every device...with no limitations
- All of your information, photos and other data is easily listed with copy and paste or uploading dialogues
- Registration form to create an ongoing list of opted in customers is in place, even before you've determined your texting service
- No total is generated when ordering...to allow for personal contact, confirmation and upselling via phone/email
- Orders can be received on a phone, desktop, smartphone or tablet, or on an inexpensive ePrinter in the restaurant
- Received orders can be saved either digitally or printed and saved and may be entered into a POS
- Your pricing per item is included for customer convenience
- Low cost...the app is owned and controlled for under $40 per month
- Simple updating and design...using a WYSIWYG "non coding" dashboard
- Training and assistance available - we're based in the midwest
- Use your existing merchant processing platform to collect and don't create compliance issues with your provider
- Couponing/deals and offers options in place
- Easy links to Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, etc., (when you're ready to put their icons on the app) as the icons are already on our platform
- Links to OpenTable and more...all ready to go
- Ready to go reservations pages or a forms creator that lets you create any form you like
- Easily connected or linked to a POS, email address, imbedded code, links, videos, photo galleries, blogs and a lot more
- Outside management, including social media, text offers, menu updates and more available from us for only $39 per hour
- Your current IT/Web person can manage your app if you choose...or you or another employee can, since it's so easy
- We've built in a Redirection Script generator to put into your regular site to redirect devices to your mobile version
- Analytics, QR Code creator, Terms and Conditions and More are ALL built in to every one of our apps
WHY MOBILE FOR MY RESTAURANT?
According to the National Restaurant Associations 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, as quoted in RestaurantOwner.com Magazine (April 2012)-
- Nearly 4 in 10 consumers say they’d be likely to use an electronic ordering system and menus on tablet computers at full-service restaurants.
- About half said they would use at-table electronic payment options and a restaurants smartphone app to view menus and make reservations.
- At quick-service restaurants, about 4 out of 10 consumers say they would place online orders for takeout, use in-store self-service ordering, and use smartphone apps to look at menus and order delivery.
Email and text marketing are proving to be an effective way for restaurant operators to reach their consumers –
- Roughly 3 out of 10 adults said they would like to receive an email with daily specials…
- One in five prefer text messages with similar information.
Facebook and Twitter coming into play –
- Nearly 1/3 of consumers say they’d be likely to sign up for Facebook if they received specials.
- Nine out of ten restaurant operators said their restaurant will likely be using Facebook in the next year or two.
- Twitter and smartphone applications are expected to be on the rise.
Most interesting –
- Full-service operators can build business and turn tables quicker by allowing time-crunched consumers to order meals online before arriving at the restaurant.
- 53% Of adult diners said they likely would place their orders online in advance of their visits and schedule the time to arrive at the restaurant so their food would be served shortly after being seated.
- 68% Of adults age 18-34 would prefer to order ahead of time, compared with 64% of 35-44 year olds and 28% of adults 65 years and older.
Frequent customers, particularly those who seek out convenience, also said they would order before arriving if they could –
- 65% Who order takeout would prefer to order online first.
- 60% Who order quick-service would prefer to order online first.
- 57% Of full-service customers said they would like use the option.
Give some thought to allowing LocalMobil to get you mobilized. We use your customer’s smartphones to –
- Drive quality traffic to you
- Convert traffic into customers
- Grow customer averages and transactions
- Decrease overall marketing expenses
- Increase search engine exposure and rankings
- Leverage social media as a marketing opportunity
- Help you modernize to better compete against larger, better funded chains
- Reduce your per order cost and improve your order fulfillment statistics
There's so much more at www.localmobil.com/restaurants for your review. Or call us at 440-544-6530 to speak to us personally.
(NOTE - This app, as is, took approximately 4.2 hours @ $39 per hour to build.)
Some Suggested Icons and Links For Your App -
Sample Table Toppers and Window Decals and a Card Graphic or Sticker -
Alcohol can not be ordered on the phone or taken out, so the order must come from within the restaurant.
Ultimately, the waitperson still handles the customer that orders from a mobile device.
This restaurant, not a client, was considering installing digital tablets to replace menus because they thought there was no way to digitize a menu affordably in any other manner.
We have since added components of other menus to show the flexibility of a menu designed for use at the table, in the car, from the office or home or while waiting in the lobby or bar for a table.
Order verification (if needed), confirmation and collection are provided for with no changes to existing POS, website, order entry (order is hand entered when received by email) or collection.
Each icon has a slightly different menu option...see which one you prefer. There IS a right and wrong answer...ask us.