Friday, September 16, 2016

Mobile Ordering Benefits Both Restaurants and Customers

Often, when you go to restaurant or coffee shop, you are plagued with the hassle of lines and long wait times. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just walk in and walk out minutes later with your order in hand? Fortunately, many restaurants have begun to introduce their own mobile applications that make the process easier for everyone. Samantha Bomkamp, in her L.A. Times article, describes some of the reasons why restaurants have embraced mobile apps and what benefits they can provide.

Mobile apps have the convenience factor that everyone wants. Instead of going into the store and waiting in a line behind a bunch of other people who may still need to decide on their order, you can open up the app on your way to the restaurant, decide what you want, place the order, and pay immediately. All you have to do is walk in and pick up your food, without even the need to stop to pay. Additionally, many fast food and coffee shops are revamping their service to include express lines for people who order online, thus shortening the wait times for everyone.

Pizza shops especially have been making mobile applications a large part of their business strategy. Because a significant portion of their business is already in the delivery sector, their apps have been developed to give customers many options and an easy interface to work with. That kind of app is easily transferable to the pick-up customers, many of whom prefer to tap a button than deal with having to describe their order over the phone. This year restaurants like Dominos and Taco Bell and even coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts have started developing their own applications, making the already fast food even more convenient.

Research has found that, when technology can be used to place an order, the frequency of customer visits rises 6% and average spending goes up by 20%. Because the technology makes it easier to order efficiently, customers are more likely to come back to the restaurants in the future. Additionally, third-party apps like Eastman Egg, an app based out of Chicago that not only lets customers order food from nearby restaurants, but also tracks their location to let the restaurant know the optimal time to start preparing the food so that it will be ready as close as possible to the time the customer arrives. With single restaurants, the app has been found to work wonders but has some issues with large chains like Starbucks that have multiple locations. One way or another, it seems that mobile apps are taking over the restaurant industry, and it's speeding up the process for everyone.

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