Looking at the food service industry specifically, we have seen a shift from needing a physical copy of the menu, to having menus online, all the way to having interactive mobile apps that allow you to place your order and pay for it in a matter of seconds. Considering the changes we have seen in industry standards and the exponential growth of technology, it is a safe bet that the food service industry will be significantly different in 20 years.
Since 2012, investors across the globe have put over 2.5 billion dollars (USD) in to restaurant-tech start-up firms. The types of companies that are getting investments vary greatly, but they are all striving to change the standards within a rapidly changing industry. Everything from in-store phone charging stations to highly sophisticated inventory management platforms have gained traction in recent years. There are even companies that sell robotic salad makers that could replace employees and drastically reduce costs.
The next few decades will reveal the winners and losers of this competition to design the next truly disruptive product. The challenge for food service firms, technology firms and investors alike is recognizing what has the potential to fundamentally change the industry the most. Will the next generation grow up with robots preparing their food? Will they be able to order and pay for their food without lifting a single finger? Only time will tell. Email us or schedule a meeting to start a conversation about your mobile strategy today!
Mobile web finds its strength in accessibility. Anybody with internet access can access it with relative ease from a smartphone. For consistently reaching new customers, it is a mobile strategy that proves hard to beat. Online ordering for restaurants is becoming a standard, and because a lot of businesses already have it, they find mobile web to be a low-risk and low-cost way of making their product easier to purchase in a way that allows them to keep up with an increasingly mobile world. Some businesses even leverage their mobile web sites to offer a mobile loyalty program to their customers. It is also no different from most low-risk strategies, in that it doesn’t make things fundamentally different to the point where it significantly alters the appeal of the product.
At least to some degree, most people can think of one restaurant in their town that had great food and a loyal following but went out of business because it was failing to make money. These are the companies need their loyal customers spending more, more “once in a while” customers turning into regulars, getting those regulars visiting more frequently and buying high profit-margin products while they are there. This is where mobile apps and their sophisticated loyalty programs coupled with an intuitive and easy to use mobile ordering platform are best.
Sending push notifications, taking advantage of geofencing, sending customized offers and notifications to specific demographics, scanning QR codes and barcodes, incorporating beacons and much more is all possible with a good native mobile app. Mobile apps offer intuitive ordering systems that are not only easier than mobile web, but even better than a traditional phone ordering system where customers call the location to place their order. Apps for restaurants allow customers to save credit cards, quickly reorder past orders or favorites, and easily customize their order with no worry of miscommunications over the phone. These are some of the reasons why native mobile apps are conducive to growing long-term brands and fundamentally changing the appeal of the businesses that use them.
In the end it boils down to what the company is striving to get out of their mobile strategy. Understanding that mobile web and mobile applications are similar on the surface but have very different long-term results is an important step while picking a mobile strategy. Email us or schedule a meeting to start a conversation about your mobile strategy today!