Should you get an app for your food-service business? (Quick Reads)
You should get an app for your foodservice business if you choose to achieve any of the following things. 1. Remain a relevant option for your customers and potential customers in the coming years as mobile adoption grows and competition adopts more technology into their operations. 2. You want to reduce and/or optimize your operation costs, either labor, customer acquisition, customer retention, or other key areas. 3 You want to expand your brand beyond just food service.
If you are interested in how to get an app for your foodservice brand, check out our blog post about whether you should build your own app or use a 3rd party service. Furthermore, having an app for your food service business can open many opportunities that are not feasible through traditional brick-and-mortar operational means. Also, an outlook that may be beneficial for you to see how an app could be useful, is to refer to it as a mobile platform.
Getting a mobile platform because you want your business to be a relevant option for your customers. Truly everything is not for everyone, regardless of how “universal” a product may seem there still will be a client or a customer where they are just not a good fit, but I would say this reason would be the most universal reason any business should get or have an app.
From the 1990s to now, the internet has been a part of our everyday life and for many businesses and industries, the gap between a storefront and being online has staggered for years. This is why the most successful businesses, regardless of industry, today are the ones who realized the necessity for sustainability as a business is being online and made that leap.
This is true for mobile applications, for the majority of people in areas that have access to the internet, a laptop or computer is not their primary device to access the web, it is their smartphone. Furthermore, there is no expectation for smartphones being people’s primary device to slow down, as the share of Americans that own a smartphone is now 85%.
There are many reasons why smartphones are people's first choice of device, however, that would take more than a quick post to explain. Thus to conclude, making your business accessible and as convenient as possible for your customers and potential customers would be an excellent reason to get an app for your food-service business.
Lower costs of operations
You are interested in reducing your costs of operations, the biggest costs to a food service business are labor and keeping or gaining customers. When it comes to labor, a mobile platform will allow a business to remove the need for cashiers and make customers be their own cashiers. This also provides an indirect benefit by removing long lines in your store, increasing throughput, and retaining fewer employees on the floor for customers who need assistance.
A mobile platform can also act as a salesperson by offering customer’s recommendations during their ordering process versus an employee that may be overwhelming or inadequate to promote an item or promotion. Another factor that would reduce your costs of operations is now that you have fewer employees, you would have a reduction in your cost of training. There are many more key areas of your operation that could become more efficient in productivity or cost if you were to incorporate a mobile platform into your operations, however that would be for your creative mind to figure out.
Expanding beyond food service
Lastly, you want to expand your business beyond just serving food. This is where a mobile platform can shine and give credence to the term mobile platform versus app. I will give you two examples of businesses that used a mobile platform to expand their operations rather than giving you ways to expand because every business is different and it is for you to see how you want your brand to expand. Starbucks: they turn their mobile platform into a zero-interest bank, click to read more about it.
Essentially they incentivize customers to give them money before even making an order and this allows Starbucks to use that money however they see fit without anything in return while also having exclusive access to their customer’s money.
Another example is Buffalo Wild Wings: which expanded its mobile platform to a game center, allowing customers to play games on its app. Giving the brand more brand awareness, along with customer retention. Since a good majority of Buffalo Wild Wings customers are sports fans, this allows them to monetize on that tailored interest and expand their mobile platform to its own game center and possibly its own casino.