Mobile Apps Impact by William Sipper

Mobile Apps Influencing F&B Industry

How mobile apps are influencing the food and beverage industry

We live in the age of mobile phones, and the majority of smartphone owners use their phones to engage in multiple activities. The impact of mobile apps on the food and beverage industry is continuing to create change.

Consumers love to share culinary experiences and give recommendations on social networks with photos as evidence. This takes customer influence to the next level. Restaurants are also using mobile apps to help streamline customer service.

On-demand food delivery apps

These apps are extremely popular with consumers who are very busy or prefer not to cook. Fewer customers may be attracted to a physical location, but the ease of online ordering usually makes up the difference in more orders. Discounts for new customers and specials can attract more customers.

This change is difficult for less tech-savvy restaurant owners not listed on apps but listing a restaurant, or even placing adverts on these apps can significantly increase traffic to an establishment and they need to explore this to remain competitive.

Reservation apps

These apps make it easier to find reservations at restaurants where you want to eat. OpenTable is one of these apps. One of the problems of such apps is no-shows at restaurants after bookings have been made. This means restaurant owners miss out and it reflects on the app too. Apps and restaurants both need to continue to explore and improve these new ways of doing business.  In turn, customers who use them need to play the game too.

BonApp is a popular app used in China. It lists all the restaurants in the largest Chinese cities and can also be used in Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, and Tokyo. It is simple to use, and restaurants are classified by cuisine style, price, location proximity, customer rating and the possibility of delivery.

Users can use photos of meals with their comments. Users are even linked to maps to find out how to get to the restaurant and can book a table via the app. On the homepage, a Top 10 of best restaurants in various categories appears on a daily basis.

Review apps

Review apps, such as Yelp, have served to increase attention on customer service. They have also forced restaurant owners to be aware of more than just the need to serve good food. They have to embrace new technologies to remain competitive.

One way they can use social media to their advantage is by using it to create a buzz and amplify audiences for special events such as a special Valentine’s day menu or a St Patrick’s Day Celebration.

Discount apps

An app like DealNews works with restaurants to bring in new customers by offering special deals. Apps like this have influenced how restaurants price menus because they have to take into account that customers may use coupons or discounts.

Individual restaurant app

These can be gamechanger but are usually only used by big companies. Starbucks, for example, gives users the opportunity to order and pay for drinks from their app. Members earn loyalty points by making purchases with the app.

The food and beverage industry is changing rapidly, partly due to the widespread use of mobile apps to streamline processes.

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