Food delivery has become increasingly popular in recent years, but it’s been around since the late 1800s. According to legend, King Umberto I of Italy and Queen Margherita of Savoy were the first to enjoy the convenience of takeout when they wanted to eat a pizza in Naples but didn’t want to be seen in a public restaurant.
Since then, food delivery has gone through several iterations. So, if your restaurant is only taking orders through the phone, you’re missing out on a lot of business. It’s time to move into the 21st century by building a food delivery app.
The Prevalence of Food Delivery Apps
Online ordering is a billion-dollar industry that’s only going up from here. The global revenue from online ordering has almost doubled since 2017.
Apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub are huge industry players, with Grubhub alone reporting 22 million customers in 2019.
Many restaurants have chosen to work with these third-party apps rather than miss out on that market. However, these apps all charge exorbitant fees, cutting into a restaurant’s profits and making things more expensive for the customer.
Another element to consider is the drivers you get will be wildcards. For example, you never know who will show up and expect the food to be ready five minutes ago, then forget the drink and blame it on you.
Setting up an efficient pickup system can be a huge pain, especially if you’re using more than one app.
So, while existing apps are an option, it’s far better to set up your own delivery system with drivers you can trust and where you aren’t giving someone else a piece of your pie.
Why People Have Stopped Calling Restaurants
If you’ve been running your restaurant since before apps, online ordering can seem a little redundant. People have been calling in food for decades. Why stop now?
It’s a fair question with a few answers.
1. People (especially younger generations) don’t like calling.
The advent of texting has given phone calls a run for their money. A nationwide survey by OpenMarket discovered that the majority prefers to text rather than call.
2. It’s inconvenient.
That same study says that 76% of people polled consider calling more disruptive than texting. When all you want is food now, it’s no fun hunting down shaky pictures someone has taken of the menu, waiting through hold music, and then finding out they’re out of your favorite. It’s a lot simpler to fire up an app and fill out a form.
3. It’s more challenging to get what you want.
If you’ve ever been on either end of a takeout order, you know that the process isn’t always the smoothest. Somehow the customer will have found an old menu or will manage to only order things you’re out of. Online ordering also gives more options for customization, which makes a happier customer.
Benefits of a Mobile App
When it comes to making it easy for people to order food, apps are significantly more effective than traditional websites or simple phone numbers. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Mobile browsers are clunky and confusing
This is especially true for users inputting a lot of information. And let’s be honest, if someone’s ordering takeout, they don’t want to haul out their computer to do it. An app provides a smoother experience for mobile users.
2. Your app is free advertising for your business
Once that app lands on someone’s phone, your restaurant’s name is going to be one of the first and last things they see in a day. This means you’ll be on their mind whenever the craving for easy, fast delivery strikes.
3. Mobile ordering decreases the margin of error
When people input their own order, there’s less risk of miscommunication. Also, it’s a lot harder to be upset about not having the extra chips if you’re the one who forgot to order them.
Of course, you shouldn’t get rid of phone ordering altogether. The younger generations may prefer apps, but the older ones will thank you for sticking to the classics. Having both options lightens the load considerably, and you can give those customers the time they need without having to rush through the conversation to get the next caller on hold.
Food Delivery Mobile App Design Do’s and Don’ts
So now that you’re officially on board with the whole mobile app experience, here are some things to keep in mind.
Remember, you’re dealing with hungry, tired people. They don’t want to sift through a complicated, overdesigned app to get their tacos.
Integrate your branding, but don’t let it take over the app with a bunch of animations and distracting banners. Instead, create the most straightforward navigation system possible to hold peoples’ hands to the finish line.
DO Use Promos to Promote
Use coupons and promotions to get people to download the app. Think of your receipts, in-house menu, and local newspaper as opportunities to get the word out. Then, incentivize with X% off or a free appetizer for first-time customers.
DON’T Overlook Bugs and Security
The same advice that goes for other apps is still relevant here. Make it extremely easy to report any bugs, offer an alternative way to order, and fix the bug ASAP. And, of course, protect your clients’ sensitive information.
DO Make it Easy to Keep Coming Back
Offer as many opportunities as possible to save address, preferred order, and payment information. This way, it’s even faster and easier to order from the app the next time!
The restaurant industry is a fast-paced, competitive business, and you need to use anything that can give you the edge over the competition. Mobile apps are the perfect tool for getting more food into your customers’ mouths while giving you more profit!
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