Why a Mobile-First Mindset is a Must-Have for Your Restaurant

From the brunch rush to the dinner rush, hospitality business owners, operators, managers, and their customers are always on the go.
That’s why it’s important to keep up with both staff and customers. 
One place you’re always sure to find them? Their phones! 
By utilizing a mobile app, you’ll be able to engage employees and customers, streamline your operations, promote your brand, and drive business. 
Below, we’re covering all the ways in which a mobile-first mindset can enhance your hospitality business: 
Engage Younger Generations
Did you know that Millennials spend nearly $200 per month eating out? By catering to mobile demand, restaurant employers can get a bigger piece of the pie. 
For instance, 35% of 18-34 year olds like to place orders on smartphones or tablets, and 40% prefer a mobile payment over other options. This is especially relevant due to the rising popularity of quick service and fast casual restaurants. 
Creating a mobile app for your business, as well as implementing creative payment options, can help drive and retain a crucial Millennial customer base.
 Connect with a Broader Audience
Social media can help spread the word about a new opening or seasonal menu changes, generate interest, build community, and convey your brand’s value props. Utilizing your own social media accounts and encouraging your customers to share your brand can create a (free) community of influencers. 
Start by creating a Facebook page and an Instagram account for your business. Then, set up a geotag so people can tag their location when they dine at your establishment. Among Millennials and Gen Z, tagging locations is a great way to discover who’s eating where in their group of friends or what’s nearby. 
Finally, try to implement some unique hashtags around your business. Keeping unique, consistent hashtags builds your brand’s recognition. 
Implement Referral and Loyalty Programs
An old standby to garner business is by offering promotions - now, simply translate this relatively low-cost strategy to mobile. For example, through your app, you could offer customers double punches or loyalty points for dining with you on certain days, limited-time discounts for holidays, etc. Plus, loyalty programs will boost the likelihood of repeat visits.  
Send Push Notifications
Once you have collected a customer’s info through app-based referral or loyalty program, continue to engage with them via mobile push notifications. By informing someone of an offer or deal that’s about to expire, or gently reminding them they have unused loyalty points, you may be able to drive business that might’ve otherwise gone unnoticed by customers. 
Earn Better Reviews
Consumers today value convenience, as evidenced by the recent trend towards fast casual and quick service restaurants. 
Mobile apps offer people convenience. In turn, this makes them view your business and their overall experience more favorably. 
By encouraging consumers via a push notification to leave a review, you’ll eventually garner enough that your business will rank higher on review sites that matter.