How Mobile Apps Are Changing The Way People Dine Out
Diners can search through endless options among restaurants in their neighbourhood or in the cities they are travelling to.
It seems like ages ago that people queued up outside their favourite or hip restaurants to be seated at their tables. Over a period of time, reservations over phone calls and through websites became a convenient and time-saving choice for the diners. Today, a majority of the diners book their tables in advance through their smartphones because reservations are just a tap away. Yes, that’s perhaps the first and foremost way mobile apps have changed the way people dine out.
With increasingly fast-paced lifestyle, a wide variety of cuisine choices available and an increasing preference for dining out, mobile technology can instantly reach out to the diners like never before. Today, right from online reservations to doorstep food delivery to pay-at-table facility, restaurant mobile apps have transformed the dining experience for customers.
The Age Of Mobile Apps Is Here
It’s no surprise that restaurants such as Starbucks, Domino’s, Chipotle and Taco Bell have developed in-house apps. Then, there are apps such as Foodpanda, UberEats and Grubhub which have taken online food ordering and delivery to a new level. Not to forget other apps such as OpenTable and Dineout which make table reservation a breeze! Want restaurant reviews? Check out Zomato, Yelp or Urbanspoon.
Diners can search through endless options among restaurants in their neighbourhood or in the cities they are travelling to. These mobile apps have picture and content-rich menu displays that people can explore on their screens without even stepping into the restaurant. If they like what they see, they further browse through reviews posted by other customers, and then simply book a table or order at their fingertips.
The Other Reason
Mobile payment is another trend that is majorly influencing the dining habits of people. Why carry cash or plastic cards, when you can use your handset to pay? A research indicates that 39% of smartphone users would prefer to use mobile payments in restaurants if the option was available. In the conventional set-up, it takes about 5-10 minutes to complete the payment process. However, with pay-at-table facility in the mobile app, it takes hardly less than 5 minutes.
And, the most recent mobile app trend to hit the dining experience of customers is ‘order-ahead’. Some restaurants offer their customers to order their food ahead of their visit. So, by the time, customers reach the restaurant, whether for dining in or take-away, their order is ready to be served or delivered. For example, McDonald’s customers can order on their mobile phone and skip the queues in-store or take-away delivery. The drive-through customers who have ordered ahead through the app get a code which they can provide to pick their orders.
The modern-day diners expect restaurants to find a way to connect to them, rather than the other way around. Mobile apps are aptly bridging this gap.