A recent international survey by Time magazine found that 80% of respondents felt they could not survive a single day without their cell phone. 50% of Americans sleep with their phone right next to them, and 20% compulsively check their phone every 10 minutes or more. There’s even a new word for the the fear of losing your phone: Nomophobia. Upwards of 67% of us may suffer from it.
You're probably as addicted as your customers are. But is your restaurant technology strategy adapted to the mobile world? Optimize your mobile web site, offering a mobile ordering app and adding text messaging to your marketing mix are some of the ways to thrive in this mobile world.
Mobile Web Site
Google research tells us that some 65% of all google searches for restaurants come from mobile phones. Yet many restaurant websites are still designed for desktops. You've got two choices - either overhaul your site to make it easy to use on a mobile phone, or create a special mobile version of your site (software like www.dudamobile.com will automatically generate a mobile version for you based on your existing content)
Some considerations include:
Get rid of the "flash". If you have a fancy animated slide show and sophisticated menu options that appear and disappear, you probably had the coolest site on the block 10 years ago. But now, your site is obsolete. A simple and straight forward home page that is quick to navigate, and easy to view on a small screen is critical.
Put the facts up front. When looking at your site from a mobile phone, customers want to quickly find your address, phone number, hours, and whether you take reservations. Make this easy to find on the main page so customers don't have to search through your site.
Skip the .pdf menu download. When customers want to browse your menu, downloading a .pdf to their phone is time consuming and annoying. Display your menu right on your site. If you need to change or update frequently, consider using an easy content management tool, like Google sites or Blogger, so you can make edits quickly without needing technical help.
Mobile Ordering App
If your customers are used to ordering online, you can bet they are placing those orders from their phones. In fact, a recent study found that 69% of smart phone users had placed a food order from their phones, and 50% had downloaded a restaurant-specific branded mobile app.
Have you tested your online ordering system to see how easy it is to use from a phone? Find out if your online ordering provider can configure a special "mobile" version of the site to display appropriately on mobile phones.
Mobile ordering apps are increasingly popular for restaurants. By allowing customers to download the app to their phone, you make ordering from your restaurant even more convenient, and you've got a constant marketing presence right there in your customers' pocket. With a mobile ordering app, a customer can place their order as they approach the restaurant, pay for it, and just run in to pick it up - bypassing the line and freeing up your cashiers. This is a huge benefit in the minds of time-crazed customers and essential if you are facing a busy lunch rush. Look for a provider who can offer a connected online and mobile ordering solution to reduce your maintenance and integration hassles.
Marketing to the Mobile Generation
If you’re interested in reaching younger consumers - those under 35 - you’d best add a mobile strategy to your marketing!
While e-mail marketing has been increasing in popularity among restaurants, communicating via text message is also rapidly becoming an acceptable marketing tool. Research shows that “millenials” prefer text message communication over e-mail and instant messages, and that SMS coupons are highly effective among this age group. While consumers are particular about who they want to hear from via text, once they choose to join your text message club - which often doubles as a loyalty / rewards program - they are very likely to read and respond to your messages. In fact 83% of text messages are read within one hour. Building a mobile marketing database gives you the power to reach out to your customers on a very real time basis and offer deals that can boost your business as needed.
Want to learn more about adding mobile elements - like a mobile ordering app and mobile loyalty program - to your business plan? Granbury Restaurant Solutions can help! Our innovative technology solutions keep your restaurant on the cutting edge while simplifying your management tasks. Learn More!