Although COVID-19 restrictions have loosened significantly in the UK, allowing people to visit their favorite bars, restaurants, and even some live events again, hygiene will still be paramount for anyone going out in public.
When the hospitality industry was limited to allowing half capacity and following strict pandemic measures, mobile ordering apps became even more indispensable for business owners. While some features of the COVID-19 pandemic are gone, mobile ordering will continue to be used by restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, venues, and any public gathering space that takes orders.
Here are 10 reasons why mobile ordering apps aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us more aware of hygiene standards. Most patrons now hesitate to come into contact with another person if they can help it, or to touch a sticky, stained menu that hundreds of other people have already touched. With an app, people can order from their own smartphone, making their experience ultimately more hygienic and reassuring them from a public health perspective.
Ordering from an app promotes better health and safety standards, but it can also bring in more revenue. People tend to order more when they’re using an app than if they order from a physical menu in person. Customers feel free to take their time looking over a menu on an app, which leads them to get more than they usually would if they had to queue for their food or drinks.
Having the entire menu at your fingertips, and not on a wall in a font that’s difficult to read, makes for a more convenient customer experience. With your menu on an app, customers can navigate it as they please, including looking through every optional feature or extra you offer. They can zoom in, increase brightness, or do whatever they need to read the menu on their phones more comfortably.
Queuing is one of the most bothersome parts of going out, whether you’re at a restaurant, waiting for drinks at a bar, or trying to get into a venue. Nobody likes queuing. With a mobile ordering app, you can let people order food or drinks while they remain seated, and you can coordinate admission to your event more evenly. Eliminating queues not only makes customers happier but also allows everyone to stay at a COVID-safe distance from each other.
Filling orders with an app lets you hire fewer wait staff, or free up your current staff members to take care of other tasks. Keeping a venue running during an event or a restaurant operating during the dinner rush requires much more than just taking and filling orders, so your staff members can focus on other parts of the business while an app takes care of the ordering.
Tipping can be an awkward experience – waiting in front of a card machine while you accept or decline to add gratuity or not having enough cash to leave a tip can create uncomfortable encounters between customers and staff members. With an app, customers can tip whatever they like without any pressure, as well as add a personalised message for a particular staff member.
When there are humans involved, there’s always room for error. The waiter might not hear a customer’s order correctly, write down the wrong thing, or the kitchen might read their handwriting incorrectly. With an app, servers don’t have to remember every single detail, or how the special changes each day, and it reduces the chances of an error with a customer’s order. Customers look through the menu and order exactly what they want, and the order is sent directly to the kitchen. The system is practically foolproof – and leaves you with more satisfied customers.
An ordering app calculates the total for your order instantly, so customers can see how much everything will cost as they add items to their order. They can also see how much extras like dipping sauces or sides will cost. With physical menus, it’s not always easy to see how much everything will cost, and the bill may come as a nasty surprise at the end of the meal. Ordering apps promote pricing transparency, which alleviates some ordering stress and makes for happier customers.
With some ordering apps, you can create and save customer profiles to either start a new loyalty program or integrate with your existing one. The app can track how much a customer spends and automatically release rewards. These programs encourage customers to return to your establishment, as well as provide you with important insights about your menu items.
Ordering apps let you add promotions or special offers to your menu. You can promote a certain menu item by discounting it or give a customer a small discount once they’ve reached a spend threshold. A mobile ordering app makes it easier to upsell as well, letting you stick add-ons to the menu that your customers will find enticing.
If your business hasn’t pivoted to mobile ordering yet, you’re missing out on the many benefits it can bring you. Increased sales, better customer experience, easier compliance with hygiene standards – using mobile ordering is a no-brainer. That’s why so many hospitality businesses have turned to ordering apps and platforms, and why they’ll continue to do so in the future.