Tap into apps to boost sales

Mobile applications can help facilitate online ordering and payment

Today’s apps allow customers to pre-order and pay for food and drinks via their phones

THERE’S an app for that.

The slogan, first coined by Apple nearly a decade ago, still rings true today – with millions of mobile phone applications available to cater to all sorts of needs and niches.

From booking tables, to pre-ordering food and drinks, to taking payments, there’s a raft of services a dedicated restaurant app can provide – and many are seizing the opportunity.

According to data from Edinburgh-based EPOS firm Zonal, there was a 400% rise in the number of high street hospitality firms seeking to develop their own app between 2016 and 2017.

Additionally, the latest Go Technology report from Zonal and CGA found that 82% of 5000 surveyed adults were more likely to use a restaurant’s own app as opposed to a third-party provider.

Convenience and speed are also said to play a big role behind consumer demand for alternative payment methods via restaurant-branded apps.

Mobile ordering and payment are now mainstream and will continue to grow.

According to the Go Technology report, 36% of respondents cited speed as the main reason they like to use their mobile device to pre-order and pay for food and drink, with 22% opting to use pre-order and online payment during busy trading times or for convenience when part of a large group.

Therefore, it is argued that this type of app not only helps the consumer, it helps operators too by giving them access to a treasure trove of customer data, which they can then use to target consumers with tailored offers and, ultimately, boost future sales.

Olivia FitzGerald of Zonal said demand for mobile ordering and payment options, which hospitality branded apps can help facilitate, will only rise in time.

“Feedback from Go Technology shows that mobile ordering and payment are now mainstream and will continue to grow,” said FitzGerald.

“It’s no coincidence that operators want a slice of the action, with trust and control being key drivers whereby they surprise, delight and engage consumers directly with their brand.”