The development of mobile apps have made so many parts of life more convenient – including ordering at restaurants. There are many restaurants and fast-food businesses that now harness the power of mobile technology to allow customers to order and pay on the go, which ups the convenience offered by the restaurant, speeds up workflows, and allows a business to serve more customers with the same number of employees. Experts predict that the popularity of mobile ordering apps is only going to continue to grow, potentially accounting for more than 10% of all orders at quick-service restaurants by 2020.

While many restaurants use apps for online ordering now, not all mobile ordering apps are created equally as good as they could be. While some companies seem to have nailed the recipe for a successful app, there are some large, successful food businesses – like KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut – that haven’t quite mastered the right way to create an app to improve both customer and employee experiences.

By studying some of the world’s best mobile ordering apps, all restaurants and food-based businesses can figure out what features are necessary to make their business more efficient and enjoyable. Here are some of the most important lessons to be learned about mobile ordering apps by looking at some of the industry’s best tactics.

Design Clear, Simple Menus

The best mobile ordering apps are designed to be read and digested easily on a mobile device. The most important element for any app is its UI/UX design, and that’s no different when it comes to on-demand ordering apps. Whilst the vast majority of fast-food restaurants  has an endless number of beverage, food and desert choices, they can’t just present those options in a long, scrollable list to users. Instead, a restaurant needs to make their mobile app easy to understand and digest on a small screen. The best practice of method to combat this is to offer organised menus, separating options by categories that are easy to scroll through and choose from as well as providing images of what they are about to purchase. Concise drop-down menus, accurate location services and as few clickable screens as possible goes a long way with users. Fast-food restaurants should avoid overwhelming app users with so many options so that they can easily select what it is that they want. 

The development of mobile apps have made so many parts of life more convenient - including ordering at restaurants.Click To Tweet

Use Gamification

One of the strongest ways to ensure user retention on a fast-food app is gamification. People love to be rewarded for participating in certain activities. For example, a fast-food business’ app could reward users who choose to share and promote the business on their personal social media accounts. This acts as a natural way to promote the business and it encourages people to want to interact with the app more. There is nothing more reliable than word-of-mouth and publicity.

Offer Loyalty Rewards as a Hook

Restaurants that offer users loyalty rewards as a marketing tactic helps to encourage them to want to come back and use the app again and again. Two companies who do this well are Domino’s and Starbucks, which both offer loyalty rewards to customers who use the app regularly enough. What businesses should look to achieve is appeal successfully to millennials in particular who are constantly looking for ways to get their next meal the cheapest and be the most engaged when using an app. By creating a rewards loop, a fast-food business is able to ensure that millennials – and most people – who are staring at their phones even inside of the restaurant, are drawn in to loyalty tactics to want to come back. For example, a restaurant could easily offer rewards like ‘free food after spending a certain amount of money on our app’ as this encourages them to keep ordering directly via their phones (this also allows users to overlook any personal minor issues that they may have with the app).

All businesses should hold their values and attention towards the idea of delivering their consumers the most easiest and convenient app experience ever. All – if not most – customers want to feel valued, important and a part of your business, so by creating a well designed, loyalty/reward providing app, you are able to accomplish this. By taking a look at the best mobile ordering apps and understanding why they work, convenience-focused restaurants, businesses and chains can ensure that they’re dominating the game they invented by offering consumers the best mobile experience possible. If you have a great app idea, Talk To Us today and maybe your ideas could help inspire other businesses.

Tyrell Bibbiani

Tyrell Bibbiani

Social Media Marketeer

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