ll applications for the restaurant business can be divided into 2 groups:
- for work inside the restaurant, for example POS-terminals, which automate the work in the kitchen, facilitating the reception of orders.
- applications for restaurant customers, for example electronic menus, a website for ordering a table in a restaurant, food ordering, etc.
For many years of working with the restaurant business, we have identified the top 10 features for restaurant applications that greatly increase revenue and level of service, whether it is a web application or a mobile application.
The menu is probably the most important part of any restaurant app. Every little thing is important, from the quality of the photo added to the app to the ease of use. The photo should be taken professionally, the food should look appetizing and the menu should be easy to go through and simple.
When the user has a lot of dishes in front of him, he could simply get lost and more likely will go to cook a sandwich instead of choosing a dish for ordering.
Another important feature in the online menu is smart filters. Filters will allow the user to quickly find exactly the dish he needs. Also, if there is an opportunity to register a profile in the application or on the website, the user can save favorite dishes to the list of favorites. For example, create a menu for the next order and then make an order in one click.
Our experience shows that many people are ordering the same food, which will greatly facilitate their ordering.
2. Food delivery
Food delivery is probably one of the most popular services nowadays, when people simply do not have enough time to go to a restaurant.
Such applications can automate the work of cashiers and waiters, kitchens and courier deliveries. Also, by adding efficiency analysis, you can calculate the weak link and improve your services.
For example, a customer orders food using the application, an order is sent to the manager, manager confirms the order and then this order is automatically sent to the kitchen. Chefs take the order for processing and prepare food. After preparation, the order is returned to the courier for delivery. As soon as the courier arrives to the customer, the customer will receive a notification of the arrival and will be able to pay for it through the online application or in cash.
Thus, we will have a full analysis and the efficiency of each restaurant employee, an understanding of the effectiveness of the work and clients can leave feedback about the restaurant or delivery, which will attract even more customers.
3. Table reservations and reminders, extension of the waiting time of the reservation
Statistics show that people almost never visit a restaurant to book tables, they always call in, use the website or mobile app.
An application for booking tables should be able to:
- choose a table (for example, in front of a window), and even better if there is a restaurant scheme and guest can choose any table they like;
- extend the waiting time of the reservation, if suddenly the guest is delayed;
- cancel or edit the reservation. Sometimes a person is uncomfortable to call in to a restaurant and cancel a reservation, the application solves this problem. In this case, the restaurant owner can also accept one more guest.
When booking a table in a restaurant, there is a good practice of pre-ordering from the menu.
4. Pre-ordering, specific cooking suggestions, fitness, vegan ...
You probably had to wait too long in a restaurant some time. Pre-ordering will make it possible to pre-arrange the serve upon arrival. Another useful feature is cooking suggestions.
For example, a person is on a diet and does not eat carbohydrates and there are no meals without carbohydrates on the menu, but there is a roast duck with rice. The guest may ask you to cook the duck and serve it without rice, replace the sauce in the dish or add something at your discretion. This is a kind of food designer.
It is a very simple function, but it gives people the opportunity to get exactly what they want.
5. Reviews and meal rating
When working with the restaurant business, we often came across the fact that people who first came to the restaurant did not know what to order so that it was hearty and tasty. They usually call the waiter and ask about the details.
The ratings and reviews section helps in the selection of meals, especially if ordering in a restaurant is done for the first time.
6. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning
Having the previous order of a guest, we can identify the pattern and in this way predict the list of dishes the guest will select with a greater degree of probability and show what they might like.
This feature will also help the restaurant to better understand their guests' food excesses, add new dishes to the menu or remove those that are less in demand.
Also, analyzing the time of visiting the restaurant, you can send a notification or give a discount on certain dishes, at the right moment.
7. Separate check payment
It happened to everyone that when coming to a restaurant and ordering dishes for a company, you had to divide the amount and calculate your payment.
This problem can be solved by integrating separate payment for each guest. There are two ways to integrate this feature.
- First, after ordering, you can open the cart, pick an item from the list and group the order for one person. The application will automatically split the check into several people.
- Secondly, if all visitors have an application, they can scan a QR code, select or add their order to the general receipt and the application will provide the opportunity to pay only for your order.
This is a very handy feature that saves time.
8. Additional services, such as ordering a taxi
Integration with Uber API will allow your guests to order a taxi through your application, the system will automatically determine the destination for example, the address of the restaurant after booking and adds the time when the car should arrive for your guest.
9. Loyalty program
The loyalty program is a very extensive topic, which we will cover in one of the future articles, but having an application, you can constantly give discounts for frequent visits to the restaurant or send notifications about new dishes added to the menu or promotions.
There is also a technology that allows the customer to be reminded when he passes by your restaurant. There are many schemes and ways to develop a loyalty program. It will be very interesting for your visitors to participate.
The push-notification will allow you to remind the customer about the reservation of the table and will notify when the order arrives at the delivery address.
It also allows you to remind the client about the upcoming holiday, such as Valentine's Day, and will offer to book a table in advance and get a discount.
Push-notification is actually a mini-flyer that alerts you to interesting events, promotions and new dishes on the menu. For the distribution of this flyer you don’t need to wait for the paper to be advertised, you can send notifications to your guests and visitors in just 2 minutes.