6 Ways Your Restaurant Can Take Advantage of Mobile
Mobile is a huge and sometimes difficult market to reach, and in 2013 we can expect to see this market grow even larger. As a restaurant, it can be hard to find the right ways to get your name out and be relevant in the mobile market. We thought it might be helpful to provide some great ways that your restaurant can develop a mobile presence that won’t break the bank.
1. Responsive Websites Responsive websites are a fairly new concept but they offer a great alternative to having both a desktop website and a mobile website. Instead of having to create and manage two different sites, a responsive website automatically scales your website to fit any device. Smartphone users have an easy to use site that requires no pinching and zooming, and desktop users have the full experience that they came to your site to have. It works with any tablet too, so you don’t need to worry about what your customers are using, you know they will enjoy their visit. For a better idea of how this works, check out our responsive website. Like you see below, try playing around with the window size to see how it works! If your still on the fence about the idea, read this recent article by Mashable which might offer some insight. Otherwise, check out this Dummies Guide to Responsive Web Design to get your foot in the door.
2. QR Codes You see these things all over the place now and that is for one reason, they work. Believe it or not, people love to interact with these things. QR Codes are a great way for restaurants to reach and connect with a mobile audience. Even though the novelty is wearing off, QR Codes are by no means going away. Now more then ever people are scanning them and sometimes without having any knowledge of where it might be linked to. Restaurants can take advantage of this by offering exclusive coupons to customers who scan or slap one on your menu to make a quick link to your app or website. There are countless interesting ways these can be used to engage your guests, check out post on 7 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes to get a better idea.
3. Mobile App Smartphone applications are crucial to reaching a mobile market, especially if you are a restaurant. An app is the best tool you can give your customers. From the basics like contact info and GPS location, all the way to a paperless takeout menu and exclusive promotions, an app will give your guests complete access to your restaurant with a single tap. Restaurants have a unique connection with their guests because when a customer enjoys a restaurant and the food, they feel apart of the restaurant. An app allows your guests to always carry around your restaurant in their pocket, and serves as a constant reminder that your place is always an option to grab a bite to eat. Getting started is easier then you might think. Pocket Your Shop provides easy and affordable app development for restaurants of all shapes and sizes. If your interested get a free quote today!
4. Location Based Services All over Facebook you see people “checking-in” to their favorite places for shopping, dining, or entertainment using their smartphone. Like Facebook, there are other services (Yelp, Foursquare, etc.) that use GPS Locations to socialize. These “check-ins” are a dream come true for restaurants. When a customer “checks-in”, they send an update to all their friends about where they are at and what they are doing. Some “check-ins” can even offer a special discount when activated. Getting your restaurant involved is not hard at all, all you need is a computer, a nice picture of your building, and a few minutes of your time. Facebook,Foursquare and Yelp all have easy to set-up business accounts, click the links to get started. Once you are signed up and enable check-ins, customers can immediately start interacting with your restaurant and show all their friends they love your food.
5. Mobile Coupons Coupons have always been a great way of getting new customers and keeping the old customers coming. Mobile coupons offer the same benefits as traditional coupons, but with added convenience and exclusivity. The best medium for distributing a mobile coupon would be a mobile app, however there are other ways of putting a promotion on your customers phone. You can use QR Codes or send an e-mail they can redeem by bringing in their phone. However for your customers using iPhones, Apples new Passbook app might an avenue worth exploring. Macy’s, Old Navy, PETCO, Barnes & Noble, Sears, PetSmart, and many more major retailers have already made their coupons available on Passbook and it is time for your restaurant to do the same. If you are ready to get started, create Passbook coupon for $8/month with PassSource. They are an affordable solution that makes it easy to get your coupons on Passbook quickly.
6. The Pinterest App There are tons of social networks now but besides Yelp, Pinterest seems to be the best fit for restaurants. If your restaurant is not are not already on Pinterest, you can create a business account here in just a few minutes. Pinterest is a network where you can “Pin” different pictures of your “Interests” onto different boards that you make and share with your friends. Restaurants create amazing looking dishes everyday, taking pictures of these dishes (especially if they are fun, unique, or just look really tasty) and sharing them is an easy way to drive new business in. The Pinterest App makes this very easy to do and erases the time having to upload the pictures with a computer. All you need to do is snap a picture and pin it to your board, just like that you will have people liking and repining in no time! Nailing down even just a few of these topics is a great step toward reaching your mobile customers. If you have any ideas of your own on how restaurants can take advantage of mobile or have questions about some of ours, please leave a comment and let us know!