Running a restaurant business takes work. It would help if you dealt with various challenges, such as managing inventory, staff, customers, marketing, etc. But what if you could simplify some of these tasks and reach more customers with a mobile app?
A mobile app is more than just a nice-to-have feature for your restaurant. This article will show you why you should have your restaurant app, how much it costs to build one, and how to run it successfully.
Should restaurants have their own app?
The answer is yes. Here are some of the benefits of having your restaurant app:
Reach more extensive customers with a mobile app
According to Statista, The global number of smartphone users was forecast to continuously increase between 2023 and 2028 by in total of 910.3 million users (+17.33 percent). That means a huge potential market for your restaurant. Offering online ordering and delivery, sending push notifications, and collecting customer feedback are all possible with a mobile app. To increase your exposure and attract new customers, you can also integrate your app with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Improve the brand name of your restaurant
Building a strong brand identity with your app can help you stand out from the competition. You can customize your app design, logo, colors, and features to match your restaurant’s theme and style. You can also use your app to promote your unique selling proposition, such as your signature dishes, special offers, or loyalty programs. Creating a memorable and engaging app experience can increase customer retention and referrals.
Have a healthy return on investment
Developing a mobile app for your restaurant is a significant investment. Still, it can pay off in the long run. According to AskWonder, independent restaurants get between 8 and 60 online orders per day. Moreover, mobile apps can help you reduce operational costs by automating tasks such as taking orders, processing payments, and managing inventory. You can also use analytics tools to track your app performance and optimize your marketing strategies.
How much does it cost to build a restaurant mobile app?
The cost of building a restaurant mobile app depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the features, the platform (iOS or Android), the design quality, and the development team. According to a survey by GoodFirms, the cost of developing an app in 2023 depends on the level of complexity and features of the app. The survey categorizes apps into three levels: simple, complex, and advanced.
A simple app has basic features, such as a user interface, user registration and login, and basic functionality. It can be developed in 4.5 to 11 weeks and may cost between $30,000 and $50,000. Some examples of simple apps are flashlight apps, calculator apps, and weather apps.
A complex app has more advanced features, such as third-party integrations, real-time updates, push notifications, and advanced user interfaces. It can be developed in 7 to 16 weeks and may cost between $100,000 and $250,000 or more. Some examples of complex apps are social media apps, e-commerce apps, and gaming apps.
An advanced app has highly complex features, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and machine learning. It can be developed in 11.5 to 16 weeks and may cost between $250,000 and $1,000,000 or more. Some examples of advanced apps are healthcare apps, financial apps, and enterprise-level apps.
However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create a functional and attractive app for your restaurant. You can start with a minimum viable product (MVP) that includes the essential features for your customers’ needs. For example, you can focus on online ordering, payment, reviews, and ratings. Depending on user feedback and market demand, you can add more features later.
How much do app servers cost per month?
Another factor that affects the cost of running a mobile app is server hosting. A server is a computer that stores and delivers data for your app. It would help if you had a server to handle user requests, such as browsing menus, placing orders, or making payments.
The cost of server hosting depends on the type of server you choose (shared or dedicated), the amount of data you store and transfer, the security level you need, and the service provider you use. According to the Hosting Tribunal, the average server hosting costs range from $5 to $100 monthly.
How to run a restaurant online app?
Building a mobile app for your restaurant is only the first step. You must maintain and update it regularly to ensure its functionality and security. Here are some tips on how to run a restaurant online app:
Test your app before launching it
Before releasing your app to the public, you should test it thoroughly for any bugs or errors. You can use tools like Firebase Test Lab or Appium to automate testing on different devices and platforms. You can also ask for feedback from beta testers or potential users to improve your app’s usability and design.
Market your app effectively
You need to market your app well to attract more downloads and users. Use various channels such as social media, email marketing, online ads, or word-of-mouth to spread the word about your app. You can also offer incentives such as discounts or freebies to encourage users to download and use your app.
Update your app regularly
To keep your users engaged and satisfied with your app, you must regularly update it with new features, content, or improvements. You can use tools like Google Play Console or App Store Connect to manage app updates and releases. You should also monitor user feedback and reviews to identify any issues or suggestions for improvement.
Can I run a restaurant remotely?
Running a restaurant remotely may seem challenging, but possible. With the help of technology and communication tools, you can manage your restaurant operations from anywhere in the world. Here are some ways to run a restaurant remotely:
Use cloud-based software
Cloud-based software allows you to access and manage your restaurant data and systems from any device and location. You can use software such as 7shifts, TouchBistro, or UpMenu to handle scheduling, ordering, delivery, inventory, and accounting tasks. You can also use software such as Zoom, Slack, or WhatsApp to communicate with your staff and customers.
Hire and train reliable staff
Having a reliable and competent staff is crucial for running a restaurant remotely. You need to hire and train staff who can handle the daily operations of your restaurant, such as cooking, serving, cleaning, and customer service. You should also provide them with clear guidelines, expectations, regular feedback, and recognition.
Delegate and automate tasks
Running a restaurant remotely requires you to delegate and automate tasks as much as possible. You should assign roles and responsibilities to your staff and use tools such as Zapier, IFTTT, or Automate.io to automate workflows and processes. It would help to use analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, or Tableau to track and measure your restaurant performance and make data-driven decisions.
Running a restaurant business can be rewarding but also challenging. With the help of a mobile app, you can simplify your tasks, reach more customers, and increase your revenue. However, building and running a mobile app requires planning, investment, and maintenance. You need to consider the features, costs, and best practices of developing a mobile app for your restaurant.
If you are looking for a professional iOS app development company to help you create a stunning and functional mobile app for your restaurant, look no further than Emveep. We have the expertise, experience, and passion to turn your vision into reality. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.