IntroductionWith cooking shows available 24/7 and an uncertain economy, restaurateurs haveto find increasingly innovative ways to attract customers away from their homesand into their restaurants.The restaurant industry has rarely been seen as a forerunner in utilising newtechnology, and has been slow to implement change over the years. In fact, theindustry has barely seen much of a change since the fast food boom of the 1950s.However, savvy entrepreneurs and the rise of digital technology have seenrestaurants investing money in apps, smartphones and gadgets to give them anedge in an increasingly competitive industry.In this briefing, We Are Apps explores how apps and the mobile web onsmartphones and tablets are making waves in the restaurant business and shapingthe future of the dining experience. 2
Re-inventing the dining experienceTablet Restaurant ManagementEateries and chain restaurants dishes available, nutritional Their tablet, Presto, has proven Merchants have noted thatare revamping the way they information and what wine goes to be an instant success. It monitoring usage, controllingdo business. Day planners are now best with each meal, these new incorporates a credit card reader, inventory and identifying problemson smartphones and tablets as a “menus” are engaging customers table status visual notification, have all been enhanced thanks tohost of new apps are making life with their food in innovative ways. customised menus and over 20 the cloud-based reporting that theand organising day-to-day business These devices also allow people to hours of battery life. There’s also a tablet provides.easier for restaurateurs. play games, watch videos, read the range of functions for customers toDevelopers are now creating apps news and much more. Customers peruse while waiting to be served, There’s been some apprehensionsolely for restaurants to use on can even sign up for reward from games and trivia to drawing to the introduction of tablets.tablets and smartphones. They programmes right from their table. apps for kids. For consumers, the Some restaurants fear that suchprovide real-time views of tables, These tablets are a win-win for ability to split bills anyway they technology decreases the appealcatalogue menus by a selection everyone involved. Tablets and like and order at their own pace of restaurant dining and the qualityof names and ingredients, process apps boost business and revenue, is appealing. The company has of service restaurants provide.sales and delivery tickets and send as they keep patrons busy while reported that restaurants Tablet technology is still relativelyorders to the kitchen. These new they wait. This makes their dining implementing the Presto tablet new, however, and restaurateurstechnological developments for experience more enjoyable and have seen 10% sales boosts and are gradually adapting tothe restaurant industry aren’t increases the chances of diners higher newsletter sign-up rates, employees and new technologyjust happening behind the spending more and becoming with customers being tempted by working seamlessly together whilescenes, however. repeat customers. high quality images and upsell still providing customers the best techniques. dining experience.The dining experience is changing One of the forerunners of thisfront of house for customers too. movement is Silicon Valley-based E Other competitors in the restaurantTraditional menus are being la Carte, a company that develops tablet market such as ShopKeepreplaced with e-menus and tablets. tableside tablets exclusively for the POS, have seen a significantWith features offering visual aids of restaurant and hospitality industry. increase in productivity and sales. 3
On your mobileTablets aren’t the only form of technology making waves in the food – particularly among students – and restaurants clamouring to joinrestaurant industry. An app called TabbedOut allows customers to view, the site to offer exclusive online deals in a bid to gain customers. Other appsopen and pay for their drinks or meal using their smartphone without having offering restaurant deals include TopTable, whose website success has seento wait for the server to bring their bill. It also can locate and call local taxi them expand to reach customers on the go. Discount sites like Groupon andcompanies if a ride home is needed and offers social network integration LivingSocial have also created apps, targeting consumers by location in orderand check-in capabilities. to target potential customers more directly. Restaurant deals are one of the most popular purchases, and establishments such as the Hilton HotelMobile credit card apps are becoming increasingly popular in food and Marco Pierre White’s restaurants are offering customers fixed menusestablishments, with Japan utilising the mobile as a swiss-army knife of and discount courses via these voucher apps.technology for years. Eric Savitz from Forbes.com says that smartphonesare becoming more like wallets, “holding apps the way our physical wallets Some of the biggest chain restaurants in the UK such as Pizzahold cards and cash.” Users are being enticed to pay via apps with various Express, Wagamama and Wetherspoons have released freerewards and loyalty badges being offered for making certain transactions. apps to attract diners. However, functionality is often limitedIt’s certainly a lucrative market for both app developers and restaurants to locating your nearest restaurant and booking a table.looking to retain and engage customers. Restaurants need to ensure their apps offer users unique and exclusive content rather than a mobile-version of theirAway from the dining tables, however, another digital food revolution website in order to retain customers’ interest.is affecting the restaurant industry. With the popularity of discount websites like Groupon andOrdering food from the touch LivingSocial offering dining deals daily, restaurants are quicklyof your mobile screen incorporating offers into apps for customers. Restaurants can now target their customers anytime, anywhere on their mobiles,The success of online takeaway site, Just Eat, has seen them launch their offering exclusive news, menus and more. Mobiles alsofirst app this year. Offering over 14,000 takeaways, customers can now make eliminate the need to print off coupons, with customerstheir dining options on the move, placing orders on the way home so it’s simply being able to show a code from their devices.ready for them when they arrive. This trend has seen a rise in delivery 4
...on your mobileFollowing the food scene now. While the US has been quick to adapt to the current demand of sourcing local produce and eating locally by creating apps for users, the UK has beenRestaurants also need to take note of another new aspect of the mobile slow to adapt to these changes.revolution in food: User Generated Content. Foodspotting, an app fromthe US but widely used in the UK, lets users rate and share favourite dishes Time will tell whether Street Food London and similar apps will take off for the‘spotted’ in eateries. With visual guides to good food and where to find it, UK market but with the increasing demand for local mobile content, expect tothe app has featured on Time’s 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2012. It’s great for see many more locally-focussed apps hitting the Apps Store.users wanting to source restaurants and places to eat locally. It has also seensuccess through providing users to join a community of similar food lovers.Unlike Time Out’s apps, where clever restaurateurs and food brands canplace banner advertising, FoodSpotting doesn’t take advertising yet.However, canny food propositions can still get involved by creating contentdirectly on the app. In fact, the concept of building brand communities andproviding shareability for app content is a crucial component to seeing foodapps gain momentum for users on the move, looking for new ideas fromtrusted sources.One food community straddling both the real and digital worlds are streetfood markets, which have seen a revival in recent years amongst curious foodgoers. Street food fanatics can now always find the latest street food with arange of new apps promoting local and community food. Street Food Londonis a new app that launched in January 2013. It features over 100 Londontraders and markets that are continually updated, includes social media links,the ability to view all markets on the map and see what markets are open right 5
The marketing angleThere’s another angle to restaurant apps: promotion. Chefs have taken The Brandadvantage of users’ willingness to use apps in the kitchen and have seen opportunityphenomenal success, particularly Gordon Ramsay, James Martin andJamie Oliver. Great British Chefs – a collection of the UK’s finest chefs – Recipe websites and Brands arelaunched their first app last year. It went on to feature in The Sunday Times creating apps too. Country LifeTop 500 App List and win awards. The success has seen them launch two Butter released Great British Picnicsfurther apps – Feastive and Summertime – in 2012, the latter becoming one last year with a range of featuresof Apple’s Best of 2012 apps – a rare accolade awarded to less than 100 of from treasure hunts to picnics withthe 700,000 apps in their store.* a twist. The app also features a range of recipes using Country LifeJamie Oliver has also launched a successful app range for mobile and tablets, Butter. Likewise, Philadelphia created an app thatfrom app versions of his award-winning cookbooks to brand new recipe apps. lets users create and add items to shopping lists,A well-used technique is to offer a limited amount of recipes free, then charge add recipes to their Recipe Box and share recipe for premium content. It’s a ideas with friends. It’s a great way to entice and win-win situation for the chef. inspire users to use your product and the ability Their restaurant is being to share recipes on social media through the app promoted and they are means brands are reaching a wider audience with earning ancillary revenue from their products. the sole of the app.*We must confess, Great British Chefs is one of our creations. 6
The beginning of the revolutionMobile, apps and tablets are changing theway we interact with our dining experiencefor the long run. Social Media is now a keycomponent to any company’s marketingstrategy. With the rise of second screenadvertising, tablets and smartphones,connecting with customers through theirdevices will become essential forrestaurateurs.There’s still a lot of room for technology totake hold in the restaurant business. Thepotential benefits for both consumers andrestaurants, however, vastly outweigh thelimitations. Tablets, apps and smartphonesare here to revolutionise the restaurantindustry for the long-run. 7
Sourceshttp://www.entrepreneur.com/ http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/ http://www.bizjournals.com/ http://www.chainpulsemagazine.article/224332 13/e-la-carte-releases-more- dayton/news/2012/09/18/local- com/article/move-over-pos-here-5 Technologies Changing powerful-version-of-customized- restaurants-making-tech. come-tablets-restaurantsthe Restaurant Industry, tablet-for-restaurants/ html?page=all Move over POS, here comeSeptember 6, 2012 E La Carte Releases More Powerful Local restaurants making tech the tablets for restaurants, Version Of Customized Tablet For investments, Sep 18, 2012 December 1, 2012http://www.onthegoware.com/ Restaurants, November 13, 2012mobile/mobile-apps-change- http://www.siliconindia.com/news/restaurant-industry http://www.waitersrace.com/ technology/5-Awesome-How Mobile Apps Will Change tablets-and-e-menu-debates- Technologies-Changing-The-the Restaurant Industry Forever, around-the-restaurants-tables Restaurants-nid-128967-cid-2.htmlFebruary 5, 2012 Tablets and e-Menu: debates 5 Awesome Technologies around the restaurants tables, Changing The Restuarants,http://theblackboard.net/blogs/a- October 2012 September 12, 2012guide-to-restaurant-marketing-apps-for-smartphones/ http://www.entrepreneur.com/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/Brief overview of restaurant article/220704 ciocentral/2013/01/18/mobile-marketing apps for smartphones, Tabbedout: A Mobile Payment payments-whats-no-go-and-whats-May 2012 App for Restaurants and Bars, go-go-go-in-2013/ December 15, 2011 Mobile Payments: What’s No-Gohttp://elacarte.com/ – And What’s Go-Go-Go – In 2013, January 18, 2013 8
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