What are some things a mobile app will do for you?

Your customers can get the app easily by link or QR code from friends, print ads, stickers on your menu or take out container to table topper, window sticker...

First, they can simply click a button and put an icon to your app on their app store needed. Click below, but remember you're going to see a screen that's best viewed on a smart device.

Simple answers and a dozen customized examples of what your new customers will be able to do with your app...

1. call you with no more than a "click"...(hard to show you on a desktop...)

2. find you with a simple Google map with a "click"...

3. register to get your emails or texts...

4. make reservations...

5. tell THEIR friends about you by email, Facebook or Twitter...

6. review and "like" YOUR page on Facebook, Yelp, etc...

7. see your customized wine list, drink menu and pairings...

8. learn all about your business...

9. order product from you with a "click" while they view your menu...

10. order from one of many different formats we have for menus...

11. see your videos (we'll put one together for you and can even put it on your home page with your custom logo, colors & graphics) or view a photo gallery your customers can upload and you edit...

11. see your most current coupons or special offers...

(There's an unlimited list of things you can perform with an app, contact your valet from the table, sell gift certificates, run contests, list your entertainment calendar, book events, take employment apps, provide your daily schedule or menus - especially helpful for a food truck...and a lot more.)


Research from the National Restaurant Association, and presented in Oct, 2013 at the Restaurant Innovation Summit in Denver, showed that customers wanted to incorporate smartphone technology into their dining experiences. Here's what leaders of Cici's Pizza, Pizza Hut and Wingstop think of mobile apps, 3 years later.

The majority of Americans have used technologies such as touchscreen ordering, smartphone apps and mobile payments while dining out. The research said "even more are interested in doing so if provided by their favorite restaurants."

"Technology can add convenience and efficiency to the customer experience, as well as provide productivity benefits to restaurant operators," said Hudson Riehle, the NRA's senior vice president of Research and Knowledge.

Research highlights include: 

63 percent of adults have used restaurant-related technology options in the past month.

More than two in five have used a smartphone to find restaurant locations and directions, or viewed menus and placed orders on a computer.

One in five have ordered takeout/delivery or looked up nutrition information on a smartphone or tablet.

Seven out of 10 consumers age 18 to 34 have looked up locations and directions on a smartphone or tablet on the past month.

Half of consumers 18-34 have used a computer to order food or make reservations.

Thirty-five percent of consumers 18-34 have placed takeout/delivery orders on a smartphone or tablet.

More than one-quarter of consumers 18-34 have used a smartphone to find nutrition information.

Half of all adults say they would use a smartphone or tablet app to place takeout/delivery orders, while three-quarters of 18-to-34-year-olds say the same.

Half of all consumers say they would use restaurant rewards and special deals on a smartphone, while 70 percent of those 18 to 34 say they would.

Forty-six percent of all adults say they would use a smartphone to make a restaurant reservation or place an order at a touchscreen kiosk, with six out of 10 18-to-34-year-olds reporting the same.

And, 24 percent of all consumers say they would use a smartphone payment option, while 43 percent of those ages 18 to 34 say they would.

When asked in which area they would most like to see restaurants adding technology options, loyalty programs and ordering topped the list, followed by reservations, entertainment and payments.

Consumers also ranked the most useful features of a restaurant smartphone app: 

  1. Location/direction
  2. Viewing menus
  3. Takeout/delivery ordering
  4. Reservations
  5. Loyalty/rewards programs
  6. Gift cards
  7. Social media connections
(The video shows a great method of getting your customers to engage you while they wait, either at your tables or at the using a table topper with multiple reasons for your diners to engage you and put your mobile app on their phone.  By offering discounts, loyalty programs, wine lists and pairings, information and menus and a lot more, your customers will engage with you with a well designed table topper while waiting for a waitperson...the food...the check... and then be able to continue engaging with you when your icon is on their phone and they can "click" to order or get reservations at a later date. We'll help you set this up and manage it.)

NOW, recent research by Foodservice Solutions® found 86 percent of consumers at 1PM have no idea at all what they're going to have and 65 percent of consumers at 5PM still do not know “what’s for dinner”.

Wouldn't an app that gives them 4 options, with images and prices, at 11:00 for lunch and dinner and then 5 options at 3:30 for dinner, with an easy "pick up" or "delivery" options, be valuable?  We think so, and mobile is the only way to get that done.

Imagine your app has a home page with a button that reads, "What are you having for dinner today?" with those options featured? If those options don't change regularly, you may become irrelevant, but if you are featuring new choices regularly, your customers could create a new dining habit that might just include your menu offerings. As a separate option to the regular menu and other offerings, mobile is the place for such growth featured marketing.  

The National Restaurant Association also surveyed 1800 professional restaurant chefs, bar tenders, etc. in Dec., 2012 to discover the biggest trends.

Winners?  Wine/beer food pairings, mobile apps, loyalty ...see the video.

So, why not ask us for a conversation about how you can get all of the features (right) that will increase sales, loyalty, engagement and sharing by your customers?

If you have a major franchise, you wouldn't be asking this question, because your franchisor is most likely to require these things.  If you are a small group or independent operator, the cost of the technology and implementation to your specific needs would be very expensive. With LocalMobil, you get an affordable solution that competes with the major competitors that are ramping up to mobile.  

See this article in the Wall Street Journal to see how larger chains are "semi-successfully" using mobile optimized table toppers to engage millenials, and the issues and costs they face.

Today, given the fast adoption rate of your customers to smartphones and devices, you can now use their device to not only engage with them, but to install your icon on their device so that when they leave, they take you - your menu - your specials and more - with them when they go.

Since you can easily implement a "mobile optimized" marketing strategy and manage it for under $40 a month, and get hundreds of monthly customers (which some of our customers have done), it just makes sense.  And, since smart devices are used by the best prospective customer there's no downside.

Here's an article from Fast Casual from Aug, 2013 listing some more ways to increase your take out and delivery sales.  

Asking if these tactics really work? Study this analytics graphic that shows the growth of one local NJ restaurant over a one year period that employed some of these tactics, including publishing a QR code linked to their mobile app on all of their print ads.

They're now getting over 600 web app hits monthly and you'll see that our mobile apps perform. If your average customer spends $25 and you could get another 600 per month...with year over year growth of mobile engagement of 20% to 30%, at a cost of about $40-$50 monthly, wouldn't you?


Check out this survey of 500+ restaurant seekers from early in 2012.  Clearly, it is a major move to have an easily accessible website with video of your food that a potential diner can review without being discouraged.

Restaurants are the most searched industry by consumers through both mobile applications and browsers, according to a new (April, 2013) study from SinglePlatform at Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.

The study found that 81 percent of consumers have searched for a restaurant via a mobile app and 92 percent through a Web browser in the last six months, outperforming other highly searched industries, such as entertainment, retail outlets, hotels and personal services.

Additionally, 75 percent said they often choose a restaurant to dine at based on those search results.

"The results of this survey clearly indicate the need for restaurants to ensure that their menu information is up to date across all online platforms," said Wiley Cerilli, vice president and general manager, SinglePlatform. "When you take into consideration that 80 percent of consumers think it's important to see a menu before they dine at a restaurant, restaurants stand to tremendously benefit in managing their menus wherever consumers see them."

Key findings from the study include:

Four Ways to Attract Millennials To A Restaurant

Millennials, those ages 19 to 34, are buying fewer cars, houses, electronics, and credit cards. Why is this? Being the group hit the hardest by the economy, experiencing increases in the costs of education, auto insurance, gasoline and housing, having fewer job opportunities, they have less money than their parents did at the same age.

In fact, the average worth of someone from the age 29 to 37 has dropped a whopping 21% over the last 30 years. What does this mean for restaurant owners? Millennials are eating out less and less. This young generation is watching their wallet, and being more cautious about their spending. However, with this change in spending, also has come a change in what in desirable in restaurants. Millennials want the new, unique, and authentic. McDonald’s, which is the number one fast food chain, doesn’t even rank in the top 10 favorite restaurants among the millennial demographic. Not that this group isn’t eating at burger joints, but the fast-food presence is surely on the decline.

So what exactly is this group of 80 million up-and-comers looking for when deciding where to eat?

1. Variety and Customization
Burger King must have been on to something when they said “Have it Your Way.” Millennials demand choices and the ability to personalize their order. According to a McDonald’s memo, “Our customers are consistently telling us, particularly millennials, they expect variety, more choices, customization and their ability to be able to personalize their food experience.” Local restaurants are great at offering variety and customization but poor at promoting these factors. An app can do this for you.

2. History and Background
Millennials want some substance behind where they eat. A reason why chain restaurants may struggle is because it is much more difficult for them to sell a story behind their food. Vera Chang noted in a New York Times article, “I like to know the story about the places I eat, I think it’s key to feed one’s heart in addition to one’s stomach when going out.” This is a place where local eateries may be able to take advantage by providing the history of how a restaurant came about to be what it is. A story about you needs to be available…on your menu, table…mobile app, for those customers that are curious.

3. Ingredients
Quality ingredients are an absolute must for this generation. Noted by QSR Magazine, Millennials believe that they deserve the best and will not settle for anything less. This is certainly part of why Chipotle has been so successful. Besides great taste and quantity at an awesome price, Chipotle features organic and natural ingredients unlike many fast food chains. Millennials want to know and trust the food they receive in return for their money. A menu has little space to feature ingredients, but a digitized app that a diner can review anytime and anyplace makes engagement simple and customizable for the user.

4. Socially Responsible
Another new trend with this demographic is connecting with companies and businesses that are socially responsible and trustworthy. The Los Angeles Times noted that Cracker Barrel and McAlister’s Deli, two top chains of Millennials, were noted for their social responsibility. Two other establishments acknowledged were In-N-Out Burger, and Logan’s Roadhouse for their treatment of the environment and their employees as well. The bottom line is if they can’t trust you to take care of the world outside your business, and let alone your own workers, then they won’t trust you to serve quality food. There are many ways to promote your fav cause to your customers and elicit their emotional response on a mobile app.

Generation Y is the most dominant demographic today. However, just making your name known won’t guarantee their business. As you can see, it takes a lot of factors to grab their attention and their business. Are you appealing to the Millennials?

81 percent of consumers have searched for a restaurant on a mobile app in the last six months;

92 percent of consumers have searched for a restaurant on a web browser in the last six months;

75 percent of consumers often choose a restaurant to dine at based on search results;

iPhone owners are more likely to search for a restaurant than other smartphone owners;

80 percent of consumers think it's important to see a menu before they dine at a restaurant;

84 percent of consumers are likely to look at more than one restaurant before choosing where to dine;

70 percent of consumers think it is important to be able to read the menu of a restaurant on a mobile device; and

62 percent of consumers are less likely to choose a restaurant if they can't read the menu on a mobile device.

"The math is simple — it's no longer okay to ignore your online and mobile presence. If a restaurant's online menu is updated and available on mobile, it has a distinct step-up over competition in terms of conversion," said Kristen Garvey, vice president of marketing, Chadwick Martin Bailey.

"What we are seeing with the results of this survey is that online menus are essential in bolstering a restaurant's ability to attract new patrons," Cerilli added.

The study was compiled through the feedback from 1,497 consumers who own a smartphone.

Customer loyalty researchers report that, on average, companies lose about 50% of their customers each year, that it costs 20x more to do business with a new than existing customer, and a minimal reduction in customer defection rates can significantly boost profits.

From a recent CMB Consumer Pulse – 44% of respondents report feelings of loyalty to 10 or more companies they do business with – another third to 5-9 companies.  In addition, we learned that two-thirds enjoy it when a company thanks them for their loyalty… and one-in three expects a company to thank them….so they must be disappointed in you when instead of receiving a thank you from you they get one from a competitor.  

We have found the following statistics resulting from a variety of restaurants initiating a loyalty program in less than two years -

  • A single location coffee and dessert venue that awards one point every sale and gives away a free coffee for 10 points increases visits by 13.5% per month. They now have 3,410 members and 449 VIP members (a VIP member is defined as having more than 10 visits).

  • A tea shop competing with two other local tea shops, now 2 years later with over 13K members, over $1M in tracked spending and a 35% increase in visits per month.

  • Two Irish pubs, 2 years in, awarding a point for every $10 spend, now with over 3k members, 321 VIP members (15+ visits), and a 14% increase in monthly visits.

  • An 8 unit bbq chain that in a year and a half has over 13K members, 1K+ VIP members, and over 9,600 additional visits to-date awarding 1 point for every $5 spent.

Fast Casual Magazine did a study that shows a .49% increase in loyalty members' orders, which works out, over a year, to "two extra orders per member. Multiply that by 1,500 members and a $25 ticket average and you've got $75,000 in ROI to play with"

For an example of a successful loyalty program, check out Papa John's Loyalty Offer.... 1 point (for each $5 spent) x 25 points = 1 free large. It may sound complicated, but we have platforms that will do the calculations and the work for you and you can determine your own formulas.  (NOTE - Papa Johns now has a $250M class action lawsuit pending because of improperly spamming mobile users.)

Dominos reported in October, 2013 in Mobile Commerce Today that the response to mobile doubles every year and that 35% of their orders come from mobile users.


Cornell University's hospitality arm did a study of electronic ordering in March, 2011 that will be of interest if you're considering going "mobile".  Links are at Online, Mobile, and Text Food Ordering in the U.S. Restaurant Industry, by Sheryl E. Kimes and Philipp F. Laqué.

Although the report is three years old, and current conditions have accelerated, it's a good way to get a credible overview of the impact electronic ordering is having on the industry.

Customer SMS Surveys Can Sidestep Negative Reviews and Reward Your Best Customers

Once they answer a few questions after dining with you, they automatically get a coupon.  Here's some ways to best utilize a customer survey platform...

Quick Serve/Fast Food Restaurants

Post purchase customer satisfaction measurement

New product/service testing/evaluation

Loyalty program integration

Store proximity intercepts (Quick Service Restaurants) Lists 5 Ways to Use Mobile Web Apps to Improve Your Business.

Our Perspective....

Spending $80 - $100 or more per month to create a mobile menu may be unnecessary for most local restaurants since a mobile web version can be created that

Costs a whole lot less

Is accessible by anyone with a little web knowledge to edit and update without the need for IT people to take over

Does not need to connect directly to antiquated POS systems

Eliminates so much of the complexity and confusion on the part of users that have to enter zip codes, email addresses, favorite foods, locations and more before they can even BEGIN to place an order

Enables restaurant owners to 'personalize' the experience for the customer with a follow up phone call when orders or reservations are made

Simply handled with an ePrinter, sent to an email address, tablet, phone or desktop for action and follow up

Provides a way to enroll customers in your texting program


From catering to fine dining to pizza...restaurateurs are finding the need to compete on a level playing field with national chains that have the budgets and commitment to protect their share holders and market share.  Now locals can easily compete...