How to Build a Mobile App for Your Restaurant

Introducing Appfront’s mobile app builder: a no-code solution that enables restaurant owners to build and publish a branded mobile app in no time. 

February 13, 2023

Nowadays, having a branded mobile app is essential for any restaurant. Not only do mobile apps provide much-wanted convenience to customers, but they also allow restaurants to stand out from the competition.

Needless to say in today's digital age, the rise of food delivery services and shifting consumer demands have made branded digital platforms essential for the restaurant industry. In fact, when consumers across the US were asked whether they preferred using a restaurant's own app or website for food delivery, 67% stated that they did prefer using a restaurant's own app or website for food delivery. However, as businesses increasingly digitize their operations, they face the challenge of maintaining a direct line of communication with customers, differentiating their brand, and fostering customer loyalty, that’s where branded mobile apps come in.

Mobile Apps Drive Success for Restaurants

For restaurants, one of the most effective ways to engage with customers and drive sales is through a branded mobile app. It enables business owners big or small to enhance the customer journey, provide a seamless ordering experience, and more. Utilizing in-app messages allows restaurants to keep customers in the loop regarding special discounts, promotions, and new menu items. Moreover, mobile apps allow for the implementation of loyalty and referral programs, where customers can earn rewards and discounts for repeat business and spreading the word. According to a study by PWC, 48% of customers participate in brand loyalty programs and 52% recommend brands to their friends and family.  Beyond boosting engagement, branded apps also enable restaurants to collect valuable customer data and gain deep insights into preferences and behaviors. This data can be used to personalize marketing campaigns, tailor menu offerings, and make data-driven business decisions. By analyzing customer preferences and ordering patterns, restaurants can provide targeted recommendations and offers, enhancing the overall customer experience. The bottom line? Branded mobile apps increase engagement, boost sales, and foster brand loyalty.

Considering all the Benefits of Mobile Apps, Why Don’t More Restaurants Have Them?

Developing a mobile app from scratch is a time-consuming, costly endeavor. Traditional app development requires hiring skilled developers, designers, and testers, which can quickly add up in terms of both time and money. The process can take several months, if not longer, depending on the app's complexity. Furthermore, ongoing maintenance and updates can further inflate costs and introduce friction. For many restaurants, these expenses are simply not feasible, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. For restaurant owners already battling rising costs and labor shortages, time is a valuable resource that is often better spent managing day-to-day operations. 

Appfront's No-Code Solution Builds Custom, Sleek Mobile Apps with its Mobile App Builder

What exactly is a no-code solution? In short, no-code app-building enables individuals without coding or programming knowledge to create and develop applications. 

With Appfront, restaurants can easily design, create, and publish apps in no time. Using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows even those with no coding experience to create customized, feature-rich apps. With a wide range of pre-built templates and design elements, restaurant owners can easily tailor their digital appearance to match their brand identity. Appfront's solution also integrates seamlessly with existing POS systems, online ordering platforms, and loyalty programs, ensuring a cohesive and streamlined experience for both restaurant owners and patrons.

The Competitor Landscape When It Comes to Branded App Solutions

While mobile app solutions are available in the market, Appfront stands out for its user-friendly, time-efficient, and cost-effective approach. Unlike other platforms that require extensive coding knowledge or charge exorbitant fees, Appfront's no-code solution democratizes mobile app development, making it accessible to all types of restaurants. 

Most of the solutions in the market are aimed at medium to large businesses that can spend the time and money on the build-out process. Invoices usually include heavy setup costs (+$5,000) and a monthly subscription fee of $200+ per month per store (or a couple of thousand per month). Most of the solutions out there do not accommodate small businesses (1-5 locations) and take a long time to build (60-80 days).

1. Appfront - produces an enterprise-level solution to businesses of any size in no time. Focusing on the digital needs of restaurants, the onboarding process is quick and simple. Moreover, Appfront cuts the costs of competitors in half while offering reliable customer support. Best of all, Appfront is constantly pushing out new updates to the it system, to ensure that restaurants can adapt to changing customer expectations and technological advancements.

2. Wix - specializes in enabling business owners to create high-quality no-code websites. They also provide a DIY mobile app builder, but do not have a solution for SMBs and charge a $200 monthly rate. 

3. Olo - provides on-demand ordering and delivery services for the restaurant industry. Multi-location restaurants incorporate Olo's APIS and ordering system into their online processes. 

4. Paytronix - works with some great brands out there and specializes in enterprise accounts. Using their Guest Engagement PlatformA, clients can improve guest relationships by integrating the essential elements of engagement into a one platform.

5. Puncch - develops custom mobile apps with loyalty, ordering and gift card functionalities for restaurant chains. Through their SaaS dashboard, customers can customize their marketing activities on traditional and emerging channels.

6. Lunchbox - delivers digital ordering, customer loyalty, and AI-driven insights to improve sales and guest engagement for enterprise restaurant chains. Their onboarding process is approximately 60-80 days. 

7. Incentivio - provides an automated intelligence-driven engagement platform for businesses with five or more locations, they generally require 40-60 business days go live.

These platforms provide a visual interface and contain pre-built components, that enable design, customization, and deployment without a single line of code. No-code app-building platforms generally enable users can select from various elements such as buttons, forms, and menus to create a customized app layout. This solution eliminates the need for professional developers, making it a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative for individuals and businesses.

To summarize, Having a branded mobile app is vital for restaurants looking to thrive. At Appfront, we realize that the cost and time investment of traditional app development can be daunting for small to medium-sized businesses alike. That’s why we created our no-code solution to provide affordable, branded mobile apps for businesses.  Ready to build your Mobile App? Contact us today and get started.

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