As 2022 begins and life starts to slowly return to normal, the restaurant industry can start to feel optimistic with some promising statistics as consumers can’t wait to return to dining out! Restaurant apps have become increasingly popular in recent years with owners and managers alike, to not only assist with the day to day running of the business but to also attract customers in various innovative ways.
Gold Coast App Developers Media Shark reports that “as contactless technology continues drive consumer expectation and with businesses needing to automate, we’re seeing a huge demand in applications that will assist teams operationally and in addition to this, we’re seeing a real trend in restaurant apps being created by first time entrepreneurs with the aim of bringing people together through food as a new era of social app”
Gaining an edge over competitors and creating a great customer experience is crucial, restaurants must maintain standards and strive for perfection.
So let’s take a look at some of the best restaurant apps for owners and managers that restaurateurs can look forward to using in 2022.
Deals & Discounts Apps
Empty tables don’t make money and a reduced bill is better than no revenue at all.! Diners now have the opportunity to find discounted meal deals at restaurants and at the same time restaurant managers can offer specials to fill tables during quieter periods.
Eat Club is the latest “food tech startup” founded by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White to help restaurants fill empty seats during quiet periods and bring customers back to restaurants.
“EatClub connects customers with restaurants who have spare tables on any given day/night. The mobile app helps restaurants fill these spare tables while the customers receive great deals in return.”
The Fork offers solutions to boost revenue and gives restaurateurs full control over when their online bookings are open or closed. Restaurants can use promotional offers for off-peak times and the platform guides restaurateurs in how to build off-peak campaigns.
Sustainable and Ethical Apps
Sustainable and ethically sourced produce is at the forefront of consumer expectation with customers wanting to know that their food is responsibly sourced. There are apps available which enable chefs to find the best seasonal produce. Furthermore, there is technology on hand to assist with best practises to reduce carbon footprints and procure eco-friendly packaging.
Catering for all types of diner makes good business sense; 83% of unused food in restaurants winds up as waste. Selling this food to diners is not only morally and ethically beneficial but great for a restaurant’s brand and reputation. By connecting the customer to food which would normally be thrown out a restaurant can increase revenue.
Food for all is on a mission to reduce food waste, it connects the user with local restaurants and cafes that have excess food. The user pays through the app, arrives at the restaurant and collects the meal as a takeout.
goMkt is an app that assists restaurateurs to reduce food waste and increase revenue. It allows the user to connect with a restaurant and aims to fight food waste by allowing people to purchase food that would have otherwise been thrown away.
The Seafood Watch app makes it easier to make sustainable seafood choices. It provides recommendations and information about best farming and fishing practises. This app can be used by restaurants to make informed choices about their produce.
The seasonal food guide app is designed as a farmers market cheat sheet. This app is great for restaurateurs to ensure they are sourcing the most seasonal produce, and keeping up with their corporate and social responsibility.
Happy Cow is a directory of vegan restaurants and according to a report by the United Nations as of January 2021, the total number of vegans in the world is approx 79 million. If a restaurant has a vegan menu available, this is a great app for brand exposure
Reservations & POS Apps
Ensuring the reservation and payment process is as streamlined as possible is key to a great customer experience. There are currently some impressive software applications available on the market that integrate the reservation and point of sale systems to provide efficient operations.
Resy is backed by American Express and comes with a strong reputation. Guests can book via web or mobile app and are offered the ability to choose where they sit i.e terrace, chefs counter. The software provides FOH assistance for tracking covers and offers data and analytics.
Tock offers table driven revenue management and allows restaurateurs the ability to manage delivery, takeout and events all in one platform. Tock also integrates with Facebook, Instagram and Google.
Open Table is used by 60,000 restaurants worldwide and is a leading reservations application for restaurants and diners. There are 3 plans which offer the restaurant the ability to use what works best for them.
Eat apps claim to be the most advanced widget in the business. It is integrated with all major booking channels to bring exposure and allows for phone, payment and POS integrations. Eat app offers customisation for guests prior to arrival and streamlines the entire process.
An important aspect of any food and beverage business is stock control and adjusting the balance between holding enough stock and over-ordering. This, in addition to use by dates and inaccurate stock takes can affect revenue. Inventory software can assist with tracking stock levels, ordering, sales and deliveries, and can also help to streamline day-to-day procedures and improve the customer journey.
Bevspot is software designed for food and beverage inventory management. Bevspot reports a 70% reduction in time taken for stocktaking. It also allows for direct ordering of products and assistance with tracking cost percentages.
Partender is bar inventory software which reduces the time it takes to conduct stock takes and automates the whole process by providing a simple app interface whereby a bar manager can put their thumb across a virtual bottle to accurately measure liquor levels.
HACCP & Food Safety Apps
Food safety and compliance will be of the utmost importance in 2022. Diners expect the highest hygiene and safety standards. HACCP is a fundamental aspect of any food business.
Zip HACCP is an easy to use task manager that gives business owners the ability to share and manage food safety and compliance checklists. The mobile app is integrated with temperature probes that can capture the temperature of produce.
Kelsius has just won the IFSA’S 2021 award for best food service technology, Kelsius removes the paperwork from temperature check monitoring and is a fully sustainable product. Kelsius uses wireless sensor technology and cloud based data.
Safefood360 is a web based food safety management software, again it is used with the aim to eliminate paper systems. Users can collect, store and manage food safety data and documentation. As well as create food safety audits, and manage a food supply chain,
FoodlogiQ is “Farm to fork” software which focuses on traceability and tracking for complex food supply chains. It is a cloud based platform built exclusively for the food industry and is available in over 130 countries worldwide.
Social Media Apps
According to a recent survey by Statista there are over 1 billion monthly active users on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger. Utilising software apps for scheduling social media posts can save time, ensure consistency and make use of these immense platforms to increase brand awareness.
Later allows for the scheduling of posts for Instagram and Facebook. The interactive calendar suggests the best time to post based on analytics and data and has a profile planner which allows the user to plan ahead and visualise what their posts will look like.
Planoly is the official partner of Instagram and allows the user to create and customize content for social channels. There is now also a selection of pre designed templates with the latest version of the app.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform which allows the user to schedule posts. The mass appeal for hootsuite is that it allows for the management of so many different platforms all in one. Including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, WordPress & Mailchimp.
On demand food delivery apps can’t be overlooked with a large percentage of the population still kept home by government enforced lockdowns. Food delivery is a global industry and the US is the second largest market. Although 74% consumers do say that they would prefer to order from a restaurant’s own app, delivery apps are a great way of keeping in front of customers if a restaurant doesn’t already have an app or delivery service as part of their format.
Uber Eats is the most popular food delivery service, with 66 million users Internationally. Due to the size of its fleet, it can service some smaller cities as well, making this useful for restaurants that don’t already have delivery service as part of their operation..
DoorDash has recently been coined top on demand restaurant app with nearly 30% market share and has 310,000 restaurants located in 4000 cities. 75% of restaurants agree that DoorDash has helped them reach new customers.
Caviar is a premium food delivery app which focuses on delivery from high-end restaurants. It offers users the chance “Enjoy quality dining at home and make any night a special occasion” Caviar is an app which offer exclusivity between some restaurants that aren’t available on other apps
Food For Thought!
The hospitality industry has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, however this has allowed restaurateurs to adapt and source new business streams and revenues. Technology is giving businesses the opportunity to offer digital services and reach customers to provide great experiences in ways they have never been able to before. Innovative restaurant apps are now assisting owners and managers to automate their business and streamline procedures and practices for their restaurants.
Nothing brings people together like good food and for the restaurant industry – the future’s looking brighter than ever!
Lara Blake is the Business Development Manager for Media Shark, Gold Coast App Developers who specialise in App Design & App Development. She also represents HK Certifiers, Private Certifier Blue Mountains Lara’s passion for tech coupled with an extensive career in Business Development has led her to become an advocate and writer for young professionals within the industry.