Increasing Brand Awareness With Mobile Apps
The mobile phone. You’ve got one. We’ve got one. Everyone’s got one. (Well, not everyone, but it’s pretty darn close.)
And what are we doing with our phones? Besides the day-to-day calling, texting, and emailing, we’re looking to integrate them into the rest of our lives—our work (BYOD), play (social media and gaming), and now even our dining.
There are plenty of restaurants that have already joined the mobile game. Some have gone the route of building their own mobile websites while others are upgrading the technology in their restaurants to cater to the mobile-loving dining crowd. These restaurants know that’s what their consumers want and so they’re giving it to them.
Whether you’ve taken steps towards increasing the “mobility” of your restaurant or not, it may be time to consider what others can do to help you in this regard. Apps are a great way to start. They help increase your brand awareness not only with people who already know about your restaurant, but with others who may have never even considered looking your way. If you haven’t gone fully mobile yet with the website, social media, and mobile-friendly in-house technology, apps are going to be your best friend.
Let Them Be Your Guide
Did you know that 40% of all restaurant reservations made these days are done via a mobile device? It’s an important fact to take into consideration, especially if you’re wondering why you should invest any of your time (and potentially money) into one of these apps.
Show Me the Way
UrbanSpoon is the app that acknowledges both the opinion from the restaurant critic as well as the diner. Giving a well-rounded look at the local bar and restaurant scene in the form of menus, photos, and ratings, UrbanSpoon aims to give diners all the information they need in order to find the restaurant that best suits their needs.
London Restaurants | Urbanspoon
Foursquare isn’t just a tool for restaurants. They specialise in helping the general public find whatever service they’re in need of. And it’s a smart system: once someone has used Foursquare for some time, it “learns” what that person prefers and will guide them towards what will fit them best. So when using this tool, make sure to keep your easy-to-set-up ad information updated, so people can easily find you. Foursquare for Business
Yelp is similar to UrbanSpoon and Foursquare in that it offers you the opportunity to manage your restaurant’s profile, though it does go a bit further than that. You can manage everything here from your menu to pictures of the establishment, hours of operations to special notes. Yelp is also a really great platform to use to monitor customer feedback and get involved in the conversation. This is a good opportunity to engage with customers in real time and help keep your reputation in check.
Yelp for Business Owners
Now Taking Reservations
Opentable is a very well-known restaurant guide and reservation system. It serves over 32,000 restaurants worldwide (though only 2,228 are in London). Opentable claims to offer reservations to the “best” restaurants, so do keep in mind that this is a bit of an exclusive club—whether you consider that a good thing or not. Of course, with membership like this that offers you not only the opportunity to have your restaurant advertised among other top restaurants in the area, but to also help with your marketing, there is always a fee.
Eet (previously MenuSpring) is another restaurant guide-slash-reservation tool worth considering. This one, on the other hand, is a bit more accessible and affordable. It’s also UK-based, so it’s built with you in mind. This also comes with the additional benefit of being able to converse with guests who have made a reservation with you, and vice versa.
Uncover and CityHawk are both London-based apps that advertise a select group of restaurants around London. With this tool, you can keep your restaurant listing up-to-date so they can help you fill spare tables up until the last minute. Being featured on a local and somewhat exclusive app like this would give you the ability to reach diners that might not have otherwise heard of or considered dining with you previously.
Zomato is an app built with your brand’s marketing in mind. We’d suggest looking into this if you’re in need of assistance with heavy app-based marketing efforts. Through their very attractive user interface, Zomato allows you to manage reservations, advertise your promotions and events, your upcoming specials, and also allows you to monitor and respond to customer reviews in real time. It also gives you the ability—as any good marketing platform should—to collect feedback from your customers for analytical purposes.