Mobile Apps: The Great COVID-19 Savior of the Restaurant and Food Delivery Industry

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Think about it. Just about every state in America instituted stay-at-home orders and various lockdown measures to control the movement of the virus in 2020. The scenario posed a huge logistics problem for every household. How are they going to get the food to eat if going to the grocery is a huge challenge?

Well, we’re in the year 2021 now. And everyone knows that online ordering via mobile apps became the solution. Indeed, mobile apps have become a de facto savior for the restaurant and food ordering industry. To a large degree, mobile ordering skyrocketed — all thanks to COVID.

For sure, mobile ordering apps existed before the virus even hit town. Both Starbucks and Domino’s demonstrated how powerful these apps can be. But many restaurants were still sitting on the fence about the technology. There was no catalyst for them to speed up digital adoption. Many were doing well, up until the virus pounded America.

Today it’s a life-and-death situation for many businesses. As the economy turned largely dependent on digital, mobile apps provided a most convenient way to do business. And why not? Over 6 % of U.S. websites were visited via a mobile device during the pandemic.

But there’s more to mobile apps than just ordering online. Listed below are essential ways mobile apps have helped the restaurant and food ordering businesses thrive during the pandemic.

Food Delivered

The pandemic, no doubt, is a huge challenge. Those thousands of Americans who have fallen only attest to how the virus is one existential threat we must face squarely.

But aside from all that, the pandemic also created a great need for food. And true enough, millions of Americans flocked to food delivery apps.

There may not be a better example here than DoorDash. Before the pandemic, it had bigger competitors in the third-party food delivery service. But during the pandemic, the company started by Stanford students rose to become #1, grabbing 4 % of the total market share of food deliveries nationwide. And yes, it made its young 36-year-old founder Tony Xu a certified billionaire.

Tables Reserved

Now, you need not ring the restaurant to book a table. You can do so conveniently via a mobile app. With a host of restaurant reservation apps to choose from, you can easily find one that serves the best food combinations and cuisines in town.

It doesn’t matter if you’re craving Chinese, Italian, or something exotic, just a swipe on your smartphone screen and you should have all the best choices at the tip of your fingers.

Food Reviews Read

As you’re faced with a plethora of choices, knowing which is the best restaurant or food package for you can be a tall order. But not if mobile apps can’t help it. Along with the ability to place an order, these apps allow users to comment and share their personal experiences. Some even have star ratings so other consumers can take a hint.

Indeed, that should drive the restaurant and food delivery industry to better their services. Any bad experience posted online can easily dissuade others to make their order. Add social media to the mix, and things could get out of hand before you know it.

Then again, if you’re into the restaurant business, making sure your service counts is paramount. You should, in fact, streamline your processes and check on your food quality. Ensure that food stays as delicious as possible.

For instance, a good way to do that is by using food warmers and chafing dishes. These metal containers cast over a small flame can go a long way in giving your diners the warm meal they deserve no matter the hour of the day.

Promos and Discounts

Hot Deals

Mobile apps have become marketing tools too. Restaurants can offer discounts and various promos via the app. That’s a stunning way to promote a newly-launched food menu for instance.

Additionally, you can offer cashback promos. The possibilities are endless. Some mobile apps even offer discount coupons as their main line of business. Imagine how much greater your sales can be if you are able to reach a niche in the food market.

Follow-Up Orders

This feature is helpful both for people in the restaurant business and for those who have ordered their food. Many food delivery apps today are equipped with GPS integration. That makes it easier for customers to track the exact location of the delivery guy.

Additionally, it speaks convenience for businesses. The feature allows them to track their delivery guys and to ensure things arrive at the customer’s door as quickly as possible.

Pay Online

Last but not least, mobile apps allow customers to pay online. It’s a spot-on benefit during the pandemic. Online payments can be made in traditional mobile payment apps (e.g., PayPal) or via the delivery app (if provided).

Mobile apps are a godsend at the time of social distancing. It’s not just an option. It’s a must.

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