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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Ditch the Takeout Menu: Digitally-Savvy Restaurants Make Mobile Apps Easier to Use

Does the mobile app for your business allow clients to plan an order for the future? Can they alter what they eat? Do they have access to real-time status updates?

If so, there is good news for you: A recent report from technology researcher Incisiv claims that you have what are regarded as prerequisites for a reliable digital ordering experience. However, you might still be lagging.

To find out which major chains are setting the standard for the digital dining experience, the researcher examined the apps and websites of 100 restaurant companies. The leaders offer both fundamental services and distinctive features that can improve the client experience, which sets them apart from the rest of the pack.

According to the same study, 2022 Digital Maturity Benchmark assessment, chains that are at the top of their digital game offer the following six extra bells and whistles.

Menu Item Availability

Many restaurants allow online ordering, but few inform patrons if their requested item is available. Only 16 percent of chains examined by Incisiv provide stock visibility. Given supply chain issues that have rendered out-of-stock widespread, this capability may be more crucial than ever.

One chain here defying the norm is Starbucks. When a product is out of stock or unavailable at that location, callouts are displayed on the coffee industry giant's app and website.

Check-in for pickup Only 12% of restaurants allow patrons to notify them when they are ready to pick up an order. However, it is stated on the research that the choice can reduce wait times and give customers the sense that their meal is freshly prepared.

For instance, the Chick-fil-A app has an "I'm here" button that patrons can tap when they arrive at the restaurant to let employees know to prepare the order.

Menu filters Customers are looking more and more for menu items that adhere to certain dietary or allergy requirements. They have not always had it easy at restaurants. According to Incisiv, only 5% of brands let customers filter their menus depending on their nutritional preferences.

Customers may now do that, thanks to a technology that Chipotle Mexican Grill introduced last summer. Users can apply various filters, including vegetarian, vegan, paleo and keto, as well as ingredients they want to avoid, like gluten. They will only see things that match those specifications on the app.

Customers typically have the option to instruct the delivery driver how to leave their food on third-party delivery applications, but only about 30% of restaurants, per experts, enable contactless delivery on their own ordering platforms. Even fewer (8%) allow customers to provide detailed directions for where the meal should be left.

Sweetgreen is one of those select handfuls. Customers may choose the specific drop-off choices on the salad chain's app, such as "meet at the door," "meet outdoors," or "leave at the door," and there is also a comments section where they can add a locker security code or other drop off information.

Exclusive Menu Items

Restaurants frequently struggle to persuade patrons to use their own app or website to place their orders rather than a third-party aggregator. Offering clients exclusive things only available through the straight method is one way they encourage it. But only 5% of brands currently offer online only products.

Chipotle has done this with many of its new menu items, and Taco Bell's app has a special section for "online exclusives," which includes the Quesarito and the customizable My Cravings Box.

Feedback tools

Only 14% of diners make complaints to restaurants directly, according to Incisiv.

More people (38%) decide to express their complaints in public on social media and other forums. This could be because a lot of restaurants do not have a way for digital customers to leave feedback. Thirty- five percent allow guests to give feedback about the app itself, while only 11% offer the option to leave pickup/delivery feedback or make suggestions. Here we are presenting you eatOS which offers all three.

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