Your customers are searching for food on the go. Are you there yet?

Mobile devices have changed the way we live our lives. More than anything they have transformed the way we search, shop, travel, and order food. According to a recent research by Moz, people now prefer to use their smartphones and tablets to shop online, hire cabs as well as create professional networking.

Mobile devices are also improving things for restaurant owners. Here are some numbers to chew on

  • 93% of online users check out restaurant menus online
  • The usage of food and restaurant apps have increased by 70% since 2016, to its current standing of 43%
  • Over 80% of customers have searched for a restaurant on their smartphone
  • 62% of online consumers are less likely to choose a restaurant if they don't have an online menu

Whether you own a food truck or a celebrated restaurant chain, you’re probably already aware that the way customers are looking for your restaurant has changed quite a bit in the last few years. For restaurants, it is important to be where their customers are. Many consumers check restaurant menu, location, customer reviews, ratings, and special offers before they decide where to eat.

Given all the fizz in the digital world, it won't be wrong to say that technology and mobile devices are shaping the modern consumer’s dining experience - from start to finish.

Making the most of the technology

The first and the foremost thing that restaurant owners need to do is to create and update their business listing on Google My Business. All the information that you provide on your website and other networking platforms should be as accurate as possible with a prime focus on the menu, prices, and specials. This is essential to build credibility and trust among consumers.

Now, let’s look at top mobile restaurant activities that your customers are most likely to perform on their quest for good food.

Finding the restaurant’s phone number

Customers are looking for your phone number to make a reservation, order a take-out or simply want to get more information about your business. It's vital that you provide your diners with easy access to your restaurant’s phone number to make the path to your restaurant an easy one.

Looking for the address and directions

Another important activity that mobile restaurant searchers are performing is using location finder to find restaurants nearby. They are looking for restaurants within walking/driving distance. Listing accurate key information on the homepage will not just improve your rank in Google search results, but also help them make a quick decision. Your customers will plug the address into Google Maps to find your location, so be sure that your address on the website has a direct link to an online map.

Checking out the menu

Customers are visiting your website to check out the menu and prices. In case of returning visitors, they are exploring new dishes that you must have recently added. According to a 2017 study, 80% of the diners want to see the menu before choosing the restaurant. They want to view your menu quickly so avoid using downloadable PDF files. Your menu should be easy to access, easy to share and all the dishes that are open for online ordering must be linked to the online menu so they don't have to go back to place their order.

Making reservations

Millennials want to do everything with just a click of a button. They don't have time to make a reservation on phone or wait for several days to get one. The instant nature of smartphones has compelled restaurants to be prepared to handle the last minute bookings, all year around.

Investing in a booking and table reserving apps like OpenTable can drastically reduce the amount of time that diners have to invest to find reservations at restaurants.

Ordering food online

Needless to say, online ordering, especially from mobile phones is growing at a much faster rate than dine-in traffic. Ordering food online is fast, convenient and hassle-free. Most of all Ordering online is trendy now.

While food delivery services like Zomato, UberEats, and Swiggy are popular among consumers, restaurant owners are constantly looking out for the options to establish a streamlined ordering process. Powerful online order systems enable restaurateurs to host online ordering themselves and bypass the hefty fee structures of third-party vendors.

Checking out reviews and ratings

Reviews on networking sites like Facebook, Google, Yelp and Foursquare are changing the way people interact with restaurants. In today's digital age, people don't wait for friends and family to try out a new restaurant to find out if it's worth their time and money. They can simply hit the internet and go through hundreds and thousands of from all over the world. Reviews and ratings help them know about your food, service and overall hospitality.

Restaurants owners should not only encourage their diners to ask for reviews but also monitor them regularly. With a smart online review management platform at your disposal, you can gain reviews even before the customer leaves the table.

What's next in the food delivery industry?

Whether you are just starting out or have been running a restaurant business for a long time, it is important to realize that your customers hit their mobile devices before deciding where to eat and what to eat - for one simple reason, that it's convenient.

Staying abreast with new restaurant technologies and integrating a smart online ordering system can help you make your business stand out from your competitors. Most of all, it's important to make your website mobile friendly.