1. New kinds of apps are on the way
Progressive web apps—websites that have app-like features such as push notifications—may begin to replace the traditional mobile app, according to Matt Olsen, senior manager of digital marketing for Firehouse Subs, and Bill Long, chief financial officer for Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. Although operators have been slow to implement the technology, both say that dwindling storage space on users’ phones and “consumer app fatigue” may make the alternative platform appealing for consumers.
2. Authenticity remains important
When shooting video for its social media channels, 30-unit casual-dining chain Taco Mac goes for the simplistic. Rather than have a full video crew on-site, the chain enlists an employee to film video on a smartphone. Senior Director of Marketing Emily Beesley says the less-polished approach has struck a chord with consumers, who appreciate the authenticity.
3. Apps should do more than mobile ordering
Brands only using their apps for mobile ordering are missing out, says Jim Steinberg, director of enterprise partnerships for LoyaltyPlant, a mobile marketing platform. “App users are far more valuable than web users,” he says. “The brand is in [the consumer’s] hand.” Steinberg says operators should think bigger than just mobile ordering and incentivize consumers to keep coming back to their app by outfitting it with features such as loyalty and referral programs, targeted marketing campaigns and geofencing mechanics.
4. Menu suggestions get hyper-personal
Ordering will get even more personal going forward, according to Brian Frank, general partner at FTW Ventures. As technology develops, Frank says that operators will be able to suggest orders to customers based on their personal attributes, such as their health and vital stats. “A fit teenager is going to eat differently than a 40-year-old couch potato,” he says.