Quick service restaurants have a massive opportunity to capitalize on the rapid adoption of mobile among consumers to increase engagement and foster loyalty. Quick service restaurant apps are the most popular within the foodservice category. So what can QSRs do to replicate the success of the best of the best? Keep reading to learn four must-do best practices to deliver a best-in-class QSR app experience:
Make a great first impression
When it comes to the competitive QSR marketplace, your first impression may be your only impression. In order to become a permanent fixture on consumers’ homescreens and avoid deletion, it’s crucial that QSRs wow new users from the outset by providing a superior customer experience, which includes attention to components such as onboarding and navigation.
Keep the onboarding process simple and easy–starting with registration. Only ask new users for the most essential information, making sure to specify why you’re asking and what they’ll get in return. You should also consider providing a brief tour of the app to familiarize new users with all of the features and benefits they have access to and incorporating app conventions like swiping and illustrative icons that help direct the user.
Your mobile app should be an extension of your brick-and-mortar experience. You want it to be obvious to your customers where to order, where to pay and where to sit in-store, so your app experience should be no different. That’s why it’s crucial to have a clear navigation that is logically organized, aesthetically pleasing and mechanically nimble.
Showcase a mouthwatering menu
As we’ve mentioned, your brand’s mobile app should mirror the way guests interact with your physical restaurant (assuming that the in-store experience is of the highest caliber, that is; if it’s not, you have some work to do). In order to create that seamless link to your brick-and-mortars, your menu must be displayed in such a way that users can practically smell the french fries through the phone.
This means presenting all items and options available with large expandable images and detailed descriptions. And don’t forget specials–those should be automatically updated within the app as they change in-store.
The way you display the menu also allows you to present up-selling opportunities by suggesting combo meals or items that are frequently ordered together.
Integrating a loyalty program with your app is critical to delivering a best-in-class QSR experience. Loyalty programs enable brands to collect valuable first-party data on their customers–data that in-turn can be used to inform how to deepen your relationship with an individual customer to increase purchase frequency and brand advocacy.
You don’t want to have just any old loyalty program though. QSRs need to create loyalty programs that are highly personalized and provide rewards based on individual consumers’ purchase behaviors.
For example, a QSR customer–let’s call him Bob–regularly orders a double bacon cheeseburger and small fries. On his 3rd consecutive visit to the restaurant in a week, surprise him with a free milkshake, an offer which can be algorithmically determined as an item Bob would be likely to order in the future.
Whether you employ an offer-based program or have a more traditional points model, make sure that it’s easy for customers to understand the benefits of joining and what actions they must take in order to qualify for different statuses, etc.
Your QSR is facing steep competition, so it’s crucial that you differentiate and deliver an exceptional experience in as many areas as possible. One way to become an instant hit among consumers is by making their lives easier! You can do this by providing conveniences such mobile order and pay.
Simply having mobile ordering will put your QSR ahead of those that don’t, but won’t guarantee a great app experience. In order for your mobile ordering feature to pack a punch, make sure it enables flexibility for users to customize items without involving too many steps .
QSRs should also take advantage of the opportunity to leverage this feature to drive more business by facilitating reorders of previously purchased items or suggesting additional items. Incorporating those conveniences isn’t just great for your customers though; mobile ordering contributes to deeper customer loyalty, increased purchase frequency and lift in average ticket sizes.
According to Pizza Marketplace, consumers who order on their smartphones spend incrementally more than those consumers who place their orders in the store. This recent finding points to the unique advantage mobile gives QSRs to influence consumer behavior through various means (including the aforementioned personalized offers).
These four best practices cover the essentials for delivering a best-in-class QSR app experience. However, this is only where it starts. In order to continue to retain a place amongst the best of the best, QSRs must constantly innovate and look ahead at new, advanced ways to broaden brand awareness, engage customers, deepen loyalty and enhance the overall customer journey.