In today’s world, smartphones are no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. Smartphones enable us to surf the internet, play games, be in contact with people virtually 24/7, and much more. With nearly 150 billion mobile apps downloaded worldwide in 2016, we are seeing popularity of these apps continue to grow more each day.These usage of mobile apps is increasing at a rapid rate. Today, mobile apps are used more than websites. Studies show that people spend 87% of their time on mobile apps, making mobile app development a must for businesses.
There is an array of apps (about two million) in various categories available on both the Apple App Store, and Google Play distribution services. So, how can your business create an app that enhances patrons’ experiences and promotes their establishment? Here are a few criteria:
- They’re free for users to download.
- They have a solid reputation, usually gauged by a combination of the number of downloads and overall user ratings in the App Store and Google Play.
- They’re relatively established, meaning they’ve been around for a year or more and will likely still be available at least that far into the future.
- They pertain to something offered by a bar or restaurant (food, drinks, amusements, live entertainment, etc.)
- They’re available on multiple types of mobile devices (that is, Apple and Android).
In order to attract more customers to your business location, and improve their overall experiences, we’ve created this list of apps that are free to download, and available on both Apple and Android phones. These mobile apps also have great reputations.
Apps function: Provides food delivery service from eateries that might not otherwise have it.
Why your business needs it: It could help your patrons satisfy their cravings for your triple-decker cheeseburger or loaded nachos when they can’t (or don’t want to) leave their house.
Reasons the app might not be right: You might be more interested in getting people to come to your location in order to drive revenue by way of video gaming or amusements.
Apps function: Books restaurant reservations digitally.
Why your business needs it: It offers a simple, intuitive way for consumers to reserve a table at your restaurant, even when your business is closed.
Reasons the app might not be right: You don’t take reservations. Also, if the app fails to properly register the reservation with you, your business could wind up looking bad when patrons show up and discover they can’t get a table.
Apps function: Rates bars, clubs and restaurants for locals and travelers.
Why your business needs it: It’s available in nine languages, including Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
Reasons the app might not be right: This app tends to focus more on the “bar” side of the bars and restaurants space, and it’s also very nightlife-oriented.
Apps function: Attracts customers to your location by offering special deals and discounts.
Why your business needs it: It’s often the first destination for people who are shopping around for a bargain on food and entertainment.
Reasons the app might not be right: Many businesses have complained that Groupon deals don’t always lead to repeat business.
Apps function: Uses geolocation and gamification (i.e., social badges and competitions) to help users find the best food and entertainment nearby, wherever they are.
Why your business needs it: It’s an engaging tool that employs various criteria to help consumers narrow their options for places to eat and drink.
Reasons the app might not be right: It can be a bit “cutesy” for users who want to do a straightforward search of bars and restaurants.
Apps function: Provides concise, well-written reviews of bars and restaurants.
Why your business needs it: It’s a new version of the classic, venerable restaurant guide and uses professional reviewers.
Reasons the app might not be right: The Zagat brand is traditionally associated with higher-end and trendy establishments, and it’s thought of as more of a “touristy” guide.
Apps functions: Provides ratings and other information about bars, restaurants, theaters, shops, you name it.
Why your business needs it: It’s easily one of the biggest and most established review apps out there in terms of downloads and use.
Reasons the app might not be right: With more than 50 million total reviews of all kinds of businesses, your location might get lost in the crowd. Additionally, this platform is known for its one-star “flame” reviews.
Apps function: Allows users to easily compare and contrast dining options in several cities.
Why your business needs it: It combines much of the functionality found on other bar and restaurant apps, including ratings, reservations, maps, menus and food photos.
Reasons the app might not be right: As the name suggests, it’s primarily aimed at an urban demographic, so many suburban and rural establishments might not benefit from having a presence here.
What it does: Lets users make — and pay for — song requests on TouchTunes jukeboxes via their smartphones.
Why it might be right for your business: It’s an easy way for them to play the music they like in your establishment, without you having to manage that transaction.
Why it might not be right: You may not be eligible for TouchTunes in your location.