Years ago, a restaurant’s most effective marketing was word of mouth. When a tourist would come in and ask for a place to eat, the man sitting on the corner would give them his personal favorite. Now visitors can decide to eat without ever asking another person. Restaurant maps provide a look at everything around them with extreme detail, making digital marketing extremely important for restaurants, as someone will judge your establishment without ever setting foot near it. A big part of correct marketing is correct platform usage, so here are some of the top marketing apps for restaurants to get noticed:
LocalEats is a typical restaurant finder app that’s extremely user friendly, making it one of the most popular. Loading onto LocalEats allows a user to see all restaurants around them and the restaurants’ category, price range, website, description, and comments from past customers. If offered, it also allows the user to see coupons and daily specials the restaurant may be offering that day, giving them an extra push to go check it out. What really makes LocalEats special, however, is that it excludes national chains, giving users only local restaurants so they can get a taste of the area they’re in.
Snappmeal is pretty similar to LocalEats, but there are a few differences one should take note of. Snappmeal is not as descriptive with their featured restaurants, as it focuses more on available deals and events that may be occurring instead of the restaurant overall. This can be great for users that want a deal and owners who like to give them, but for someone looking for atmosphere, this won’t help you find it easily. Snappmeal did take their tools a little further by adding the ability to order for takeout and delivery within the app, and an in-app community for restaurants to promote themselves, not having to solely rely on the app. And on top of that, Snappmeal is forever free for you to list your restaurants and promos!
Urbanspoon allows the user to be very specific with the restaurant they are looking for, making it perfect when you have a craving. It does not, however, have the best exploration feature, making it just about only for when you know what you want, just not where to find it. Users can scroll through types of foods, price, and location on a slot machine type interface, and then see all restaurants that fit their parameters, plus information life hours and reviews. If the user likes what they see, they can call the restaurant with a quick button tap or easily find it on a map all within the app.
FourSquare is a great app for community lead marketing, but it doesn’t have much to do with the restaurant getting involved unless they ask their customers to talk about them on the app. FourSquare is more similar to a traditional social media platform, with users being able to check-in to places and leave pictures and reviews attached to the restaurant for others to see. The one thing restaurants can do to encourage the community marketing is offer deals through the app. When a customer leaves a review and advertises the business, they can have an opportunity to get a deal on their meal, giving them an incentive to share their experience.
YumTable is also more focused on the customers, with not a lot going for the restaurant. The app allows users to view establishments that have empty seats they’re looking to fill, with information on their active deals, location, price range, and type of food all displayed to help make decisions easier. If your restaurant has empty seats every now and then that you want to fill, this can give nearby customers a great incentive to come to check you out.
Which is Right for You?
While some can be argued to be better than others, the app that is best for your restaurant really depends on what your establishment needs and the community you find frequenting your place. If you’re a special attraction for your town, you may want to consider something like LocalEats or FourSquare. If you like to give deals and cheap but good dining is your specialty, Snappmeal or YumTable might fit you better. Each app has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it might be best to play around with each one and see what fits best, or play it safe and try to keep up with all of them!