5 Mobile Apps Shaping the Restaurant World

 In Industry Trends Blog Archives

Mobile devices and smart phones have become an integral part of our society, which for the restaurant and bar industry, the ability to connect with consumers and enhance the overall customer experience like never before.

According to a recent survey conducted in January 2013 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and interactive media company Viggle, at least two-thirds of consumers have used their smartphone or tablet computer to place an online order. A slightly higher percentage of the consumers surveyed (55 percent) are using a “multi-restaurant” app, such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat. (Source: ZDNet.com).

Another article in Fast Casual, “Not open to discussion: The time for restaurant mobile apps,” states that a recent study by Comscore said 57 percent of all mobile users are smart phone users (roughly 134 million people), and the number of tasks performed they perform is mind boggling. Also, according to ABI Research, there are 800,000 Android apps and 775,000 Apple apps available today. That’s over 1.5 million apps managing tasks ranging from altering a home thermostat remotely, managing a family schedule, booking plane tickets and managing loyalty programs.

These are just a few of the many industry findings pointing to the growing importance for bars and restaurants to embrace mobile technologies.

But with an app for just about everything these days, knowing which mobile tools to adopt isn’t always easy. So to help point you in the right direction, here’s a roundup of five important mobile apps shaping the restaurant world.


In January of this year, this tech startup raised $3 million in capital to build and expand its mobile offerings that allow restaurants to easily and cost-effectively offer their customers the ability to place orders and view menus directly through their Facebook page or mobile site. ChowNow is taking off in big ways, particularly among quick-service and casual dining restaurants where takeout orders represent an important part of their business.
ChowNow is also now offering restaurants a wireless tablet to receive orders and communicate back to the customer when their order will be ready.


Like the popular website, the Yelp app features a variety of restaurant listings that are user-reviewed. Although this app is more purposeful for selecting a specific restaurant, there are occasionally coupons to be had, and users share the deals that they’ve received. The real value of this app, according to an article on DealNews.com about which apps are most popular for finding restaurants, the value of the Yelp app is its platform’s search ability, which ingeniously narrows down exactly the kind of cuisine, atmosphere, and price range you want.


If your bar or restaurant’s impressive wine collection is a major selling point, you should take a look at Uncorkd, an app specifically designed for managing wine menus. Customers can browse through Uncorkd’s vast database of different wine varieties and names to learn about a particular wine’s age, origin and recommended food pairings. It’s like having a virtual sommelier at your customers’ fingertips, available right from their smart phone or mobile device.


This digital rewards system encourages loyal restaurant patron to earn reward points for their repeat visits. Restaurants simply scan customers’ rewards cards directly from their mobile device to track and manage their rewards program.


Tabbedout is a convenient mobile payment app enabling customers to pay their tabs directly via their smart phone. Users simply download the app and enter their credit card details to view and pay their bill. By improving the speed and efficiency of processing payments, this app is a win-win both for restaurants and their customers.

If you have a mobile app recommendation you would like to share which has worked for your business, please share in the comments box below!

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