Restaurant Apps on the Rise

Restaurants have now created apps where customers can pre-order their meals and earn points that lead to coupons and deals.

Restaurants have now created apps where customers can pre-order their meals and earn points that lead to coupons and deals.

Rachel Casey, Staff Reporter

With the want for quick service and speedy delivery comes the recent popularity rise in restaurant apps. People are steadily becoming busier and busier, filling their schedules with work shifts, school studies, and many extracurricular activities. Due to this ever-shrinking amount of free time, many restaurants around the world have developed apps, making it easier (and a whole lot quicker) to order food, find restaurants open in the area, and access exclusive offers.

For example, Panera has developed a “Rapid Pick-Up” feature through its app. Basically, a Panera-goer can order ahead, set a pick-up time, and even pay from his phone. Once at the restaurant, all someone who has ordered through Rapid Pick-Up has to do is retrieve his or her food from the designated area, a seconds-long transaction. Other food establishments also have a similar “Order Ahead” option available through their apps. The appeal behind this feature?

“It’s faster,” as junior Chaerin Woo simply puts it. “If you order ahead, [the restaurants] give [your order] to you without having to wait in line.”

Similarly, for take-out and delivery chains, the ordering process just got simpler. Instead of calling in, customers can place their order through the app, and with apps like Pizza Hut’s, users can update and reorder “with only five clicks.”

However, this new ordering option is only one of many perks for app-users. Another advantage seems to be the increased accessibility. Starbucks, a popular coffee joint amongst high school and college students today, has implemented a feature perfect for those constantly on-the-go. Customers can upload their gift cards onto the Starbucks app, minimizing the risk of loss and increasing overall convenience.

Many establishments also have rewards programs easily accessible through their apps. This makes earning exclusive deals much easier than years ago with the printed point-collection card which was stamped, stickered, or punched every time customers earned a point and was then often lost somewhere at the bottom of a bag. The updated online or app-driven point system gives users their much desired convenience and a drive to keep going back and ordering more food.

As a whole, apps open up an enormous amount of new doors for any business owner. With the average American spending approximately two hours per day on his smartphone, there is a high chance that he will see a restaurant or retail app while scrolling through his phone. This will then lead to the idea to make a purchase. Apps put the world of business right at any smartphone user’s fingertips, and with this knowledge, it is definitely no surprise that more and more stores and restaurants alike continue to create apps for their customers.