Safeguard the future of your food business with app and mobile technology

It goes without saying that it’s been a tough time for hospitality business owners, with many establishments only partially open or fully closed over the last year or so. 

The past year has prompted huge changes in the hospitality sector, with many businesses adapting and pivoting their offering to be able to operate under ever-changing Covid-19 guidelines. Many more businesses have added online ordering options or begun to take orders through social media. The pandemic has had a huge impact on the way hospitality operates, and some of the changes we’ve seen are here to stay. 

Derby tech firm App4, which creates bespoke food and drink ordering apps, has helped hospitality businesses survive and thrive through lockdown, using bespoke technology solutions. App4 supplies its technology to pubs, restaurants and takeaways across the country and over a million orders of food and drink have been made through its purpose-built apps since the outbreak of the pandemic. To date, App4 apps have been used by more than a million people and generated orders worth over £40 million, showing the increasingly key role of technology in hospitality. 

 Apps for the hospitality industry can deliver many benefits, such as: 

  • Online ordering
  • Click and collect 
  • Order at table 
  • Table booking 
  • Customer loyalty and reward systems 
  • Menu management 
  • Secure payments 
  • Convenience for customers 
  • Customer and staff safety and peace of mind 
  • Greater efficiency and speed of service so you can turn more tables! 

App4 founder Ian Chambers said: “Our apps help businesses reduce their costs, maximise profits and provide a direct personal service to our customers. We know from some of our clients that our bespoke app has helped to keep their businesses afloat and save jobs because they have been able to maintain much of their pre-Covid business. Ordering by app from tables or in advance of visiting takeaways gives customers confidence about staying safe and this level of flexibility is something customers will expect post-Covid too.” 

Getting ready to reopen 

The roadmap out of the Covid-19 restrictions has given everyone in the hospitality sector hope and the need for apps to support businesses is substantial. There’s certainly a public appetite to get back to eating out and socialising in the pub after such a long break too – hopefully signalling a busy summer season ahead. 

The gradual easing of restrictions will mean that more and more businesses can open and the offering they can provide will expand to reach full capacity by June, provided the roadmap dates stay on track. 

With outdoor venues allowed to open on the 12 April and indoor venues on the 17 May, the countdown is now on for hospitality to get prepped and ready to reopen fully for the first time this year. 

Apps for instant ordering and convenience

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of certain lifestyle trends, like shopping online and socialising more virtually and the same can be said for the food and beverage sector. The way consumers like to order food has changed, with tech-led ordering and increased convenience becoming even more popular due to the pandemic. 

People now expect a higher degree of convenience when ordering from food outlets – expecting to be able to book tables and order ahead, through an easy-to-use app on their phone. 

Being in control of your own system will play a huge part in you being able to open as soon as possible and service as many customers as possible, with the smallest impact on costs and margins. For businesses that have used social media to take orders throughout the pandemic, upgrading this system to a branded app will give more control and functionality, which will support your business to operate efficiently and grow. 

Turn more tables 

When outlets can open outdoors, businesses will benefit from being able to offer patrons an order at table option, which minimises contact, and allows more orders to be fulfilled within a service period, making it more profitable. This is an especially useful option for larger establishments, like pubs with large beer gardens, as it means there will be less staff time wasted running orders from tables to the bar over a large area. 

Thinking beyond the summer of 2021, when we will hopefully remain restriction-free, customers expectations of flexibility in ordering will remain high. Now the expectation has been set, it’s up to food outlets to meet it and move with the times, or else they will fall behind, as customers choose more convenient options. 

A cost-effective solution 

App4 offers the customer convenience combined with attractive and transparent pricing. App4 charge no commission fees – so you’ll pay one flat rate each month, with no nasty surprises on your invoice. If you take 250 orders worth an average of £20 each month, switching to App4 from another provider could save you almost £13,560 a year! 

Get your business ready for the changes in the next few months, and primed for years of growth to come, with a bespoke website and app with App4. Over 500 food outlets are already using App4 to grow their own businesses and have collectively saved in excess of £15milllion in commission fees. 

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