There are a couple of things we’re fairly certain about in the Mobi2Go office. 1) people love to talk about, share pictures of, and eat food. Just scroll through your instagram feed and take note of how many hipster food related photos pop up in proportion to selfies, babies, animals and travel pics. 2) Smart phone ownership is increasing. 65% of Australians, 62% of the UK, 60% of New Zealanders and 53% of Amercians have a smart phone, according to recent TNS Mobile life and Nielson data. So, considering these two facts, it would be fairly logical to assume there are quite a few food apps for smart phones being developed? Correct.
Smart phones have done wonderful things for the food, restaurant and hospitality industry. With the growing number of food apps available via smart phones, consumers can now quickly locate and learn about new restaurants when they’re visiting new places, discover new restaurants/bars/cafes in their area and share this info with friends via social media.
Here are some of the best food apps consumers are using today and how you can get your restaurant to feature on them. Download them and have a play around yourself for greater insights.
The Tastemade app lets you create mini movies of your favourite restaurants and then puts them in bite size clips, organsies them, and makes them into a professional video you can share with your friends and fellow “Tastemakers”. It’s fast and easy to use. All you need to do is go into the restaurant with a friend and in five easy steps you can create and share your own video with the world on Facebook and Twitter.
You can easily search for Tastemade videos nearby by entering their city. Wouldn’t it be great if your restaurant came up in a Tastemade video the next time a user was in your town? Here’s how.
How to use it to your advantage: Got a tech savvy regular customer, supplier or friend? Ask them to download Tastemade and create a video for your restaurant that can be shared on Tastemade, then on your website and social media sites too.
Alternatively, you can make a video of your restaurant yourself or even do a cooking demo as a little something different to share with the world.
What a great way to score a free promotional vid of your food business!
Foodspotting is a handy visual app that shows you images of the best dishes in your area and throughout the world. Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can take a photo and then share it so others can find out about it and enjoy it too. Highly visual and 100% positive (no bad reviews allowed), this app shows you exactly what foodspotters, friends and experts are eating in your area so you know where to get the best steak, hot chocolate or curly fries.
How to use it to your advantage: Encourage loyal customers to download the app and post images of their favourite dishes in foodspotting so other users in the area can see just how good your signature dishes are.
Urbanspoon is a fun way to pick a restaurant if you’re feeling indecisive. Just use the shake option and watch as the virtual slot machine finds a place for you. The first column shows a local city, the second column shows the type of food, and the third column shows price, ranging from cheap eats to fine dining. You can also choose a category to narrow down your search and there are additional search options if you have an idea of the type of dining experience you’re looking for.
How to use it to your advantage: As long as you’re on google maps and/or have some details on the internet about where you are, your restaurant can be found on urban spoon to hungry people in your area.
Heard of the term “food porn” before? Foodgawker is a curated photo gallery that allows the visual search and discovery of new recipes, techniques and ingredients to inspire culinary adventures. Foodgawker publishes photography submitted by food bloggers from around the world. Their editors review submissions daily and choose the highest quality, most appealing images to showcase. You can search food in over 25 categories, and yes, there is an “eating out” category.
How to use it to your advantage: This is where food blogger and photographer contacts come in handy. Do you have relationships with food bloggers? If yes, get in touch and tell them about Food gawker. If no, why not look some up in your area and invite them in to review your food? Featuring in food blogs is a powerful content marketing strategy and increases the chances of people finding out about your delicious food and restaurant atmosphere.
Yelp is a hospitality app that shows restaurants, bars and cafes near your area with reviews from the local community, so you can scope a place out to find out if it’s got a good review before you visit.
How to use it to your advantage: Like Tastemade, your restaurant will only come up if a “Yelper” has visited your store and posted a review, so identify some loyal and willing customers in person or via social media to get your presence on Yelp started.
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Felicity is Mobi2Go’s marketing and brand manager and content creator. She writes about online ordering and hospitality trends, tips, client success stories – basically anything to help restaurant owners understand online & mobile ordering and grow their businesses. Connect with Felicity on LinkedIn or email her directly: email@example.com