Even the world's "most popular fast-food store" is doing it.
By - Phil Talbot - go to guy | mobile ordering | Saavi
In Australia, McDonald's has joined the growing number of fast food businesses that are rolling out mobile ordering apps.
McDonalds is currently testing its new mobile system in two of its Australian family restaurants. If it rakes in more profits than what they are having now from over-the-counter orders alone, McDonalds Australia could make mobile ordering available in all of its stores. Provided no one else beats them to it, McDonalds Australia could be the first (McDonalds country) to be in the mobile game.
Mobile app game heats up:
Ordering fast-food through mobile is really nothing new. Even before the days of touch-screen smartphones, simple short messaging service (text-based) ordering systems were available in some cities in the US. With the explosive growth of mobile app platforms (iOS, Android, and Windows mobile), coupled with the dramatic rise in smartphone ownership and use, mobile ordering apps have increasingly become common -- thanks to the increased profits realised by those who were early at the game, and the faster and easier making of apps due to newer technologies developed especially for app creation.
This makes businesses -- especially in the fast food sector, more competitive.
Apps not for everyone:
Not all businesses have rushed to making apps. Those that benefit the most from apps tend to be large, hugely popular businesses selling products consumed by many people daily -- fast food businesses are ideal. Also popular coffee brands like Starbucks.
But that is not to say establishments with a more relaxed way of conducting business don't benefit from mobile apps.
Fine dining restaurants, for example, may not have taken much to developing their own apps because they don't depend on the hurried up way fast food restaurants earn profit -- by bulk selling food on the go. But even if fine dining restaurants do not use apps much for mobile ordering, they use them to showcase their menu for customers and for making dinner reservations -- easier, faster, and more convenient.
Mobile app competitors up the ante:
More competitive businesses due to apps also means more competitive app development businesses. This is why there are more and more app development vendors offering their services.
Competition makes acquiring your own mobile app more affordable. Like in many increasingly popular trends, early-comers to the app (and app development) game become big players. McDonalds is not an early comer to offering mobile ordering apps but is one of the biggest in its industry (next to Subway).
Pick the best:
Big isn't necessarily the best. What's best is the mobile app (and developers) that actually meet your needs in the most cost effective way.
While it is not yet too late to roll out your own mobile app for your business, it is essential that you pick the right technologies and the right people to develop your app. Choose app developers with the proven track record in delivering beautiful, efficient apps on time and on budget.
By the way, there are fears that mobile ordering apps from fast food restaurants may accelerate and worsen the obesity pandemic (and its attendant diseases). When that happens, here's hoping "there is an app for that."
Phil Talbot is founder of Saavi.com.au – the Mobile Ordering specialists and the resident expert in mobile ordering systems. You can follow Saavi on Facebook.