n today’s society, roughly 46% of American adults own smartphones (as of 2012). With almost half of the U.S. using these devices, it’s no wonder that businesses in all fields are doing their best to make their company mobile-friendly. Restaurants across America have been working over the years to bring two of my favorite things together: social media and food.

Let’s face it: there’s no reason to NOT be using social media in order to buy and sell food as a restaurant and/or consumer. According to Mashable, 94% of smartphone users look for local information, 27% of them looking daily. And, of that 94%, 90% have taken action as a result. In fact, 24.2% of U.S. smartphone users use their mobile devices to place orders at restaurants ahead of time.

How can a restaurant adequately engage their customers through mobile phones? The two biggest ways include online ordering and delivery apps and rewards apps. I’ve gone ahead and broken down some of the top-used restaurant apps. Take a look:

Online Ordering/Delivery

Snapfinger. This mobile app and website that started back in 2004 allows users to order their meals from various restaurants digitally and have them delivered. Businesses/parties can also place group orders on this application. They offer a feature that lets the consumer save past orders, in case they want to go with a previous favorite menu item. For the restaurant, this app is great for eliminating the frustrations of call-in orders, and puts new, smaller restaurants on the maps to locals using this app. For the consumer, this app is great at giving real-time menu options, taking away any items that the restaurant may be out of at the moment, and giving the consumer fair warning if the restaurant is backlogged.

Grub Hub. This mobile app and website that also started back in 2004 allows users to browse their restaurant listings by location or by cuisine. Once the consumer has chosen a restaurant (which could be hard in the Dallas area with 596 restaurants listed), they can then order food for delivery. For the restaurant, this app is great at helping restaurants get noticed. It’s free to be featured; restaurants only pay when someone places an order at their location through Grub Hub. For the consumer, this app is great, as they try “to be the best place in the universe for finding and ordering food. We’ll keep working on that. You keep eating.” They offer several restaurants in various cities (even some smaller cities!), and give you the option to add your tip directly on your transaction instead of having to fumble for cash when the delivery guy gets to your door.

Delivery.com. This online-ordering/delivery mobile app and website started back in (you guessed it) 2004. Delivery.com allows users to order “Food. Booze. Groceries.” from the comfort of wherever they are. For the restaurant, this app helps merchants reach out to consumers in a new way. Also, this platform allows them to register their restaurant or business for Delivery.com online for free. For the consumer, this app allows one to find local businesses to order and request delivery from, whether it be for groceries, a drink, or a meal.


Rewards Program Apps

Foursquare. This widely known mobile app allows users to check-in at their current location. After checking in, the consumer can then leave a tip and upload a picture. For the restaurant, Foursquare provides free tools for social media engagement with a wide audience of users. The mobile app states that businesses can “attract new customers or reward loyal ones by posting updates, listing events, or offering specials to entice people to stop by your business.” For the consumer, the individual “use

[s] it to find the best place to go based on what their friends & experts recommend.” Above this, they can receive specials at various places they check-in.

Front Flip. This mobile app and website is the equivalent to a digital scratch card. Consumers can scan the QR code at the restaurant featuring this program. They then “scratch” off a coupon to see if they have won anything (a free appetizer, half-off coupon, etc.). For the restaurant, this app offers an easy way to increase social media engagement, and also gives the option for businesses to request a demo of the program. For the consumer, this app allows them to play and try to win deals every day, as well as allowing them to share their winnings with a friend.

Belly Card. This mobile app is the equivalent to a digital punch card. Consumers can scan their smartphone on the in-store iPad in order to receive points at each location and earn rewards. For the restaurant, Belly Card offers a pay-per-month program where businesses can receive a tablet with the belly app, loyalty cards to give to consumers, an account manager, and more. For the consumer, aside from earning points and rewards just by scanning their smartphone, Belly Card is working on “Belly Bites,” a way for consumers to try samples of different menu items through the Belly app.


Which app would you be most likely to use? Connect with Atomic on Facebook to let us know and keep informed on up-and-coming apps being implemented in the social media world.

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