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Fiddling with your phone while you’re out to dinner usually constitutes a social faux pas, but the rise of restaurant-related apps and mobile websites is making the practice more appropriate. Diners can use smartphones like the feature-rich iPhone 6 Plus to speed up the dining process and improve their restaurant-going experiences. The fast, reliable T-Mobile network allows them to make reservations without calling the restaurant, pay their bills without waiting for the wait staff, and find restaurants at vacation destinations. As this infographic shows, Starbucks is already processing 5 million mobile orders every week. Young consumers are very receptive to making mobile orders, with 74 percent of millennials insisting they’d order takeout or delivery food if the service was available.
It seems that restaurants are taking notice of the demand, with more eateries incorporating mobile technology into their business strategies. Free Wi-Fi is becoming common in a range of restaurant settings, from quaint cafes to high-end eateries. By the end of 2015, 82 percent of restaurants say they’ll integrate social media activity into their loyalty programs. American mobile-based payments, including those from the restaurant industry, are expected to reach $142 billion by the end of 2019. Restaurants hope that by becoming more wired, they’ll increase loyalty amongst the 180 million active social media users across the United States.
Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Taco Bell are leading the social media wave, but as mobile technology becomes more widespread, we can expect a range of restaurants from fast food joints to high-class establishments to follow their lead. As consumers exercise these opportunities more frequently, restaurants will feel justified in expanding their mobile development budgets to include apps and other programs that meet the growing demand among their customers. Read on to learn more about the mobile restaurant social revolution.