“App” is not shorthand for “appetite” — although, given the growing availability of digital technology designed to cater to people’s stomachs, don’t be surprised if two words soon start to blend in the public’s subconscious. More and more consumers are enjoying the enhanced foodservice options that come with living in the age of convenience. For a new generation of patrons, gone are the days when dining out begins with opening up a bulky menu card in a restaurant. Instead, the ideal experience involves scoping out your selections with a virtual drop-down menu on your smartphone long before you are in a position to browse the actual menu at your eatery of choice. In some cases, you can even use your phone or watch to pay the bill. Restaurant chains and food service companies are seizing the opportunities which apps afford them to build their brands and to strengthen customer loyalty.
Turns out more Canadian diners than ever before are looking to the Internet or their mobile device to make their dietary decisions, reservations at local restaurants and grocery store food choices. That said, Canadians using mobile apps to find, book, review and rate their restaurants is much more common. At 13% in 2012 it is now up to 35% in 2017. To date, the total number of diners seated via mobile bookings is about 6 million. Also too, grocery stores now have their own mobile app providing customers their current flyer information, store locator and recipe suggestions based on your purchases. It’s much easier than ever to shop and save using your digital device.
My first recommendation is an app called “Open Table“. This app takes out all the hassle of booking a reservation at your favorite restaurant. You can simply choose a date, time, and party size to see available tables at your desired location, then hit the book button. It’s easy enough to find a restaurant based on your location or cuisine needs, and OpenTable offers plenty of helpful reviews and rating options. You can even invite your friends through the app, as well as add reservations to your calendar. Its available for both Android and Apple devices.
Another very popular app called “Foursquare” has been a huge success in recent years. It’s also a great tool for finding new places to eat at. You can follow people whose tastes you trust so their tips show up first, along with advice on what to order. You can also tell the app what your favorite things are and it’ll tailor its results to your needs, ensuring you’ll only see the places you want to see. A good taco has surely never been so easy to track down. Its available for both Android and Apple devices.
“Yelp” is my third suggestion as it is one of the biggest and brightest services out there. While it has a lot of buzz and hype, its growth has been mostly due to the fact that it’s such a great app. Offering over 50 million reviews for businesses across the world, you can easily search for nearby restaurants, read plenty of reviews, and even view great local deals and photos of the place. Search filters ensure that you can narrow things down according to distance, price, and rating, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Its available for both Android and Apple devices.
Finally, there is the app called “Zomato“. Allowing you to compare restaurant choices by rating, distance, cuisines and popularity levels, Zomato is a great help, especially when you’re in a new city. You can browse menus and photos of the food on offer, as well as look at online restaurant guides by critics as well as other food fans. You can even make reservations using the app, ensuring it’s the Swiss Army Knife of dining apps. It is also available for both Android and Apple devices.