Another case for small restaurants to embrace mobile Web, apps

Summary:Almost two-thirds of consumers responding to a January 2013 survey have used their smartphone or tablet to place an online food order.

If your small restaurant or food service business hasn't added a mobile Web site or mobile application, it might want to rethink that strategy.

At least two-thirds of consumers responding to a recent survey have used their smartphone or tablet computer to place an online order for either pick-up or delivery, according to data collected in January by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and interactive media company Viggle.

Mind you, many of these orders were for food from big brand-name food services companies: about half of the 573 respondents indicated that they have downloaded at least one restaurant-specific app, such as those developed by Chili's, McDonald's or Pizza Hut. A slightly higher percentage (55 percent) are using a "multi-restaurant" app, such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat.

The food type makes a difference. Pizza was the hands-down winner, with sandwiches/burgers and Chinese food a distant second, the survey found.

"This research highlights the fact that the mobile Internet is increasingly becoming a vital tool to help consumers navigate their everyday lives - even when it comes to simple tasks such as ordering a pizza," said Anna Bager, vice president and general manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, for IAB, commenting on the research. "Restaurant and fast-food chain marketers should pay close attention to this trend and take advantage of the opportunities that mobile offers, making it a key part of their ad-buying strategy."

At the very least, in my opinion, small food service businesses should look more closely at their own mobile profile or they could find themselves missing out on a big transition.

For some resources related to taking your company mobile (either through a mobile-optimized Web site or a mobile app), here are some of the past articles that I've written about this topic:

4 more mobile app development resources for small businesses
14 DIY mobile app development resources for small businesses
Make the most of your mobile Web site

Topics: SMBs, Mobility

About

Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.