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consumer using a mobile app

69% of consumers do not have a mobile app specific to a restaurant on their phone.

restaurant mobile app percentage


Nearly 70% of consumers have opted not to download a restaurant-specific mobile app (despite the hundreds available). Then, what’s up with the race to get on board with the restaurant mobile app revolution?

Noted as an essential part of successful restaurant marketing strategies, mobile apps have become synonymous with online ordering, mobile payment, and restaurant customer service. Fast food chains, such as Burger King and McDonald’s, are at a mobile “arms race”. Who will allow restaurant customers to order and pay with their phones faster? Only time will tell.

For the independent restaurant owner, 7 in 10 locations according to the National Restaurant Association, it appears that a consumer-facing restaurant mobile app is not as essential as store-front signage.

On average, consumers have only downloaded 2 restaurant apps at most.


  • 69% of consumers do not have any mobile apps for specific restaurants. (Source: AYTM)
  • 75.8% of smartphone users have not used a mobile app to place an order ahead of time. (Source: eMarketer)
  • 4% of time spent on mobile apps is spent on “retail”. (Source: ComScore)

Despite all of that, there are some benefits to this restaurant technology evolution. Restaurant marketing strategies that include a mobile app have advanced promotion tactics at their disposal: geo-targeting, discounts, and instant communication, to name a few.

As far as mobile ordering (a noted benefit of mobile apps for restaurants) goes, Starbucks was an early adopter. Customers can order ahead of time and skip the line for their caffeine fix. Chili’s mobile app allows customers to find a nearby location, place curbside orders, and even alerts customers of flash menu specials.

The Elephant in the Room

As of November 2016, less than 10% of consumers were spending their time with mobile apps on something other than social media and the like, according to ComScore.

Nonetheless, when consumers are using restaurant mobile apps, they’re looking for discounts and at the menu, sure, but more than 50% are ordering food ahead of time or ordering delivery from a restaurant.

Restaurant mobile app user actions


And doesn’t an app I can join already offer that feature?

… there are a few. Grubhub, Foodler Postmates. With 50% of restaurant customers essentially looking for online ordering, perhaps, instead of racing to build a mobile app that offers coupons and geotargeting, restaurateurs should be embracing the ones that already exist. Bottom line: you don’t need to develop your own restaurant mobile app, instead, you just need to get on board with the ones already out there.  


71% of Americans may have more than 4 mobile apps, but they’re not restaurant specific mobile apps, that’s for sure.

>> See how restaurants are increasing their online ordering volume with Grubhub. <<


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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.
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