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Restaurant Apps Expected to Surge in 2023: Key Benefits for Owners

The restaurant industry is expected to see massive growth in mobile and online ordering in 2023. According to research firm Technomic, 87% of restaurant brands plan to expand their digital and mobile capabilities in the coming year.

For restaurants, implementing online ordering and branded apps offers great potential to increase sales, streamline operations, collect guest data, and keep up with consumer preferences. This article explores the forecasted rise of restaurant apps and outlines the key benefits for owners.

Huge Nationwide App Adoption on the Horizon

Pre-pandemic, digital and mobile ordering was a novelty, limited mostly to major chains. But 2022 saw smaller independent players rapidly adopt online ordering systems and apps out of necessity.

This digital transformation is projected to accelerate in 2023 as smaller restaurants invest in the tools needed to thrive in the increasingly online, contactless world.

To understand the future landscape, look at adoption by the big chains. Brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Chipotle now generate 20-30% of sales from mobile apps and online ordering.

Smaller chains are rushing to follow suit. Research group Capgemini found that 87% of independent restaurants now consider digital capabilities essential.

Consumer demand makes this digital shift inevitable. 71% of diners across generations now prefer to order remotely via apps when possible. Restaurants must meet this demand or risk losing customers.

Implementing this technology has previously been cost prohibitive for smaller eateries. But new solutions from companies like Tap Less Menu now allow any restaurant to easily deploy online ordering and branded apps at an affordable price.

2023 will see nationwide adoption of restaurant apps and mobile ordering, led by consumer demand. Independent restaurants must jump on board this digital transformation to remain competitive.

4 Benefits of Online Ordering and Restaurant Apps

What exactly do mobile apps and online ordering bring to the table for restaurant owners? Implementing this technology strategically pays dividends through:

1. Increased Sales

Digital ordering makes purchasing frictionless. Guests appreciate the convenience of ordering ahead or “skipping the line” by ordering remotely.

This drives higher order frequency. Studies show 60-80% of mobile app users are repeat customers who order more frequently. Easy re-ordering also boosts order size by 15-30% on average.

2. Lower Labor Costs

Apps and online ordering reduce front-of-house labor needs. Servers no longer need to take every order, and guests can pay digitally. Owners save on high turnover server costs.

3. Better Guest Intelligence

Apps and ordering platforms provide a wealth of data on guest behaviors. Owners gain insights into top-selling items, high-traffic periods, guest demographics, order habits, and more. This intelligence optimizes marketing and operations.

4. Enhanced Guest Experiences

Mobile ordering enables guests to control the experience. They can order ahead, customize orders, access menus digitally, get rewards, and more. These “frictionless” experiences keep guests engaged and satisfied.

Real-World Examples of App Success

Independent restaurants worldwide have seen stellar results after implementing branded apps or online ordering systems. Here are just a few real-world examples:

Apps drive late-night revenue

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, a small NYC chain, launched branded apps to boost late-night ordering. Customers use the apps to conveniently order after leaving bars and shows. As a result, late-night sales jumped from 15% to 30% of revenue.

Digital kiosks increase order size

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, a chain with 30 locations, installed self-serve ordering kiosks in their restaurants. They saw a 20% increase in average check size after rollout. Digital ordering encouraged customers to customize orders and add sides or drinks.

Apps generate valuable data

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar launched mobile apps that generated data revealing top dishes and busy periods. They used this intel to optimize menus, scheduling, and specials. The apps became integral sales and marketing tools.

Streamlined operations and labor

Wrap Shack implemented online ordering and kiosks across all their locations. Customers could order digitally and get tableside delivery on busy days. This allowed the restaurant to reduce front counter staff by 20% while maintaining great service.

Boosted sales

Luna Grill saw online ordering spike from 5% to 35% of sales during the pandemic. Their CEO estimates [digital orders added 4-6 points]( technology/how-covid-pushed-luna-grill-lean-digital) to same-store sales growth. Luna accelerated app rollout to lock in these sales gains.

Introducing Tap Less Menu – Frictionless Ordering for Restaurants

The examples above show the sales, efficiency, and guest benefits apps can create. But many owners ask – how can I get these capabilities on a limited budget?

That’s where Tap Less Menu comes in. Tap Less Menu provides a cost-effective online ordering system for independent restaurants owners.

With Tap Less Menu, restaurants get:

Restaurants only pay a small monthly fee based on order volumes. Now even small eateries can deploy the same mobile and digital capabilities as major chains.

To learn more or get started with mobile ordering, visit to see how Tap Less Menu’s platform can help your restaurant thrive in the digital age.

Seize the Mobile Opportunity in 2023

Mobile ordering adoption is accelerating across the restaurant industry. Customers increasingly expect brands to offer easy digital experiences.

Savvy independent owners who implement apps and online ordering early will gain a competitive edge. Not only does digital ordering attract and retain guests, it also provides data-driven insights to optimize operations.

Cost-effective solutions from Tap Less Menu now enable restaurants of all sizes to deploy mobile apps and ordering. To learn more about the benefits for your restaurant, visit today.