Mobile App vs Responsive Website: Which One is Best-Suited for Restaurants?

Mobile App vs Responsive Website: Which One is Best-Suited for Restaurants?

Running a restaurant business is a complicated endeavor, no matter from where you look at it. And with the competition rendered even more intense, thanks to the influx of new entities in the industry, restaurants have had much to deal with. In such a scenario, one sure-shot way of addressing a variety of challenges is, of course, via the adoption of advanced technology-driven solutions. But which solution? After all, the market is brimming with numerous distinctive tools that can rescue restaurants. Well, amidst this crowd of advanced solutions to pick from, restaurant owners often find themselves struggling to choose between a mobile app and a website. The confusion is understandable, especially considering that websites have been a cornerstone of the internet. On the other hand, mobile apps are all the rage right now because of mobile devices' prevalence.

The confusion is further compounded by the fact that both are accessible via various mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, etc. So, how does one go about deciding between the two? Let’s start addressing that question with a quick overview of both concepts: Mobile apps are specifically meant for use across smartphones, tablets, etc. On the other hand, responsive websites are websites designed in a manner that can adapt to any device, be it a desktop or a mobile phone. This means the website and the content within it are displayed according to the device it is being accessed on. Now that we have the basics sorted let’s check out some of the key differences between the two to help you decide which one of the two you should go for. 

    1. Cost-efficiency: A responsive website is a one-time effort, i.e., you don’t have to build multiple iterations. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with mobile apps,. One must create several versions based on the different platforms they are targeting. As a result, mobile apps in the restaurant industry may seem like an expensive affair compared to responsive websites. While this may not seem like much of a problem for bigger restaurants, restaurants with small-scale operations are better off kicking things off with a website.
    2. Maintenance: Now, when you build a digital entity, you must also maintain it and offer upgrades and support. Of course, this costs money too. Between a mobile app and a responsive website, you will pay more to support and maintain a mobile app than you would for a website. Then there’s also the consideration that you will have to notify app users and every time you wish to implement an update.
    3. Target audience: One of the key ways to ensure growth in the restaurant industry is via targeting the right kind of audience. So, if you aim at a younger audience, you need a mobile app for your restaurant business. Why? Because younger people prefer using apps much more than websites.
    4. SEO: Another key concern while building a digital entity is in regards to search engine optimization. When you develop, say a mobile app for your business, the search engine then must crawl different code databases and URLs based on other devices. Whereas with a website, you have just one URL and the same code, thus making SEO substantially easier to deal with. And that’s not all — when you build a responsive website, they tend to fare better in ranking on search engines. Plus, since the URL is the same, sharing the link is that much easier as well.

So, which one is better suited for a restaurant business? Eventually, the answer will be based on your operations, budget, and the business’s unique requirements. If you are a small-scale entity, we recommend starting with a website. But make sure it is as user-friendly as possible. Bigger restaurants, on the other hand, can choose mobile apps without a doubt.

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