We all know that it's important to have a digital presence. More than half of Millennials (58%) use Internet review sites to figure out where to visit, and 70% of your guests use technology to look up your menu online.
But ol' fashion restaurant websites and review sites aren't the only places people go to answer the never ending question: What do you want to do for dinner? Your guests are also turning to mobile apps to find deals, try something new, and go on culinary adventures. And it pays to know where your guests are going for info.
Here are five apps your guests are using to find out where to have their next drink or bite to eat.
Spotluck looks to end the question "What do you want to do for dinner?"
"Prices in a restaurant on Tuesday when it's raining shouldn't be the same as prices in a restaurant on a Friday night," Cherian Thomas said, co-founder of the mobile app Spotluck. "But nobody's done that in a restaurant space."
Spotluck is a mobile app that offers customers discounts at local restaurants. Users spin a virtual wheel in the app to find a discount in their area. If the user claims the discount, the restaurant pays a small fee to Spotluck. The app also push notifies users about discounts during inclement weather -- a way to entice people to visit restaurants when times are slow.
Cake.AF wants to drive customers to your eatery
We've written about Cake.AF before, so we won't get into huge detail here. But Cake.AF is an app service that will literally drive customers to your restaurant during slow times. Diners Text 🍰 (that's a cake emoji if you can't see it) to 574-742-4191. They get a text message with sign-up info and then an invite with restaurant info. If accepted, an Uber will pick the guest up and drive them to the restaurant for free.
Participating restaurants also pay for the guest's Uber plus $3/diner that goes to Cake.AF for their efforts.
Bar Roulette wants users to take an adventure
The premise of Bar Roulette is borderline creepy. Guests sign up through the web app and get picked up by Uber and driven to a highly rated bar.
The catch is you have no clue where you're going.
Sounds like the start of a horror movie right?
The good news is that it chooses a bar within a 10 mile radius of the user's location. Users can also filter their destination by prices (thanks Foursquare!).
Marsbot wants to customize guests's restaurant experience
Speaking of Foursquare, the social media company has debuted a new app called Marsbot. The app sees where users have been and like to frequent, and then makes personalized suggestions on other locations.
It's like if a virtual concierge service mated with the book 1984.
The weird part is that Marsbot is a chat bot, so users get text messages from Marsbot about possible new dining experiences as if the bot itself actually has been to these locations.
Marsbot can also make restaurant recommendations on the fly, should a guest be out of town and in a new area.
Scenehound wants to sniff out the best nightlife locations
Scenehound is a crowdsourcing app that allows guest to report on crowd size, wait times, male-to-female customer ratios, and general ambience of the venue for any bar or restaurant they visit. Other users can look at that info in real-time and make decisions on where they want to go.
The aggregated report is then overlayed on screen as a heatmap, showing the hot spots and cold spots of venues in a guest's area.
The app also offers special user deals with 44 partnered bars and restaurants in the New Orleans area (where Scenehound was founded). The deals vary from free cover charges, free drinks and food discounts.
Think we missed one? Let us know!