Get Inspired Jerry Lieveld 2 Oct 2014
Attract new guests and welcome more frequent visitors. That is what Dutch restaurant ‘Het Roekenbosch’ expects from its new restaurant app.
Restaurant Het Roekenbosch (Dutch for ‘ The forest of rooks’) is situated next to a holiday park with dozens of chalets. All those visitors are potential restaurant guests. But how do you entice them to visit your restaurant? Owner Fred Hooijmans recently started using a restaurant app as his instrument of choice.
“A while ago, we renovated our kitchen and restaurant completely. That was a good moment to also renew the communication with our guests. We used to just put some flyers on the desk of the reception, but that doesn’t work anymore these days, certainly not when you´re aiming at young people. We now offer all our information in a mobile restaurant app, including the menu and all the extra activities we offer in our entertainment room, such as pool, billiards and air hockey. We also have free wifi in our restaurant which the chalets don’t have, so the park quests are welcome to use our free wifi to download our restaurant app.”
Restaurant Het Roekenbosch is one of the first restaurants that use AppMachine’s in-app customer loyalty program. Guests can use their smartphones to save and earn points for free ice cream, pizza, a three course meal or a brunch.
“We’d like to reward the frequent guests better and more often,” Fred explains. “About 35 percent of our guests come from the holiday park. The rest are inhabitants of our region who we’d like to welcome more often. To attract more frequent visitors, you have to come up with something. Supermarkets and gas stations have been working with loyalty programs for years, with good reason. The restaurant business is not using loyalty programs much, certainly not in combination with smartphones and restaurant apps.
When I heard AppMachine offered such a possibility, my heart jumped. We’re going to promote this in October and my hopes are high that this will lead more frequent guests through the door.”
Restaurant owner Fred built the app with AppMachine and was pleasantly surprised by its simplicity. “I’m not a computer expert, but building my own restaurant app was so easy to do. You just add some building blocks and immediately see the result on your smartphone. That’s very rewarding. I made the app this summer during the quiet hours in the restaurant, outside on the terrace with my laptop. It really was great fun to do.”