The way we enjoy food is changing and mobile apps are playing a big part of it. Food delivery apps have made it easy for people to access food. Some Restaurants and food chains such as Pong and 1889 has also developed their own apps to make it convenient for their customers to order and pay for their meals.
But before everyone in the food industry has seen the advantages of integrating a mobile app to their business, Pinchos was already there.
Pinchos is the app restaurant in Sweden. They have over 50 restaurants all over Sweden and they also serve in Finland, Denmark, and Norway. Swedish App Scene was able to interview Caisa Lintunen the brand manager for Pinchos.
Pinchos is known as one of the pioneers of integrating apps in the food industry. How did Pinchos begin?
“The smartphone came to Sweden in about 2008 to 2009 and it exploded. So everybody got an iPhone and Fredrik Mattsson (Founder of Pinchos) he always gets new ideas and he’s a true entrepreneur and he had been working in the restaurant business for many years and he saw that many restaurant owners are having the difficulty to gain as much as they needed from the business.”
In the summer of 2011, Pinchos released the first version of the app. Due to technical difficulties, the first trial failed. Despite the initial trial, the guests enjoyed the concept of an app restaurant.
In April 2012, Pinchos was able to open their first restaurant. Their customers enjoyed using the app and since then more people have wanted to have their own Pinchos experience.
What do you think is the advantage of Pinchos compared to other restaurants?
“I think that we have a big advantage just because we have this app where our guests are devoted to doing so much themselves, so they’ve become a part of the restaurant’s visit in a way that it’s not possible in a traditional restaurant.”
Pinchos has always operated as an app restaurant. Caisa shares that this is an integral reason for Pinchos success since the restaurant didn’t need to go through the hard process of change management.
The app gives the customers more control and gives the staff more time to interact with customers. She has also mentioned that the app is just one part of the Pinchos experience. The different themes in the restaurant, the drinks and the food and the staff gives customers a unique dining experience.
What are the pros and cons of running an App Restaurant?
“I think if I should just pick one pro and one con I’d think for our part the biggest plus is that it gets so relaxed to go to Pinchos. I think that’s why people go to us but then again I think is one big fear is that you can’t forget that our staff maybe need to work a little harder compared to other restaurants to make sure that they interact with the customers.”
Aside from being an app restaurant, Pinchos is also a themed restaurant. Since the app saves the staff time from taking food orders and serving customers their staff can focus on interacting with the customers and maintaining the ambiance of the restaurant.
The app has also made payment faster and secure. The customer has the option to pay through their card or through the app. If the customer pays through the app then they will receive bonus points that they could use in the future.
More and more restaurants are creating their own app for their businesses. Do you see apps as part of the future of restaurant owners?
“There are many chains that are developing their own apps because now they see the benefits of it but then there are also these anti-movements because there are many who like the traditional and the traditional service. I think we’ll see movements in both directions actually.”
Caisa shared that she has noticed that there are different opinions about integrating apps to the restaurant business since some customers still prefer the traditional experience while others might prefer a more efficient and functional food experience.