Spice Up Your Employee App with Dining

Submitted by on Wed, 01/06/16

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Smartphones are transforming the way people interact with the world around them. Individuals are turning to apps to get key information, from their personal life to their professional life. Enterprise organizations that leverage the benefits of mobile by providing well-designed employee apps can improve communication and productivity in the workplace. Mobile campus apps for employees can be critical communication tools for enterprise organizations. They enable employees to have immediate access to key workplace information including, but not limited to:

  • Indoor Maps showing offices, conference rooms, printers, and kitchens;
  • Facility-issue reporting features for broken equipment or building issues;
  • Company news;
  • Shuttle tracking and schedules;
  • Parking availability; and
  • Dining information.

Workplace campus apps are an extremely effective way to provide employees with fresh relevant, content, especially when information is constantly changing—like daily dining and meal options.

Including Dining Options in Your App
With a mobile app, your organization can share operating hours, locations, and daily menus for each of your campus dining options, at each of your office locations. You can add additional value by sharing nutritional information for each menu item and providing details such as which options are gluten-free, vegan, or meet another dietary need.

Dining options aren’t restricted just to your cafeterias or in-house eateries though. Local administrators can also add hours, locations, and menus for other nearby options such as restaurants, stands, and food trucks.

How to Implement
Luckily, incorporating dining information into an employee app is easy—even across multiple office locations. Many mobile app development platforms accept a wide-variety of back-end data sources, including dining data. For instance, your organization may rely on foodservice providers such as Aramark or Sodexo for your workplace dining, meaning that menu and nutritional data is already available and can easily be consumed by your workplace app through simple integration.

In addition, dining apps can be enhanced and extended by non-technical business users. If you don’t currently have a data feed for your menu or nutrition options, local administrators can easily update this information for the locations they are responsible for. It is also easy to create guides for off-campus dining establishments, the top restaurants for entertaining prospective clients, or a crowd-sourced best local take-out guide.

Additional Benefits of a Native Employee App with Dining
Native apps provide additional functionality that makes a dining module especially useful, beyond what can be achieved with a simple website. For example, you can integrate your dining module with indoor or outdoor maps, so that with a single tap, employees can easily locate or get directions to various dining venues.

If your organization has multiple offices around the world you can create different office Locations within your app, with dining information personalized for each office location.  If employees move between offices, their location can be automatically detected using GPS data and geofencing technology. This ensures that no matter where they are, they only see dining information for their current location.

Push notifications and in-app banners are other native app features that are a natural fit for a dining app. In-app banners appear at the top of all, or specific, screens within the app. Because banners can be placed contextually, they can be shown on just the Dining screen to alert anyone looking for dining information of the day’s specials or any menu changes. Push notifications can be used to alert all app users, whether or not they are currently using the app, of any major dining changes, such as a new location opening.

The use of iBeacons is another way to enhance communication with diners. iBeacons are low-energy Bluetooth devices that can detect when someone with your employee app is near a very specific location – such as the cafeteria. Using iBeacon technology, an enterprise app can alert users entering the cafeteria about daily specials or other dining news.

Many employers are also exploring the option of enabling grab-and-go dining features in their workplace apps. Busy employees are able to select, order, and pay for meals in advance so when they reach the cafeteria they can quickly pick-up lunch and return to their desk, without waiting in the long lunchtime-lines.

 

Mobile apps for the workplace can be as complicated or simple as you choose but it’s important to remember that employees turn to your company app for the most practical, up-to-date information possible. They want information that will improve their communication, productivity, or workday on the whole—and when it comes to dining, employees are hungry for all the details.

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