Facebook ads vs. Mobile app – what to choose for your restaurant?


Since Facebook’s launch almost 15 years ago it has become the synonym of “social media”. It comes to our minds when we think about social media and with over 2 billion active users and Facebook ads it might seem as a great place to promote your restaurant. Does it?

Hmm… Wrong.

The golden age of Facebook has passed, especially if you own small or mid-sized business. Facebook, with its latest updates, tries to go back to people and punishes business by emptying their pockets for Facebook ads and making it harder to be recognised.

You may ask why Facebook is bad for your business? We can answer that.

  1. It’s not cheap. To reach broader audience you could purchase Facebook ads, right? Maybe. But even if you choose this way, only 1% to 5% of your fans will see your updates. To reach more people (not only your fans) you might have to spend $5 to $300 to reach 500 to 50,000 Facebook users, but it still doesn’t guarantee that they will click on it or even notice it.
  2. You need vivid and colorful content. In this modern age you need to be distinguishable from all your competitors. It’s not enough to post status updates or photos to be noticed – you have to draw users’ attention by videos. They instantly pop up out of the sea of still pictures and text-only posts. Unfortunately, these videos may be expensive to make and they are not the option for small or mid-sized businesses.
  3. Facebook’s algorithms don’t favor brands. Even if you have spent a bunch of money for Facebook ads and posting creative content, it doesn’t mean you will be seen. As mentioned before, Facebook wants to get back to people – cheap advertisement, high organic reach made Facebook to be more like yellow pages. That is the reason why Facebook decided to aim its latest update to brands that aren’t creating useful content. In other words, Facebook prioritizes your friends in order to get back to its main idea. Also, Facebook tries to gain more money from businesses to get advertisment. Facebook is huge company and the costs of maintaining its recources are insanely expensive. So by trying to solve one problem, they will solve two – clean feeds from businesses and increase their income.
  4. Facebook changes all the time. Even if you manage to overcome all problems and reaching the top of the mountain (top of the Facebook feed) all the time, it can change anytime and you will come tumbling down in no time.
  5. Fewer people use Facebook. Facebook is not the go-to social media platform anymore. Even if it has most active users of all platforms, this number is declining. Here are some numbers:
        • 40% of active users regularly browsed but never posted anything.
        • 50% said they spent just 1-5 hours a week on Facebook (compared to 37.5% the previous year).
        • Only 43.1% could see themselves using Facebook more in the future.

When we look into the numbers concerning promoting a business on Facebook, over 80% of users said that they either rarely or never click Facebook ads, while 32% said that promoted posts should not exist.

There’s no denying that Facebook is shrinking and more and more people are looking for other ways to socialize. So why shouldn’t you?

In today’s market business apps are growing rapidly. In 2016, global app downloads surpassed 90 billion across iOS and Google Play. This represents 15 percent annual growth — an annual increase of more than 13 billion. In the U.S., consumers downloaded 12 billion apps last year, an average of roughly six per month, according to App Annie data.

Besides, you might be thinking that Facebook or Snapchat are the most used apps. Wrong. Recent “comScore” study shows, that this is not the case between 18-34 year old americans. It’s Amazon app. So you can see that people use apps not for fun, but for convenience. 34% of all respondents prefered Amazon app, while Facebook messenger are preferred by only 18% of all respondents. This shows that people are using apps not for fun, but also for convenience. Not enough convincing? There are plenty of app benefits, even for small and mid-sized businesses.

  1. Opposite to Facebook ads, apps can be cheap. Sure, huge brands invest thousands of dollars to have their individual apps, but there are many affordable ways to have your own individual app in your clients’ device.
  2. You can be visible for your customers at all times. App offers you an opportunity to send push notifications straight to your clients’ device screen at any time, even if the app is not open. Open rates of push notification can max out at 99%. Why spend money on Facebook ads, if you can’t reach these numbers? And don’t forget subconscious thinking – by seeing your logo and your name couple of times per day, your client will think about you next time they will be looking for a place to eat.
  3. You will stand out from your competitors. Who doesn’t like innovation? Apps in small businesses are still a rare thing, but why you shouldn’t be first to do so? Clients’ will be pleased to have your app, especially when they can get various discounts, offers and prizes by using it.
  4. Your customers will feel valued. Talking about on-hand information, how about digitalizing that loyalty program you have in place? Instead of sticking to the old point-collection card, make it possible for your customers to collect their rewards via your mobile app. The result? More downloads and more return customers.
  5. Only you will decide what is on your app. You control the information you provide, you decide what you can give to your loyal customers and what special things you offer for those, who have your app.

Of course, you can still work with Facebook ads – we are not forbidding that. But if you want to make your business bigger and be independent from constantly changing Facebook’s, Instagram’s and Google’s algorithms, we recommend you to think about having your own app. By offering app for your customers, you will be free from companies that are relying on income from selling advertisement. Upcoming changes will increase the need of paying for advertisement and the costs for that will grow more and more.

The Price


An app works with all the devices from 4.4 Android version (KitKat). In other words – it works in all the devices which were released from 2013.

Feature which allows you to publish Special offers in a particular Offers menu column. Special Offers also appears in the main page of an app. Special Offers grants mutual value being available just for an app users.



Digital menu with pictures and interactive functions, such as possibility to press ♥ on customers’ favorite dish or possibility to see how much it will take for a dish to arrive.

Fortune’s wheel. Users can spin the wheel every 24 hours and win your prizes. This game motivates them to come back to your app everyday.

Special feature which allows you to send short messages straight to the home screen of customers phones. Message will be delivered and seen even if an app is turned off. Push notifications works only on Android devices.

Section for a photos with ability to create separate albums.

Section for feedback’s, which you will be able to upload by yourself.

Section for events, which you will be able to create by yourself uploading photos and text information.

Feature which allows just with one click contact you through Facebook Messenger or phone.

Taking care of smooth operation of an app and solving all technical issues if it occurs. Constant analysis of apps market for making effective improvements of the system.


Smartphones update their systems every 6 months. So apps must do the same to be able to stay in the phones and in the app’s markets. That’s why we will always take care and update your app so it would meet all the new requirements and stay published.

Everything what the plan START includes plus:
iPhone devices

An app works with all the devices from iOS 9. In other words – it works on all devices from iPhone 5 and iPad 2.

Points System

Plugin of points system is a part of loyalty program. For being active in an app users get points. They collect those points and gain levels like in a status game. They can exchange points into the prizes and always try to reach higher status of an app user.

Layout of special advertising stickers

Advertising stickers which encourages and motivates customers to download your app. Customized for using on a restaurant tables but can be used elsewhere as well.

Comments and Likes on posts

App’s users can comment and click “like” next to every post in an app.

Marketing Guru

Access to special Marketing Guru section where specialists of online marketing share various tips, ideas and tools for helping you to exploit all the possibilities of an app and increase customer’s participation in it.

GPS notification

Based on GPS coordinates, this message-notification reaches customer right away when they cross given GPS coordinates (e.g. 200 meters around your restaurant). System automatically sends your offer which is seen even if  your app is turned off. GPS notifications works only on Android devices.

Recommendation system

In order to receive points, user can invite their friends to download your app. After download, user will receive earned points which will be collected and later exchanged to your prizes. Recommendation system enables “word of mouth” advertising and increases the number of users as well as the number of your customers.

E-book: 7 Steps To Effective Communication Through Your App

Program of 7 steps – easy to use but highly effective in a same time – will guide you and help you to make creative and interacting communication for your app users. Ideas and real examples made by social media and online marketing experts.