Starbucks, Wendy’s, Chipotle, and Burger King.  When it comes to mobile tech trends, big brands continue to soak up the spotlight. But features like custom apps, online ordering and mobile payments shouldn’t be limited to the major players. The latest restaurant tech has also given smaller businesses an edge on the competition by enabling operators to boost throughput, improve customer loyalty, expand their reach, and expedite growth.

These five brands have showed us you don’t need millions of dollars and hundreds of locations to take advantage of the latest and greatest in mobile technology:

1.         Taylor Gourmet

Unique app feature: Friend referrals

Founded by two college buddies who wanted to bring the delicious hoagies from their hometown of Philly a bit further south to DC, Taylor Gourmet has established themselves as the coolest place to grab a sandwich. Appealing to the millennial market, the Taylor Gourmet app includes mobile payments, rewards, and a social media component that allows customers to link their Facebook profile to their Taylor Gourmet account and invite friends to visit the shops with $2 towards their first purchase.

2.  Chop’t

Unique app feature: Putting nutrition & allergen information at the customer’s fingertips

Over the past 13 years, Chop’t Creative Salad Company has grown to include more than 20 restaurants up and down the East Coast. From the start, Chop’t has been committed to delivering only the freshest, high quality foods- quickly. And the company has extended that commitment with the recent launch of the Chop’t mobile app. The Chop’t app features mobile payments, a built in loyalty program, and comprehensive menu and nutritional information.

3. Organic Avenue

Unique app feature: Establishing tiered rewards for VIP customers

From their Green LOVE juice to their Big Kale Salad, Organic Avenue has expanded their reach and their menu to include delicious wraps and salads in addition to their signature cold-pressed juices. Growing to 12 boutiques in the past 14 years, Organic Avenue continues to make their mark in unique ways; like with the launch of their custom loyalty app. The Organic Avenue app offers up features like mobile payments, menu, store locator, and a tiered rewards program that lets customers work their way up to VIP status and beyond.

4.  Protein Bar

Unique app feature: mobile payments & in-app ordering (coming soon)

Opened in 2009 and set for rapid expansion, Protein Bar has opened 12 restaurants in four years. Now with a total of 14 stores across 3 markets, Protein Bar continues to establish themselves as the go-to place for healthy, high-protein meals. Catering to their active and on-the-go customers, Protein Bar launched a custom mobile payment and loyalty app in early 2014. Complete with mobile payments, nutritional information, built-in rewards, and in-app ordering coming soon, the app provides a real convenience to Protein Bar customers.

5. Saxby’s

Unique app feature: Frequent small incentives

Since first opening their doors in August of 2005, Saxby’s Coffee has grown to 29 locations. From gourmet coffees to frozen yogurt and pastries, Saxby’s strives to deliver a variety of options. With over 200 flavor combinations, customers are encouraged to really personalize their order. While Saxby’s continues to focus on the customer, the Saxby’s app allows the company to surprise and delight guests with a built in rewards program, mobile payments, menu, locations, and more.

Interested in discovering what a custom app could look like for your brand? Click here to learn more.