I have an iPhone/iPad app idea for which I can build an MVP pretty quickly (about a week or two at most). My target customers are local restaurants.
How do I approach local restaurants to validate my idea?
Best thing to do would be to get some screenshots / high fidelity wireframes made for your application that you can just click through. Set this up in a full-screen browser on your iPad so you can click through it and demo what the purpose and goal of the application would be like.
Then just go to some local restaurants and ask to see a manager or owner. (ideally find this out before hand so you can ask for them by name) The person may try to stop you or inquire further about what you need to see the manager for and why.
Just tell them that you are a local mobile developer and you have a really cool idea for an application. You wanted to get some feedback from some real restaurateurs before you invest the time to create the product and that you only need 5 minutes of their time to get some feedback.
For the most part people are really accommodating with requests like this. You aren't looking to sell anything (today at least) and people genuinely like to help other people and also like to talk to people where their expertise or opinion counts.
When you do this get their name, phone and email address so you can come back and sell it to them once you create it :)
But definitely make something with a great user interface to demo. It doesn't have to actually be an app, and even click throughs of full page image designs is sufficient to get your product concept across.
Also make sure to run some financial numbers by them... "would you be willing to pay $30/mo for a product like this?" and get some feedback.
Assuming you have a good idea, the amount of interest you get depends on how well you present the idea to them and how you approach the restaurant.
I wanted to add couple of issues for you to consider, based on what I've seen from one project my former company did and witnessing experience of several of my friend, who are building products for the restaurant industry:
Hope this helps.
You can contact the Owner or Managing Director through the Internet. Send them some information vie e-mail or on social networks (write short idea description, add some links with similar apps, tell about the benefits they can gain after providing the app etc.) In some days you can make a call and ask whether they received your offer. Schedule a meeting and discuss everything more detailed. Here are several examples of the good restaurant apps you may show to your potential clients https://itunes.apple.com/app/id485133676?mt=8, https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/my-shout/id512913298?mt=8
The first thing you can do to validate ideas in an early stage is to GOOGLE THEM!
Yep, just search the app idea on google and you will get lots of information like whether:
Here's a detailed article I recently wrote on this subject.
http://thestartuprecipe.com/2013/01/14/is-your-app-idea-good-enough/ Good luck!