How to Create Restaurant Apps. The Complete Guide

Oleksandr Moshenskiy
Head of PM Department at TRIARE
5 min read

While the market of delivery applications has been growing due to pandemic closures, there is something that can save the public catering area as well. 

Restaurant Apps

Customers have been weaned from ordering food outside in the public catering place – even when they come to a restaurant, they do not use live communication with the staff, but use the digital menu and place an order online.

More than 24% of Starbucks revenues come from their restaurant app. Along with that, some figures suggest that there is a significant increase in time that the adult population spends on their mobile devices from 88 to 203 minutes a day. By all accounts, restaurant apps seem to be the perfect recipe for an effective business. 

Here and now, we are going to provide you with some steps and suggestions on creating a restaurant app that will work for your business. In this piece, we will focus on the cost of the product, specifics that you should pay attention to, and where to find the professionals for your app development.

Moving your restaurant online

User-friendly, convenient, and appealing web design is a good chance to attract new clients and advance the user experience of your loyal customers. Around 70% of consumers prefer to make orders with the help of the restaurant website or app more than doing it with the help of third-party applications. However, unlike websites, mobile applications make the process more personalized, also providing more functions. 

Using an app improves the user experience with built-in payments, creating the order in a couple of steps, and providing the menu with a straightforward design. You can also add a number of other features that will attract the customer, such as placing a map with the nearest catering point and focus on the user’s menu preferences, including the loyalty benefits and coupon codes. If you need to promote your restaurant creating an app is where to start from. 

What can you include in your restaurant app?

  • Product ordering.
  • Delivery service.
  • Order tracking.
  • Push notifications.
  • In-app payments.
  • Loyalty program.
  • Rating and feedback section.
  • Personal data management.
  • Notifications and advertisements.

restaurant apps types

What types of restaurant apps are there?

To answer this question, you will need to determine the type of your restaurant app depending on the nature of your business.

Food chains

Clients of this category are looking for fast delivery, cheap and tasty items. If you develop the food chain mobile application, you may include:

  • Order and delivery features
  • Easy menu
  • Bonus program
  • Easy and quick interface.

Large restaurants

This public catering category does not only offer dishes to the clients but also organizes different types of events, such as banquets, weddings, parties, etc. Therefore, make sure your app allows the customers to:

  • Learn the menu options
  • Make reservations and dish pre-orders
  • List the guests
  • Book the event date
  • Use some other services for a particular type of event.

Club restaurants

This restaurant category may offer any type of dish, such as fast food or something more gourmet. However, it is also a place where people love to spend time and hang out. They include music halls, family restaurants, creative events, and weekend “places to go.” If you develop such type of app, make sure to provide the following:

  • Current events
  • Announcements
  • Share buttons
  • Loyalty programs
  • Reservation options
  • Online orders.

Apart from these features, there are basic elements that you need to include in your restaurant app: the driver panel, the admin panel, and the restaurant panel. 

You will use the driver panel for tracking the food delivery, finding the customer’s location, notifications about the delivery, and an in-built mobile payment system. 

The admin panel is the backup of your restaurant administration that keeps the databases, addresses, customer experience information, and personnel management processes. 

The users’, or the restaurant panel is where the customers set their orders, check the menus, and send their payments.  

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Step-by-step guide for the restaurant app development

restaurant apps guide

Step one. Design the functionality of the app.

At this stage, you need to set clear goals for your restaurant app. What is expected functionality? Will it be a restaurant-location app or a platform for making orders and payments? If you hire software specialists for the project, they will help you to choose the best backlog features for your restaurant app.

Step two. Research and UX design.

If the app needs to solve some of the problems and have a particular function, it cannot do without market research and proper UI/UX design. What current trends and practices do you need to create an outstanding product? UX and UI design will help the users to interact with the software via user-friendly navigation and appealing board design.

Step three. Coding and testing.

Keep in mind that your restaurant app architecture needs to be plain both in backend and frontend terms. The software logic should be quite simple, so the users will not have to go through the endless tabs in search of a button for ordering online. If the product is not developed by you personally, but with the help of outsourcing specialists, it is important to make sure that the communication between you and your client is effective.

If you want to save money, the best solution is to build an MVP model with minimal functionality. The software may be further advanced with additional features depending on the needs of your clients. After the project is done, you will need to go through the beta testing stage, which is a required step in the product development cycle. Before your app is launched on the market, it needs to be fully optimized.

Step five. Ongoing feedback and support.

If your product misfires in some way, or despite all the efforts made, it does not meet the needs of customers, you will learn this from receiving feedback. Customers can leave reviews both in the mobile application itself and on the platform from which it was downloaded. Entering the market is not the final step; in fact, you are just starting to work with your clients, and some functions can help or, on the contrary, interfere. Therefore, it is critical to provide high-quality support for your product for the possible improvement of the app in the future.

Given the time and costs of the restaurant app development, it is better to find a company that will do it. You can hire outsource specialists to get the project done in time and at a cheaper hourly rate.

How much does it cost to develop a restaurant app?

If you need to calculate all the costs for your restaurant app, try our project calculation tool to receive an estimated price for your project via email.

Oleksandr Moshenskiy
Head of PM Department at TRIARE