Should my restaurant have an app?

The creation of a dedicated restaurant app in this niche is more of a way of increasing quality of service than of enhancing the menu. It’d be fair to also notice that, nowadays, when ordinary cheap fast food can completely satisfy all human hunger needs, it is the level of service that matters in defining the leader in the food services niche.

What features should I include?


Not a single restaurant app (as well as the restaurant itself) can exist without a menu. We’d like to warn you beforehand that you (or your developer’s team) will have to put significant effort into the development of an accessible, inviting menu. Why? You can simply digitize the paper version design of the menu although, coming from experience, it’s not always a justifiable option. Traditional format for menus is of A4 page format. Shrinking the image, some small details might be blurred or even lost. Be prepared to replace part of the design and food images.

Order form.

As we mentioned above, the option of making an order via the app is a great way to make your service attractive to the working people, as well as those who prefer texting over real-life communication.

Reservation option.

In addition to the previous on-demand option, we’d strongly recommend enriching your app’s functionality with a table reservation function. Schematic illustrations of vacant and reserved tables can help customers with special desires orientate themselves.

Complaints and suggestions.

It’s very important for you, as a business owner, to be able to demonstrate your business’ objectiveness. Create a separate tab for feedback for this very purpose. It’ll be editable and will allow physical visitors of your restaurant to describe their impressions and provide feedback. Moreover, such an option can be involved in each point of the menu to define the most trendy and popular food items.

Push notifications.

Sending push notifications is a great way to increase profit. Implementation of this feature won’t significantly affect the cost to develop a restaurant app, while the advantages will be plentiful. Promos, discounts, events, menu extensions – your customers will be finding out about all these without even having to open the app!

Personal user account.

This feature would provide users not only with optimal conditions for managing personal orders, but also with the ability to apply a personal discount (e.g. progressive discount). Moreover, the personal cabinet allows one to pay for their orders via the Internet using a banking card or an e-wallet.

Events calendar.

Built-in events calendars allow visitors to monitor various events and promos conducted by your restaurant. This feature can help them plan not only for upcoming evenings out, but for weeks or months in advance.

Social network integration.

Most people like publicity, as the incredible popularity of social networks like Instagram indicates. That’s why your customers most probably already have a profile with which they can immediately register in your app. This enhances the accessibility of the interface and provides the best UX.

Basically, all the above-mentioned features comprise an MVP of your food ordering mobile app and, if you want, you can involve some more specific options. Now, let’s find out what preparation stages must be completed in order to commence the developmental process.

Before you start development

Market Analysis.

Before commencing the creation of the app, you’ll have to analyze existing competitor apps, as well as check the related feedback. The goal here is obvious – confirm the definition of the key parameters that would influence the popularity of your solution and help make it more accessible and intuitive. Moreover, you’ll be able to uncover common design tendencies with a thorough analysis.

Choice of mobile platform.

The next very important step to take is choosing the developmental environment. Because restaurant apps, as mentioned before, are intended for as wide an audience as possible, the optimal solution would include support of both platforms that are currently the most popular – iOS and Android. You think that this would require a huge budget? Just use the cross-platform framework for mobile development and you’ll get a multipurpose software solution which will be compatible with both platforms for a quite lower amount of money than developing separate apps.

MVP creation.

If your expected software budget appears to be quite large and if you plan to implement authentic functionality – the creation of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) would be the most rational decision. It’ll help predict your target audience reaction and experience minimal losses even in the most negative situation.

Correlation of design with existing features of your establishment.

If you paid close attention to the previous list, you might have discovered that most restaurant business apps require a redesign to match the existing concept of your establishment. Make sure that your brand’s features are integral and match in every representation.


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