June 2021

It’s the weekend, and the clock has struck 12. Sitting in my comfy onesie, all set for the much-awaited movie night. But now all of a sudden my stomach growls and grumbles – the only clear sign of hunger pangs leading to a feeling of emptiness. Too lazy to cook and too dark outside for a takeout. What to do now? Are you thinking what I am thinking… HOME DELIVERY!

We live in a highly digitized world – a world where you don’t have to dial 111-1111-1111 anymore for placing your food order because everything is now in the palm of your hands. Such amazing innovations may have rendered us lazy but they are super worth it. 

Restaurant and food delivery applications are becoming all the rage and now I see why – In my defense, they are just easy and accessible. Foodies can order food whenever they like whether it’s 2 in the morning or 5 in the evening. WHENEVER! I mean it. 


That’s just one side of the story – the customer’s side. But many studies show that restaurants can increase their sales volume and profits by over 20% if they have a mobile or web application for instant order placement. I see why both sides of the story are quite exciting. Therefore, sales are one of the major reasons why your restaurant needs an application in this day and age. If Starbucks can have it, so can you. 

Having said that, the restaurant industry is quite oversaturated. Given the circumstances, your restaurant needs to stay at the top of its game for acquiring and retaining customers. Thus, restaurant mobile app development offers an effective tool for you to attract new customers and eyeball your competition.

In this blog post, I will share all that you need to know for developing your food application and how mobile applications can help your restaurant businesses in improving their financial situation. But let me remind you, developing an application is not a ‘piece of cake’, yet very useful for ‘bread and butter’, so let’s ‘bring home that bacon’. See what I did there? 


Different Types of Restaurant Apps

Reservation apps – Applications like Yelp and OpenTable allow customers to book their tables online in advance. No more waiting in long lines for dine-in. 

Restaurant finder apps – Apps like Zomato help users to find the restaurants in their locality and track their orders. 

Delivery apps – Food delivery apps are quite popular in this day and age. Apps like Dominos pizza are a perfect example with the help of which customers can have pizzas delivered to their front door. 

Loyalty & referral apps – Through which restaurants can offer rewards, redeem points, and exclusive deals to their regular customers. 

On-table ordering apps – Customers can place their orders through their smartphones while sitting in a restaurant. All they have to do is scan the QR code to unlock the menu and place their order. 

Restaurant review app – Apps like Yelp where people can read reviews about different restaurants.


Reasons Why Do You Need a Restaurant App Development Solution

At the end of the day, its fairly all about the customers!


Convenience attracts more customers, every day

Customers seek convenience. I am a customer myself and I would agree. Therefore, restaurant applications cut down the misery and bring in more joy! Customers no longer need to wait in long queues just to place and pick up their orders. Starbucks applications, for example, let coffee-holics buy their lattes and macchiatos straight from their smartphones.

Customers can order ahead for pickup which is massively convenient specifically for the morning rushers – who like to grab their coffee on the go. This convenience births attraction which as a result keeps customers coming back for more and now you know what that means right?


Loyalty programs for customer retention

Restaurant apps facilitate businesses in not only boosting their revenues but also retaining their customers. Now you must be thinking how can people be loyal to just one brand, our brand? You may be right, people aren’t always loyal to just one brand.

My point is, I don’t buy clothes from only one brand, no. It can’t stick around to one when I have multiple options available. Similarly, if you want people to be loyal to you and only you, offer loyalty programs. Give them rewards after they have reached the maximum number of orders. Through mobile applications, customers can not only earn rewards but also redeem them.

For example, Starbucks gives its regular customers free coffee after they have accumulated a certain number of stars. Loyalty programs always work because they make customers feel recognized and special. Does it make any sense? I am sure it does.


Seamless payment options

Raise your hands if you look for easy payment options when making a purchase online. Majority rule! Mobile payments with the mix of contactless payments are becoming a new trend. 55 % of people prefer ordering food without having to interact with a person, according to Pymnts. Need I say more?

Moreover, applications like Apple Pay and Google Wallet allow consumers to pay for their orders without them juggling with paper money and having to take out their wallets. So if you want to keep up with today’s tech-savvy customer demands, restaurant apps are the only way! They let customers securely attach their credit cards to the app and automatically charge money on each order. Sounds quick and quite efficient!


I like ‘big data and I can not lie

That’s one for restaurant businesses. Among other things, developing an app for your restaurant allows you access to a pool of customer data, which is super advantageous for you in running targeted marketing campaigns and customizing offers and discounts for specific audience clusters.

This massive stream of data helps you in familiarizing yourself with your customers, how they interact with your app, what they are looking for, you know yada yada? You can then use all the collected data to study and modify the functionalities to meet your customer’s needs and improve their experience. 


Crank your brand awareness up a notch

Exciting ambience, 5-star customer service, and good food can help retain your regular customers but not enough to reach new ones. The reason why mobile applications act as your right hand when it comes to brand awareness and maximum visibility. All it takes is one good marketing campaign and soon you will have the whole town talking about you, yes you!


A little feedback never hurt nobody

No need for lengthy questionnaires and surveys – when you can instantly get a review through your app. Restaurant apps offer a great way to collect customer feedback and reviews. These reviews can come in handy to guide businesses towards improving their services and performance.

Also, you can seamlessly tailor your restaurant apps and offerings in a truly customer-oriented way. 


Some More Benefits

    • Instant table reservation options/ pre-bookings before arriving at the restaurant enhance customer experience.
    • Restaurant apps provide location-based services meaning customers can look up restaurants in their nearby vicinity for order placements and more. 
    • Customers can stay updated with their order status, offers and discounts through push notifications.
    • You can cater to a massive number of orders at the same time. 
    • Mobile apps offer additional marketing options for brand awareness.
    • Easier and faster order fulfillment.
    • Higher volume of sales for restaurant businesses.
    • Pre-bookings lead to better on-site service.
    • Easy access to the menu.
    • Helps restaurants in gaining a competitive edge in the market. 
    • Last but not the least, it facilitates restaurants  to deliver personalized services. 


Basic Features Every Restaurant App Should Have

So, did I finally manage to convince you to build an app for your restaurant? Yay me! The next step for you is to familiarize yourself with the basic features your platform should have. So let’s jump right into it. 

    • User accounts for customers and main admin panel for restaurant owners for order and inventory management.
    • Photo gallery to showcase images of the restaurants followed by the restaurant’s info.
    • Interactive menus – divided into categories for easy navigation.
    • Table booking options, along with day, date, and time slots.
    • Integration of loyalty programs and food vouchers. 
    • News/ blog section. 
    • Push notifications. 
    • Review and rating section. 
    • Integration with social media.
    • Chat widget for customer support. Pro tip: Integrate a chatbot for faster responses.
    • Multiple payment gateways.
    • Pre-order and delivery options.
    • Analytics for business owners to 
    • Customer’s order history.
    • Filters to sort by price, discounts, popularity, and cuisines.
    • FAQ – frequently asked questions
    • Geo-location for efficient order tracking and more.


Restaurant App Development Cost

There is no one fixed price for developing a restaurant application. The final total cost depends on the complexity of the features, the number of functionalities, technology stack, client’s requirements, timeline, and business engagement models.

But on average a food app with only the basic features such as the digital menu, geolocation, push notifications, reviews, and social sharing can cost around $10,000, more or less.

Otherwise, highly customized cross-platform apps can reach over $30 – 50,000, give or take. But if you are looking to integrate advanced functionalities such as 3D elements or AR, the price will be even higher, for obvious reasons.

If you are interested in developing your restaurant app on a budget, I can give you two options: First – outsourcing is cost-efficient, so for one, outsource a restaurant app development company to fulfil your development needs or second look for pre-made templates and mobile applications rather than developing from the ground up. So what’s it gonna be?


Tips for Making a Perfect Restaurant App

Cross-platform – Half of the world uses Apple and the other half prefers Android, the remaining few are all in for the desktops. So if your application does not cater to every platform, you are in trouble. 

Intuitive UX/UI – Make use of simple, clutter-free, minimalist, and modern design options. Avoid unnecessary elements that don’t serve a purpose.

Accessible – Everyone should be able to use the application equally irrespective of their disabilities or impairments.  

Responsive & optimized – Design flexible layouts for different screens. It should work great on mobiles, desktops, and iPads the same. 

User friendly – A user-friendly app is a key to success, it can make or break your business – so easier, and intuitive navigation is a must-have.

Speed – People value time more than money, so make sure your app is quick and efficient and doesn’t take more than 3 seconds to load.

Security – Data security is one of the most important concerns for customers nowadays. Therefore, make sure that your app meets all the security requirements and standards to keep sensitive customer data safe at all times. 

Looking for restaurant app development services? Hit us up!


Fahad Ali, Author

Fahad is PM at ARFASOFTECH but has a knack for writing. He enjoys writing about the latest technologies and evolving trends. Most of his writings revolve around trending technologies and their integration into operations.

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