A Comprehensive Guide to Build Restaurant Mobile Apps

restaurant mobile app development

Restaurants were no exception to the digital revolution—and for good reason. As soon as they heard about all the hype, restaurants quickly responded and made changes in their strategy.  In fact, if you look at how important restaurant apps have become today; it just goes to show how true is that; You can’t restrict dining out solely on phones or laptops. You need something you can bring anywhere with you when you’re on the go!

We understand how tough life can become creating such app and looking for restaurant app development company nowadays. So, we have created this article to help out entrepreneurs and restaurant owners. So, stay tuned till the end! 

Restaurant Mobile Apps

A restaurant app is one of the major Software-as-a-Service solutions that makes it possible for users to order from the restaurant at home. And gives restaurants a new way to reach out to customers.

This is perfect for those looking to improve their customer service by making it easier to order food quickly. The removal of invisible lines helps ensure that all services are clear, including; digital menus, seamless food delivery, reservations, payment methods, and pickup orders – you name it!  

With this app, restaurant owners can give customers even more options when they’re hungry. When launching a new restaurant concept or opening another location, entrepreneurs should first study what makes the industry tick. 

Understanding how an restaurant app can increase your popularity convinces owners to go mobile and create their own apps for guests. Some noteworthy facts that add to this argument are:   

  • Adding digital channels for ordering and eventually upgrading to delivery has made Dominos stocks soar 40% since 2012. Currently, it’s reported to receive 60% of its orders through these channels.
  • It also claims to have seen a significant rise in same-store sales within just one quarter. Thanks to adding channels such as online ordering and introducing an app specifically designed for customer convenience purposes.
  • Starbucks’ mobile app has allowed them to provide personalization features such as customer loyalty programs, exclusive deals, and offers. It also includes enhanced technical innovations such as digital coupons.

These changes have shown how customer-centric Starbucks is becoming which will allow them to reap the benefits of investments made in their business. Thus, restaurant application development requirements are gaining huge market traction.

Consult our domain experts to power pack your restaurant app with advanced features.

Startling Food & Restaurant Delivery App Consumer Data  

restaurant app development

The market for restaurant and food delivery has been boosting at a faster pace. Here are some findings of research conducted by a renowned software provider that shows how this market is picking up the pace. 

“Over these years, customer loyalty has remained perceptual amongst both local restaurants and world-class food chains. In fact, 52% reported placing an order between 1-4 times in the last month alone.” 

Moreover, 29% say they ordered 5-9 times – which accounts for a great increase compared to previous years’ numbers. 

Take a glance at some other statistics to understand the gravity of the growing food & restaurant delivery app market. 

  • The demand for online food delivery is about to reach $29,000 million. 
  • The largest segment related to delivering food from restaurants alone is on track to reach $17,000 million by 2021. 
  • Around 85% of independent adults now leverage their smartphones to search for restaurants. 
  • Over 36% of adults are preferring making table reservations through restaurant apps themselves. 
  • And over 25% now want to place an order as well as pay from the table through a mobile app. 
  • More than 80% of restaurant owners agree that appealing directly to consumers’ preferences leads to improved customer satisfaction and increased sales. 

Succinctly, it’s clear that demand has risen exponentially. So, developing a new app would be ideal to thrive in this competitive marketplace. Restaurant & food delivery software usually offers information about bonuses, promotions, and loyalty points. And more to entice new clients or keep loyal customers.

Bonus Read: Know How AI in eCommerce App Is Rapidly Evolving the Online Storefront

The following is a list of available restaurant app development categories:  

1. Restaurant Locator Apps

If you’re looking for a place to eat and you’re on the go there are apps that can come in handy. These app locators will make it easy for you to find every single restaurant or cafe around you, no matter where you are at!

It’s especially helpful if you travel a lot and don’t know what food options exist near where ever you visit next. Moreover, there are also reviews written by people just like me who’ve been there before.

  • User Profile 
  • Restaurant Listing and Map Views 
  • Restaurant Information 
  • Restaurant Search or Filters 
  • Photo Gallery 
  • Reviews and Ratings 
  • Push Notifications 

2. Restaurant Booking App 

The struggle of making reservations for restaurants is now over thanks to the restaurant booking app. Gone are the days when people needed to call in advance. Or use guessing strategies about whether a certain establishment would have tables available for them. 

Now, all you need to do is simply download an application from one of these popular apps. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late either. Because there won’t be anyone occupying those seats anyway after they’ve been reserved. 

  • Restaurant Listing and Map Views 
  • Restaurant Information 
  • Table booking & Payments 
  • Ingredients Selection 
  • Restaurant Search or Filters 
  • Push Notifications 
  • Photo Gallery 
  • Reviews and Ratings 

3. Table App Development 

Digitizing a menu is a great restaurant table app solution in the age of pandemics. Meanwhile, it allows reviewing menus and placing orders right from customers’ smartphones once they scan a QR code. 

This type of application solves problems with waitstaff costs and decreases order mistakes. So, you’re less likely to receive incorrect food items at your table. After eating their meal, customers can pay for everything via these table apps too! 

  • User profile 
  • Menu Listing 
  • Menu Customization Screens 
  • Ingredients Selection 
  • Deals & Discounts 
  • Reviews and Ratings 
  • Push Notifications 

4. Online Ordering/Delivery Apps 

Ordering food is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Now, with takeout apps and mobile platforms for major chains like Domino’s Pizza, getting a pint of ice cream right to your door is easier.

Online order-ahead services are only getting more popular as the need for convenience continues to rise. In fact, there are now countless apps out there that make ordering takeout – whether you want Chinese food, pizza, wings, or fries. Or! Just about anything else – just one tap away from being complete!  

  • User profile 
  • Menu 
  • Restaurant search & listings 
  • Automatic payment 
  • Chatbot & real-time support 
  • Card registration 
  • Order booking 
  • Order details/history 
  • Delivery status 
  • Notifications 
  • Ratings 

5. A Loyalty Program App

This type of application share details about ongoing and upcoming restaurant discounts. A loyalty program app allows restaurants to share promotion information with their customers.

Restaurants are able to keep track of both repeat and new customer numbers thanks to offers run by the restaurant. And they’re able to plan future promotions based on customer feedback.  

  • Offering incentives such as discounts and coupons 
  • Incentive last-minute bookings on the app 
  • Menus & Updates 
  • Setting parameters of rewards for users on the backend. 
  • Free snacks here and there to keep people happy like free drinks & other goodies. 
  • Rewarding user birthdays with special privileges 
  • Refill offers through in-app notifications 

Serve your customers better by bringing innovation and value to your restaurant mobile app.

Modules and Features for Restaurant Software Developer

Let’s learn more about functionalities typically found in restaurant software, as well as core modules. Restaurant app development makes both front and back-house operations seamless while also catering to back-office assistance. 

They are designed specifically for restaurants or the food service industry. Those who choose to create a restaurant app should understand the main modules: 

  • Inventory Management – Tracking ingredients and supply shifts in real-time. 
  • POS – Point-of-sale that processes all transactions processed. 
  • Employee Management – Helps recruit, retain, train, and manage employees. 
  • Accounting – Record funds budgeted/spent. 
  • Order Management – All orders are tracked from the start until payment is made. 
  • Reservations – Tracking table bookings. 
  • Payroll – Calculating salaries paid. 

What Are the Benefits of Creating a Restaurant App? 

A smart restaurateur knows RoI—the return on investment. Building a restaurant app requires some upfront capital, but the payoff will contribute to success in different ways. 

For one thing, building a restaurant application development may allow an aspiring restaurateur to launch without having to spend money on marketing; or it could enhance success for existing restaurateurs who need something new and fresh for their restaurants’ advertising or expansion plans.

benefits of restaurant app development

Below are five clear benefits that promote the idea of building an effective app for your business. 

#1. To Reach Your Audience Within Their Geographical Boundaries 

Geo-location marketing benefits are critical for restaurants to boost their sales. Thus, creating a restaurant business app is becoming a necessity for businesses. 

And the fact that localization can lead to a sharp rise in conversion rate is not unknown. There are a number of ways restaurants can target users locally – by incorporating technology in the food service industry – such as through iBeacon technology, GPS-based coupons, and even localized marketing.  

The end goal through all instances is the same – optimal, profitable usage of an order-taking app from the restaurant.  

#2. Hassle-free reservation 

The experienced restaurant app builders can help you get an app that enables your customers to make a table reservation during their preferred time right from the convenience of their homes or offices. 

With this kind of technical service, it becomes unnecessary for people to go out. And hunt for restaurants manually while they are out wandering around town, they will already have one awaiting them on their phone!

This way, you’ll be able to provide your customers with a highly convenient dining experience – thanks to partnerships with a skilled team of restaurant app developers.

#3. Send Push Notifications to Inform Customers 

Restaurants offer attractive deals depending on the time of year or any holiday. To create remarkable solutions. you need to hire a mobile app development company that meets the required skill set.

It can help you send push notifications informing diners about these promotions. This will hopefully lead you to earn steady food orders via your order-taking app.  

#4. Boosting Your Restaurant’s Brand Awareness 

With the onset of mobile applications, it has become easier for restaurants to increase their scope of brand recognition. Why? Well, these apps are usually available at the fingertips of customers – constantly reminding them about your business. 

And this is just one major benefit among many others. Not only does it allow you to send push notifications featuring limited-time offers. But! Each notification from your restaurant on their devices equals an opportunity to create deep resonation within their minds. It ultimately produces a quick and reliable food ordering system. 

#5. Better Customer Loyalty 

A restaurant app that provides opportunities for customer loyalty and rewards has significant potential to increase sales. For example, Starbucks’ Reward program offers bonuses based on payments made through the app or at stores.

So, there’s a reward even when you’re not nearby. But when developing an app for restaurants, you can make sure that loyalty isn’t exclusive to discounts alone. Instead, it needs to be engaging, all-channeled, and personalized. Everything customers want to see these days

Step-by-Step Process to Create a Restaurant App 

Restaurant app development is an intricate process involving many steps, especially when developing for a specific type of business such as a restaurant. These 9 steps will guide you through how to develop an effective restaurant app that results in great success for any type of restaurant.

 #1. Conducting market research 

As the first step in creating mobile apps for restaurants, it is important to understand the target audience of your future application, what problems they are currently encountering, and how you can create an app that will address all of these struggles.

Conducting market research should be one of your first steps in developing a restaurant app. You need to know who the potential audience is and what challenges they are currently facing so that you can make an application tailored to them.  

#2. Set Your Strategy and Business Goals 

You should completely understand the benefits of having a restaurant mobile app developed. In conclusion, remember that not every app idea can turn into an application that brings in revenue; think about what your KPIs are, make business goals, and find out which methods will give you the desired outcome.

#3. Find A Reliable Software Development Company  

Finding a reliable, experienced and trustworthy software development company can prove to be an arduous task for anyone. However, you may find that this task becomes substantially easier when approached with careful consideration.  

Especially, if you are able to find a company that has already successfully developed other industry-specific apps such as restaurant apps. 

#4. Determine What Specific Functions to Include 

At this stage, it’s important for you to consider which features your restaurant app will have and what kind of experience these would-be features are going to provide for users. Lastly, working closely with a professional software development company can help you achieve this goal–allowing you access to the tools and expertise necessary for building an excellent mobile app from scratch.

#5. Designing An Extravagant Restaurant App  

The primary responsibility of a restaurant app or website is to address specific problems while creating an enjoyable and pleasing experience. Subsequently, a good design makes it possible for restaurants, both brick-and-mortar and online, to develop appealing mobile apps that are also easy to use. There are many steps involved when designing an app or website: 

  • Research – Necessary to create exceptional products through analyzing the competition and industry trends, understanding what users want from the app, and acquiring best practices. 
  • User experience design – Entails sketching out designs with wireframes showing where everything will go together in a sensible manner. 
  • Visual design – Designing the mood board and UI mockups to apply an attractive color scheme to the app. 
  • Branding – Including logo development. 
  • Illustrations & Animations- Adding a unique touch when you develop an app for restaurants. 

#6. Test, deploy, and launch 

These steps should be the most focused part of the development process when you create a restaurant app. Furthermore, when it comes time to launch your application, make sure every feature is fully functional so users can use it without experiencing any glitches or problems.  

#7. Marketing campaigns 

Whether developing an app for restaurant ordering or one to order food from home, it is wise to start a marketing campaign beforehand. Above all, it will create awareness of your product before your product enters the market.

#8.Collect & Analyze User Feedback  

One way to figure that out is by analyzing user feedback. Feedback can tell you what features your application needs and which ones are already doing well. Moreover, it’s important to continuously collect feedback, but you might want to pay closer attention after releasing any new product updates or changes. 

#9. Ongoing application updates 

The development of mobile apps for restaurants is an ongoing process that doesn’t end when it launches. You may need to improve some features, remove existing ones, or add new functionality depending on what you’re hearing from users through feedback and reviews. 

Continuous support will also ensure that your app operates at the peak level for the latest version of the operating system available. 

Advanced Functionality You Must Infuse in Restaurant App 

What if you wanted to create a restaurant app that was unique? Check out the most innovative and exciting features listed below for creating a custom restaurant app. 

1. Chatbots 

What about having someone 24X7 available who could answer your customers’ questions through the app? You don’t need to hire an additional employee – we have chatbots for that! 

AI has enabled these solutions so they can learn how to handle different inquiries – giving them an edge over customer service centers operated by humans. While still young in this industry, artificial intelligence can help make sure you stand out from other restaurants!  

2. Location-based services 

Local restaurants have an opportunity to increase customer engagement with the implementation of geofencing and iBeacons. Geofencing enables restaurant owners to send push notifications to users who enter or exit their premises, while iBeacons can guide them right up to the front door.

Meanwhile, the result of these technologies is an increased number of customers visiting local restaurants, which could lead to a boost in profits. To create such a feature in your application, you need to hire mobile app developer with expertise in maps and geo-locations.

3. Gamification 

This cutting-edge technology has found its way into many applications, and restaurant apps are no different. With gamification, you can create tasks and competitions for users while offering rewards for winners.  

For instance, after ten successful orders, you might reward them with free delivery; or if they come in five times to your restaurant(s) then they could get an extra meal on the house.  Moreover, studies show that gamified incentives lead people to work harder at achieving the desired result—and when it comes to business this is exactly what we want!  

4. Social Media Interactions 

We rely on social media heavily in our day-to-day lives – so much that some say it’s become an extension of our personas. And this dependence also applies to restaurants – because today people interact differently with brands than they did years ago.

Create a restaurant app that integrates with social media outlets, since this is how many people are now able to register quickly when opening new apps and sites. Let customers share photos from their meals.

As well as leaving their own review or recommendation for other users – all the while creating some word-of-mouth advertising through posts on popular platforms like Facebook or Twitter.  

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Restaurant App? 

Restaurant apps come in two types: simple and complex. Simple restaurant apps typically contain core features such as the menu, orders, payments, push notifications, and location services—and cost anywhere from $8,000-$15,000 for development. 

On the other hand, an advanced complex restaurant app containing features like pre-ordering meals or accessing a three-dimensional view of the inside of the restaurant starts at around $25K in terms of the initial investment.

As for other factors that contribute to the cost of building a restaurant app, here are some: 

  • Features set 
  • Mobile app design 
  • Team size 
  • Tech stack used 
  • A platform for application deployment 
  • Location of the agency 
  • App complexity 

All of these aspects hold major significance in impacting the cost and time of development. So, you need to make sure that you choose wisely while deciding on these aspects to optimize cost.  


The online food industry’s got big potential, so it’s essential to have cutting-edge functions to hold up under the pressure. Features such as ordering ahead or checking wait times on an app are just what modern customers want these days. 

And these types of features can also help propel your business to success. For example, an easy way for restaurants to interact with their customers is through a chatbot. From helping answer customer questions about menu items they’re considering trying out. 

And all the way through delivery orders being placed. Moreover, chatbots allow restaurants to tap into this new technology. Also, they don’t need to compromise on quality service while still boosting sales. 

Overall, creating a food or restaurant application can unleash the floodgate of revenue for your business. Besides, ensure to hire an experienced restaurant app development company with expertise in emerging tech and solutions. 


1. What should be included in a food delivery app?   

Typically, a restaurant app has three interfaces—features for placing an order are only viewable to the customer. While the administration and delivery features can only be seen by those who need access.  

2. How much does it cost to develop a custom application for your restaurant? 

This varies depending on many factors, including what features you want to be included, how many operating systems the application will support (web, iOS, Android), and what level of customization you require among other things.   

3. How long does it take to build a restaurant app? 

There are so many aspects to consider when building an app such as the nature of the project (for example, how much customizability is needed), how complex the features need to be, and what additional solutions will or can be integrated. 

4. What type of software do most restaurants use? 

Restaurant management is a multifaceted process. It can require smooth internal operations, increase revenue, and make every day better for staff. There are various restaurant management systems are trending, such as Toast POS, When I Work, Clover, TouchBistro, CAKE, ShopKeep by Lightspeed, etc. 

Consult our domain experts to power pack your restaurant app with cutting edge technology.

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