Restaurant Mobile App Development – A Complete Guide

So, you run a restaurant and have planned to bring your business online with a custom restaurant app. And, why not? The investments in a dedicated restaurant mobile app development have surged in the past few years. With their immense capabilities to benefit all the parties involved in the restaurant business (including owners, customers, and delivery agents), restaurant mobile app development has become the top-most choice for the startups and marketers involved in the food business. Here are some facts and stats that support our claims!

  • As per trusted source, the market for restaurant mobile app development has already reached $25 billion market value in the USA alone. 
  • The number is further predicted to cross $40 billion market value by the year 2024! 
  • A study by Statista reveals that, almost 67% of the people in the USA prefer to use a custom restaurant app to order their favourite food rather than opting for a takeaway or dine-in.
  • As per National Restaurant Association, almost 83% of the people across the world search for nearby restaurants and their menus through their smartphones. 

Hence, it is evident that the market for restaurant mobile app development is skyrocketing and will remain a profitable niche for years to come. However, getting a personalized and feature-rich custom restaurant app is still a mind-boggling task for many of the restaurant owners and startups. That’s where a reputed and experienced software engineering studio like us comes to play! 

So, as an expert in restaurant mobile app development, today, we will be discussing the crucial steps through which you can create your custom restaurant app with less effort. So, without wasting any further, let’s get started! 

How to Create a Custom Restaurant Mobile App?

1. Understand your Goal behind Restaurant Mobile App Development

The first and foremost aspect that you need to consider for a successful restaurant mobile app development is to analyze your main goal. You need to have a very clear understanding of why you are developing this app, who will be your target audience, and how this app will solve their problems. 

Moreover, you would also need to validate your business idea with experts to check its feasibility. So, to solve your first half of the issue, we have listed down some prominent aspects that will support your idea of restaurant mobile app development.

For the latter part, you can start by exploring the top restaurant app development companies that offer consultation service for your business idea. Apart from that, you can also work on identifying the typeof your restaurant business and then plan a custom restaurant app accordingly. For instance:

Type of Restaurant

Customer’s Expectations

Tech Stack and API Needed

Fast Food Chain In a fast food chain, the seating is not required as such, and mostly the customers opt for takeaway. Hence, in such a scenario, the expectation would mostly be:

  • Quick Deliveries
  • Takeaways
  • Home Deliveries
  • Extra Bonuses
  • Today’s Special
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Digital Payments
In the fast food type of restaurant, you will be needing basic tech-stack and APIs like:

  • PayPal API
  • Google Maps API
  • Review API
  • Menu API
  • Food Delivery API like UberEats API
Leisure-Seated Restaurant In a comfortable-seated restaurant, the customer expectation changes drastically. You get customers of all age-groups and from all classes. Plus, your users also expect online menus and table reservation type of features from your custom restaurant app. Hence, the features and expectations would be:

  • Online Table Reservation
  • Digital Payments
  • Online Menus
  • On-Demand Waiter
  • Pre-Orders
  • Home Delivery
  • Offers and Discounts
  • Push Notifications
In a conformable cafe or restaurant type of business, the APIs will be more advanced like,

  • OpenTable API
  • PayPal API
  • Menu API
  • Discount API
  • Push API
Clubs and Resorts The clubs and resorts have completely different features and expectations. The customers there want to have quality and self time for themselves. That’s why, the expectations and features would be:

  • Online Booking
  • Digital Payments
  • Pre-Booking Alerts
  • Reviews and Ratings
  • Online Plan Upgradation
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Instant Offers
  • Push Notifications
  • On-Demand Services
Lastly comes the clubs and resorts which will further have different APIs than the other two categories. To name a few, we have:

  • Staylists API
  • Stripe API
  • DialogFlow
  • Firebase API
  • Artificial Intelligence

2. Select the Type of Restaurant Mobile App

Once you have a clear understanding of your main goal, the next thing that you need to choose is a relevant type of restaurant app. Now, many of you might not be aware, but, you can have multiple apps for your restaurant based on your requirements and the market trend. For instance, as per a 2014 report by status, over 55% of the customers used restaurant apps for browsing the online menus.

Hence, you need to select a suitable restaurant app for your business. Or else, you can even include the core functionalities of all the types of restaurant apps in your custom mobile application to make it versatile and to attract users from all spheres. Below, we have mentioned some of the prominent restaurant apps that can be created for your restaurant business:

  • Table Booking App
  • Restaurant Finder App
  • Online Food Delivery App
  • Promotional and Loyalty App
  • On-Table Ordering and Payment App
  • Ratings and Review App
  • Franchise App

3. Analyze your Competitors

Every niche has some or the other leaders that play big in the market due to the immense benefits that users get from them. Hence, if you are planning to create a successful custom restaurant app, then analyzing those market leaders is essential. So, below, we have listed some of the prominent restaurant apps that are trending in their respective niche. You can get an idea of the features that they offer to prepare your custom feature list.

Domino’s Pizza  

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Domino’s Pizza is one of the leading pizza delivery brands in the world. With its unique and user-frien;dy app, the users can order their favourite pizza at their doorsteps, can pay online, or can even opt for a takeaway option. Besides that, the huge customization options that Domino’s app offers has become a trendsetter for everyone today!

Features Included:

  • Menu Browser
  • Digital Payments
  • Online Deliveries
  • Takeaways
  • Track Delivery
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Order Customizations

Tech Stack Used:

  • jQuery
  • HTML5
  • Google Analytics
  • C#
  • JavaScript
  • ReactJS
  • Spring

Starbucks  

Image Source

Another prominent name in the field of restaurant market is Starbucks. This l;eading coffee serving brand is known for its user-friendly features and amazing loyalty rewarding functionalities through its dedicated app.  The users can pay their bills through the app and can earn rewards. Moreover, with accurate reminder API and push notifications, the company engages the users brillinalty by offering extra discounts through their loyalty and rewards app. 

Features Included:

  • In-App Menu
  • Special Offers
  • Push Notifications
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Online Payments

Tech Stack Used:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • .NET
  • Ruby
  • Splunk
  • Cassandra
  • Kubernetes

UberEats  

Image Source

When it comes to online food delivery, then nothing can beat the wonderful experience provided by the UberEats application. This online food delivery app offers everything to its customers; whether it be online tracking and digital payments, to discounts and food customizations.

Features Included:

  • Store Selection
  • Schedule Delivery
  • Reviews and Ratings’
  • Discount Coupons
  • Push Notifications
  • Delivery Alerts
  • Contact Store
  • Contact Delivery Agent

Tech Stack Used:

  • jQuery.
  • Python.
  • Node.js.
  • NGINX.
  • Java.
  • MySQL.
  • PostgreSQL.
  • MongoDB.

Yougurtland  

Image Source

Last but not least, we have Yougurtland, one of the pioneers of the ice-cream and frozen deserts in the entire USA and nearby areas. Yougurtland is a franchise app that offers the users a customization option for its products. That means, the customers can select the flavor of their ice-creams and yogurts from the list offered through the app. Besides that, the normal tracking, and schedule delivery option is also available in the Yougurtland app.

Features Included:

  • Live Tracking
  • Menu Customizations
  • Store Locator
  • Rewards
  • Schedule Delivery

Tech Stack Used:

  • Apache HTTP Server
  • WordPress
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Java
  • ReactJS
  • Spring
  • Flutter

4. Look for a Reputed Restaurant App Development Company

Now that one is very critical. A major part of the success for your restaurant mobile app development will depend on the selection of your development partner. For instance, a good restaurant app development company will have certain years of expertise in restaurant app development. Moreover they will also have access to the best resources and advanced tools that will further elevate your restaurant mobile app development.

Right from latest tech tools to expert consultation, and UI/UX services; an experienced and reliable restaurant app development company will offer you all these and much more services to enhance your custom app development, and make you a part of the market leaders. Hence, always choose wisely!

Look for the portfolios and case studies, try to understand their development methodology, search for automated tools that they offer. With all that, you will eventually have a basic idea of the level of that firm. Also, make sure that your development partner offers a cost-effective development approach for your project.   

5. Increase Your App’s Engagement

Now this one is tricker. How can you engage your users in the most effective way? Simple, with advanced and competitive features!

Features play a critical role in determining the neggagement, and eventually the success for your custom restaurant app. Like mentioned above, analyzing the tech-stack and APIs of your competitors and including the latest ones in your app will make it a hit in the market. Hence, to ensure a successful start, we have listed down some of the critical features that you should include in your custom restaurant app.

For Customers  

Features Description
Social Registration Your customers can socially register on your custom restaurant app through their social media accounts.
Online Order Make your app successful by offering online ordering capabilities to your customers.
Digital Payments Facilitate digital payments and offer multiple payment channels including card payments, digital wallets, iWatches, etc.
Order Tracking Make your order process transp[arent and easy for your customers by offering them real-time order tracking functionality. 
Favorites Let your customer repeat their past order quickly by offering them the facility to mark favourite dishes with one go.
Ratings and Reviews Improve your services and make your customer happy by enabling them to rate and review your dishes and deliveries. 
Contact Restaurant The customers can anytime contact the restaurant through chat or call with this option.
Contact Delivery Agent Ensure accurate and timely deliveries by connecting your delivery agents with the respective customer. 
Loyalty Rewards Increase your customer loyalty by offering them discount coupons, and referral rewards. 
Online Table Booking Enable your customers to book their favourite seat in your restaurant prior to their arrival and enhance their ease. 

For creating the customer panel, we would require multiple APIs and tech-stack, like:

  • Payment API (Stripe, PayPal)
  • Menu API
  • API for Text Messages (Twilio)
  • Table Booking APIs (OpenTable, Yelp Reservations API)
  • Social Media API (Facebook API)

For Delivery Agents  

Features Description
Order Details Offer your delivery partners accurate information of the complete order along with its payment status and delivery location.
Contact Store Make the delivery process more transparent for the delivery agents by enabling them to contact the restaurant anytime.
Contact Customer The delivery agents can connect with the specific customer anytime through call or chat for an accurate delivery.
Secure Route Make the delivery process secure and fast for your delivery partners by offering them secure routes and geolocation features. 
Confirm Delivery The delivery agents can marj the delivered products by scanning the signature of the customers online. 
Total Earnings Offer a centralized dashboard to the delivery partners about their total earnings including the tips through specific deliveries. 
Ratings and Reviews Help your delivery agents to improve their services by offering them the ratings and reviews of the customers directly through the app

To create delivery panel, you will have to include certain extra APIs in your restaurant mobile app development, like:

  • Messaging and calling API (Twilio)
  • Geolocation API (Google Maps, Bing Maps)
  • Delivery API (Delivery Confirmation)
  • Dashboard (Google Analytics)
  • Ratings and Reviews (justLikeAPI)

For Admins  

Features Description
Delivery Management Manage all your online deliveries and allocate the new orders to the available delivery agent through the app.
Stock Management Keep a track of all your inventory and warehouse stock and reorder before the stock ends through the app. 
Dine-In Management Monitor and track the complete list of all the customers that opted for dine-in facility and store their details in your custom restaurant app. 
Online Reservations Manage all your prior booking and online reservations and keep a track of their payments and time period.  
Order Confirmation Ensure that the right product is delivered to the right person at the right time by connecting with the delivery agents. 
Payment Management Manage all your payments, and keep a track of your daily and monthly earnings through the app. Alert customers about failed and pending payments directly through the app. 
Menu Management Make real-time changes in your menus and offer customization functionality to your valuable customers through menu APIs.
Table Reservations Manage all your table bookings along with the customer name and their details, and send them alerts on instant changes or for other schedules and cancellations.
Social Media Sharing Keep an eye on every post that mentions you or your business name in any of the social platforms though robust API and next-gen AI tools.
Loyalty Programs Engage your users in the most effective way by offering them in-app loyalty rewards, referral points, and instant discounts through app payments. 

To create the admin panel, we would be needing certain extra APIs apart from the ones used above, like,

  • Payment Management (Noodlio Pay, Stripe, Square API)
  • Loyalty Rewards (Loyalty API, Open Loyalty)
  • Social Media Sharing (Influencer Search, Hashtag, Facebook API, Tiktok API)
  • Table Reservations (TripFro Travel, Staylists)
  • Stock Management (Financial Data API)
  • Recipe Management ( WebKnox)

Besides all that, you will also need certain tech-stack to make your app more advanced and competitive amongst all the market leaders, like:

  • For Android App: Java, Kotlin
  • For iOS App: Swift, Objective-C
  • For Chat: AI and ML-based Chatbot Development
  • For Registrations: Facebook SDK, Gmail SDK
  • For Storage: AWS, Google, Azure, Digital Ocean
  • For Analytics: FireBase, Google Analytics

6. Test and Deploy

Finally, you need to test your custom restaurant app to make it error-free and smooth. Testing services locate the unidentified errors of the development, and offer suggestions to eliminate them. Moreover, it also ensures that your app is user-friendly and accessible as per your target audience. However, despite its crucialness, many of the businesses often skip this step and as such suffer loss of reputation and money just after a few days of launch.

Hence, we are sure you do not want to experience that type of situation for your custom restaurant app. That’s why, make sure to adopt any of the testing services (manual or automated) depending on your budget and need to make your app efficient and smooth. Automated testing works independently and offers more detailed errors of your app, while the manula one is less effective as it involves human testers. However, automated testing will eventually increase your overall cost of restaurant mobile app development. 

Also Read: Everything You Need to Know About Automation Testing

Other Factors to Consider for a Successful Restaurant Mobile App Development

 Besides the ones mentioned above, there are more critical factors that one has to consider to ensure a reliable and profitable restaurant mobile app development.

1. Create an MVP

MVP stands for minimal viable product. That means, a simple version that offers how your app will look after it has been created. Creating MVP is the best way to transform your idea into a reality without spending much of your time and cost on the development process. 

MVP offers you to choose the designs and features for your custom restaurant app, and then, the designers will prepare a prototype of that app with all those selected features and designs. Finally you can view how your app will look like, what features will be there, and what will happen if you click any specific button on your restaurant app. That means, right from creativity to redirection, everything can be validated by you, which eventually would result in an accurate and expected restaurant mobile app development. 

2. Select a Suitable Monetization Model

It is no doubt that your custom restaurant app will offer a 100% ROI. However, things take time and so is the case of restaurant mobile app development. Initially, you will have to work on some models that could bring your extra revenues from third-party sources. 

Hence, as a leader in restaurant mobile app development, we have listed some of the popular monetization models that you can leverage to earn a little extra during your initial days.

a. Third-Party Advertisements  

Offering your custom restaurant app for advertising to third-parties could help you generate extra revenue for a sufficient time. This specific monetization model has been adopted by many of the leading businesses.   

b. Subscription Models  

You can offer premium features and extra benefits to your users in return for an extra subscription fee. Customers are always ready to pay a little extra to get personalized and better features than others. 

c. Extra Commissions  

This particular monetization model is useful for the people that are creating a marketplace type of app for the restaurant t owners. You can probably charge an extra commission during peak hours to highlight a specific restaurant on your app. 

3. Choose App Submission Service

Make sure to choose the app submission service when mentioning your project requirements. Often it is seen that most businesses skip this step. Now, submitting your custom restaurant app on the Play Store/App Store consumes a lot of time, and requires experienced resources, and people may not have the related knowledge of doing that. Hence, to eliminate such tedious circumstances for your app, make sure you ask your development partner whether or not they provide the app submission services. 

Remember, a reputed and experienced company with certified restaurant app developers always offers app submission services to the customers. So, try to select a reputed and experienced restaurant app development company that offers all that.

4. Branding is Important

In today’s competitive world, branding is the most important aspect for any business or individuals who are planning to launch their app in the market. In fact, even if you include all the next-gen advanced features in your app, but if they are not accessible or catchy, then the users will uninstall your app within minutes after downloading it. 

Hence, make sure to invest heavily on the UI/UX aspect of your custom restaurant app. Include some simple yet engaging components, and offer an excellent experience to your customers with expert UI/UX designing services.

Also Read: Top 7 Tips to Hire the Best UI/UX Designer

How much does it cost to build a Custom Restaurant App?

Calculating the actual cost of developing a custom restaurant mobile app is surely a complex task, as it takes multiple factors into consideration. Right from expert consultation, and tech-stack to hiring dedicated restaurant app developers, and testing method; there are many things that directly or indirectly impacts the overall cost of restaurant mobile app development. Besides that, every business has their specific needs and to satisfy those needs we require different features. Hence, that also creates multiple cost variations of our restaurant mobile app development. So, the best way is to consult an expert and cost-effective app development company that offers expert consultation services. Also, try to find out those restaurant app development companies that could offer a free consultation service for your big business idea and have p[ast experience in restaurant mobile app development. That’s so, because it will not only save your cost, but will even offer you better insights into the restaurant app development market.

That’s where Matellio comes in! 

With over 15+ years of experience in app development and digital transformation services, we have been the first choice of the businesses when it comes to restaurant mobile app development. Right from advanced custom clones, to bespoke websites and feature-rich customized restaurant mobile apps, you can get almost anything and everything suited for your business needs. Our proficient and tech-savvy team of experts strive to deliver the best services to all our clients irrespective of their niche. Whether it be free expert consultation, personalized quote, agile methodology for cost savings, or even automated testing and post-launch technology upgradation, we have a plethora of enterprise-level services that can solve the problems of all the businesses in no time.

So, why wait when you can start today? Fill our form right away to book your free consultation slots!

Till then, Happy Reading!

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