How to Make a Restaurant App: A Complete Guide

Published On: February 15, 2018
Last Updated: July 19, 2023
How to Make a Restaurant App: A Complete Guide

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, transforming various industries, and the restaurant industry is no exception.

According to Statista, 67% of consumers prefer to use a specific restaurant’s website or app to order food. The majority of the restaurants believed that 62% of the revenue was from takeout and delivery.

People who download mobile restaurant apps order 2X more than those who do not. So by creating a mobile app for your restaurant, you offer customers a seamless and convenient way to explore.

However, creating a restaurant app is daunting, especially if you are new to the world of mobile app development. So we have curated this guide to help restaurant owners like you understand the process easily.

Whether you own a small or big restaurant, this blog helps you understand the whole process. We will cover everything from defining your app’s purpose & functionality to selecting an app development company.

So, let’s get started by first understanding the benefits of making a restaurant app.

8 Benefits of Creating a Mobile App for Restaurant

Here are some of the benefits you can get by launching a mobile app for your restaurant:

1. Attract a Wider Audience

One of the essential benefits of having a mobile app for restaurants is utilizing geo-location marketing. Moreover, a restaurant app allows your business to reach your target audience locally.

Also, it is stated that localization helps to increase the conversation rate. Restaurants can execute some effective methods to reach potential users locally, such as iBeacon technology, location-based deals, and localized marketing.

For instance, with the help of a beacon, a small size device, you can send push notifications about offers to users nearby your area to attract them to your restaurant.

The core purpose of implementing these things is to attract more users and generate good revenue for your restaurant.

2. Loyalty & Referral Programs

The method of the punch-card system allows a customer to purchase something from your restaurant that has become old.

Businesses and customers don’t like to monitor all these things manually; hence, mobile-based loyalty programs have come to rescue.

Loyalty & Referral Programs

With the loyalty programs, you can provide a more personalized experience to your customers. You can also ensure that your customers take advantage of this program by continually reminding them via push notifications.

Besides this, you can provide incentives to all the users who refer your app to their family & friends and whenever these referrals make purchases.

3. Quick Reservation

With the help of a restaurant app, you can allow the users to book the table at their preferred place & time. Moreover, current smartphone users like to book a table from an app instead of walking to the restaurant or making a call.

Here, you can integrate your own booking service or any third-party booking service that helps users to book seats. By adding this thing, you provide a comfortable dining experience to the users.

4. Alert Customers via Push Notifications

From time to time, various restaurants come up with a wide range of exclusive deals and offers that they offer to customers in the festive season.

With the help of a restaurant app, you can send push notifications to all the app users about the running and the upcoming deals.

By implementing this thing, you will continuously be getting food orders from the customers.

5. Provide Personalized Mobile App Experience

One of the significant benefits you get by developing a restaurant app for your business is that you have the opportunity to initially collect data from the customers and then provide a highly customized user experience.

Provide Personalized Mobile App Experience

Moreover, by providing a personalized experience, you will be able to create a more engaged user base and increase the retention rate of your brand.

6. Ability to Enhance your Services

By integrating a feedback and review section in your restaurant app, you will get various viewpoints that your users have about your mobile app as well as the business in general.

Here, you will be able to know about the things that are not working as required. Apart from this, ratings & reviews provide new insights into what people want from your business. Hence, you can scale up your business in that direction.

7. Good Reviews on Ranking Sites

By developing a mobile app for your restaurant from a professional restaurant app development company, you have an opportunity to get great reviews on the ranking and review websites such as Yelp and more.

To achieve this, instead of requesting people to rate you on social media platforms, you can notify users to rate your business on a ranking and review site when they leave your restaurant.

For instance, if you find it challenging to grow your business due to low reviews on a review site, you can notify all the users who liked your services to share their reviews on this platform. By following this process, the review site can help you attract a wider audience.

8. Quick Access to Menu

A menu is the most integral part of a restaurant. If the menu is not displayed correctly on your targeted audience’s devices, they will instantly abandon it.

With the help of a mobile app, you can ensure that the menu is quick-to-access, available in the front & center of the screen.

Quick Access to Menu

By doing this, you allow your end-users to place their order online with just a few clicks on their smartphones.

Moreover, you can provide your end-users with a highly convenient experience and help them save their time and energy.

After going through some of the most important reasons to develop a mobile app for your restaurant, we will provide you with the step-by-step process to create a restaurant app.

But before that, you should know about the types of restaurant apps you can create. Let’s go through them quickly.

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Types of Restaurant Apps

There are 5 types of mobile apps for restaurants. Let’s have a brief about them:

Restaurant Locator App

This type of app guides users to reach a particular area/region and enables them to discover a vast number of restaurants nearby.

Urbanspoon & LocalEats are the two apps that fall under this category. Both apps work on the crowdsourcing model and offer various parameters to help users find the best dining outlets in a city.

Table Reservation App

Gone are the days where users liked to call a restaurant for booking. Currently, users want a variety of options to book seats in a restaurant.

Hence, if you plan to develop a table reservation app, you should include different methods to book seats. One good example that falls under this category is OpenTable.

On-table Ordering & Payment App

The majority of users don’t like to wait while placing an order and billing at a restaurant. The restaurant staff also does not like that a user has to wait for ordering and payment.

To resolve this issue, a restaurant app that allows users to perform specific tasks will be beneficial. The app will enable users to go through the digital menu, place an order in advance, and make payment later. This app allows you to reduce staff and automate various processes.

An excellent example of this type of app could be Dines.

Online Ordering & Delivery App

With each passing year, the craze of takeout and online ordering is reaching the next level. Therefore, it would be great to develop a food delivery app that streamline the delivery process for this segment of the target audience

One good example of this can be Uber Eats, which allows users to order and get food delivered at their doorstep.

Loyalty Program App

Retaining consumers is essential if you want to remain at the top of the restaurant industry. While selecting between two restaurants, a customer always loves to go with the one that offers the best deals and discounts.

If you build a restaurant app that provides top-notch deals to loyal customers, you can enhance your sales and take customer retention to the next level.

Starbucks is one such app that offers the best loyalty program for its consumers.

Want to Build Your Own Customized Restaurant App?

We will help you to build a customized app that suits your restaurant’s
unique offerings and captivate your audience.

How to to Create a Restaurant App

Follow the simple step-by-step process given below to build a highly-scalable restaurant app:

Step 1. Conduct a Market Research

After choosing the type of restaurant app you want to create, the first & foremost thing is to do thorough market research.

You have to identify the target audience of your mobile app thoroughly, what are the current issues faced by your users, and how you can build a restaurant mobile app that resolves their issues.

Step 2. Create a Business Document

You have done your market research. So now, what do you want to achieve by developing apps? Have you defined your business goals?

Answering these questions in a business document will help you understand how the app will fit into the strategy.

Apart from goals, you need to consider all the things that are mentioned in the image given below.

Create a Business Document

Lastly, you should identify the KPIs (Key Performance Indexes), business goals, and the most suitable ways to achieve the results.

Step 3. Select a Reliable App Development Team

Finding a reliable app development team is a time-consuming task. So you need to approach experienced professionals who work with industry-related projects. There are several options available:

  • You can hire freelancers. If they don’t have appropriate experience, the outcome is disastrous.
  • You can build your own IT team, but remember; it is time-consuming and expensive.
  • The most cost-effective option is hiring a restaurant app development company offering reliable mobile app development services.

Outsourcing the company can benefit you regarding quality and app development costs. They manage all tasks and processes with their team of professionals.

Step 4. Define App Features

At this stage, you have identified your goals and selected the development team, so it’s time to decide on the features of your restaurant app. Collaborate with professionals and outline features that must be implemented during development. These features will shape the functionality and user experience of your app.

Step 5. Choose Tech Stack

Selecting the right tech stack is essential for successfully developing your restaurant app.

Determine whether you want to develop a native app (iOS or Android) or a cross-platform app. Choose a programming language and framework for your front-end & back-end app development.

The tech stack will differ based on your decision. The company you work with helps you choose the required technology stack.

Step 6. Design a Restaurant App

The sole purpose of building a restaurant app is to resolve users’ issues and provide a flawless user experience. For this, you need to create an elegant design.

Moreover, the design is one of the most crucial parts of the restaurant app. Therefore, you should ensure that your app is designed based on the latest app design practices.

Designers work on the UX wireframes and define how users will interact with the app. They ensure to create a user-friendly navigation element. Also, creating a unique logo and different illustrations will make your app stand out.

Step 7. Develop a Restaurant App

As soon as your restaurant’s app design is completed, the next step is to convert it into a full-fledged mobile app.

It includes implementing features, integrating third-party APIs, and more to turn your idea into reality.

You will need a lot of time and effort to develop a mobile app, and a single person can’t handle it; therefore, we recommend you approach a mobile app development company.

They will understand your project needs and deliver you the best mobile app based on your future goals and market trends.

Step 8. Test & Deploy your Restaurant App

After your app is developed, you need to check it twice and confirm that all the features and functionalities are working as required to ensure minimal errors.

After this, you need to publish your app on the relevant app store, such as the play store for android and the app store for iOS.

Step 9. Decide Marketing Strategy

The majority of people think that their work is over after launching their app in the store. But, that’s not the ideal case.

After your app is published, you need to decide on a marketing strategy and promote your app. It ensures that your app reaches your target audience.

If you are not familiar with marketing, you can hire a mobile app marketing agency. They will help you decide the marketing strategy based on your business goals and execute it effectively.

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Features and Functionalities of Restaurant App

Once you have decided to create a restaurant app for your business, it is of immense importance to include the necessary features and functionalities to make sure that the app correctly serves the intended purpose of use. Let us glance through the major features and functionalities for restaurant app development.

Restaurant Profile

This feature allows the restaurants to create their profiles and categorize themselves according to the type of cuisines they offer so that customers can find them easily. Moreover, the restaurants can share their brief introduction with the help of this feature.

Menu

The menu feature allows restaurants to display the available food items, which customers can easily view and order. Moreover, restaurants can also add, change, or delete items from the menu as per availability.

Online Ordering

This feature enables customers to place their orders with utmost ease and convenience when they are not physically visiting the restaurant.

Order Management

With this feature, the restaurants can manage all orders in one place and serve the customers chronologically without delays.

Table Reservation

The table reservation feature in the app allows pre-booking of tables to reduce waiting time while visiting the restaurant.

In-App Payment

The in-app payment feature enables walk-in customers as well as customers with online orders to make payments securely and seamlessly with different payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, internet banking, & cash payment.

Online Food Tracking

The food tracking feature allows customers to get the live location of the food delivery partner and the estimated time of delivery.

Social Media Integration

Social media integration feature has become a necessity in today’s digital world which plays a significant role in building brand awareness. Moreover, sharing images and videos on different social media accounts has become convenient.

Customer Support

With the help of this feature, customers can easily contact the support service to get their queries resolved timely, effectively, and efficiently.

Customer Feedback

This feature allows customers to provide valuable feedback based on their experience and suggestions for improvement. The restaurants, on the other hand, study the customer feedback and take the necessary steps accordingly.

In addition to the features and functionalities mentioned above, there can be a number of others that can be integrated into the app by the developers depending on the exact needs when business owners plan to create a restaurant app.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Restaurant App?

The cost of a simple restaurant app with basic features will range from US $1,000 to $5,000.

On the other hand, a complex restaurant app with a 3D view of the restaurant, tracking orders, etc., will cost you US $25,000 to $50,000 or more.

The cost of developing a restaurant app depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the app, features & functionalities, cross-platform compatibility, and many more.

It is recommended to contact us to get a more accurate estimate. We will analyze your specific requirements and provide you with customized quotes.

Conclusion

We hope you have understood the benefits of mobile apps for your restaurant and the overall restaurant app development process.

Lastly, if you plan to create a mobile app for your restaurant, don’t hesitate to share your requirements with us.

Guru TechnoLabs is a professional restaurant app development company. We can understand your business and deliver the ultimate restaurant mobile app considering your current and future goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we offer customized restaurant app development solutions exactly according to your needs and requirements with all features & functionalities.

The total time taken to create a restaurant app depends on different factors such as the complexity of the app, features & functionalities of the app, launching platform, and many more. Creating a restaurant app usually takes somewhere between 8 – 36 weeks approximately.

Restaurant apps can generate revenue through various monetization strategies, including subscriptions, in-app advertising, & more. Consult with our experts to help you determine the best monetization approach for your restaurant app.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.