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Restaurant Reservation App Development
Booking a seat in a popular restaurant is a big deal nowadays. Most of the time people have to go back as all the tables are already occupied.
Therefore, many food lovers are increasingly relying on restaurant table booking app to book a table at their favorite restaurant.
If you want to develop a mobile app to provide table booking service for your and all nearby hotels and restaurants, then you need to design it in such a way that it should be able to meet the needs of a diverse group of people.
If you look around, you will realize that the mobile apps for restaurants are a huge success both among the restaurant owners and their customers, and its popularity will increase even further in the coming years.
In the future, most experts agree that using app will be the most convenient way that people will order a meal or book a table in their favorite restaurant.
Advantages of a restaurant reservation app for the owner
Having a dedicated restaurant app serves you in more than one way. Some of the advantages that you may get when you build a restaurant app are as follows.
- Gives the owner advance information regarding how many people will come and at what time.
- The owner can make the dishes as per the advanced booking that is done through the restaurant app, reducing food wastage as well as minimizing the chance of customer refusal due to non-availability of food.
- It will help the owner to reduce the chance of open tables, thereby reducing their cost and improve profit margin.
- As all the information related to booking, payment and special orders are available in a centralized system the owners have complete control over their resources.
- Through a dedicated restaurant mobile app, the manager can access the past history of the customer and offer him/her those dishes that he/she had liked before.
- It helps the restaurant owners to minimize the time spent on the phone by taking any orders or reservations.
- A restaurant app allows the owner to send confirmation detail online, and if there is no table available, then also the owner can send a ‘not available message’ directly through the app.
- A restaurant app allows the owner to link it with a social media platform, which will help him to market this product in a better way, thereby increasing the sales.
- It allows the owner to promote the loyalty program wherein a regular customer gets special discounts as well as priority on any reservation and order. This, in turn, will help them to get repeat customers.
- The owner can improve the brand awareness of his/her restaurant through a mobile app.
The customers need to be repeatedly reminded of a brand to influence his/her decision. What could be the better way to do it than through a native restaurant app installed on his/her smartphone.
- It allows the owner to engage with the customers in a more personalized way by offering them with food that they want, providing outstanding service, friendly atmosphere that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed, and so on.
- A dedicated mobile app helps the owners to market their product/service in a better way and get improved ROI from their investment in advertising through your app.
Just like the restaurant owner, the app users also get several advantages when they use a dedicated app for seat booking in a restaurant.
The advantages a restaurant reservation app gives to a customer
- The customer does not have to make phone calls to confirm the reservation. He/she can get a mail/message on the app, confirming his/her reservation.
- The customers do not have to wait for an attendant to pick up the phone or anyone at the front desk of the restaurant to take care of their orders. They can look through the app and make a reservation and pay for the meal all through the app.
- A restaurant app allows the customer to look at the services of a restaurant any time they want. There is no constraint of time and availability of attendants as all the information is available online.
- The customer can read all the reviews of other patrons of the restaurant. This allows the customers to make a value judgment on whether they will like to visit that restaurant or not.
- It gives your customers the option of location-based meals. If you have more than one outlet, then they can get push notification for any new deals on any dishes when they are near one of your outlets.
- There is no waiting period as all the bookings are made in advance and paid for.
- The customer can look through the menu and select the dish that they want at their leisure. There is no time pressure to select their order.
Developing a restaurant reservation app is a highly specialized skill, and it needs professional help to build a highly functional and usable app.
If you are planning to build an app that will serve the app users by providing them a platform to book a table, then you should be aware that your app must contain some basic features.
Different processes in developing a restaurant reservation app
Developing an app is a long drawn and highly sophisticated process that contains several steps that need to be taken in a sequential form.
The 6 important steps that are there in the restaurant app development process includes:
1. Create a concept: Every app development process starts with a concept.
Here the app developer has a rough sketch in his mind considering the broad contours of the app and how it should function.
This concept is arrived at after studying the requirements of the customer and the past experience of the app developer in making similar apps.
2. Analysing the concept: This is the second step in creating a restaurant reservation app.
In this step, the concept is analysed threadbare for its functionalities and what are the challenges it may pose in front of the app developing team.
This is one of the most critical steps as experts finalize which concept to follow and which one to reject.
If there is any wrong selection during this stage, then it will cost the app development agency in terms of money, time and more importantly reputation.
3. Making a rough design for clients’ approval: In this stage, a rough sketch is created regarding the design of the app and what kind of features it would have.
This is the final theoretical stage, after this stage, the design and concept are given the final shape for developing a restaurant table booking app.
This step is important because here the client is able to look at how the final product will look like.
Once the client gives the approval, then the app development team starts the next stage of developing the app.
4. Developing the app: In this step all the planning, designing and consultation comes to execution.
The app developers start coding to develop the app, depending on the platform chosen by the client.
5. Testing the app: The final product is tested rigorously to ensure that it performs as per the requirement and does not contain any bug.
During this stage, the beta version of the app is distributed amongst a selected group of people who test it for any shortcomings.
Once all the performance and security issues are sorted out then the last and final stage is reached.
6.The launch of the app: Depending on your app (whether it is an Android restaurant app or iPhone restaurant app) you have to seek permission from Playstore or Apple store to launch your app.
Once the app is launched then you can market it online through different social media platforms to increase awareness about the app.
Important features of the restaurant reservation app
When you are planning to develop a restaurant table booking app, you should keep in mind some points that will help you to achieve your goal.
Streamline the process
The first thing you need to do when you plan to create a dedicated restaurant reservation app is to look at what your potential customers’ wants.
When you research what your customer might want through the mobile app, you will realize that the most basic thing they require is easy booking and easy payment option.
To do this you need to get information about any open tables for a walk-in customer in real time basis.
This will help you quickly guide them to those restaurants that have seats available and are also near your position.
There should be a reward program
There are many restaurant apps available in the market and if you want to compete with them, you need to offer something special for your customers.
One such feature that will help you to bring more customers to your business is by offering a reward system through your app.
The secure online payment system
The app design for your restaurant should have a secure payment option.
Customers like to keep their personal detail as well as any information regarding their financial transaction secure.
Keeping this in mind, the security of the information that they have uploaded to your dedicated app should be kept in a secure place with enough safety features to remove any chances of hacking.
Provide accurate navigation
When you are developing an app for your restaurant, make sure that the address of the restaurants is clearly shown.
Make use of the GPS to guide your clients to reach your restaurant without any hassle.
You can also name some important landmarks near the restaurant which will allow your clients to easily find it.
A limited access to your employees
If you are a big service provider of helping customers find the restaurant of their choice in a particular city, then you can provide some access to your employees, which they require to perform their job efficiently.
The more decentralization decision-making process you adopt, more efficient will be your system (if you operate in different cities).
However, make sure that when you are granting access to some of your employees’ make sure that the number of people who can see the personal information of the customers is kept at a minimum.
A feedback section
A feedback section integrated into your restaurant table booking app is very important if you want to improve your services.
A feedback section gives you an idea about those things which you are doing right in your business and those that you need to change.
Regular reminders from your customers are important to keep you on your toes and help you refine your services to a much higher level and thereby improve customer satisfaction.
As you are following the suggestion from your customers, it will help you to gain their confidence and improve their loyalty.
Therefore, never miss out on customer feedbacks if you want to ensure that your restaurant gets high approval rating from your regular customers.
Easy signup section
One of the most important components of a restaurant app is that your customers should be able to sign up easily.
Make sure that they do does not have to follow too many steps, but only have to upload very few personal details about themselves.
If you keep it simple, then people will love to sign up for your app otherwise they will get irritated and leave the app.
Easy to browse
The app you design for your restaurant should be easy to browse and your customers should be able to look at all the options without any problem.
Make sure that all the features of the app are easy to locate. If there are any discounts, then make sure that it is placed in such a position that it catches the eye of the viewer easily
An attractive looking homepage
In the hospitality sector, presentation plays a very important part. Make sure that the homepage where viewers go when they click on the app is attractively designed.
All the elements with internal links should be displayed on this page like the menu, special event, table booking, takeaways, and others.
You should ensure that your restaurant app allows your customers some special features, like to request private dining, view reservations, and others.
You can also give them some special options like instructing no onions in their meal, less pepper, and so on.
If you look at a mobile app, you will find that broadly speaking it has two parts.
One of this is the user page wherein the user can see all the services available through the app.
And the service providers part where the service provider has complete information regarding the traffic, payment details, and the user profile.
Major components of a restaurant table booking app
For a restaurant app, it is important that all the components are displayed clearly and are easily available.
Here we would like to share with you some major components that your app must have to run it smoothly and successfully.
This part is visible to the users of the app (customers) from where they can look around various functions of the app and place an order.
It should have the following features to ensure that the user has a fantastic experience ordering through this app.
- The login section for repeat customers and signup section for new customers.
- Browse option to look through the menu or even choose the seat location.
- Search result of all restaurant depending upon price, location or specialties.
- There should be a reservation page where you can book a table in advance for a limited number of people.
- It should have ‘add to favorite’ section that will allow the app users to select a restaurant as their favorite due to their service and dishes served.
- It should have a preference section that will allow the app user to book a table in a private cabin (if the restaurant has such a facility), a window seat, a seat in the open balcony or any others.
- The app users should be able to check if the reservation has been confirmed.
Just like the app users, the admin page is of immense importance because it allows the service provider to control the overall operation from a central location.
The admin panel should have the following features to help the managers to keep an eye on the business operations and run it smoothly.
- Table management is one of the most important components of the admin panel. It allows the managers to keep themselves updated in real time regarding the number of occupied tables and those that are waiting for customers.
- Profit maximization is another important component of the admin panel. In this section, all the revenue streams are collated to ensure that there is an efficient profit maximization process in place.
- Payment section allows the manager to keep track of the various payment method (debit/credit card, Paytm, mobile wallet, internet banking and so on).
- Record section in the admin panel keeps records of the voucher.
- There is the messaging section where email or SMS are sent to the customers to confirm their booking.
- The customer history section allows the managers to look at the dining history of a customer and suggest them the dishes of their past choices.
- There should be a 24-hour booking section that allows the owners to rent out the restaurant to a single party for the entire day for some special occasion (marriage, engagement, birthday party and so on).
- Real-time availability of free tables.
- Cancellation of an earlier booking section.
- QR codes
- Group booking feature.
As the article above has shown a dedicated mobile app for your restaurant has several benefits both for the owner of the restaurant as well as the customers.
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to invest in developing a sleek looking and highly and functional mobile app for your business.
However, when you decide to develop an app, make sure that you choose the right professional who has the expertise and experience developed the app that you want.