How to Develop a Restaurant Mobile App from Scratch in 7 Steps [+Development Cost]

Want to create a restaurant mobile app?
Then this data might surprise you.

People ordering food via phone has increased by 36% which was previously at 36.4 million users which now stands at 49.5 million users.

It’s time to switch to online ordering. Apart from convenience, customers are also looking for sustainability, reduced portions, and customized options. Being a well-known mobile app development company, we suggest you consider developing a restaurant app for your business as an owner.

We will discuss how you should proceed with restaurant app development in detail. We will focus on the restaurant mobile app development costs and the team needed to build a successful solution.

Statistics of Restaurant Mobile App Development Market

The restaurant industry has seen noticeable growth in the past few years. This segment grew during the pandemic due to the need for online food delivery.

However, there has been a significant shift in the consumer mindset in the past few years. They are more aware of what they eat and conscious of sustainability.

  • 81% of the customers want companies to care about the environment (Nielson)
  • There has been a significant rise in virtual restaurants, which cater to broader audience requirements. They offer better flexibility in terms of menu and pricing. These restaurants can also help reduce overheads.
  • In 2020, the food delivery industry observed a $230.509 billion revenue. The industry revenue is estimated to reach $339.257 trillion by 2022
  • 60% of the global online food ordering market belongs to platform-to-consumer delivery (Grandviewresearch).
  • Despite the growing number of third-party apps, customers trust restaurant apps more. They want to use the branded app, which will convert faster.

If you are planning an online food delivery app for your restaurant business. As a restaurant owner, you require the best mobile app development team structure to convert your idea into a successful custom restaurant app.

For the right food ordering app development, you should know to follow several steps, including validating the restaurant food app idea. Let’s discuss the top steps you should follow to develop the restaurant app.

How to Create a Restaurant Mobile App in 7 Steps [Step-by-Step Process]

If you are planning a food delivery app or restaurant ordering app, you should know what the audience wants. Apart from that, you should realize the gaps in the operation of online food delivery services. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plan an app for your business to improve customer loyalty.

  1. Analyze the Most Common Types of Restaurant Apps

  2. As part of the restaurant mobile app development process, you should first look at the different restaurant app types in the market. Here we will discuss 5 common types of restaurant apps that seem to offer the requirements of the end users.

    • Restaurant-Supplier Platform

    • Raw materials are essential to run a successful restaurant chain. With this restaurant management app type, you can quickly cash in on fresh produce and beverages that you need.

    • Restaurant to Customer

    • This is a direct restaurant app that allows businesses to connect with the target audience. You can offer restaurant services such as table reservations, online orders, and reviews that can improve the downloads for your restaurant app.

    • Restaurant Ordering App

    • The users can browse through the menu, look at the prices, and place orders to nearby restaurants with this application. It can help restaurants boost their revenue.

    • Table Reservation App

    • This restaurant app is dedicated to enabling users to book their table beforehand so that they don’t experience queues.

    • Restaurant Locator App

    • Restaurant owners can use this application to ensure their restaurant tops the results page. These locator apps help the users know dining locations nearby that they can visit.

    Tools Required to Analyze Common Types of Restaurant Apps

    Tools to Analyze the AppsDescription
    Google
    • Search the top restaurant apps on Google.
    • Determine what are some of the app types that are successful
    Google Play Store
    • Search the top restaurant apps in the Play Store
    • Analyze the top apps and learn from them
    Apple App Store
    • Find the apps that are Apple-specific
    • Look for the top app types that rank higher
    Tech Magazines
    • Several tech magazines talk about the successful restaurant app
    • You can use these to segment the app types and check the gaps

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    • Find out the type of restaurant app trending in the market
    • Determine what your competition is doing right to survive the stiff competition
    • Know the latest restaurant app development trends that you should incorporate
    • In-depth analysis of the apps for the food business and what makes them attractive.
  3. Make a List of Features You Would like to Add to the App

  4. Based on your analysis of the top restaurant apps, you can build a list of top features that are non-negotiable. Let’s discuss the top must-have features for your restaurant app. Even, you can book an app development consulting services and ensure these features are available.

    List of Restaurant FeaturesDescription
    Push Notifications
    • Keeps the user updated about the restaurant
    • It pushes the new updates on the app in real-time to the user
    • Increases app engagement
    • Relays information related to discounts
    • Increases customer loyalty
    GPS Tracking
    • Know where the delivery person is in real-time
    • Track your food from the restaurant (order placed, on the way etc.)
    Integrate Payment App
    • Enables online payments for better convenience
    • Integrates multiple payment options
    • User-friendly payments for better accessibility
    Social Integration
    • Share your views on the food on your social media profile
    • Sign up to the restaurant app with social media
    • Connect the social media profile to the loyalty programs and rewards apps
    • Use social media to lure customers by sharing the new launches, best food, and other aspects to add loyal customers
    Reviews/Rating
    • This will help you fetch more customers to your business.
    • Customer-side ratings and reviews on food, ambiance, and other factors
    • A highly rated app will help improve the customer acquisition for your business
    Reservations
    • Allow users to reserve tables online before entering the restaurant
    • This is essential especially during the weekends when the rush is high
    • It allows users to book their favorite places beforehand
    Recommendations
    • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help learn more about the users
    • Recommend the restaurants and dishes based on their past online orders
    • Personalize the restaurant page to suit their search or ordering needs
    Loyalty Program
    • You can improve retention with discounts and rewards
    • Introduce a loyalty program in your mobile app that offers cashback, points, and freebies
    Cooking Instructions
    • People may be ordering for certain conditions
    • It is important to allow users to include the instructions such as salt-free food, keep it light or something similar
    Dashboard
    • A place where the restaurant owners can view the orders placed, sales for the month and other details
    Order Management
    • Helps restaurants know whether to accept/reject the order
    • Updates the status of the order

    Tools Required to Gather the List of Restaurant App Features

    ToolsDescription
    Google
    • Find out the top restaurant apps that are top performing
    • Research the apps, find the features that are available on them, and list them out
    Brainstorming
    • Talk to people in your team about the apps they use
    • Find out what the end users need most
    Mapping Tools
    • This will help identify what will help make the restaurant app useful
    • Build scenarios that can improve usage and usability of the application

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    • Complete feature list that helps us build the mobile application in tune with the user specifications
    • Know what will make the user use the restaurant app
    • Learn more about the add-on features that can increase downloads and engagement

    Want to Develop an App for Your Restaurant Business?

    Get a professional consultation from our app development team and build a custom restaurant mobile app according to your requirement.

  5. Decide Whether You Want to Develop Restaurant Supplier Platform or Restaurant Customer Platform

  6. It is essential for you to determine the objectives of food delivery app development before investing your time and money in it. There are several facets to choosing the best platform for your restaurant app. Here we will discuss these in detail.

    • Research Target Market

    • After thorough research, you need to identify the target market for which you are building the app solution. It could be restaurant owners, employees, or end customers. The target market will help identify the problems you can solve.

    • Identify the Problem

    • Once you have defined the target market, your next step is to look at the problems in this market. For example, do business owners have issues managing the inventory? Are they tackling issues concerning the supply chain?

      Knowing the issues can help you determine the solution better. It will help you progress towards the restaurant app type you should build.

    • Know the Gaps

    • As part of the process, you should conduct a thorough competitor analysis. It will help you know the gaps in the current apps that rule the system. For example, if there is an online ordering app that doesn’t include a feature that can grab engagement, you should mark this in your mobile app.

    • Define the Goals

    • Lastly, as part of this process, you should define the goals for your restaurant business. It could be visible through the app, better management, or increased acquisition. The mobile app should be in sync with the goals you have defined.

      With these four steps, you should be able to determine the basic app you should develop for the business.

    Tools Required to Identify the Target Market

    The following table includes the best tools which will help you to identify the target market and help you to build a restaurant supplier platform.

    ToolsDescription
    Data Analytics Tools
    • Helps analyze the raw data
    • It will build insights that can improve your understanding of the target market
    Focused Group Discussion
    • Create small groups from the target market to understand the issues
    • Check out what kind of apps they like using
    Secondary Research with Google
    • Identify the top apps that can help with research and analysis
    • Search for successful restaurant ordering apps that offer better solutions to the end users
    • Learn why they are good
    Smart Sheets
    • Define goals and build the target you aim to achieve with restaurant mobile app

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    • You can identify the needs of the restaurant app market
    • Goals that you have for business and marketing
    • Know the audience better
  7. Choose The Tech Stack According to Your App Type

  8. The tech stack plays a pivotal role in choosing the restaurant app developers. If you are planning a native application, you might opt for an iOS or Android app. You can accordingly choose the technology you aim to use. At the same time, if you plan to develop a cross-platform mobile app, your tech stack will be slightly different. It will again help choose restaurant mobile app developers.

    You need to consider several aspects when choosing the tech stack.

    • Size and Complexity

    • Whether you are building a mobile or web application, the size of the project helps you determine the technology you should use. For example, if you need a lightweight mobile app that runs on multiple platforms, you can choose React Native app development.

      However, if you plan to use advanced technologies such as Augmented Reality to build your application, you might need to opt for a stronger mobile app development framework or native development approach.

    • Speed and Performance Requirements

    • If you want to develop a high-speed mobile application that doesn’t make your user wait, you should choose the technology that best fits the requirement. You can go with native application development, as the application can easily use the components without delay.

    • Budget Constraints

    • If you are on a tight budget and need an app for all platforms, you can go with cross-platform technologies. However, if you have a good budget, you can choose the technology accordingly

    • Flexibility and Scalability

    • If you plan custom app development for your restaurant business, you should ensure proper flexibility. It should allow you to scale the app with an increase in customers. You should be able to add features and functionality to meet new business needs.

    • Security and Safety

    • This is important when choosing the technology stack. Security should be core to development if you are planning it for multiple operating systems or want to use native development services. The security goals will impact your choice of technology for building the mobile application.

    • Development Team Expertise

    • If you have an in-house team for software development, your tech stack will depend on the expertise they offer. If the team is nascent and still lacks experience, you might choose the tech stack and app type that meets the requirements. You can hire a dedicated developer that meets the app goals if you have more budget to add resources to the team.

    • Delivery Timelines

    • This can also impact your tech stack choice. If you plan to launch the app soon, you should go with cross-platform development. However, if you have time to launch the app, you can use a tech stack that supports the goal.

    Tools Required to Develop High-end Restaurant App

    ToolsDescription
    Lucidchart, Draw.io
    • Helps with defining the software architecture that can identify the tech stack best suited for the needs
    Miro
    • Helps strategize the mobile application
    • Identifies how the target market uses the application
    • Determines the goals for the application
    Figma
    • Helps with user experience design for the mobile app
    • Plan the app screen designs

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    • A complete understanding of the software architecture to help choose the technology
    • User experience design to understand how the audience will use it
    • Prototyping of the application to learn how users will navigate through the mobile application
  9. Start Restaurant App Development

  10. After you have chosen the technology stack, it is time to develop the restaurant app. You should choose the restaurant app development services to help you build the application at this stage.

    You will need to use the technology stack you had defined earlier to build the mobile application.

    Here are some steps that can help you choose the right app development company for your restaurant app.

    • Research the Network

    • If you have a professional network, ask around to find the perfect software development partner. You can even check with the national restaurant association if they can recommend someone for the mobile app development.

    • Shortlist the Developers

    • Here are a few things you can use to shortlist the restaurant app development companies.

      • Their project management capabilities
      • Customer feedback
      • Estimated app cost
      • Portfolio

    These are some of the things that can help you choose the right restaurant app development company for Android or iPhone app development.

    • In-person Interview

    • You should connect with each of these companies in-person or virtually to understand their capabilities. It will help if you ask the right questions during the interview to know their understanding of the technologies.

    • Check the Portfolio

    • If they have an active portfolio of apps on their website, use it to determine if the app development company is suited to meet your requirements.

    Tools Required to Start the Restaurant App Development

    Front-end Development ToolsDescription
    Xamarin
    • Microsoft partnered tool that allows you to access all the native devices
    • Access the latest version of operating system and device
    • Develop, test and deploy from the same place
    • Platform-specific intellisense ensures fast coding of the applications
    • Create high-performance shared best Android libraries for instant development
    Flutter
    • Helps deliver mobile app interfaces for multiple platforms
    • Design the interface once and share it across the multiple systems
    • Accelerated app development
    • Widget-based frontend solutions
    • Used for both native and cross-platform app development
    Framework7
    • Uses popular technologies such as HTML and Java to build apps
    • You get iOS specific UI elements with this tool
    • Widgets and UI elements easily accessible
    Appcelerator
    • Mono framework allows you to access all the UI elements
    • Application indexing and deep linking for better discoverability
    Back-end Development ToolsDescription
    Firebase
    • Backed by Google for backend development and deployment
    • Real-time database, crash reporting and cloud-based solutions available
    AWS
    • Helps manage the development stage for the Android and iOS apps
    • Tools allow you to develop own app easily
    • Scalable and flexible environment
    • Comes with innovative features
    AppWrite
    • Open-source backend tool that integrates with most SDKs
    • Self-hosted server package with Docker containers
    • Excellent documentation that guides you through backend development

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    • An application developed to fit the business goals
    • Strategy for marketing campaigns
    • Clean coded solution
    • Interactive interface
  11. Test Your Mobile App Thoroughly Before Launching an App

  12. Before launching the mobile app to the respective store, you should be convinced about its potential. It should meet the speed and performance requirements specified by your business goals. If your target audience demands high-definition applications, you should be producing the same.

    Testing is an important activity as it checks for bugs and ensures quicker resolution of issues. You should follow these steps to make your app testing full-proof.

    1. Implementing the Strategy

    2. The first step is to have a strategy to build your test cases. You can answer these questions to help define the strategy

      • What is the goal of testing the mobile application?
      • What are the scenarios you want to test?
      • Who is your audience, and how do they plan to use the application?
    3. Define the Testing Tools

    4. Just like the development tech stack, you should have a defined testing tech stack. It will help you choose the right technologies and tools to improve your app’s testing capabilities. You can different tools in tune with the purpose of the test.

    5. Write the Test Cases

    6. You can use the scenarios to build the test cases. This aspect can be automated if you have the right scripting tool. Use the scripting tool to generate the test case and improve the restaurant app testing.

    7. Execute the Test Cases

    8. Once you are done with the test cases, you should execute them. It will help identify the bugs, issues, and quality-related problems within the restaurant app at the early stage. As a result, you can improve the app development for a restaurant.

    Tools Required to Test Your Restaurant App Before Launching

    There are various tools that can help test the restaurant app for different scenarios. We will use these tools to test performance, automate functionality testing and enhance app development. The ultimate aim of this stage is to launch error-free mobile apps.

    ToolsDescription
    Functionality Testing Tools
    • These tools are used to check if the functionality is in sync with the goals defined for the screen
    • Every element is checked for the function
    • Tools like Selenium, Worksoft Certify, and UFT are used for this purpose
    Automated Testing Tools
    • These tools aim to improve the speed of application testing
    • They are used to ensure the quick launch of the restaurant app
    • Appium, UI Automator are some of the quick launch tools
    • They accelerate test writing and testing of restaurant mobile applications
    Performance Testing Tool
    • It is important to test restaurant apps for their performance
    • Tools like JMeter, HeadSpin and WebLoad can help with improving the performance and speed of the application

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    At the end of this stage, you will get a fully checked and tested application. It will be tested for quality, performance, and load. The idea is to make the restaurant app in sync with the guidelines defined for the platform.

  13. Launch Your Mobile App to Play Store or App Store

  14. The final step is the launch the mobile app to the store. Before you launch the mobile app, you might have to optimize it, align it to the app store guidelines, and then deploy it.

    • Optimize the Application

    • It is important to write the title and description of your restaurant app. Use keyword research tools to identify the key phrases that can attract the audience to your restaurant mobile app.

    • License for Store

    • You need to get the developer license to deploy the restaurant apps to the respective mobile stores. You may have to pay a specific amount to get your app deployed

    Tools Required to Optimise App Store After Launching the App

    ToolsDescription
    Keyword Searching Tools
    • Google Adwords, Keyword planning tools etc. are top planning tools
    • Check Google search to identify key phrases that users use to search the restaurant app

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

    • A fully optimized mobile application that is discoverable to the target market
    • Application that syncs with the target market’s requirements

How Much Does it Cost to Develop Restaurant Mobile App?

The restaurant mobile app costs $10,000 to $1,50,000 depending upon the project scope.

The cost of app development depends on several factors. It varies based on the type of app you are building, the features you aim to include, and the tech stack you are using.

The following table includes the total cost, features, and development team required to develop a simple and advanced restaurant mobile app.

Comparison FactorsSimple Restaurant AppAdvance Restaurant App
Cost$10,000 to $50,000+$25,000 to $1,00,000+
Features
  • Menu
  • Online food ordering
  • In-app payments
  • Notifications
  • Reviews
  • GPS tracker
  • Table or meal booking
  • Online reservations
  • Social media integration
  • Menu for the restaurant apps with complete customization options
  • Feedback
Size of Development Team
  • 2 Developers
  • 1 Designer
  • 1 QA Developer
  • 4 Developers
  • 1 Designer
  • 1 QA Developer

There are several factors that you need to consider when planning the cost of development. This includes the following factor.

  • App type- functionality, features, and advanced technologies
  • Total resources required and the developer expertise
  • Timeline and budget
  • Tech stack

Next, check the total timeline of developing a restaurant mobile app.

How Much Time Does It Take to Develop a Restaurant App?

The following table includes the app development timeline, features, and examples.

Comparison FactorsSimple Restaurant AppAdvance Restaurant App
Timeline2 to 5 Months3 to 8 Months
Features
  • User & Accounts
  • User Generated Content
  • Date and Location Management
  • Scalable Text
  • Push Notification
  • Augmented Reality
  • Google Indoor Maps
  • Payment Gateway Integration
Examples
  • Note-taking Apps
  • Travel Planning Apps
  • Book Review App
  • On-demand Delivery Apps
  • eCommerce Mobile Apps
  • Social Media Apps

Want to Know the Cost of Restaurant App Development?

Talk to us. Let our professional restaurant app development consultant analyze your requirement and develop a fully functional on-demand mobile app for your business.

Let’s look at some of the top restaurant mobile apps.

8 Best Examples of Restaurant Mobile Apps

Restaurant mobile app development enables business owners to acquire more customers and improve the bottom line. Here are top restaurant apps that have incredible features and enhance customer experiences.

AppsFeaturesReviews (Playstore)
Dominos Pizza

Dominos Pizza

  • Discounts and offers
  • Information on safety
  • Menu with pricing
  • Customization options
  • New combos and offers
4.2

(916203 votes)
Starbucks

Starbucks

  • Loyalty program that allows you to earn stars
  • Pickup and scan to pay
  • Customizations for the order
  • Redeem loyalty points from the app
  • Gift car feature available
4.6

(695k reviews)
Chipotle

Chipotle

  • REwards earning program
  • Redeem through the app
  • GPS tracking to know where your order is
  • Reorder your previous favorites
  • Know the ingredients used to make the dishes
3.5

(105k reviews)
7Shifts

7Shifts

  • Split your staff into schedules and shifts with ease
  • Real-time communication about work with the staff
  • Checklists of the work to empower your staff and manage accountability
  • One-click dashboard to view everything from sales to resources
  • Know your resource availability
4.7

(4.24k reviews)
BlueCart logo

BlueCart

  • Manage your inventory with order guides
  • Check the orders placed and their status
  • Reorder the same items when needed
  • Check your order history
  • Check the profile of the vendor
3.9

(47 reviews)
OpenTable

OpenTable

  • Find the tables and right experiences for the evening
  • Choose the restaurant based on your dining requirements
  • Book your table for the evening
4.7

(145k reviews)
Yelp

Yelp

  • Book the table for the night
  • Check the waitlist for the restaurant
  • Find out the best restaurant in the neighborhood
  • Know and compare the prices of the restaurants
  • Book a table
  • Save the restaurant for future
4.5

(519k reviews)
Zomato

Zomato

  • Find restaurants for dining or takeaway
  • Check out the full menu with the pricing
  • Discounts available
  • Get ratings and reviews
  • Track the food you have ordered using GPS tracker
  • Order management
3.9

(6.78 million reviews)

Now that we have looked at the top restaurant mobile apps, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions.

FAQ About Restaurant Mobile App Development

What are the factors to consider while building a successful restaurant mobile app?

Here is a list of factors to consider while developing a restaurant mobile app.

  • The quality of your restaurant mobile app should be top-notch. Ensure all the features and functionalities are integrated properly.
  • Make sure to launch your mobile app faster as during the development time you are only investing your money. Once, the app is launched, you can start monetizing your app.
  • Consistently maintain your app even after launching. Update your app whenever a new iOS and Android version gets releases as well.

What are the best platforms to hire mobile app developers?

You can hire a restaurant app development company from the following places

List of Platforms to Hire App DevelopersDescription
LinkedInA professional network where you are likely to find the software development company that matches your requirements
UpworkIt is the place where most of the food delivery app development companies are listed
Online DirectoriesCompanies would list their services and budget in these places
GoogleMyBusinessAn excellent place to find someone who can develop an app to order food

Ready to Launch Restaurant Mobile App?

We discussed in detail the steps that will guide restaurant mobile app development. You should first note the different restaurant app types available in the market, know your target market’s problems, and define the solution.

Choosing the tech stack is pivotal to successful restaurant mobile app development. As part of this article, we saw how to choose the tech stack and proceed with development and testing.

The cost of your mobile app depends exclusively on the features and app complexity. Choosing the right Android app development partner for your mobile app solution is important.

Space-O Technologies is a leading mobile app development company with apt experience and expertise in restaurant app solutions. We have delivered over 50+ restaurant apps in the past.

Connect with our team to build a thriving business with the right software solution.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.