A Complete Guide to Restaurant App Development [7 Steps + Development Cost]

Have a restaurant app idea?Want to create a restaurant mobile app?
Not sure, how to proceed further? You are at a right place.

Being a well-known mobile app development company, we suggest you consider developing restaurant delivery app for your business as an restaurant 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 Application 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.

  • In April 2023, the food delivery website doordash.com was the most visited in the restaurant and delivery category in the United States.(Statista)
  • With a market share of 65 percent, DoorDash dominated the online food delivery market in the United States as of February 2023. Meanwhile, Uber Eats held the second-highest share with 23 percent. (Statista)
  • In a 2021 survey, 67% of US consumers preferred using a restaurant’s own app or website for food delivery, while 33% favored other methods like third-party apps or websites. (Statista)

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 and for better brand recognition.

For the right online 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 Application 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

    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.

    1. 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.

    2. Restaurant to Customer

      This is a direct restaurant app that allows restaurant 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.

    3. 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.

    4. Table Reservation App

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

    5. 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
    • 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 delivery 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.
  2. Make a List of Features You Would like to Add to the App

    Based on your analysis of the top restaurant apps, you can build a list of top features for your food business 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.

  3. 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 streamlined payment processing experience
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 food ordering needs
    Loyalty Program
    • You can improve retention with discounts and rewards
    • Introduce loyalty programs 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
    • 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

    • 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
    • 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
    • Complete feature list that helps us build the restaurant 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?

    Consult our app development team and get a custom restaurant app built to your requirements.

    Cta Image
  4. Decide Whether You Want to Develop Restaurant Supplier Platform or Restaurant Customer Platform

    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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. Know the Gaps

      As part of the resurant app development 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.

    4. Define the Goals

      Lastly, as part of this restaurant app development 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.

    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
  5. Technology Stack Used in Restaurant App Development

    The technology 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 and programming languages you aim to use. At the same time, if you plan to develop a cross-platform mobile app, your technology stack will be slightly different. It will again help choose restaurant mobile app developers

    Below is a table that outlines a technology stack used in the development of a restaurant app. This stack includes technologies for the front-end (user interface), back-end (server-side logic), database, and other tools that might be used.

    Front-endReact, Angular, Vue.js, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
    Mobile AppReact Native, Swift (iOS), Kotlin (Android)
    Back-endNode.js, Express, Django, Ruby on Rails, Spring Boot
    DatabaseMySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB
    API IntegrationRESTful APIs, GraphQL
    AuthenticationOAuth, JWT
    Cloud ServicesAWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform
    Testing ToolsJest, Mocha, Selenium
    Continuous Integration/DeploymentJenkins, GitLab CI, Travis CI, CircleCI
    Payment GatewayStripe, PayPal, Braintree
    GeolocationGoogle Maps API, Mapbox
    NotificationsFirebase Cloud Messaging, Apple Push Notification Service (APNs)

    What Results to Expect After Completing this Stage?

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

    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 mobile app development company for your restaurant app.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    1. In-person Interview

      You should connect with each of these restaurant app development 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.

    2. Check the Portfolio

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

    Tools Required to Start the Restaurant App Development

    Front-end Development ToolsDescription
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Mono framework allows you to access all the UI elements
    • Application indexing and deep linking for better discoverability
    Back-end Development ToolsDescription
    • Backed by Google for backend development and deployment
    • Real-time database, crash reporting and cloud-based solutions available
    • 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
    • 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
  7. Test Your Mobile App Thoroughly Before Launching an App

    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

      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?
    2. Define the Testing Tools

      Just like the development stack, you should have a defined testing technology 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.

    3. Write the Test Cases

      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.

    4. Execute the Test Cases

      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.

    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.

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

    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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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

    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 technology 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+
  • 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
  • User & Accounts
  • User Generated Content
  • Date and Location Management
  • Scalable Text
  • Push Notification
  • Augmented Reality
  • Google Indoor Maps
  • Payment Gateway Integration
  • 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.

9 Benefits of Creating Restaurant App

Creating a restaurant app can offer 9 top benefits, both for the business and its customers like:

  • Improves Customer Experience: A restaurant app streamlines the ordering process, making it more convenient for customers. It can offer features like order tracking, menu browsing, and personalized recommendations, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Boosts Sales: An app can increase sales by making it easier for customers to place orders anytime, anywhere. It can also promote upselling and cross-selling by suggesting add-ons or complementary items.
  • Enhances Customer Loyalty: By integrating with a loyalty program and offering rewards for repeat purchases, an app can foster customer loyalty. Personalized offers can also make customers feel valued and encourage repeat business.
  • Facilitates Better Data Collection: A restaurant app can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and ordering habits. This data can be used to refine services, tailor marketing strategies, and make informed business decisions.
  • Increases Brand Visibility: Having an app can elevate a restaurant’s visibility, particularly among tech-savvy customers who prefer using apps. It can also help maintain a consistent brand image across different platforms.
  • Improves Operational Efficiency: An app can automate order-taking and payment processing, reducing the risk of errors and freeing up staff to focus on other tasks. This can lead to improved efficiency and productivity.
  • Serves as a Direct Marketing Channel: A restaurant app can be a powerful marketing tool, allowing restaurants to send push notifications about special offers, new menu items, and events directly to customers’ devices.
  • Saves Costs: By reducing reliance on third-party delivery services, a restaurant app can help save on commission fees. This can lead to significant cost savings in the long run.
  • Provides Control Over Customer Experience: Having your own app gives you more control over the customer experience, from the interface design to the ordering process. This can help ensure a consistent brand image and high-quality service.

10 Best Practices for Restaurant App Development

Developing a successful restaurant app requires a thoughtful approach to user experience, functionality, and marketing. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. User-Friendly Design: The app should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. The design should be clean, attractive, and consistent with your restaurant’s branding.
  2. Menu and Ordering Functionality: The app should allow users to view your menu, customize their order, and place their order directly from the app. High-quality photos and detailed descriptions can enhance the menu.
  3. Mobile Payment Options: The app should offer a variety of secure payment options, including credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, and in-app payments. This makes the ordering process more convenient for users.
  4. Loyalty Program Integration: If your restaurant has a loyalty program, integrate it into the app. This can encourage repeat business and increase customer loyalty.
  5. Push Notifications: Use push notifications to inform users about special offers, new menu items, or changes in operating hours. However, be careful not to overuse this feature, as too many notifications can annoy users and lead them to uninstall the app.
  6. Location-Based Services: If you have multiple locations, the app should use GPS to find the nearest restaurant. It can also provide directions or estimated delivery times based on the user’s location.
  7. Customer Feedback: Include a feature for customers to leave reviews or ratings. This can provide valuable feedback and help you improve your service.
  8. Analytics: Implement analytics to track user behavior and app performance. This can provide insights into what’s working and what needs improvement.
  9. Regular Updates and Maintenance: Regularly update the app to fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features. This can help keep the app relevant and useful.
  10. Marketing and Promotion: Promote the app on your website, social media, and in your restaurant. Offer incentives for downloading and using the app, such as discounts or free items.

Remember, the goal of your app should be to enhance the dining experience for your customers and make it easier for them to order from your restaurant.

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

8 Best Examples of Restaurant Mobile Apps

Restaurant mobile application 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

(916203 votes)


  • 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

(695k reviews)


  • 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

(105k reviews)


  • 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

(4.24k reviews)
BlueCart logo


  • 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

(47 reviews)


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

(145k reviews)


  • 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

(519k reviews)


  • 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

(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 Application 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 developers from a restaurant app development company like:

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 DirectoriesApp development Companies would list their mobile app development 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 application 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 who provides comprehensive mobile app development services for your mobile app solution is important.

Space-O Technologies is a leading mobile app development company with apt experience and expertise in restaurant mobile app solutions. Being one of the best app development companies, 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 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.