Restaurant App Development Cost Factors: What Predetermines the Numbers on the Check?
Mobile presence is what every business is now looking for. Restaurants are no exception. Why do restaurants go mobile? The thing is that the internet has become a dominant environment for the restaurant audience. And modern guests wish to reserve tables, place orders and preorders, pay, or order delivery via mobile apps in their phones. So your branded mobile app can serve your business by lifting sales, building loyalty, and legging up on the competition.
By sharing this post, we intend to tell you more about the following:
- The role and position of restaurant apps on today’s market
- The feature-stack to make a branded app useful and successful
- Advantages a restaurant owner should expect after the launch of the app
- Resources required for the development of a restaurant mobile app
We are sharing our experience and knowledge. Read on to see how restaurant mobile applications can drive your business.
Advantages of restaurant apps for business
As a business owner, before you start building a thing, you should find some firm evidence of why restaurant apps are a must. We are providing the evidence below. Check out the stats to know the significance of going mobile:
Since an increasing number of people are using mobile devices and give preferences to booking tables or ordering food delivery online, the potential of restaurant mobile apps is clearly huge. The sooner you adapt to this trend, the sooner your business will benefit.
What benefits does a branded restaurant app bring? They are shown in the infographics below:
- For brand. Before, it was enough to offer tasty food, ensure great service along with a cozy atmosphere to become a really popular place. Today it might help to preserve regular guests but you need a different approach to reach new customers. Your own restaurant application can give a helping hand in boosting brand awareness. Also, it works for increasing your dining area’s visibility. As soon as you market the app to numerous mobile phone users, you’ll urge them to order, choose delivery, and visit your place regularly.
- For payment. Mobile transactions are always convenient. On the one hand, there’s a customer that can prepay an order via the app. On the other hand, there’s a dining place that can process this payment online via the same application. It takes a guest a few clicks to complete the process. Speaking of the restaurant, its staff is free for other tasks.
- For bookings. Traditional table booking over the phone is time-consuming. Plus, it often can be depressing, especially if a customer first expects someone to pick up and then finds out there are no vacant tables. With an app, a customer reserves a free table in less than a minute. And restaurants always assess their workload during off-peak and/or rush hours.
- For loyalty. Restaurant mobile app helps restaurants not just increase but also retain guest loyalty. If customers can learn rewards for their actions and eventually exchange them for positions from the menu, their loyalty grows. So, enable your guests to earn rewards for using your app.
- For receiving feedback. Reviews from customers are helpful in improving business performance. Apps allow customers to provide instant feedback on the menu, delivery, service, staff, or atmosphere. As soon as you receive feedback, you can start making improvements or simply stay aware of the fact you’re doing the right things.
Feature-stack for a successful app for your restaurant
What features need to become the backbone of your restaurant app? Our team has compared three successful restaurant apps (Starbucks, CanTho, and McDonald’s) to illustrate which features are must-haves if you are planning to build your brand application.
Best restaurant app examples offer their users a full menu with images and costs. When adding the menu option to a restaurant app, it is advisable to make it easy to use. The Steelkiwi team suggests you create menu categories as well as subcategories so that a user could easily find a menu position according to preferences.
Placing orders online
On average, restaurant customers need around two minutes to place their orders by phone and forty-five seconds when using an application. Thus, an application makes the entire process more convenient for both parts.
Your full restaurant menu should be customizable via a mobile application. This feature allows people with allergies or any dietary conditions to meet their needs. While ordering a dish, any user should be able to decide on ingredients or exclude any.
The mobile application for your restaurant that you are planning to create should offer customers several payment methods. So each one could choose the most preferable method (PayPal, Android or Apple Pay, online banking).
Instead of making phone calls and wondering whether or not there is a free table for the evening, app users can check out the floor map online and book a table they like. This feature gives customers the freedom of planning their nights out. Also, it gives restaurant managers a full picture of their staff workload.
This feature is beneficial if you own a restaurant chain. Say, there are customers from a different city who want to eat in one of your restaurants. With geolocation, they will easily find your place.
What are push notifications for? They inform restaurant customers about new positions on the menu or upcoming events, discounts, promos, and offers. But Starbucks went further: as their app users approach one of the Starbucks locations, the app sends them notifications encouraging them to visit the place.
If you find this feature interesting, remember the rule that should be followed: push notifications should be personal, actionable, and timely.
They are launched for two reasons. Reason number one is to raise the number and frequency of customer visits to a restaurant. Reason number two is to make these customers regular. Loyalty programs are rewards and bonuses for the money that customers spend at your place or for ordering ahead and paying via your restaurant application.
The commonest way of building your own loyalty program is comprising it from points and instant rewards. As soon as customers collect a predefined amount of points, they can exchange the collected points to rewards. As for the instant rewards, they are received after finishing specific actions.
After receiving bonuses and rewards, your local customers will exchange them for drinks and food, access to favorites or new positions from the menu. Benefits for customers are obvious. And what about you? You’ll get a chance to earn loyal guests for life. Plus, they will keep recommending the dining area to their families, colleagues, and friends.
Via this feature, customers will share their feedback on your place, the service, food, etc. The real reviews will help you quickly find out what to work on and improve your place.
Cost of building a branded restaurant app?
Let’s do the math. The cost of a restaurant app is dictated by the feature-set, functionality, and app design on the one hand, and the number and location of specialists involved in the process.
The Steelkiwi team has extensive experience in the field of restaurant app development. Working with clients from different locations and with various app ideas, we know what the entire process comprises. Check out:
Costs of restaurant apps at Steelkiwi
We are not going to provide figures out of thin air. Providing you the information about costs to create a custom restaurant application, we are relying on our experience with our recent projects.
For the Can Tho restaurant, we have developed an application for self-order kiosks. By using the app, customers can not simply order but also customize menu positions to their preferences and pay either by cash or card.
Apart from a menu for users, we have also created a dashboard for admins. With access to a dashboard, admins can confirm orders, add or change menu positions, set prices, delete certain ingredients, and VAT for eat-in or takeaway.
In total, we have been working on the app’s wireframes, backend and frontend, design, and testing. We spent 3,589 hours developing the app. For more information about this application for self-order kiosks, read our blog post.
Waiter Genius is another platform that our team has been working on. The application allows waiters to check order statuses, while customers can order and make payments online.
We’ve built two versions of the same application: one for waiters (Flutter app) and one for customers (iOS). In total, we’ve spent 586 hours working on the design of the application, backend, iOS and Flutter development, as well as testing.
Should you go with third-party solutions?
There can hardly be any doubt about the numerous benefits that a branded application can bring to a restaurant. However, there are three main reasons that can possibly make you refuse from creating a branded version and go with third-party apps:
- Your restaurant is newly opened
- You lack finance
- You have no time and are looking for a quick solution
It’s true that restaurant app development will take a lot of resources. So a newly opened place needs time to grow, expand, attract customers, etc. If today you cannot afford to build your own application, you can make use of apps like OpenTable or Zomato. They will help you increase your brand’s awareness and attract new customers.
With the successful growth of your business, you will then think over the development of your own unique brand.
Contact Steelkiwi for your restaurant app estimate
If you made up your mind to hire a restaurant app development company, look for experts. Since we’re experienced in restaurant app development, our team is here to answer your questions concerning the rough estimate of your project and the expected time frame. Contact us today to start reaching new business tops tomorrow.