In the busy world, we live in, time is of great importance. People are relying on online platforms for almost everything, be it shopping for clothes, electronics, grocery, or even food. These online platforms have made the life of customers very convenient. One can order the product they want from anywhere and almost anytime. Gone are those days when for buying a dress for the upcoming party one had to wait for the weekend and then go to the store shopping at the weekend. Now it can be quickly done on the way home from work only by using your phone.
One of the industries that have benefitted the most from these online services is the food industry. These online food ordering systems have made it possible for the customers just to order anything they wish from their favorite restaurant right away, even in the middle of a very busy day. For this an easy to use and reliable food ordering app is quintessential. It needs to include a lot of essential and convenient features to keep the customers glued.
Here are some of the important things to keep in mind while building a food ordering app:
For the Customers
- # Create a Restaurant Base
The first and the most important step towards building a food ordering app is to create a huge restaurant base that is verified in terms of quality. Verification is important as it might tarnish the brand image if food is not according to maintain basic hygiene standards.
The restaurants should be added, including the following factors:
- Geographies: Restaurants should be included from all regions and not just be limited to a particular region so that all customers can leverage the food ordering app
- Range: The restaurants added should be from a high-end range as well as reasonable range as well as some cheap everyday options. If the customers are ordering daily then, high-end restaurants are not an economical option
- Cuisine: The restaurants should have varied cuisines like Chinese, Continental, Indian, Italian, etc. It should include certain cuisine specific restaurants for food lovers of a specific cuisine.
- # Reviews
A review section where customers can review restaurants after their experience with a particular restaurant. Automatic rating to the restaurants based on the reviews received by previous customers helps customers to use online mobile food ordering app. Customers can easily look up the food ordering app for new restaurants and see their rating by other customers. They can also look up trending places to eat easily on their food ordering app.
- # Create a Food menu page
Each restaurant’s detailed food menu page should be included with easy navigation. There should be a separate menu for veg and nonveg food. The menu should have different sections like starters, main menu, drinks, and deserts. This makes it easy for the customer to place an order. There can be a download option so that customers can go through the menu offline also.
- # Attractive and Stable UI
This is a very important aspect of food ordering. The UI of the app should be such that customers are easily able to navigate through different features of the app. The look of the food ordering app creates the first impression on the minds of the user. The UI should be designed in such a way that it is intuitive to the user.
- # Multiple Payment Gateways
The customers should be able to make payment in the food ordering app through multiple payment gateways like debit card, credit card, net banking, cash on delivery, Paytm, and various other mobile wallets.
- # Add a Tracking System
The food ordering system should have an inbuilt tracking system which can give real-time updates to the customers about the status of the food. It should include the following features:
- Order Placed: An update on the food ordering app as well as an SMS should be sent to the user
- Food being prepared: The status of food preparation to the user so that he/she knows how much time will the delivery take
- Food out for Delivery: Status updates including order dispatched with the contact details of delivery professional
- Real-time tracking: Time estimates with the help of GPS should be included in the tracking system to assist the user in giving real-time status updates.
- # Real-Time Inventory Update:
The food ordering app should also have a real-time update of the availability for each of the food items on the menu. It will make it easier for the customer to order something else rather than being disappointed at the time of delivery.
- # Multiple Filters
The restaurant mobile ordering apps should have multiple filters like most popular, highest rated, best offers, nearest available outlets, etc. Providing filters like these will make it easier for the customers to navigate faster through the app. These features enhance the convenience for the customers, thus making them more addictive to the food ordering app.
- # Easy Signup with Social Community:
The sign up to the food ordering app should be enabled with easy options of taking basic information required for signup from social media platforms. For example, rather than making the customer provide information like name, age, gender the app can directly link signup with Gmail or Facebook. This will save the users time and make the verification and account creation process much more smooth.
- # Loyalty feature for repeat customers
There should be incentives for customers who are frequently using the app. The food ordering app should have an incentive system where repeat customers are given loyalty points or special discounts.
These incentives will encourage first-time users to use the app again. These incentives are also necessary so that frequent customers do not switch to other food ordering apps as they will be getting better options here.
- # Offers and Discounts during festivals and happy hours
Heavy discounts during festivals and happy hours attract a lot of customers. Festivals are a time of year when people tend to spend more, and discounts, and offers would tempt them to use the food ordering app. During happy hours the number of customers is less, so it is important to give offers and discounts to attract more customers.
- # Photo Gallery
The food ordering app should provide a photo gallery of things like the restaurant ambiance, their most popular dishes, the décor, etc. These will enable the customers to gauge the kind of food they are expecting and also provide a certain kind of authenticity about the restaurant. The customers like to surf through the photos whenever they are ordering from a new restaurant to get an idea.
It also creates an engaging experience for the customers as apart from text-only, there are photos which are luring for them. Tempting photos attract customers to order a particular dish from the restaurant.
- # Feedback
Feedback is a critical aspect of any kind of business. It is essential to take a note of how the customers feel about the app because they will provide the scope of improvement for the business. It is important to understand from customer standpoint the loopholes in any of the features in the food ordering app so that the app can be improved according to the taste and preferences of the customers.
Customer feedback will also provide the strengths of the restaurant mobile app, which provide an edge over other food ordering apps. The feedbacks highlighting the good features of the food ordering app will help build the brand and attract more customers.
- # Making reservations
The mobile restaurant app should have the feature of making reservations online so that the customer can avoid waiting long outside the restaurants. The customer can conveniently pick a time of their choice and avoid the entire hassle of waiting for hours outside the restaurants during rush hours.
- # Deals
There should be attractive deals offered to the customer so that they do not switch to competitive food ordering apps. Deals in the form of combo or meal can be offered to the customer.
- # Push Notifications
The food ordering app can provide push notifications about the latest food events, discounts, new restaurants that have been registered with the food ordering app, offers, new deals, trending search, etc. These push notifications help in engaging the customers throughout the day.
- # Geolocation Feature
This feature helps customers to pick from the nearest available outlet of the restaurant so that the food is delivered even faster. It also helps to estimate the delivery charges for the restaurants who don’t provide free delivery or have dynamic delivery charges.
- # Use Food Analytics
The enormous amount of data collected on the food ordering app can be used to analyze customer trend and come up with interesting insights to better the app. The customers can be prompted about what restaurants they may like based on their previous orders or maybe a new dish that they must try that will suit their taste.
- # Previous Orders
The food ordering app should contain a dashboard which provides a history of all previous orders made by the customer. There can also be an analysis of the most ordered food item or the most preferred restaurant by the customer. There can also be an easy option to re-order a previously ordered food item.
- # 24*7 Helpline
It is very important to include a 24*7 helpline where customers can log their complaints at any time. A chatbot can also be used to handle complaints so that each customer gets individual attention and time. If issues faced by customers are not attended properly, then it creates a very bad name for the business. Issues faced by customers should be addressed on a priority basis, and virtual assistants can play an important role in this.
There should be an availability of humanitarian assistance in case the issue is escalated. Nowadays, customers tend to post on twitter and other social media if their issues are not addressed, and that can create a lot of bad publicity for the business.
So it is important to make sure that customer complaints are handled till the customers are satisfied, and if the issue cannot be resolved immediately, then status updates regarding the follow up on the issue should be sent to the customer in a timely fashion.
2. For the Delivery Professional
- # Trip Information of the User
The delivery professional should be updated with the trip details with landmarks so that it is easier for him/her to locate the place to be delivered.
- # GPS
Along with the trip information of the user, GPS should be there to enable the delivery professional to navigate the route.
- # Route Optimization
For faster deliveries, it is important that the delivery professional takes the shortest possible route. This is possible by route optimization feature, which can give the shortest route by estimating the time of arrival of the various route. The delivery professional can then be rerouted to a shorter route, especially in traffic and save time and ensure faster delivery.
- # Customer Contact Details
It is essential to include the customer details in the food ordering app and provide it to the delivery professional so that he/she can intimate about the start and stop of the trip and also contact in case of any confusion.
The above are some of the features to include to build a food ordering app, but there are many more. There is always a scope of continuous improvement to ensure you are in business.
Mobile food ordering apps are a huge success nowadays as they impact the lives of customers directly. They have created a transition in the way people used to order food. Now ordering food has become so easy. One can just pick up their cell phones and order their favorite food from anywhere anytime. It helps the customers save their time and also provide them with options of ordering online when instead, they would have skipped their meal because of their busy schedule.
Deciding and investing in an app is an easy option, Your competitors could also join you in the game but if you delve deeper, you’d realize that the winning factor lies in the detailed research and its valuable findings and how you utilize the findings to your benefit.
Need some help with your restaurant app? Or are you still contemplating on getting one? Drop in a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We, at RestroApp, know exactly what it is that you are seeking!