A Guide to Create Your Own Food Ordering App


Introduction - The App Culture and its Growing Demand

Mobile applications make our world a better and easier place to live in. This industry is a huge and aggressive market with 105.3 billion mobile apps downloaded in 2018 alone. All businesses have rapidly gained and are still growing their market share, thanks to their timely investment in app culture.

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Over the last century, people’s eating habits have changed a lot. Technology has contributed by bringing everything at the tip of our fingers. Consumers prefer getting everything delivered to their doorstep without the hassle of interaction. Probably, this is one of the reasons why restaurant online ordering platforms are so popular nowadays and have become a great source of ideas for UI/UX designers.
Here are some of the stats that would help you in understanding the growing demand of online food delivery in a better way:

  • Digital channel sales are on pace to reach 30 percent of total sales for US restaurants by 2025.
  • Delivery sales could rise an annual average of more than 20 percent to $365 billion worldwide by 2030, from $35 billion.
  • 63 percent of consumers agree that it is more convenient to get delivery than dining out with a family.

Why Restaurant Food Ordering App is Required?

Millennials will always opt for comfort and quality instead of quantity. Websites and internet are information oriented platforms, while it is easier to access them on the phone, but they can’t match the comfort that task oriented apps bring. 24x7 availability, secure transactions and smooth operations are the reason why 85% of users prefer mobile applications over websites.

There are many intuitive online ordering systems & mobile apps for restaurants.
Now the question is what drives this growth? And how this restaurant online ordering app system - web, android and ios affects businesses?

Business Analysis

From a business point of view, mobile & web applications are a common or one stop platform/direct touch point for businesses and consumers. For the restaurant owners, on-demand food ordering apps are a direct marketing channel that can bring immense business opportunities and help in capturing customer mindset at the same time. It tops the reason why mobile applications are valuable.

From acquiring new clients to retargeting old ones, marketing products to increase sales, there’s nothing you can’t do with applications. Businesses can cover multiple demographics or target regions at once using different techniques by segregating customers based on their behaviours.

Below is the graph representing the future prediction for revenue growth in online food delivery:

Revenue growth in online food delivery

Source: Statista.com

Customer’s Analysis

With people seeking comfort, the market for on-demand food delivery apps has spiked substantially. Customers expect a fast and seamless delivery experience when they order food online. From the user interface to cashless payment, they want easy access for everything and it should be at the tip of their fingers.

Below are the stats representing the nature of the customers using restaurant apps:

  1. Users by Age:
    Users by Age

    Source: Statista.com

  2. Users by Gender:
    Users by Gender

    Source: Statista.com

  3. Users by Income:
    Users by Income

    Source: Statista.com

Food is one thing that people love more than anything and with a little nudge from technology, the food industry is up and booming. Due to the broad potential and ever growing demand, the food sector has managed to grab the title of a highly profitable business.

In case you are wondering “if everything sounds so perfect, why should I go through the hassle of building a mobile app?” Ask yourself these questions.

Does your audience look anything like this?

  • Tech savvy and use their phones often
  • Demand seasonal/event invitations/loyalty offers
  • Expect above and beyond customer service

If it does, then you need to build an app right away!

Mobile apps have become an essential asset in marketing for businesses, since they are convenient for customers and give instant results.

How Will an App Impact your Restaurant Business Sale?

Still not convinced? We have listed down some benefits that will answer your query - How Will an App Impact your Restaurant Business Sale and help you make a well informed decision.

Restaurant Business Sale
  1. 1.Brand Perception

    A mobile app for restaurant business can help in creating a buzz in the market about your brand. It basically boils down to two key aspects, your brand image and recognition. The combination of these two will make or break your brand.

    • Brand Image:

      A mobile app is like a blank canvas waiting for you to decide whether it’ll end up behind the cupboard or in an art gallery. You can do anything you want, from choosing pop colours to customer friendly UI in order to make it more hip or stylish. It will basically determine whether you are a brand that only caters to the sophisticated and classy bunch or funky college crowd that’s full of life and experiences. Our advice is that you should make an app that can attract your target area while maintaining your brand vision.

    • Recognition:

      For brands like UberEats, MAC, Domino’s or Cadbury, their image speaks for them. It’s all about how the customers perceive your brand. The more number of times they see your brand, the more likely they’ll be inclined to buy your product or service.

      In marketing terms, it is known as effective frequency AKA hearing and/or seeing your brand approximately 20 times is what will get you truly noticed.

  2. 2.Great Marketing Tool

    Push notifications, in-app popups, personalized offers and deals, the list of things that you can do with apps these days is endless (Well, quite long if you want to be technical). Have you ever thought why only a handful of applications are more in demand or used frequently? While we agree that marketing plays a huge role in it; in the end, what matters is whether the user is satisfied with your services, both online and offline.

    An Interesting Fact: An app with a user friendly interface has a 50% chance of getting more transactions.

    When a user downloads your application you decide what you want them to see, like, prices, dishes, user information, messages, and much more. The notifications that you send across is right at their fingertips, no third party included. You’ll know exactly what your customers like because you can track the number of clicks and time spent on a page or image by users to optimize your offers and target them according to their behaviour. Through these push notifications and pop ups, you can get a closer look at your user demography and plan a strategy accordingly to increase your sales.

  3. 3.Demographic Targeting

    Apps give you a platform to increase, retain, acquire and target multiple demographic areas without the hassle of running around. If you have multiple chains in a city or different cities for your restaurant. But all of them might not perform the same. What works for your chain in Punjab might not work in Kerala. You have to test and change your strategies accordingly. You can do all this from a single place. How?

    For example, you must have heard about Apple ibeacon, it’s basically a small device that you can use to send push notifications to people up to a certain range within your vicinity, cool right? Let’s say you used it during lunch hours in a 50 meter radius. People will most definitely check your restaurant out. But when people have your app on their phones you can track their location via GPS service, which is ideal for multiple locations or if you want to target the whole city. You can send push notifications for deals, exclusive offers to prompt more transactions and so much more.

  4. 4.Improve Customer Engagement

    No matter how good your chef’s special salad or how gourmet your restaurant's menu is, it’s useless if customers don’t know about it. Apps pave a path between you and the customers so that they can reach you easily. A messaging desk feature within your restaurant menu ordering system app can help you in communicating with them, they can text and book a table instead of waiting in line or calling (trust us, nobody wants to wait these days).

    • Customers Review & Feedback:

      Customers can also share their feedback or suggestions in real time. You don’t need to check your log register or depend on your manager for reviews about the performance. And when you act on your customer’s suggestions to improve your service, they’ll keep coming back for more. Customers want to feel privileged and this can help improve customer engagement and build a loyal user segment along the line.

    • Attractive Food Pictures and Easy Menu:

      Customers are more likely to order from your restaurant if they can easily see your menu on their mobile device. Rather than just explaining what the dish is about, they rely on their eyes. Instead of relying on mobile responsive web pages, an easily accessible menu on the app with pictures that you select will spike your transactions and get more customers.

      Similar to how you’d use images of your food on the website, you’ll sell more if you can insert enticing photos of your food in your app. Good food pictures increase appetite. Even if you are not hungry, you’ll order more if you see a decadent chocolate cake or a colourful Mexican bowl. It’s all about psychology.

      A ready to eat meal brings up the urge to devour it. It is directly proportional to how hungry a person is and how the food looks. The better it looks, the more likely people will want to eat it. Wherever possible, try to add photos of people eating your food. It will speed up the process as users will imagine themselves eating the same thing. Just make sure that your main menu is accessible on any page on your app. Add it to the main navigation bar or a small clickable list icon at the bottom, so that the users can easily find it.

  5. 5.Increased ROI

    Every restaurant business owner strives to ensure there is a sufficient investment of its resources in order to generate high ROI. As a result, restaurant owners keep looking for ways that will help them to invest wisely and reap great benefits. Don’t worry, a restaurant app can help you to increase your return on investment in every manner. Majority of people go out to dine with their loved ones mostly during special events.

    Deals and discounts is a great example here! You can create special discount coupons or even cook special meals and send push notifications via restaurant app to your customers. These types of special offers will attract more customers and increase ROI.

  6. 6.Cultivate Customer Loyalty

    • Marketing:

      Banners, billboards, flyers, social media marketing are important. But too much marketing and advertising surrounding us all the time is a tad bit overwhelming. Too much of anything can put you off. If you want to make a true connection with your customers, then the app can help. We are in no way saying that it will save and do everything, but customers feel a sense of comfort when you are just a fingertip away all the time.

      The urge to create apps is strong but you need to find the balance.

      Just open your phone and you’ll find that there are only 20% apps that you use or visit frequently and almost 50% you visit once in a blue moon. Why? Because timing, offers and your need together determine its use case.

    • Offers:

      When given a chance to choose between promised exclusive offers and a random app download with a one time deal, people are more likely to download your app if you give them exclusive offers. Mobile based loyalty programs are much more personal than punch card for every transaction. Just try sending a Push notification like “Hey Ajay, we’ve got an exclusive 40% on your next meal”, the personalization and connection that one feels after seeing their name is such a successful and cost effective strategy to build a loyal customer base.

    • Pop Ups and App Notifications:

      In-app pop ups and notifications can help you retain customers by timely reminders about the benefits. And loyalty programs are not just about free stuff. Even if it means they have to buy a few times before they can reap their benefits, customers will do it. Example, Free desserts after 2 orders, just make it mobile exclusive and Voila! You are ready to go.

Features to Add in your Restaurant App

If you choose RestroApp, you will be able to get all the restaurant app's features listed below on a single platform. These features will make your app easy for you to maintain, you will be able to easily target your audience, market your business etc. It will provide you an all-in-one online food ordering system for your restaurant business.

We have segregated customer and business centric features to help you understand better.

Let’s talk about admin features, i.e the features that are beneficial for restaurant owners:

admin features

admin features
  • Customized Theme:

    Does your restaurant have a theme-based ambience? Would you like to integrate it in your app? You can with RestroApp! After choosing a theme that defines the basic look of your restaurant app, you can customize the theme by handpicking the feel, flow, functionalities and colors of your app any way you want.

  • Use Your Own Domain:

    Do you know why you should get a domain name exclusive to your business? It will give your restaurant business the maximum exposure it can get on the Internet, you’ll get the freedom to design a custom website and flexibility in email addresses. You will be visible online and can maintain a strong online presence that will shoot up your sales.

  • Push Notifications: Push Notifications

    Customers buy more when they feel valued. You can send personalized and exclusive notifications for offers, new introductions, deals & discounts to your customers from our platform without any hassle.

  • Multi Branch: Multi Branch

    Doesn’t matter if you have multiple branches in a city or across the country, you can optimize and run all your outlets from one place. No need to build a new one for each outlet.

  • Admin Mobile App: Admin Mobile App

    We provide restaurant online ordering system admin portal with the authorization to easily manage your app on the go. Even if you are not physically present you can manage Inventory, stock, staff and customers from a single platform. Managing everything from a single interface allows you to be mobile. You could then look at your most important performance metrics (by outlet) to know if something requires your urgent attention.

  • Table Reservation System:

    In a Dine-in restaurant, table reservation is a critical service. Instead of getting calls to book a seat, you can add a feature in your app to accept table reservations. You will be able to manage all your table reservations using the admin feature. It will help you keep an eye out on the guest list and minimize waiting time. Being alerted when loyal customers are headed to you is an added bonus. This lets you amp up the wow factor for them.

  • Reports & Analytics:

    You can track the order histories of all your customers to gain cohort insights with the help of reports and dashboards. They will help you to make well informed decisions based on user behavior and experiences. Mobile apps set automatic customer analytics tools that let the business owners keep an eye on customer behavior and customize their products and services accordingly.

    For example, you app would help you know about different age brackets, genders, budgets, purchase histories and locations your customers belong to. Based on this valuable data, you can market your restaurant’s offerings in a much more relevant manner.

customers features

Customers Features

Now let’s focus on the features that will lure customers in. These features will help you acquire new users, retain old ones and create a loyal customer fleet.

  • Refer and Earn: Refer and Earn

    The worth of mouth publicity is easy with our ‘refer and earn’ feature. Custom Referral Programs to invite new customers will increase the number of downloads quickly. This is a tried and tested method that never fails to impress anyone.

  • Loyalty Program: Loyalty Program

    Rewards are a great way to engage your loyal customers. You can run personalized loyalty programs by gamifying the process in your app. The more interesting your app, the more time people will spend on it.

  • Order History: Order History

    You can add an option for users to check their previous orders within the app. So, Instead of guessing they can just check their order history and order the dish they liked before or share suggestions and grievances, if any, regarding a particular order. It will also help you to manage cohorts and increase recurring customers.

  • Payment Gateway Integration:

    Payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider. It authorizes credit card or direct payment processing for e-businesses, online retailers etc. You’ll have full control over the transactions at your website and in your app. Customers tend to make a purchase if their preferred payment method is available in the app. An integrated payment gateway allows a smooth and secure transaction.

  • Chatbot Support/AI:

    Artificial intelligence is in demand these days because of the features and functionalities it can provide without human interaction. One such functionality that’s in demand is a chatbot. It is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can simulate a conversation (or chat) with a user in via messaging applications, websites, mobile apps and even on calls. Chatbots integration in your restaurant app will be helpful as it can take an order, suggest dishes and help with customer queries without or with minimum human interaction.

  • Offers and Coupons:

    People tend to lean towards apps and websites with discounts and offers on their transaction. E.g. Two apps are offering the same dish, A’s total is 100( without taxes) + 10% discount and B offers the dish at 100( with taxes) + no discount. People will order from app B expecting the price to be lower. To improve your recurring customer percentage, we have an option to create discounts, deals and offers that will surely lure and entice a lot of customers. Users tend to order from apps that have frequent offers and exclusive coupons.

  • Instant Billing:

    The quicker your orders get punched, the quicker the KOTs release. This can impact how much business you could generate in a given period. Our KOTs fly out in 12 seconds. 4 seconds if you have order management integrated.

  • iOS App & Android App:

    Different operating systems require different technology to smoothly run your app on that platform. iOS and android smartphones cover a large market share when it comes to mobile tech. However, finding an iOS and an android developer can be a bit heavy on your pocket and a headache when you don’t know if the person is worth your investment or not. But with RestroApp you can get these app developed on a single platform without any hassle.

    Have a look at the below stats showing Worldwide Google Play and App Store Downloads:

    World wide Google Play and App Store Downloads Stat

    Source: Sensor Tower

User Interface for Food Ordering App

Looks, AKA User Interface, matter for mobile applications. In this ever growing ocean of apps, the real challenge is to know what features and differentiators will help deliver complete user satisfaction. Apart from what the app can do, the content, design, and smooth transition on all platforms like web and mobile apps are key areas that decide the future of any app. In short, a user interface plays a significant role in increasing the volume of relevant traffic and recurring transactions.

  • User Interface is the journey that users go through while using the app. Basically, a chain of screens, buttons, forms, in app pop-ups etc, are used to interact with the customer. E.g. All users who have at least ordered once are segregated as a set and then push notifications are sent like offers etc on day 5, then day 10 etc. to make them order again. This whole process is known as a user journey.

  • If your mobile application has good offers but is hard to navigate through, is poorly designed or slow then no amount of unique product or business potential will work to keep customers on your platform and no user will stick around for long. On the other hand an app with a good UI can make your position higher in the market as compared to your competitors. Looks might not matter in terms of heart but in the app world, they do.

  • The most important thing that matters is “ How you present your product/ restaurant offerings”. Really complex steps or poor navigation in any app can shoot down the traffic on your app. A good design is the first step for great business. Easy-to-decipher and smooth navigation is the basic need of any restaurant app that an app’s UI must cater to. A good UI that is made considering elements like branding, colour scheme, layout, placement, font, white space usage and other design elements, can help in visually communicating with the user.

Results to Expect After App Development via RestroApp

The Best Food Ordering App for Your Restaurant

RestroApp can help you develop a constructive app with a user friendly interface, quality solutions for any issue on android, iOS and responsive & compatible website. Professional UI/UX experience for optimum results and quality standards for your app. It will enhance the user’s experience because of our illustrative on-demand restaurant management system.

Is the Investment Worth it? Benefits of App for your Restaurant/customers

Expected mobile app downloads by year 2022

The above graph represents the expected mobile app downloads by year 2022. People have this preconceived notion that only big brands can afford to make applications or just technical startups can do it. They can’t be more wrong. With the ongoing mobile trend, more and more small businesses are coming forward with their own mobile-friendly websites or applications. Be it the corner boutique down the lane or the expensive spa in your town, an online presence is a must to survive in this fast paced, mobile-driven world. This is the case, especially for restaurants.

It’s clear that apps are overtaking our world one bite at a time (pun intended). But it all boils down to the fact if building a mobile food ordering app is worth your time and investment or not. And the answer lies in the sales, the end goal to all that we are doing is “sell the product”.

Now the question is, what are the factors that decide whether your schemes and techniques are working or not? We have listed some factors that will help you decide and analyze.

Factors to Consider While Analyzing Your Restaurant App Worth

Expected mobile app downloads by year 2022
  1. 1.Optimized Process

    If this is the first time you are considering to build your restaurant app, then it is vital to have a vision or purpose and build it around that idea only. You should not try to make an app does everything, rather consider building a smooth app that is easy to use and fulfils its purpose.

    If and when you achieve it, you can go ahead and add new features that will help streamline all the things like menu, order, table booking, customer desk one by one. And with RestroApp, you can do it all in one place. You can manage assets, data, cohorts, check and maintain customer interaction and increase order intake by minimising human interaction.

  2. 2.Sale Amongst Millennials via Online Transactions

    Knowing your customer demographic is extremely important in any business. But when it comes to food, everyone is your target audience. You just have to segregate them according to priority. Amongst all demographics, the millennial market is quite strong.

    Do you know? 98% of 18 to 34 year old like to pay online instead of cash.

    Adding a feature for the same in your app will help in increasing recurring customer transactions. It’s all about the ease of placing their orders online and paying then and their (within the app instead of opening another app to pay). If you link mobile wallets and net banking options in your app it will optimize the process and provide quicker service. By catering to millennial preferences of mobile transactions, you can get a larger chunk of their monthly salary spent on food and convert it into your business revenue.

  3. 3.Social Sharing

    The ability to get real time reviews from your customers from anywhere is probably the best part of integrating a mobile app into your restaurant business. Whenever any transaction is completed you can ask your users to review your app online or rate it on play store or app store. You can even add a feature to share their experience on social media. And if you add loyalty rewards for review or rating, you can lure more customers. See how this is all related?

    Social media rating and positive experiences are a great way to build a reputation and speed up the word of mouth process for your business. It is a great way to boost your reputation and increase sales over time. If you are worried about building a function directly in the app, just redirect with one button to the landing page of your choice.

  4. 4.Easier Internal Order Fulfillment

    Apart from increasing your sales and making more money, food ordering app for your restaurant will make the process of fulfilling your orders easier.

    With the in-built order management system, you can keep a track of all orders meticulously. The chance of kitchen staff tweaking the orders and mixing it up will be almost nil. After adding the in-app payment, bill tracking will be one less thing you have to worry about.

    You don’t need to check with the staff if payment has been completed, no need to return change etc. Apart from you, the customer will be really pleased with the smooth transaction. They’ll be able to order and pay directly from the app without any interaction.

  5. 5.Better ROI on Specials You Offer

    If you have any special offers or discounts running at your restaurant, you can use push notification feature in your mobile app to target your customers. Just choose the timings correctly, it will impact the results.

    E.g. If you send a push notification just before dinner, let’s say 7pm. Users are more likely to check what you are offering and order because they’ll be already hungry and discounts will validate the fact that they are going to save money if they order from your restaurant.

    Push notifications for deals like happy hour and Mid-week 1+1, when people don’t usually go out to eat or drink, will increase click rate and transaction percentage by a big margin as compared to without notifications. It is a great way to boost your business and increase ROI.

  6. 6.Click to Call

    Sometimes customers prefer calling, however, searching it on the website or saving a restaurant’s number are not preferred. If you add a feature of calling the restaurant from the app, customers will be able to order, reserve and share reviews or ask queries directly.

    It seems like a small feature, but it will cut down the probability of customers going to another restaurant if they don’t find your number easily. Keep in mind, customers expect an easy process and instant results. With this feature, it’s instant.

  7. 7.More Referrals

    Referral schemes like invite friends and earn or share this deal to win a coupon, are a great way to acquire new customers. Instead of advertising yourself via media channels, people do it for you directly. One on one invites are more reliable, don’t you think? And when you are getting something out of it, it’s even better. Rating matters.

  8. 8.Save on Third-Party Aggregators Commissions

    Third-party aggregators get you business but they also take 20-30% commissions on all your transactions. And the competition to get noticed on those apps is throat-cutting. Building a restaurant app is the solution for both these issues, customers will directly order from your app, so no third party is involved and there will be zero competition. Win-win!

Prerequisites - Things to Keep in Mind

For a successful business, you need to ask yourself the right questions and need a plan to tackle any issue before you proceed ahead. For the success of any business, it is important to ask yourself the right questions and find answers to them before you proceed any further. Meet with experts, friends and family who have professional experience, read good books, and go online. It’s better to be prepared in advance.


Here are some of the questions you need to ask before building an e-commerce app:

  1. 1.What dishes and products can you put in your app and fulfil the orders?
  2. 2.How should you price the dishes and what will be your profit margin?

    Your friends, family and regular customers can help you with these questions. Now coming to the important issue at hand. Question number 3 and 4 are of utmost importance because they will be the deciding factor

  3. 3.Which app building platform should you choose?
  4. 4.How should your app look?

Have a look at the below stats representing the list of countries generating maximum revenue from online food delivery:

Global comparison Revenue

The Right App Building Platform:

You’ll find a lot of options but you need to get rid of the cheap and unreliable sources on the internet first. Do thorough research if you want, but we can help you save a lot of time and trouble. You should try RestroApp without second guessing.

Our clients and our work speak for us. From customised templates to bulk import and admin control, we’ve got everything you need to make the best app for your business.

If you go ahead with RestroApp to build app, you don’t need anything else. No need to hire a developer, designer or product manager to look over all the technical aspects. Just signup and get started.

Conclusion: Online App Builder- RestroApp

Online App Builder

Mobile apps are one of the best and cheapest tools that can optimize and streamline processes for businesses. From improving employee labor costs via online orders and sales within the app to improving services via reviews, the world is your oyster.

Compared to this year, 95% of restaurants didn’t have an app a couple of years ago. If you decide to do it, you can be amongst the top 5% of restaurants leaving behind your competitors.

Mobile app development is the need of the hour for all businesses, but the cost required to achieve the dream app for your restaurant can be a bit on the higher end if you include the designer, developer, tester and other resources.

If you don’t have the resources in place internally to build your own online food ordering restaurant management system from scratch and then taking care of it afterward, then visit RestroApp. We have a system where you can set up a basic or advanced app for your restaurant. You can make affordable and customizable Android and iOS apps for your restaurant on a single platform.

The whole point of building an app for your restaurant is to provide your customers with a simpler and effortless experience. Starting from the login page to the checkout, customers' journey should be seamless.

Majority of functionalities that you want to add will depend on the type of platform you choose. RestroApp is the platform that can provide you any feature without wasting your time in finding resources.

Our Packages

RestroApp is a food-industry focused solution that offers feature-rich and powerful mobile apps to empower restaurants with an unmatched digital presence in a mobile-first world. Enhance online food ordering experience for your customers with your own mobile food ordering app. We also have a free trial where you can get the gist.

To set up your application, you can check our online ordering app cost of silver, gold or platinum packages according to your requirements

Our Monthly Package

From designing everything yourself, to taking an expert’s advice on your restaurant app’s design functionality, like brand logo, easy payment gateway setup etc. all these features and many more are available here. If you still have any queries or want to know more about our online food ordering app builder to create a mobile app for your restaurant, get in touch with us!

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