A lady with a food cart and floating icons of ice cream, hamburger and sunny side eye

Restaurant App Development Trends. What And How To Digitize In Restaurants

icon4 April 2023
icon17 minutes read
icon28 minutes audio
iconMemory Squared

Table of Contents

Why is it important to have a restaurant app?

The digitization of the food service industry is reaching deeper and deeper, and the pandemic has only accelerated these processes. While going out to a restaurant is and will remain largely an offline experience, it does not remain disconnected from the digital world of food tech. Below we've compiled a number of areas that demonstrate this. 

A gear, a dollar sign and a flashing bulb connected in circle with arrows
The Point of Sale is the heart of the restaurant - it generates ideas, solutions and money for your restaurant

Start with the basics - Point of Sale

In the restaurant industry, the Point of Sale (POS) is the hub where sales transactions are finalized.

Initially, it referred to the location that housed a cash register; however, now with technological advancements and progressions in retail environments, POS can no longer be confined to just one spot or device.

POS systems are changing the game and revolutionizing the way restaurants operate. By connecting front-of-house with back-of-house operations, they're helping to manage payments, food orders, table reservations, and personnel management as well as warehouse processes - there's almost no limit on how far we can take restaurant digitization and how advanced your restaurant app can be.

If you're looking to purchase a POS system, there are various solutions available on the market. However, if you have specific systems and processes that could benefit from digitalization, it might be wise to consider dedicated on-demand solutions to manage custom business processes, which are especially common in restaurant chains.

If you would like to read more about mobile app development stages, be sure to check out our work!

right arrowApp Development Stages: How Long Does It Take To Make An App?

Two shaking hands with a dollar coin above them
A restaurant can unleash its whole potential, when both the front and the back side are cooperating closely

Restaurant app for back and front - a platform connecting both interests

If you're considering developing a restaurant app for your business, that's a great decision. Not only is it advantageous for both staff and customers, but it also benefits the restaurant owner or manager. A restaurant mobile app allows clients to enjoy more freedom when they make their meal selections; they can easily customize orders and take advantage of discounts!

Meanwhile, the staff can allocate their time more effectively to duties that are more important than preparing a shopping list or dividing up receipts. Furthermore, the restaurant owner will have constant oversight concerning all operations in his business.

There are endless opportunities for restaurants to digitize their operations and many advantages that come with it. 

Digitizing operations can help with a wide range of operations, from the simplest of tasks, such as keeping track of orders and streamlining the checkout process, to more complex functions like personnel management. A dedicated restaurant app developed exclusively for you by a software development company can simplify all these tasks.

A plant becoming traces
You can easily optimize your food waste - it's better for you, but also for the nature

Foodcost and food waste optimization - save your money and the world!

With dedicated app development focused on your processes, you can instantly reduce food costs. Purchase reporting and warehouse management allow for keeping control over prices and food waste. Every ingredient can be accounted for and put to good use.

Moreover, reducing food waste is an environmentally conscious decision.

Many consumers are monitoring the ethical standards of establishments they visit - your pride in minimizing wastage will surely draw them in, as they are mostly the restaurant industry's target market.

Lastly, you can use a restaurant app to monitor the seasonal menu and determine when items such as asparagus or rhubarb are in-season - allowing you to switch them out for more affordable options.

A piece of paper with a pencil on it
No more recipe books - now you can have all your knowledge in a cloud-based app, anywhere and anytime!

Add recipes, and control your shopping

Crafting recipes for your dishes is advantageous to both kitchen personnel and yourself. Your staff can quickly identify what ingredients are lacking and compile a comprehensive grocery list through the restaurant app, which you may inspect to determine the amount required for each dish.

As a restaurant business owner, adding recipes to your restaurant mobile app also helps you avoid wasting time. No more standing in line and struggling to call your staff or running around the store trying to figure out if "cream" should contain a specific fat content for a particular dish on the shopping list - now all it takes is one tap on your phone screen.

A whisk mixing in a bowl full of liquid
With an app, cooking is always under control - you don't have to worry you lack ingredients

Your warehouse is always under control

You know precisely what your chefs have in the kitchen and what is running low. You can quickly double-check to see whether or not more of a specific ingredient is required for the meal preparations. Everything can be in the same restaurant app!

Track prices and quantities

An advantageous restaurant app can provide invaluable insight into how many dishes of a particular type have been sold, which enables you to determine the necessary ingredients for upcoming days.

Keeping your eye on the prices of items you need helps you plan and save money by finding cheaper alternatives.

A wall calendar
No more smearing in the calendar - thanks to an app, you can have everything crystal clear

Work schedule under control

Seamlessly syncing your restaurant app with the work schedule can be a tremendous advantage. This way, inspecting who and when someone was on duty at any given time is effortless.

In addition, the restaurant app can allow you to assign tasks to particular staff members. This way, they know their duties in advance and won't be scrambling around when it's time for them to get started.

In the event of an unforeseen emergency, you can easily identify a replacement to fill in for any absent staff member and amend their scheduled shift through your restaurant mobile app. This not only simplifies managing your team but also streamlines payroll.

A menu in a form of a book
Menu shows every dish in your restaurant, so it should fuel curiosity in guests in order to increase the outcomes

Every restaurant's menu is the guiding light that allows diners to discover all their delectable options. Ultimately, a well-crafted menu can make or break an eatery’s success.

A menu can tell your customers what to expect from your restaurant.

Is it sophisticated and elegant, or a relaxed spot for grabbing drinks with friends?

Undoubtedly, a well-crafted menu is critical - yet often underrated. Therefore, when discussing the digitization of your restaurant, you must also consider modernizing your dish card, adding it to your restaurant app, and synchronizing it with your online food delivery app.

A stopwatch
Time is also money - don't waste it on things you can automatize, spend it wisely

Manage your menu, manage your time

As QR codes have become increasingly popular, several restaurants opt for digital menus rather than printed ones. Although not yet commonplace, it could be worth considering - an online menu is much simpler to sync up with existing online food ordering applications, making the offerings more streamlined across all platforms.

An online menu is an ideal solution for making quick dish substitutions. It's also advantageous when introducing seasonal dishes - you can easily add a page to your current PDF document, allowing for effortless editing or revising without the time and cost of changing physical copies over and over again. You can also inform your clients about a seasonal menu with push notifications from your restaurant mobile app.

Digital menus offer the perfect platform to showcase exquisite, high-definition images of your food. Visually appealing pictures can often make the customer's decision to try out your dishes.

Not only is a digital menu convenient and efficient, but it's also environmentally friendly. With a digital menu, there's no more need to waste paper printing multiple pages that must be discarded each time the menu changes.

A restaurant mobile app allows customers to check your offer even before entering the restaurant. For tourists or just people new in town, it could be a great advantage to attract new clients by showing them your dishes online or informing them about food delivery and online payments.

Two bottles and a glass with a straw
Beverages are the most popular revenue product, don't overlook them!

Maximize revenue potential

Utilizing a digital menu encourages your customers to explore new options and pairings, resulting in higher profit margins for you and more unique experiences for them. Unlock the full potential of upselling with automated recommendations that foster customer satisfaction. An app development company can support you in doing an in-depth analysis of upselling potential and looping it into a food ordering app.

By leveraging AI-driven technology, your restaurant app can suggest dishes or drink pairings based on the customer's current order. Also, you can use it to promote special offers and discounts - any purchase made on the spot will be tracked automatically by the system, ensuring customers are always informed of their best deals.

A hand pointing to the beverage menu
Personalization became a very popular feature in restaurants - food, but also drinks are customized with few taps

Personalization runs the world

With the help of a restaurant app featuring digital menus, ordering personalization is right at your fingertips. No longer does your waiter need to remember every option - customers can easily choose each part of their meal according to what they prefer!

By sending the order straight to the kitchen, there is no longer room for mistakes, and chefs can ensure that the meal is created just how the customer envisioned it.

A monitor showing a shopping basket
The Kitchen Display System shows everything your clients have purchased, what eliminates the possibility of forgetting and order

Kitchen Display Systems

Kitchen Display System is a revolutionary part of digital restaurant business management solutions, providing an innovative way to display orders and online delivery on the computer screen. POS systems automatically send orders to the KDS for streamlined order-taking and accuracy. Eliminate pen-paper tickets from your workflow today!

The Kitchen Display System keeps orders and their accompanying order notes (such as order personalization) on the screen until they are fulfilled, allowing you to maintain superior customer service.

Two human linearts in circles connected to a smaller circle
With restaurant digitalization you can easily connect your clients from different platforms

Integrate your menu with any food delivery app

Since the start of the pandemic, restaurant owners have become increasingly reliant on online food delivery businesses as a means of survival. Even when restrictions began to ease worldwide, remote workers continued choosing online ordering and food delivery - which was largely credited with driving up demand for online delivery apps like Wolt and Takeaway. There's no denying that these services are here to stay!

Connecting most POS systems with widely-used food delivery apps is a great way to guarantee that your menu remains consistent across all platforms and makes it easier for you to switch up seasonal offerings without any hassle. You can even notify customers of new items through push notifications; this ensures they're ready to explore what's on offer!

You can also create your own delivery app and connect it with your POS - this way, you won't lose any orders from either your restaurant app or any of the third-party apps.

Since online food delivery apps can search for nearby restaurants, you can attract more locals, reaching your target audience. Online food delivery is also part of successful restaurant marketing campaigns, which could be crucial for small restaurant owners.

A flying rocket with a dollar sign on it
With a restaurant app your incomes will shoot into the air!

Marketing & Sales - 2in1 app will manage it for you!

Custom restaurant app development - your customers' best friend

A custom-built restaurant mobile app is an exceptional option for restaurant owners with multiple establishments. A restaurant app can contain all the necessary information, including searching for nearby restaurants, their locations, and driving directions, as well as parking and public transportation details for your customers' convenience. With this helpful hint from you, they will be more than delighted!

Creating your restaurant app offers a significant advantage for marketing - the ability to send push notifications at regular intervals.

This helps remind customers of your restaurant services and makes it easier for them to choose what they want to eat.

Three comment bubbles
Every opinion left by a customer is incredibly valuable - it attracts new clients

Your clients' opinions in one place

Your customers have an array of outlets to critique your restaurant, from reliable Google searches to professional review sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp. With a personalized restaurant app for your venue, you can monitor all reviews in one spot! Keep connected with guests and instantly attend to their needs and comments.

A lot of restaurants offer loyalty programs - don't stay behind, incorporate one into your app

Loyalty programs in your restaurant - reward your clients!

If you want to show your customers that you truly appreciate their loyalty, establishing a rewards program in a restaurant app is the way to go. In this technological era, paper cards just don't cut them anymore - they are easy to misplace or get ruined with a bit of rain! Therefore, many restaurants today have opted for digital programs instead; and consider how much better off they are now! After all, there's no greater reward than watching customer satisfaction (and profits!) rise exponentially.

With a loyalty program restaurant mobile app, you can manage your existing customers and attract new ones. Keep everyone in the loop about any events at your restaurant or create exclusive offers just for loyal guests - it's up to you! Make sure your patrons feel valued with an easy-to-use and convenient restaurant mobile app that will keep them coming back time after time.

A setted up table with two chairs
Online table reservation is a must in a restaurant app, it helps clients to choose their favorite spot

Table reservation

If your customer desires to secure a particular spot on a certain day, they can do so easily with our convenient table reservation system! Just a few taps in their restaurant app and they will be able to manage your hall like an expert.

A hand pointing on a tablet
One order, but split payment? Now your guests or online ordering clients can do this on their own!

Split payment

By utilizing digital menus and allowing customers to customize their orders, you can now effortlessly manage split payments among groups of friends and colleagues. Your waitstaff will no longer experience the pressure of accurately tallying numerous receipts - they simply need to enter the order into your POS system, then quickly separate dishes and beverages between individual patrons.

Depending on an app complexity, you can even let your customers split their payment themselves in a restaurant app.

A hand holding a smartphone, a hamburger popping out of the device
Online food ordering became an inseparable part of every restaurant business

Online food ordering

With the coronavirus pandemic still looming, customers still choose to support their favorite restaurants directly by opting out of large external online food delivery app partners. Although their apps are widely used, there's no reason to surrender control when you can manage restaurant food delivery yourself.

Delivering food is a crucial part of the food business.

By incorporating a food delivery app into your restaurant app you can reach your target market even more and combine it with delivery location services.

Revolutionize your online food ordering experience by integrating it with self-ordering kiosks or vending machines—the perfect combination of innovative and awesome!

A map with a GPS pointer
Your clients will be thankful for a GPS tracking of the courier - they will know, when to gather up for the delivery

GPS -tracked orders

Your restaurant app can assure customers that their order is securely on its way when they use GPS-tracked delivery. This allows them to plan their day, be well-prepared upon arrival, and confirm if it left the restaurant — helping contribute to a more seamless dining experience.

GPS-tracked orders are also hugely beneficial for restaurants. GPS tracking helps ensure that all orders are accurately fulfilled and delivered on time, which will help reduce customer complaints and increase customer satisfaction. As it became a standard in the restaurant industry, you might want to incorporate it into your food delivery app.

A self serve kiosk
Self serve kiosks were a turnabout in self ordering and quickly gained popularity in big restaurants

Self Serve Kiosks

Captivating more and more attention in restaurant chains, this revolutionary self-order food system is also popular amongst customers who prefer to avoid contact with customer service, ever since kiosks can now produce personalized meals. This process can now be synchronized with your Point of Sale (POS) for full reign over non-human assistance.

Depending on your development strategy, you can incorporate loyalty and promotional programs into the kiosk ordering process. In addition, it uses less energy than conventional restaurant order systems that require customer service assistance and thus reducing operational costs for restaurants in the long run.

A vending machine
The potential of vending machines is still undiscovered - be first to revolutionize the food tech world!

Vending Machines

Vending machines can revolutionize how your food is ordered and picked up, especially if it's synchronized with a food delivery app.

A vending machine is an ideal solution for restaurants looking to provide catering services.

Utilize the convenience of this technology by setting up within busy corporate buildings; those who are pressed for time and energy can now enjoy fresh meals every day with minimal effort! This will surely be highly appreciated among employees in larger companies.

Not only can vending machines be used as a convenient payment method - they can also act as pickup points! People who have placed their orders no longer need to enter the restaurant, saving them time and effort.

Moreover, if combined with a food delivery app and self-pickup, this allows staff members to remain unencumbered by having customers always come in. Vending machines provide an efficient pick-up solution that everyone benefits from!

Two tickets
A "food pass" has a lot of potential in food industry

Subscription - the new version of the old ways

Subscription services are widely accepted in many types of sales, such as makeup, candles, books, and gaming. However, they can also drive customers to your restaurant by offering meal or lunch subscriptions. This trusted tactic is an excellent way to enhance your establishment's popularity!

The subscription can be visible in a restaurant app, which would help your customers control their meals.

A fancy eye mask
A mystery shopper is still one of the best ways to evaluate your staff's performance

Mystery shopper - service is the best showcase

Mystery shopping is the ideal way to scrutinize your staff and restaurant operations.

With a user-friendly application, you will always have access to monitor these comprehensive assessments.

Afterward, all opinions and notes regarding errors committed by individual staff members are noted for further review, especially when utilizing an integrated restaurant app that delivers this report directly to your mobile device! With such ease of access in the palm of your hand - now would be the perfect time to consider investing in a system like this!

A cup of coffee with a coffee bean
You can serve a fresh coffee of your customers without waiting for it to brew with just few taps in your app

Smart kitchen - your equipment is thinking for itself

Take, for instance, smart kitchen technology. You're probably familiar with the concept of a smart home that allows machines to be controlled remotely using a mobile device. This same technology can be applied in restaurants to create automated ovens, coffee makers, and dishwashers. It would speed up service without limiting staff's freedom or pace of work - making them even more efficient while maintaining their safety.

With a smart kitchen, you can make coffee with just a few taps of the screen in your restaurant app; it even reminds you when an equipment review is due or warns if something goes awry.

This guarantees health and safety in your workplace and enhances efficiency - now, waiters don't need to waste time preparing beverages as the machine does that for them while they take orders. That's why investing in this restaurant app is such an incredibly powerful decision!

A left half of the brain fading into traces
Artificial Intelligence is learning fast and soon it will be a popular tool in managing even complicated tasks!

Chatbot AI - your capable worker

Introducing digitalization to your restaurant is a modern and under-recognized use of technology. When minor inquiries, like allergen content in food items, working hours, or seat reservations, consume time that should be spent on more consequential tasks, it's an indicator you need this innovative update. Digitizing your establishment will liberate staff from tedious questions so they can focus on what matters most: enhancing the guest experience!

AI, short for Artificial Intelligence, is a powerful tool while answering questions from your customers. With chatbot AI, your customer service staff can save time by allowing the machine to do most of the work and answering simple questions quickly. This will free up more energy for them to pay attention to and provide excellent customer service for those who require additional contact from a human being.

Want to know more about AI? You can find an exquisite article about it here.

right arrowHuman-centered AI: The Art Of Designing AI-based Digital Products

You can also add an AI chatbot to your restaurant app - that would be easy for a professional mobile app development team, but for your customers, it would be an exceptional user experience.

Three people connected with a coin
Synergy between different startups help them grow and eliminates the risk of failure

Find synergies with other food tech solutions

We at Memory Squared worked with various startups and strongly believe there are plenty of synergies between them. The most ambitious food tech product we are honored to work on is Flambia - a catering industry ERP system and food marketplace that optimizes food production and allows customers to personalize their meals. This solution has countless ways to connect with other services and ideas. As a software house focused on startups, we are always happy to be a connector between great organizations, products, and founders and always look forward to finding synergies and integration potentials for them.

A smartphone with a popped out window
The technology is developing and embracing the incoming changes will be beneficial for your restaurant!

The future of your restaurant is digitized!

Creating a restaurant mobile app is challenging, but it will be worth it! Utilizing these technological solutions will make your restaurant more efficient and draw in new customers who appreciate the added convenience. From personalized menus to split payments, AI chatbots, and convenient pickup options - digitizing your restaurant is the way of the future! So don’t wait any longer and start embracing this dazzling revolution. It'll be sure to make a difference in no time.

Memory Squared

Memory Squared - Design Driven Software House
Memory Squared - Design Driven Software House

At Memory Squared we connect humans and computers by creating digital products that meet real needs and inspire genuine emotions and interactions. We would love to share our story and experience with You.

They can provide a great extension for startups' development and design teams. Working for GitLive they were very engaged and put a lot of effort into improving our product.
Nicholas Bransby-WilliamsGitLive - CEO

Trusted by both innovative startups and large international companies.

Awarded as one of the best 2023 software companies globally

Awarded as one of the best 2023 software companies globally

What we do

We can cover the whole process and product development life cycle but we’re also open to sending our developers and designers on a mission to join your team. We’re comfortable working closely with business managers to creatively place digital products into their strategy.