Are you a restaurant owner who wants to establish a mobile presence for your business, and build a restaurant app in a matter of minutes without too much hassle? Continue reading for more!
In today’s global and highly digitalized world, in which more than 50% of all Internet searches worldwide happen from a mobile device, having a solid and well-established mobile presence is key for bringing your restaurant business to new heights.
In fact, multiple researches across the food industry revealed that:
- By 2023, the digital food delivery market is expected to reach the incredible $365 billion;
- Online food ordering revenue will climb to $220 billion by 2023 – which constitutes about 40% of overall restaurant sales;
- About 60% of US consumers order delivery or take-out at least once per week.
- More than 52% of customers would prefer their food to be delivered through the restaurant’s own application.
In a survey, consumers reported that they would place an extra order every month at their preferred restaurants if they offered delivery, and more than 70% of fast-casual customers said that they would order from restaurants at a higher frequency if delivery was provided as an option.
But this is not all. In 2020, the global COVID pandemic also caused an incredible and unexpected impact over the food industry. In large suburbs, online ordering increased by the whopping 3,868% during the months of lockdown. On top of that, according to a Technomic study, 43% of surveyed consumers said that they preferred mobile payments when ordering online during the pandemic.
All of these statistics are just a small portion of what proves that having a mobile presence is absolutely essential for companies within the food industry that want to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world. Luckily, you don’t have to invest in lengthy and expensive app development – today, we will show you how to build a restaurant app in the matter of minutes and without having to deal with app stores at all.
Step 1: Conduct a market research
The first step to build a restaurant app that drives more earnings for your business and increases your brand visibility is to conduct a market research. Research should be the first step in any app development process, because it will help you figure out things such as:
- Who is your target audience – in other words, who are the consumers that are going to use your app? You can create your buyer persona using this free tool developed by Hubspot.
- Why is your audience going to use your app – for example what problems do your customers currently encounter? How can you build a restaurant app that addresses all of these struggles?
- What are the features that customers need the most – apps can include different features, and you will need to figure out which ones would be the most important for your business before starting to build your restaurant app.
For example, here are some of the most popular features that customers are looking for in a restaurant app according to Misdev:
From this chart, we can see that some of the most preferred features include the ability to view restaurant menus and prices, the functionality to check for hours of operation, as well as the ability to filter by different types of cuisine.
Other important features include an incorporated loyalty program and the possibility to order food online. Another thing to keep in mind, which doesn’t show up on this list, are some of the features that help restaurants comply with COVID measures imposed by local governments, including:
- QR Menu scanning – which allows customers to access the restaurant’s menu and place orders by scanning a QR code from their phone. This feature is perfect for substituting paper menus at the restaurant in order to reduce unnecessary touching of the same menu between various customers.
- Data storage – although this requirement may vary by country, and is not imposed by all countries at all times, it may affect restaurant owners who are required to keep a list of customer details for a certain amount of time to comply with regulations & control possible outbreaks during the pandemic.
- Push notifications – this is another feature which is extremely useful for restaurant owners not only during the pandemic but also in general. It allows businesses to re-engage with customers, achieve a more direct communication with them, and send live updates long after they’ve left the restaurant.
And last but not least, there are certain features that are highly recommended to incorporate in any app, regardless of whether it’s a restaurant app, a coffee shop app, or any other type. For more information, you can check the full list of features in our article 10 Must-Have Mobile App Features for Success (2021).
2. Set your business goals
If you want to build a restaurant app, the second step that you will need to take is to set your strategy and business goals. Think about what you want to achieve with your app – do you want to increase your online orders? Or maybe you don’t offer online delivery, but want to provide more information about your menu items, prices, and just general details about the restaurants?
Another goal that you could have for your app is to use it as a powerful tool to boost your face-to-face sales. By including features such as QR scanning, push notifications, and order placing, customers can feel more at ease ordering food and drinks at the restaurant itself. Your app may help comply with social distancing regulations, government requirements, and just provide better experience overall.
Before you move on to the app development process, don’t forget to establish KPIs and goals that are SMART:
Without establishing proper goals and key performance indicators, you won’t be able to measure the success of your restaurant app.
3. Build your restaurant app
And the last step of our development process is to actually build a restaurant app with the right tools and techniques. Now that you have your business strategy, goals, features and market research data, you are ready to start working on the technical part of the process.
Many people believe that, in order to build a restaurant or any other app, they will need to invest thousands of dollars into a complex and lengthy application development that can take many months. And of course, to some extent they are right – this is what happens typically with native app development. Depending on the complexity and features of the app, it can reach up to the whopping $100,000!
The cost of native app development is usually associated with separate development for each app store and operating system (Android, iOS), separate maintenance and updates, and it doesn’t even include the commissions that app stores take from your app earnings.
With these numbers in mind, it is easy to understand why many businesses, including restaurants, coffee shops and other companies within the food and drink industry, don’t really want to invest in app development. Luckily, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars neither many months of lengthy processes in order to build a restaurant app.
What is the key to doing that? It’s very simple: you will need a powerful, no-code Drag and Drop app builder such as Beezer. These builders allow you to create apps without the need to have any programming skills because they work with pre-built blocks that you simply drag and drop the way you desire.
Today, we will show you how to build a restaurant app with Beezer in an easy, fun, and extremely fast way. Remember that in the beginning of the article, we mentioned about bypassing app stores? Yes, that’s right – since Beezer is a progressive web app builder, you will be able to make an app that is easily accessible through a single URL and without having to download it from the app store.
As a restaurant owner, this will be a win-win for both you and your customers – you will not need to pay commissions and fees to the app stores, and your customers can access your app at any time, without having to clear up app space for yet another heavy app. On top of that, since progressive web apps can work offline, your customers will be able to access the whole content even if there is no stable connection at the moment.
Some other benefits of progressive web apps include, but are not limited to:
- Faster loading speed – PWAs are extremely light and fast, which will help you reduce server load, improve your app performance, and provide better user experience to your customers.
- SEO – since progressive web apps are essentially websites with the look and feel of a native app, they can actually be indexed by search engines, allowing you to get more organic traffic.
- Live updates – another feature of PWAs is that you can do updates automatically, without having to notify nor constantly request permissions from users. These updates are reflected instantly on your app, without having to wait any app store revisions either.
- Look and feel of a native app – another benefit of having a progressive web app is that it maintains the look and feel of a native mobile app while providing users with the full functionality of website performance. In other words, they offer the best of both worlds in the most efficient way possible.
To build a restaurant app with Beezer, just follow these simple steps:
3.1. Create an account
In order to start building awesome apps in the matter of minutes and without the hassle and costs of native app development, simply go to Beezer.com and click on the Try Free for 30 Days button. Then, register with your name, email address and password – it’s that easy!
Creating a Beezer account is free, and you will be able to try the full functionality of our platform for 30 days before deciding on whether you want to purchase a subscription. Once your subscription has ended, you will be able to choose from different pricing plans if you want to continue using Beezer.
3.2. Select an app template
The next step in order to build a restaurant app is to select your app template. You have a variety of templates that you can choose from without any additional costs – however, we do have some specific templates that you might enjoy for your restaurant, bar, or coffee shop. We also have a unique template designed exclusively to comply with COVID requirements for restaurant reopening:
If you are not sure which template would be the most adecuate for your business, you can click on each one of them and see the preview. You can also try any of the other templates even if they were designed for other types of industries – after all, you can always personalize and adjust them to your needs and desires later.
Once you’ve chosen your template, click on it to select it, and click on Next.
3.3. Give your app a name
Next, give your app a name. Make sure that’s is easy and simple to remember. If you already have a website, it is highly recommended to name your app in the closest name possible to your website. This way, you will maintain brand consistency across all of your channels.
For example, if the name of your website is xxxrestaurant.com, your app name could be xxxrestaurantapp.com.
At this step, you will notice that your domain will be followed by “beezer.com” by default. However, don’t worry about that – you can later purchase a custom domain name with your paid subscription. You can click here to read more on the benefits of having a custom domain name for your app.
3.4. Add features to your app
Now that you’ve selected your template and you’ve chosen a name for your app, the next step to build a restaurant app is to start personalizing it and adding features to it.
You can easily create and add new pages, personalize the brand colours of your design, set up your navigation menu, and much more. From your account, you can also manage all of your distribution settings including sharing via SMS, email, and social media, as well as send push notifications.
Once you are ready, simply hit publish, and your app is now live! You can build a restaurant app as simple as that.