Must-Have Features in a Restaurant App in 2024 and Beyond

Prateek Saxena February 22, 2024
restaurant mobile app features

Every industry is going through  digital transformation, and the restaurant industry is no exception. The adoption of food delivery apps has paved the way for the restaurant sector to bloom. Restaurant owners are gradually realizing the importance of a mobile app for fetching revenue for their business. Restaurants apps help you manage staff, customers, orders, sales, and other aspects of the restaurant.

A dedicated restaurant mobile app serves various objectives like notifying the customers of a new branch opening, launching a new campaign, adding a new course to the e-menu, and any updates related to the restaurant. Every restaurant business’s success depends on its customer base, which happens when you add new customers while retaining existing ones. Enhanced customer engagement and better experiences help restaurant owners expand their customer base and generate revenue. However, it’s only possible when mobile apps for restaurants are embedded with astounding food delivery app features that enhance customer experiences. If you want to stay running with a competitive edge in the digital landscape, developing a custom restaurant app is an absolutely prudent decision.

 In this article, we will cast light on the 10  must-have features in your restaurant app. But before that, let’s look at the important statistics of the food and delivery industry as well as the importance of mobile app development in Singapore. You might also want to check the Top 10 eCommerce app features for startups and enterprises

Notable Food and Delivery Industry Statistics

The food industry is rapidly changing with innovative technologies assisting businesses to cater to more users and streamline food ordering and delivery processes. Here are some important online food delivery statistics:

Benefits of Restaurant App Development

With the forecasted statistics above, it is evident to say that more businesses will dive into app development for restaurants to enhance user dining and delivery experience. Here are some solid reasons why restaurant app development is worth it from a business perspective.

Increase in the sales graph

The physical space in the restaurant can always be challenging, especially when overcrowded. It negatively impacts the diner’s experience. Digital orders increase sales as many users prefer using a mobile app for ordering food instead of visiting the place. Also, users who want to visit the restaurant and avoid queues can easily reserve a table at their preferable time with the app.

Customer engagement

Restaurant mobile apps help you stay in touch with your customers and build better relationships with them via restaurant apps. The app can easily help communicate and create brand awareness with new and existing customers. You can notify your customers about the specials, share news, hold contests, run polls, and indulge in attending customer feedback.

Convenient payment processing

In the digital landscape, payment processing is one of the top benefits you can offer your customers. With the help of integrated payment gateways to your app, your customers can pay you easily and rapidly. This eventually helps restaurant personnel focus on important tasks, reducing the time involved in physical payment processing. The more payment types your app accepts, the better it is.

Online presence, reviews, and ratings

Restaurant mobile applications give you a competitive edge over your competitors and build a strong, trustworthy online presence. Also, food restaurant apps can be a good medium to collect customer feedback and attend to it immediately. The reviews and ratings help your restaurant identify the issues and resolve them with prompt responses.

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10 Must-Have Features for a  Restaurant Mobile App

Now that you’ve become familiar with the benefits of restaurant mobile apps, it’s time to enumerate the features that makes your restaurant app stand out. The app features may vary depending on your niche and business model. Here we have compiled the 10 features of an online food ordering system that you must have to be loved by the customers:

  • Loyalty, Rewards and Discount Programs and Building Relationship
  • Mobile Payments and Online Ordering
  • Table Reservation
  • Location-based Services
  • Integrated with Social Media
  • Chatbots
  • Customer Feedback Portal
  • Gamification
  • Online Food Tracking
  • Quick Ordering

Loyalty, Rewards and Discount Programs and Building Relationship

Customers are what forms the core of any business. A customer-centric business will always try to pay more attention to the carefully planned loyalty program. This ensures that there is a boost in customer engagement and the number of transactions. The loyalty program must cater to specific business needs. The single-card loyalty programs are for single locations, and the multi-card loyalty programs are for multiple locations. The mobile app for your business must have a statistical interface for a proper understanding of customer behavior. As per estimates, 37% of customers search for a mobile app to look for a discount.

Mobile Payments and Online Ordering

Online ordering is very beneficial for the mobile app for your restaurant. 69% of customers order food through a mobile. Online ordering also lets the customers avoid the long queues in the restaurant of their choice. The payment over the mobile always makes a customer happy. The mobile app increases the efficiency and accuracy in order handling too. In fact, 67% of customers who orders online, visits the restaurants often. Essential features are push notifications for ordering.

Table Reservation

There are many high-end eateries that allow no prior walk-ins and only go for an early reservation of the table by the customers. Others may be smaller in size but serves quality food, making it impossible without a valid reservation of table. A table reservation feature for the restaurant app is essential for eradicating the frustrations of the customers, who cannot plan a visit to their favorite restaurant. Pre-ordering is an essential feature for the mobile app for the restaurant, assuring you of dining 60% faster, without any waiting period.

Location-based Services

There are many mobile apps for restaurants that are equipped with location-based services like geofencing and beacons, which enables a customer engagement before the customer arrives at the actual location.This can be termed as something similar to distributing flyers to passers-by. As per a study conducted, there is a possibility of an 8 -12% increase in your weekly customer base when the beacons are in use.

Social Media Integration

In this era of the digitized world, social media integration has become an absolute necessity for any business. Generally, photos are uploaded to the social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, so that the customer can share  their experience. Additionally, the discounts and the loyalty programs may get connected with social media and the customer can earn some reward points while inviting their friends. This will not only create new customers, but also entice the already existing ones to get converted into repeat orders for your business.


Chatbots are relatively a new technology for the restaurant industry. However, the restaurant development industry is embracing it with open hands. AI-based chatbots are no longer limited to answering fundamental questions; instead, they take personalization to another level. The bots in the present time can easily initiate dialogues and spur conversations with customers. They can provide information, offers, discounts, and follow-ups and handle basic queries. Chatbots can also work on social media as well as on websites and can help bring repeated business.

Customer Feedback Portal

Customer feedback is the simplest yet most effective way of getting complete visibility into insights that can help you improve your app. A customer feedback portal in the app will allow users to share their experiences. These experiences or customer demands can be used later to improve the app’s functionality further and enhance the user experience. The portal easily provides hassle-free customer service as bad experiences or suggestions can be attended to instantly, building trust among customers.

Online Food Tracking

An online food tracking status feature allows users and admins to track the progress of their orders. The real-time progress of the food orders and the location of delivery personnel in real time assure the users of their orders and make the waiting process less tiresome. You can easily update users with their order status via push notifications and share the delivery partner’s details with this feature.


Gamification is another feature emerging rapidly among the food delivery apps for restaurants. The key reason of introducing this to your app is creating a happy customer experience. It’s scientifically proven that human brain produces dopamine whenever they are happy and receive rewards.

Gamification features in your restaurant app will introduce a system of achievements, challenges, and tournaments that will promote loyalty programs among users. You can also offer in-app currency after a user reaches certain stages of achievement. The in-rewards can be used to pay for the orders. Gamification features in your app allow users to use the app over again. It increases engagement and attract users with loyalty points.

Quick Ordering or Order Scheduling

A quick order feature can help your customer add their favorite food items or previously ordered dishes directly to the cart and place a quick order. For instance, most users love a particular dish in a restaurant, and if the restaurant mobile app features include a quick ordering button, they won’t have to search down the whole e-menu to place an order. It enhances the customer experience by multiple folds. Similarly, a mobile food delivery app for restaurants can offer an order scheduling feature that allows customers to schedule an order for a specific time. This feature assists users in placing multiple orders at the same time.

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How Appinventiv can help with Restaurant Mobile App Development

Appinventiv is a top-rated restaurant app development company well-acknowledged for developing unique solutions for multiple brands worldwide. We have assisted global brands like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Dominos with their app design and development to expand their business. 

Currently, KFC has been rated as the #1 ranking app on the Play Store, with over 2 million downloads. The new UI/UX  delivered an ultimate customer experience, and the app noted an increase in conversion rate by 28%.

Another successful example is Pizza Hut mobile app that helped the brand expand into middle eastern countries. With our transformative UI/UX development, the brand saw an increase in conversion rate by 30%. Similarly, we helped Dominos increase its conversion rate by 23% with our redefining UI/UX strategy. 


The must-have features mentioned above for a successful restaurant mobile app development are only the tip of the iceberg as advanced features integration can help deliver an ultra-smooth customer experience. All the core features of mobile food ordering apps described above are designed to serve customers and businesses simultaneously. As the online food business is a growing large market, it’s important to implement compelling functionalities to sustain and meet the needs of modern-day users.


Q. How much does a restaurant app development costs?

A. To put an actual quote on mobile app development for restaurants is impossible as it depends on various associated factors like features-set, mobile app design, team size, and geographic location of the development agency. Once you are clear with the features-set and mobile app design, you can get into MVP development to get a clear picture of the app ideation.

Q. What are the types of restaurant apps you can develop?

A. There are different types of restaurant mobile apps that you can explore and some might not even require restaurant ownership to build a restaurant app. Here are some popular options to consider:

  • Restaurant review app
  • Local restaurant finder
  • Restaurant menu app
  • Food delivery app for restaurants
  • Restaurant booking apps

Q. What advanced features can be added to the app to deliver a successful customer experience?

A. To enhance your customer experience, you can segment the features set based on utility, such as admins, restaurant owners, and customers. Here is a glance at the advanced feature set you can integrate based on segmentation.

Admins: Delivery zone settings, delivery tracking, customer management, site settings, category management, new restaurant additions.

Restaurant Owners: Staff management, menu management, kitchen management, social media integration, personalization, reviews, cuisine management, order management.

Users: Notifications, payment processing, loyalty programs, multiple platforms, table reservations, customer support, profile registration, etc.

Prateek Saxena
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