The global food technology market hit $260.07 billion in 2022. Fueled by technological advancements and a growing demand for healthier, more affordable, and safer food, it is expected to exceed $360 billion by 2028. This growth reflects changing consumer preferences and the industry's commitment to utilizing technology for a better food future.

Find out how this digital transformation can help you to boost operations, drive sales, and draw in more guests.

Foodtech application categories

Modern FoodTech software landscape is really diverse, one can find apps for nearly any food related use case — from production to recycle.

Let's zoom in on the Food Service category and its products, crafted to improve current out-of-home businesses. These apps aren't just managing today's restaurants, they're shaping the future dining scene with innovative robotics and the concept of cloud kitchens.

Types of food service applications for restaurants

Categorizing food service apps is essential, as app development for the restaurant industry is not one-size-fits-all. Your specific goals will determine the type of app you require. Let’s explore different types of restaurant apps, highlighting some real-world examples.

Table reservation 

Table reservation apps streamline the dining experience by enabling users to book tables at their preferred restaurants. These apps typically offer options to select the date, time, and seating preferences, reducing waiting times and enhancing the overall dining experience. 


POS & Payment 

Point of Sale (POS) and payment apps streamline the payment process, allowing customers to pay their bills through their smartphones, reducing the need for physical menus and bills, and enabling contactless payments. 


Restaurant management apps

Restaurant management apps serve as comprehensive solutions, aiding restaurant owners and managers in overseeing various operational aspects such as inventory management, employee scheduling, and sales monitoring.



Kitchen Display System (KDS)

Kitchen Display Systems are used in restaurants to streamline the communication between the kitchen staff and the front-of-house team. These systems replace traditional paper tickets by displaying orders digitally, making it easier for kitchen staff to manage and prioritize orders in real time.

Restaurant menu management app
Restaurant menu management app

Digital menu app

A tech-savvy alternative to traditional paper menus. Accessible via smartphones, these menus enhance convenience and safety. Users can effortlessly browse, order, and make payments, minimizing physical contact and wait times. As an example, check out a restaurant menu and orders managing platform that we've developed for one of our clients. Guests can access the menu through QR code scanning, filter itt and make an order without installing an app or calling a waiter.

Custom restaurant app
Custom restaurant app


In-house restaurant app

Major restaurant chains often have specialized in-house apps. Some function primarily as delivery apps, exemplified by McDonald’s or Domino’s Pizza. Others are tailored for loyalty programs, and certain apps seamlessly integrate both delivery services and loyalty programs within a single application.

McDonalds app

Food Waste Apps for Restaurants

By developing a food waste app, restaurants can not only cut down on unnecessary expenses but also contribute to environmental and social responsibility by minimizing their ecological footprint.

Winnowsolutions waste management app

Benefits of a restaurant app development

People love restaurant apps because they make ordering food, picking a place to eat, checking menus, and reading reviews easy and fun through a cool app. But why should restaurant owners bother making their own apps? Well, here are some good reasons why it's a smart move for their business.

Benefits of a restaurant app development
  • Enhanced Engagement: Your app can offer deals and make ordering food super easy, so customers keep choosing your place.
  • Minimized Food Waste: Tailoring your offerings based on demand helps minimize overstocking and ensures that you're preparing what customers truly enjoy.
  • Increased Visibility: Having an app makes your restaurant more visible, attracting more people to check it out.
  • Streamlined Operations: The app can help with orders, reservations, and feedback, making everything run better.
  • Distinguished Presence: A good app makes your restaurant unique and cooler than the rest.
  • Cost Savings: The improved operational efficiency and optimized menu planning contribute to overall cost reduction, enhancing the financial sustainability of your restaurant.
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Emerging trends in restaurant applications

The future of restaurant apps is an exciting landscape of innovation, bringing forth trends that promise enhanced functionality to meet evolving dining needs. Here are some emerging trends to think over:

  1. AI Integration: Picture a dining experience where an AI-powered app learns your preferences, suggesting dishes tailored precisely to your taste. This personalized touch will take your dining adventures to new heights.
  2. Dynamic Pricing: Offering discounts during empty hours and raising price at prime hours. By matching prices to demand, restaurants can optimize occupancy, reduce idle time, and increasing margins.
  3. Sustainability Initiatives: Restaurants are increasingly prioritizing sustainability. Digital-only menus, for instance, reduce paper waste, showcasing a commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Key features of a successful restaurant app

When creating a restaurant app, it's crucial to include features that meet the needs of both customers and restaurant owners, enhancing user experience and fostering business growth. Common restaurant app features include:

  • Digital Menu: Core feature. A comprehensive digital menu with photos and detailed information for each dish.
  • Preference Filters: Options to filter dishes by price, discounts, popularity, main ingredients, and allergens for a tailored experience.
  • Table Reservation: Allow customers to reserve tables seamlessly.
  • Order Placement: Smooth order placement for takeout or delivery.
  • Payments: Secure options for order payments and tips.
  • Online Tracking: Keep customers informed about order status through real-time tracking.
  • Loyalty Program: Implement loyalty programs and promotions with special offers and deals.
  • Customer Support: In-app chat for handling complaints and suggestions.
  • Push Notifications: Location-aware offers and timely updates on order status.

Additional features to enhance the restaurant app user experience:

  • Waiter Call: Prompt assistance with a click.
  • Quick Order: Effortless repetition of previous orders.
  • User Reviews: Ratings and reviews for each menu item.
  • GPS Tracking: Track order delivery in real-time.
  • Location Services: Find nearby restaurant locations for chains.
  • Menu Customization: Allow users to customize menu items.
  • Gamification: Integrate achievements, challenges, and tournaments for in-app currency.
  • Social Media Sharing: Share experiences on social platforms.
  • Chatbots: AI-powered assistance for user queries.
  • Third-Party Integrations: Seamless connections, like requesting an Uber within the app.

For staff integration:

  • Restaurant Management System: Integration with a system for staff to process orders and manage operations.
  • Training Tools: Provide training for staff on app operation and management.

Read more on app building: Building Your Own Mobile Delivery App: Step-by-Step Guide

5 Steps to Create a  Restaurant App

Developing a restaurant app can significantly enhance the customer experience and improve operational efficiency. Here are five crucial steps for creating a user-friendly and successful restaurant app.

Step 1: Define Your Objectives & Target Audience

Before starting the development process, it is essential to outline the objectives and identify the target audience for your restaurant app. With clear objectives and a well-defined target audience, your restaurant app development can be tailored to meet specific goals, ensuring a successful and purposeful application.


  • Enhance Customer Experience
  • Streamline Order Management
  • Increase Brand Visibility and Loyalty
  • Drive More Sales

Target Audience

Understand the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of your potential app users to customize the app to meet their specific needs and expectations.

Step 2: List features for the MVP release 

Figuring out a right subset of features for the first launch is critical for optimizing budgets and delivery time. Consider 

  • User needs defined by the app concept 
  • Competitor feature analysis 
  • Time to implement

Step 3: Choose the right tech stack

The choice of technology will impact your app’s performance, scalability, and overall cost. Speaking from our positive experience with developing the digital menu and on demand delivery apps we suggest Flutter as a backbone of a restaurant app tech stack. Its crossplatform nature allows to speed up development and reach a maximum number of customers from day one.

Read more: Why creating apps with Flutter is a good idea?

Step 4: Develop an app

Once all the preparations are done, the development stage kicks in. Note that it's important to have a strong understanding of the main feature scope at this point.

It could be divided into 3 phases:

  1. Design. Define your product’s branding and aesthetic. Create design mockups containing app navigation, main flows and interface elements. 
  1. Develop.Architect your technical solution based on the business's needs and design requirements. Select tech stack and frameworks, estimate the timeline and define clear delivery milestones together with a technical team. 
  1. Test. Even the best app could be ruined just by one faulty feature. Make sure the final product is bug free by combining manual and automated testing. Add application stability and crasshrate monitoring, so the engineering team would be alarmed in case something goes wrong for the customer.

Step 5: Release, analytics and support

Working on the application doesn’t stop at the release. There are a number of features that would help to build your marketing strategy  

  • Track marketing campaigns 
  • Gather usage data user demographic insights 
  • Work with user reviews to identify potential problems and improvements

Wrap up

Ready to bring your restaurant app vision to life? Let's talk! 
We will craft an app that elevates the dining experience together. 

Foodtech is significantly transforming the restaurant industry, setting new standards and reshaping its dynamics. However, businesses need to stay adaptable and evolve continually to make the most of technological potential. As technology continues to advance, the seamless integration of food and technology is expected to spark further innovations in the industry.

By teaming up with a reliable tech partner, you're on track to create a fully functional Restaurant App. 

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