Building an online food & restaurant app: 11 essential features

Are you planning on developing a food and restaurant app but unsure what features you must include?

The immense popularity of food apps is all about getting delectable food items delivered to the comfort of your home or office. The massive adoption of food delivery apps has paved the way for surmounting the growth of the food and restaurant sector and led to its digital transformation. With successful food and restaurant delivery apps like Dominos, businesses now realize the importance of a mobile app to boost revenues and ROIs.

Here are some findings from Statista to help you understand the math:

  • As of 2022, the online food delivery app business has achieved $63.2 billion in revenue, with a 10.7% growth compared to the previous year.
  • Over 217 million users will be using online food-ordering apps by 2027.

These stats are compelling enough to understand the demand for online food delivery apps, but what features should they have?

#1: Push notifications 

It is not uncommon for people to only have one food delivery app on their mobiles. Therefore, to boost your brand’s visibility, you must implement new ways to stay ahead of your competitors. You can send creative and engaging push notifications to educate users about discounts, offers, localized messages, and so on. And sending push notifications is the best way to stay connected with your customers.

#2: Discounts, cash backs, rewards, and loyalty programs

When customers order food online, they browse through multiple apps to determine which offers the lowest bid. Therefore, when attracting more customers to your app, it would be great to provide them with discounts, special orders, or loyalty points. This would eventually help you expand your sales, just like Starbucks did by 80%.

#3: Real-time GPS tracking

The purpose of GPS tracking is to recognize a user’s delivery location and allow them to track their orders in real-time. This is one of the essential features of a food delivery app. You can implement these APIs for this feature: Google Maps, MapKit, and Waze’s Navigation.

#4: Easy payment options

Your customers would want you to offer different payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, UPI like Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and PhonePe, online banking, cash on delivery, and BNPL solutions. Remember that customers would literally abandon their carts if they faced even minor issues during payment. Therefore, you need to offer the best checkout experience to your users.

#5: Social media integration 

Undeniably, social media has contributed significantly to online marketing strategies. Integrating social media into your food delivery app empowers customers to share photos and videos of their favorite dishes with friends and family. It would also help in boosting followership on social channels.

#6: Reviews and ratings

In today’s competitive ecosystem, businesses must improve their social proofing. And this is where reviews and ratings can help you. If your app is rated well, it provides an opportunity to get more downloads and engage more customers. Subsequently, good reviews work like recommendations for prospective customers, who will feel more confident in ordering from your app. All of these efforts support your goal of offering a superior customer experience.

#7: Easy ordering 

Most people prefer ordering food online because it is an easy process and doesn’t require much effort. However, if you do not offer an excellent user interface design and the desired user-friendliness, there are high chances of users uninstalling your app. To avoid this, the UI design of your food delivery app must empower users to discover what they need quickly. Good loading speed, high speed, and superior performance are all attributes that eventually lead to a satisfactory user experience.

#8: Search filters

The last thing a user wants is to spend hours searching for restaurants and menus when hungry. Therefore, you must implement smart search filters that allow users to search for restaurants quickly, find the dishes they are looking for, and place their orders. Some filters you can implement include delivery time, food type, preferences, location, ratings, and search for the dish. You can even personalize this experience by reading into their order histories and then suggesting options accordingly. The goal should be to offer everything a customer wants for a savory meal, so they don’t have to go elsewhere.

#9: In-app messages

This feature is beneficial when customers wish to raise their issues and complaints. For example, a delivery executive delivered a wrong order by mistake. Moreover, you can automate this process by offering pre-typed messages so that users can easily report their issues and speedily attain a resolution. With an in-app messaging feature, you can bridge the gap between customers, restaurants, and delivery champions and ensure a seamless order delivery process.

#10: Voice integration

It has become quite common for people to rely on intelligent voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to do the deed for them. Therefore, integrating this feature into your online food delivery apps would indulge your users in hassle-free ordering and delivery and reduce the time spent doing the same. For example, GrubHub integrates with Amazon Alexa to allow users to reorder previous orders.

#11: Easily order your favorites

Another intelligent feature you can implement in your online food delivery app is to allow your users to search for their favorite dishes and restaurants, hence accelerating the ordering process. Moreover, you can pin their favorite dishes and restaurants to the top of a user’s feed so they can easily access them.

Looking for an online food-ordering mobile app development company?

Maybe you’re a restaurant owner looking to improve your sales and boost customer retention with an online food delivery app. Or, you’re the next big entrepreneur who wants to get their online food delivery service project up and running.