The food and beverage industry is always facing constant change and various challenges, but that does not stop the industry's constant growth. The restaurant industry reached $863 billion in 2019 and increased by more than $38 billion from 2018. You can see the market size and rapid growth of this industry because today's consumers earn more, so they pay more for their standard of living. The average American now eats out 4-5 times a week. Millennials spend 42% of their budget on dining out and 56% plan to eat out more next year. While some aspects of the industry are always new, trends are always present and the most successful restaurants are always looking to stay ahead of the competition. By keeping up with new and emerging trends, restaurateurs have the opportunity to give their regular customers new experiences and attract new adventurous diners.

Creating an attractive restaurant website is also a way to attract your customers to visit your restaurant, but as I said earlier, you should keep up with the latest trends in today's digital age. And one of them is a restaurant reservation app.

Restaurant apps not only provide a platform for convenient ordering but also acts as an all-in-one solution to increase customer engagement. Help hungry people find you, make reservations, get directions, and review your menu at your convenience. Restaurant apps can provide additional value to your customers, which will help you rank higher than your competition. So, do you want to know everything about restaurant apps? Let’s check out on this article below. But first, let’s take a look at some surprising statistics about restaurant online ordering statistics and you will know why you should have a restaurant reservation app for your restaurant.

1. Restaurant Online Ordering Statistics


Technology lives everywhere, and the restaurant world is no exception.

According to a recent survey, 51% of US consumers use delivery services to buy their meals from restaurants and 26% of US consumers deliver or take out once a week.

According to Statista, 34% of respondents spend at least $50 per order when ordering food online.


And according to Nation’s Restaurant News, 45% of respondents in a recent survey said that offering mobile ordering or loyalty programs will encourage them to use online ordering more often.

Ordering through smartphones and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry by 2020.

According to a report conducted by NRA, there are more than 80% of restaurants are turning to technology, such as online ordering, booking and inventory apps and restaurant analytics - to help them run their business successfully and effectively.

41 percent of restaurants have (or will soon have) handheld tablets with servers, while 68 percent of diners agree they improve their experience.

Now you have yourself the reasons why you should have a restaurant reservation app for your business? Come to the next section, we will explain to you what this application is and its practical benefits.

2. What Is A Restaurant Reservation App?

What Is A Restaurant Reservation App

Restaurant apps are mobile applications designed for a specific restaurant concept or chain of restaurants. Especially for many large chain restaurants, apps are a must-have. For example, Starbucks has revolutionized the concept of pre-ordering with its mobile app and has successfully convinced 63% of its customer base to use it.

3. Why We Should Use Restaurant Reservation App?

Why We Should Use Restaurant Reservation App

The food industry is worth nearly 1 trillion USD. For any business, if you don't interact with your customers, you have a relatively high chance of failure. Therefore, restaurant apps will help you retain customers and your customers can use your application for different service ices even when they are at home. To show you the great benefits of using this app, here are some of the benefits of using the app for both shop owners and customers. Let's check it out.

For Customers 

  • A customer looking for food does not have to call up the restaurant to book a table. He can make a reservation over the app and get a confirmation via email or SMS.
  • No more waiting for tables to get empty or wasting time in deciding which meal to order.
  • Take a look at the menu and services anytime you want.
  • Read reviews prior to visiting the restaurant in person.

For Shop Owners 

  • Boost your brand
  • Offer personalized customer experience
  • Improve your service standards
  • Increase returning visitors
  • Simplify location-based advertising
  • Increase sales
  • Enhance brand loyalty
  • Receive advanced information
  • You can prepare the dishes in advance, thereby reducing wastage of food.
  • Reduce the chances of empty tables, increase sales, and improve ROI.
  • Gain full control over your resources in a single, centralized platform.
  • Access key information that helps you analyze guest expectations.
  • Do away with manual bookings and save time.
  • Send out direct messages of non-availability so you do not disappoint your customers.
  • Interact with your guests on social media integrated with your app.
  • Attract repeat customers by enabling loyalty programs when they use your app. This can be anything including a special discount or a priority booking.
  • Increase brand awareness of your restaurant via your dedicated reservation app.
  • Personalize the customer experience by suggesting meals they are likely to order.

4. Top Features Of A Restaurant Reservation App

If you are a restaurant owner, you know exactly how time-consuming and difficult managing reservations can be. Your staff has to handle dozens of calls a day and arrange table reservations manually. Sometimes when something goes wrong, you may experience overlapping schedules. In addition, your kitchen staff's unprepared food enough to serve customers can lead to a bad customer experience or over-preparing resulting in many ingredients left at the end of the day. Therefore, a modern and easy-to-use online restaurant reservation app will help ensure a suitable table management process for both restaurant owners and customers. The following are some essential features for an online reservation app:

Push Notifications

 restaurant reservation app

The power of push notifications is that it allows restaurants to interact and engage with their app users when they're not using the app. It is a way of communicating directly with them. Push notifications can increase retention by 3-10 times if implemented properly. Recent research has shown that well-crafted mobile push notifications can drive conversions up to four times.

Push notifications can be used to send users personalized offers, like discounts, thoughtful reminders, and app news.

However, Push notification is a double-edged sword, it can make or break your app. If you abuse it, it can annoy your users then resulting in a subsequent loss.

In-App, Online Ordering And Mobile Payments

According to Online Ordering Statistics in 2020, customers who placed an order online tend to visit that restaurant 67 percent more than those who don’t. In addition, 26% of customers said that they use a restaurant's app to easily pre-pay for their orders. That’s why online ordering and mobile payments are two of the must-have features in restaurant apps.

The online ordering feature allows your customers avoid the lines or the wait for the order to be taken and processed. The ability to pay for their orders beforehand takes customer convenience one step ahead. Not only does it make your customers' lives easier, but it also gives you a clear edge over your competition.

Loyalty, Rewards And Discounts Programs

restaurant apps, Loyalty

According to a survey from Statista, 37% of customers use the mobile app to search for discounts while 26% use it to Redeem/earn loyalty points. In addition, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 times higher than the cost of maintaining one. This is exactly why you must have these features for your restaurant app.

In addition, you can leverage a restaurant app to advertise promotions and increase bookings at a particular time during the day. For example, you notice that the time between 4 and 6 p.m. is usually empty in your restaurant - offer promotions to anyone who makes a reservation during these hours.

Location-based Services

Location-based services use a smartphone's GPS technology to track a person's location. Once a user opts-in, the service can determine their location down to a street address without the need for manual data entry.

By using real-time geographic data from smartphones, it provides information, entertainment, and security. Some services allow consumers to "check in" at restaurants, cafes, shops, concerts, and other venues or events.

Think of it as modern as the equivalent of handing out flyers to passersby, promoting offers, discounts, menu enhancements, and other restaurant news.

Multiple Platforms (App Store & Google Play)

The two most popular platforms today are iOS and Android. If you want people to notice your restaurant app, you have to allow customers to have access to your app on different platforms. If you have no experience in app development, then hiring an app development company to develop your app on both platforms is the best option for your business.

Table Reservation

 restaurant apps

Are your customers frustrated by the long wait to get to the table? If you are in this situation and want to enhance the customer satisfaction experience, then you should have a table reservation for the customer.

A Visually-appealing Menu

 restaurant reservation apps

A study has shown that 86% of millennials will try a new restaurant after viewing food-related content online. So, insert images inside the menu to entice customers. Take photos of your dishes in high resolution to attract customers to your restaurant. This will give them an idea of what they will order.

Staff Management and Kitchen Management

This feature ensures that your restaurant is never overworked or understaffed. It also allows you to track staff performance to date.

Social Media Integration

Social media integration is becoming a must-have feature for every app out there. Simple social media integration in an app can enhance app functionality. For example, Instagram has social media platforms seamlessly integrated into its app. Instagram accomplished this by allowing users not to log in through their Facebook account, but also allowing them to share take pictures of, and upload them to their social accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.


Personalization is one of the most important features in on-demand applications recently. This feature allows the application to track and analyze user activities and behavior and recommend products or services users may need. Besides, it helps you build your relationship with customers.


 restaurant apps, chatbot

Chatbots are software applications that use AI and natural language processing to understand what human beings want. The use of AI has made chatbots no longer simply automatic answers to basic questions. Chatbots have also fundamentally changed the way we place orders, most notably it makes the whole ordering process much easier. These bots also keep the conversation interesting by sharing trivia, asking questions, making jokes from time to time, and chatbots keep the conversation as we expect when we message our friends on Messenger. Adding this feature to your app can make your app stand out from your competitor.

Customer Feedback Portal

Customer feedback is the most effective and simplest way to collect insights to improve a restaurant app. This is the best feature for you to collect valuable feedback from customer experience, understand user preferences, and drive engagement and customer retention.

Furthermore, it is important to collect reviews and make any necessary changes in your application to meet the needs of your customers.


 restaurant reservation app, gamifications

Gamification is emerging quickly in many food ordering apps. Gamification is an in-app game that orders food online to reward players after they complete a task. It's natural for people to like rewards. Therefore, gamification quickly attracts many participants and increases revenue for the restaurant. Besides, you can create challenging games for your users that would boost engagement.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is arguably at an all-time high in marketing. This is a purely extended version of word-of-mouth marketing.

Influencer marketing works thanks to the high trust that social media influencers have built with their followers. And recommendations from influencers serve as a form of social proof for your brand's potential customers.

A decade ago, the influencer marketing arena was limited to celebrities and a few dedicated bloggers. Now, it looks like we've seen social media influencers on the rise.

5. What Do Customers Expect From A Restaurant Reservation App?

 What Do Customers Expect From A Restaurant Reservation App

Deciding to invest in a mobile restaurant app for your restaurant is a great decision. Most mobile restaurant apps have failed miserably due to inaccurate research findings and inappropriate strategy planning. It’s important to conduct thorough research on exactly what your customers are looking for in mobile restaurant apps. Therefore, we have provided you with a wish list of what customers expect from a restaurant reservation app, let’s figure it out:

The App Needs To Be Simple To Use

Simplicity is the customer's first expectation. If your customers cannot access their information quickly and easily, they will get frustrated and quickly lose interest. That can cost you a huge amount of potential customers. A clean, neat screen with clear instructions leading to the next step in the application process and no ambiguity will improve the customer experience and will encourage them to continue using it. Also, your customers may be older. They like simple restaurant apps. Make them simple!

The App Needs To Be Fast

Nothing can beat the happiness of enjoying your favorite food as it tickles your taste buds. When you're hungry, the level of satisfaction knows no bounds. Therefore, speed is very important. No one likes waiting, especially when all they have to look at is a screen-loading and this frustration soon gives way to boredom that leads to the decision to look for something better. Keep it simple and fast.

The App Should Have New Payment Technologies

Technology is always changing. And keeping up with the latest trend in technology is essential. Payment technologies are becoming a must-have feature to build customer loyalty and create a seamless customer experience. Besides, using this feature, customers' valuable time is saved as customers only need to swipe or tap to pay. In addition, many studies have shown that consumers tend to spend more when using electronic payment methods than when they use cash.

The App Should Have A Ratings And Reviews Section

Ratings and reviews are extremely important to customer service. They allow restaurant owners the opportunity to track customer satisfaction and resolve any issues that arise during the review process. Additionally, ratings and reviews help reduce apprehension when shopping online and re-establish the trust between restaurant owners and diners, which can dramatically increase your sales.

6. Types Of Restaurant App

The marketplace offers 7 types of restaurant apps: third-party reservation apps & website and self-owned brand app

1. Restaurant Locator App

Restaurant locator apps allow customers to find restaurants in a specific location. The restaurant finder app can also be used to view other customer reviews, and photos, view menus, and get directions to restaurants.

2. Food Delivery App

 restaurant app

A food delivery app is a mobile app that allows customers to place an order from any restaurant no matter where they are using their smartphone, tablet, or desktop. For restaurant owners, a food delivery app helps them assign, track and deliver food to customers easily. Customers, they can easily place an order, track and enjoy their meals without taking a step to the restaurant.

3. Table Booking And Food Ordering App

A table booking app is a mobile app that allows customers to book their party in advance at a specified time. Restaurant reservations can be made through the restaurant's app or a third party. Allowing customers to book a table and pay in advance, by using a table booking, it's bringing a great customer experience.

A food ordering app helps restaurant owners showcase their menu in different categories. All they have to do is select, enter the quantity and place orders. Like a table booking app, customers can place an order in advance by using food ordering apps so that the food can be prepared in time without any waiting involved. This app gives restaurant businesses opportunities to skyrocket their business.

4. Delivery Tracking App

The Delivery Tracking app allows restaurant owners to keep an eye on their delivery drivers to ensure they don't neglect the mission.

5. Promotional And Loyalty Program App

 Promotional and Loyalty Program App

A promotional and Loyal Program app is a modern version of the traditional loyalty card. It allows customers to earn and keep track of their loyalty points using a smartphone app. For restaurant business owner, this app help restaurant owners manage customer loyalty and referral programs.

6. Review App

A review app is a mobile app that allows customers to see reviews for a restaurant or a specific dish. This app helps customers know more about a restaurant that they want to visit, including ambiance, the atmosphere, staff attitude, etc.

7. Franchise Apps

Franchise apps are suitable for restaurants that have multiple branches. Restaurant business owners can manage, track, and deliver orders just in one mobile app. Domino’s Pizza is an example of a franchise app.

7. Top 5 The Best Restaurant Reservation Apps

By using restaurant apps, it allows customers to book their table online whenever and wherever they want without calling your receptionist. So, if you are looking for the best restaurant reservation app, here are the TOP 5 you should consider, let’s check it out:


OpenTable is a restaurant reservation system that allows you to arrange shifts, automate reservation reminders and optimize turn times, and more. OpenTable is not only available as a website but also can be used as a mobile app in many operating systems such as iOS, Android, etc.

Once installed, customers can view real-time availability and book a table in advance through your website. Like other systems, it also saves useful customer insights such as guest history, the most food ordered, and visit notes to help you and your team deliver personalized service.

OpenTable, provides online reservations to more than 54,000 restaurants around the world and serves more than 31 million diners every month. So, this app will help you fill more seats and manage your restaurant reservation effectively.


Yelp is one of the most popular names in reservation and review systems. Since 2016, Yelp has reserved 92 million seats for customers across the country. When you sign up with Yelp, they will send a free iPad to help you get started with their technology.

Yelp’s reservation software has many standard features you'd expect allowing you to reach more diners, provide accurate wait times, assign servers, and accept reservations on your Yelp business page.

When it comes to bookings, Yelp allows your potential customers to check availability and book in advance in just a few clicks, directly from your Yelp page. Alternatively, you can set up a booking widget to accept reservations from your restaurant's website. This unique configuration allows you to monitor your service activity from any device and anywhere.

Besides, Yelp also serves as a review platform, so if you don't have a strong base of good reviews, it can be seen as a double-edged sword.


Allset provides restaurants large and small with the most modern and essential features to engage customers, optimize guest occupancy, control kitchen staff workloads, and more. Allset allows guests to choose a restaurant, order and pay for a meal, and choose a time to eat. When guests arrive, the meal is ready to go, which literally gets customers in and out in less than an hour.

Allset accepts online orders directly from your website and social media. Besides, easy to drive more online traffic to sales with helpful marketing tools provided by Allset. These marketing features help you fill empty hours, list events, and increase restaurant sales. Importantly, Allset easily integrates with POS, making managing your restaurant business easier and more convenient than ever.


BigDish is one of the leading table booking apps in the world, offering table reservation, delivery, and collection services. Customers can Get restaurant deals and hourly discounts of up to 50%, and no paid membership is required. All discounts are applied automatically, so you don't have to worry about anything. BigDish is unique to give users the ability to view menu samples and check dining deals before you make a reservation.


Integrating the latest trends into your restaurant business application is essential to significantly increasing revenue for your business. What's more, digital-age Customers love to use smartphones and so now is the right time to hit the target with a perfect restaurant reservation app.

You've gone through all the best restaurant apps on the list and are looking for a highly specialized company to help you build a restaurant app with many of the essential features and important technology integrations. From food delivery, to table reservation, restaurant experience review. Our expert developers can help you achieve more milestones using our professional application development solutions.

Share your project with us if you want to increase revenue dramatically.

In Conclusion

Restaurants should be mobile to reach more customers earn more money, grow and expand. Your restaurant is no exception. Use the opportunity to reach your customers with your own restaurant reservation app.

Hopefully, this complete guide has helped you have a better understanding of restaurant apps.

RETREATY is a trusted company that provides many technologies and e-commerce solutions. We also have many years of experience in building websites and restaurant applications. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to please you.

See more: Restaurant Reservation System: Technology Difference In Pandemic

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