Why Restaurant Apps Are Bad for Business

The Rise & Fall of Restaurant Apps

Restaurant apps have gained popularity in recent years due to their convenience and ability to create a direct line of communication with customers.

They offer features such as loyalty rewards, personalized offers, and real-time order tracking, which can enhance the customer experience.

With limited space on mobile device storage, people are being more selective with the apps they install.

Restaurant Apps are bad, a chef and an app developer arguing over the app, ai generated.

The Downside of Restaurant Apps

High development costs

Developing a restaurant app is an expensive and time-consuming process. From hiring a development team to ongoing updates and maintenance, the costs can add up quickly.

This can be a significant financial burden for small to medium-sized restaurants with limited resources.

Limited audience reach

Although smartphone usage is widespread, not all customers will download and use your restaurant app.

The problem is that the majority of your customers don’t want to sacrifice the storage space on their phones for individual restaurants.

Why would they want to? 91% of people already hate having to install apps to do business with a company.

With apps like DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub that will deliver, the idea of installing an app for an individual restaurant seems unnecessary.

Although, according to Restaurant Technology News, a staggering 71% of consumers prefer restaurant-specific websites and apps.

If one doesn’t have the storage for restaurant apps, the clear winner is websites.

Online apps can limit your potential audience’s reach and may not justify the investment in app development.

Difficult maintenance

Once an app is launched, it requires regular updates and maintenance to keep it functioning properly and address any security vulnerabilities.

This can be a constant drain on resources and divert attention away from other important aspects of running a restaurant.

The Benefits of a Well-Designed Website

Wider audience reach

A well-designed website can reach a wider audience than a restaurant app.

With a website, customers can easily access your menu, make reservations, and contact you from any device with an internet connection.

Easier and cheaper to maintain

Websites are typically easier and cheaper to maintain than mobile apps.

Regular updates and security patches are usually less time-consuming and less expensive, allowing you to focus more on running your restaurant.

Flexibility and versatility

A website can be easily updated and adapted to suit your changing needs.

You can add new menu items, announce events, and showcase your latest promotions without the need for extensive development work.

Better SEO and online visibility

Having a well-designed website can help improve your search engine rankings and increase your online visibility.

This can drive more traffic to your site and potentially increase sales and reservations.

Enhanced customer experience

A website can offer a more comprehensive and seamless customer experience than a restaurant app.

With a well-designed website, customers can easily browse your menu, make reservations, and get in touch with you all in one place.

Successful Restaurants with Well-Designed Websites

Numerous successful restaurants have prioritized a well-designed website over a mobile app.

These restaurants often have a visually appealing and user-friendly website that showcases their menu, offers online reservations, and provides contact information.

This approach has helped them build a strong online presence and attract more customers.

How to Create a Successful Website for Your Restaurant

Mobile-friendly design

With more people accessing websites from their mobile devices, it’s crucial to have a mobile-friendly design.

Make sure your website is responsive and easy to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices.

Just a note to consider. Most of your website traffic will come from users on mobile devices.

Make sure that your site is not just responsive but optimized for mobile viewing.

Far too many websites are considered “responsive” when all the elements from desktop websites are squeezed to fit a vertical screen.

Framing is important, your mobile site should be optimized for mobile screens with clear calls to action that are immediately noticeable.

High-quality images and descriptions

Use high-quality images and detailed descriptions to showcase your dishes.

This will give potential customers a better idea of what to expect and make your offerings more enticing.

Easy navigation and usability

Make sure your website is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

Include clear headings, easy-to-find contact information, and a simple reservation process to improve the customer experience.


While restaurant apps may seem like a convenient solution for customer interaction, the costs and limitations associated with them often outweigh the benefits.

In contrast, a well-designed website offers a more versatile, cost-effective, and user-friendly approach.

It can reach a wider audience, improve your online visibility, and enhance the overall customer experience.


  1. What are the drawbacks of restaurant apps?
    • High development and maintenance costs, limited audience reach, and the need for regular updates are some of the drawbacks of restaurant apps.
  2. Why are well-designed websites more beneficial for restaurants?
    • Well-designed websites offer a wider audience reach, are easier and cheaper to maintain, provide more flexibility, enhance SEO and online visibility, and offer a better customer experience.
  3. How can a restaurant create a successful website?
    • A successful restaurant website should be mobile-friendly, have high-quality images and descriptions, and be easy to navigate and use.
  4. Are there any successful restaurants that prioritize websites over apps?
    • Yes, many successful restaurants prioritize well-designed websites over apps to reach a wider audience, improve their online visibility, and offer a better customer experience.
  5. Can a restaurant have both an app and a website?
    • While it’s possible to have both, it’s important to consider the costs and resources required for app development and maintenance. A well-designed website can often offer more benefits and be more cost-effective.

What’s your next step?

Don’t miss out on making a strong online impression.

We’ll make you a website that feels just right, like the one we made for Cincinnati’s Goodfellows.

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