Restaurant App Development: Custom vs. White Label Solution

4 Mins read

Building an online presence is currently the most crucial and effective method of marketing your business. For a restaurant, having a website and a social media account is the bare minimum nowadays. To really stand out from the competition, deliver the best customer experience, and not lose money by working with third parties, restaurant owners have to invest in mobile application development.

Many businesses pick custom development because they want the app to be built specifically according to their requirements and don’t mind the price tag and the long waiting time. Besides, to ensure the success of the product, companies might search and interview mobile development companies for weeks or months before hiring them. 

However, in light of the still ongoing pandemic, many restaurant businesses need an affordable solution that will take a maximum of a couple of weeks to make and launch to bring profit as soon as possible, which is exactly the purpose and the aim of a white-label solution

White-label vs. Custom app

Source: Pinterest

What is a white-label app?

White-label apps are ready-made unbranded solutions with core features. These apps are customized to fit your business’ branding and you can also request various features to be added if you want to.

Core features of a white-label mobile ordering app include:

  • Registration
  • Multi-category item catalog
  • Product details
  • Pick-up and delivery scenarios
  • Support for multiple locations
  • Different payment options

Custom-built app

A custom-built application is the complete opposite of the out-of-the-box solution. You can fully tailor the look and feel, the ordering process, and the features of your app, as well as integrate any third-party tools you want.

White-label vs. Custom app differences

#1 Cost

As was mentioned, white-label solutions are much more affordable because they don’t need a large initial investment. Custom development, on the other hand, will most likely be more expensive, although it also relies on your development team’s rates and what design and features you want.

#2 Time

Because white-label apps are already built and have worked for others, you only need to personalize it to your restaurant and you’re ready to go (usually in a couple of weeks). Custom development takes much longer for obvious reasons — the development team builds you a system from scratch which often has more complicated requirements.

#3 Features

White-label solutions have their core built-in features which you can tailor only a little, or you can also request some features to be custom-added. Custom app’s features are designed from zero to meet your business needs and you have full control in deciding what leaves, what stays, and how it needs to function.

#4 Design

White-label solutions generally already have a premade structure and design which can be scarcely personalized. With custom development, every element of your app is customizable to align it with your business aims and strategy.

#5 Security

While white-label apps usually offer standard security, custom-built ones can be developed using security practices you find most reliable.

Should you go for a white-label solution?

If you relate to the reasons listed below, then you definitely should.

  1. You seek a branded solution that can be rapidly launched

You don’t have time to wait and want to start delivering profits with your app within a couple of weeks.

  1. Your budget is limited and you want to invest it in a smart way

If you‘re on a tight budget, a white-label solution is going to be the best option that will both fit your resources and provide you with a working app.

  1. You need a time-tested foolproof solution

The majority of white-label solutions have previously gone through revisions, troubleshooting, and beta tests as well as have worked for other restaurants, minimizing risks that it won’t work for you.

Do you actually need your own restaurant application?

With many existing third-party apps like Grubhub, Postmates, and DoorDash, the obvious question is — why do you need to have your own application?

First of all, working with third parties isn’t cheap and would require you to pay numerous fees. The average commission rates of third-party food delivery apps range from 15% to 30%. You will also have to pay transaction fees for all orders with online payments as well as the tax on the charged commission. All of the fees together bring down restaurants’ profit margins, so owners are compelled to raise the prices. 

Here’s an example of the same meal ordered from Chipotle’s own website versus third-party delivery app Postmates.

By having your own white-label restaurant application, you get rid of unnecessary fees and receive 100% of the profit.

The second reason is that diners actually prefer ordering food from restaurant-specific apps, especially if it’s a restaurant brand which they already like. 

It is more convenient since there’s no middle man that could mess up the order which is a widespread issue known to happen with third-party delivery apps. With the help of your white-label app, you will have full control over the ordering process, minimizing the risk of mistakes. 

The third point is that with a white-label mobile app, you get to keep your customers’ first-party data and analytics which is crucial in long-term business success. This allows you to directly talk to your audience through either the app itself or via other means: social media, email, and text messaging. With the help of this data, you can determine customers’ buying patterns, forecast future trends, improve your clients’ experience, and provide them with relevant news that will keep them engaged, like promotions. 

Having your own restaurant app makes you stand out among the competition and increases brand awareness. Instead of being “just another restaurant” in Grubhub’s huge list of similar ones, your app will convey your brand voice.

Probably every restaurant owner who has worked with third-party apps is familiar with a situation where a customer gives your restaurant a bad review for the mistake that a third party caused. Not only it is extremely frustrating but also sometimes can’t even be corrected.

So stop being exploited by third-party companies and start building your own brand!

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