Empowering Eateries: Leveraging Low-Code Platforms for Restaurant Applications
Empowering Eateries: Leveraging Low-Code Platforms for Restaurant Applications


In today's rapidly evolving digital age, restaurants are constantly looking for ways to innovate and streamline their operations. One of the most promising tools emerging in the technological landscape is the low-code platform. But what exactly is a low-code platform? In essence, low-code platforms allow for rapid application development with minimal hand-coding, simplifying the process of digital solution creation. For restaurants, this can revolutionize operations, customer engagement, and business growth. This article delves deep into the importance, benefits, and practical applications of low-code platforms in the restaurant industry. In the following sections, we will discuss some of the specific use cases of low-code platforms in restaurant applications, as well as recommend how to choose the best low-code platform for implementing your restaurant applications.


Fig 1. Reason for using Low-code platforms. Source: Appinventiv

Why Applying Low-Code to Restaurant Applications is Essential

In the dynamic and competitive world of the restaurant industry, staying ahead of technological trends is not just beneficial—it's crucial. Enter low-code platforms. These intuitive systems allow for swift, adaptable application development, minimizing manual coding and maximizing efficiency. But why is low-code particularly relevant for restaurant applications? Here's a deep dive into the rationale:

  1. Rapid Deployment:
    1. In an industry where consumer preferences and trends can shift overnight, the ability to quickly launch or adapt digital offerings is invaluable. Low-code platforms expedite application development, allowing restaurants to respond promptly to market demands.
  2. Cost Efficiency:
    1. Traditional application development can be expensive, requiring specialized developers and extended timelines. Low-code platforms reduce both development time and the need for expert intervention, translating to significant cost savings.
  3. Flexibility and Scalability:
    1. Restaurants evolve, expanding their services, updating their menus, or even branching into new ventures. Low-code platforms can easily adapt to these changes, allowing for application modifications without extensive redevelopment.
  4. Enhanced Customer Experience:
    1. With low-code, restaurants can swiftly implement features that enhance user experience, from loyalty programs to online reservations. This adaptability ensures that the digital customer experience remains top-notch.
  5. Integration Capabilities:
    1. Restaurants often use a suite of digital tools—from POS systems to inventory management. Low-code platforms facilitate easy integration with these tools, creating a cohesive digital ecosystem.
  6. Empowering Non-Technical Staff:
    1. Low-code platforms are designed to be user-friendly. This means that even non-technical restaurant staff can make minor updates or changes to the application, reducing dependency on IT teams.
  7. Innovative Solutions:
    1. The flexibility of low-code allows restaurants to experiment with innovative digital solutions, from augmented reality menus to AI-driven personalized recommendations, without a significant upfront investment.
  8. Data-Driven Decision Making:
    1. Many low-code platforms come equipped with analytics tools. These can provide restaurants with invaluable insights into customer behavior, order patterns, and more, enabling data-driven operational decisions.
  9. Ensuring Consistency:
    1. For restaurant chains, ensuring consistent customer experience across locations is vital. Low-code platforms can standardize digital offerings, ensuring that a customer receives the same digital experience regardless of the branch they engage with.
  10. Future-Proofing the Business:
    1. The digital revolution in the restaurant industry is here to stay. By adopting low-code now, restaurants can ensure they remain at the forefront of this digital wave, ready to adapt to future innovations and trends.

Meaning of Low Code

To navigate the intricate digital ecosystem of today, it's crucial to understand the tools and platforms that power its evolution. The concept that has been making waves in this arena is "Low Code". Let's find out:

Low Code: At its core, low code refers to a software development approach that allows for the creation of applications with little to no hand-coding. Instead of the traditional and often time-consuming methods of writing every line of code manually, low code platforms provide drag-and-drop functionalities, visual interfaces, and pre-built components. This allows developers, and even those without deep coding expertise, to build, test, and deploy applications rapidly. The benefits are manifold: faster time to market, increased agility in responding to business needs, and reduced development costs.

Use cases of low-code platforms in restaurant applications

Low-code platforms have emerged as transformative tools, especially in the restaurant industry. By allowing swift, cost-effective application development with minimal hand-coding, these platforms are revolutionizing how restaurants operate and engage with customers. Here's a more detailed exploration of their application in the food and hospitality domain:

  1. Online Ordering and Delivery:
    1. Seamless Integration: Low-code platforms allow restaurants to smoothly integrate with popular delivery services, broadening their reach.
    2. Customizable Interfaces: Restaurants can design user-friendly interfaces, ensuring a smooth ordering experience that reflects their brand's identity.
    3. Real-time Updates: Customers can receive real-time notifications about their order status, from preparation to delivery.
  2. Table Reservations:
    1. Instant Booking: Instead of relying on third-party services, restaurants can have their own reservation systems. This can save on costs and ensure customers always see real-time table availability.
    2. Reminders and Confirmations: Automated reminders can reduce no-shows, and instant confirmations can enhance the customer experience.
  3. Customer Loyalty Programs:
    1. Personalized Rewards: Based on a customer's ordering history, restaurants can offer personalized deals and discounts.
    2. Tiered Systems: Offer silver, gold, or platinum levels, encouraging customers to dine more frequently to reach higher reward levels.
    3. Integrated Points Tracking: Let customers view and redeem their loyalty points via the app or website.
  4. Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems:
    1. Unified Systems: Integrate orders coming from online, in-app, and in-person into one unified system.
    2. Integrated Payments: Accept a wide range of payment methods, from credit cards to digital wallets.
  5. Inventory Management:
    1. Real-time Tracking: Keep real-time tabs on inventory levels, reducing wastage and preventing stockouts.
    2. Supplier Integration: Automatically place orders for suppliers when stock reaches a certain threshold.
    3. Predictive Analysis: Using historical data to predict future stock needs, especially for seasonal ingredients or dishes.
  6. Employee Scheduling:
    1. Automated Rosters: Generate weekly or monthly rosters based on employee availability and peak restaurant times.
    2. Shift Swaps: Allow employees to request shift changes or swaps and get them approved, all within the app.
    3. Attendance Tracking: Integrate with biometric systems or use the app itself to mark attendance, ensuring accurate payroll.
  7. Financial Reporting:
    1. Sales Analysis: Get detailed insights into the best-selling dishes, peak order times, and more.
    2. Expense Tracking: Monitor operational costs, from ingredients to utilities, and optimize for profitability.
    3. Forecasting: Use data-driven insights to predict future sales and cash flow.

The integration of low-code platforms into restaurant operations is not just a trend but a shift in how modern restaurants will operate. As dining habits evolve and technology becomes more intertwined with our daily lives, leveraging these platforms can set a restaurant apart, offering enhanced experiences while optimizing operations.

How to Choose a Low-Code Platform for Your Restaurant

In today's digitally driven world, choosing the right low-code platform for your restaurant can significantly impact your operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. But with a plethora of options available, how do you determine which one aligns best with your restaurant's specific needs? Here's a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Define Your Objectives:
    1. Needs Assessment: Before diving into the selection process, pinpoint your restaurant's specific needs. Do you need a better online ordering system? An integrated POS? Or perhaps a comprehensive inventory management system?
  2. Consider Scalability:
    1. Future Growth: As your restaurant grows, your tech needs will evolve. Opt for a platform that can scale with your growth, ensuring you won’t need a new solution every few years.
  3. Integration Capabilities:
    1. Compatibility: Your low-code platform should be compatible with other software or tools you currently use or plan to in the future. This ensures a smooth data flow and reduces the chances of technical glitches.
  4. User-Friendliness:
    1. Ease of Use: The platform should be intuitive not just for developers but also for non-technical staff. They will be the ones using it daily for various tasks, so a steep learning curve can hamper operations.
  5. Security Features:
    1. Data Protection: With the increasing threats of cyberattacks, ensuring your chosen platform has robust security measures is vital. This includes encrypted data transfers, secure payment gateways, and regular security updates.
  6. Budgetary Constraints:
    1. Return on Investment (ROI): While cost is a factor, consider the long-term ROI. Sometimes, spending a bit more initially can lead to significant long-term savings and benefits.
  7. Community and Support:
    1. Technical Support: Look for platforms with active customer service and technical support. Being able to quickly resolve issues or answer queries can make a huge difference in daily operations.
    2. Community Engagement: Platforms with active communities can be beneficial. They often share tips, tricks, and best practices that can be very helpful.
  8. Review Testimonials and Case Studies:
    1. Real-world Feedback: Before committing, read up on other restaurants’ experiences with the platform. This can give you insights into real-world functionality and potential pitfalls.
  9. Training and Documentation:
    1. Onboarding: A platform with comprehensive training resources can significantly reduce the onboarding time for your staff.
    2. Documentation: Detailed user manuals and documentation ensure that your team can troubleshoot minor issues without always having to rely on customer support.
  10. Customizability:
    1. Unique Needs: Your restaurant is unique, and so are its tech needs. Being able to customize your platform to reflect those unique needs can make it more effective.
  11. Test Drive Options:
    1. Trial Periods: If possible, opt for platforms that offer trial periods. This allows you to test out functionalities firsthand, ensuring they match your requirements.

By taking the time to assess and consider each of these factors, you'll be better positioned to select a low-code platform that can truly revolutionize your restaurant's operations, enhance the dining experience for your customers, and ensure sustainable growth in the digital age.

Which low-code platform is right for your restaurant?

Low-code platforms can help restaurants of all sizes develop and deploy custom applications without the need for extensive coding knowledge. This can be a great way to improve efficiency, automate tasks, and provide a better customer experience.

Here are a few low-code platform recommendations for restaurant applications:

  • AppSheet: AppSheet is a low-code platform that allows users to create custom apps for a variety of purposes, including restaurant management. AppSheet offers a variety of pre-built templates and integrations, making it easy to get started quickly. Some of the features that make AppSheet ideal for restaurant applications include:
    • Online ordering
    • Table reservations
    • Menu management
    • Inventory management
    • Employee scheduling
    • Customer loyalty programs
  • Microsoft Power Apps: Microsoft Power Apps is another low-code platform that can be used to create custom applications for restaurant management. Power Apps offers a variety of pre-built templates and integrations, as well as a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create and customize apps. Some of the features that make Power Apps ideal for restaurant applications include:
    • Online ordering
    • Table reservations
    • Menu management
    • Inventory management
    • Employee scheduling
    • Customer relationship management (CRM)

The reason, from my point of view, I recommend Power Apps is the ideal low-code platform because it has a number of advantages:

  • Ease of use: Power Apps is a low-code platform, which means that users can create custom applications without the need for extensive coding knowledge. This makes it a good choice for restaurants of all sizes, including those without dedicated IT staff.
  • Flexibility: Power Apps can be used to create a wide variety of applications, including online ordering apps, table reservation apps, menu management apps, inventory management apps, employee scheduling apps, and customer relationship management (CRM) apps. This makes it a good choice for restaurants with a variety of needs.
  • Scalability: Power Apps can be scaled to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. This makes it a good choice for restaurants that are growing or that have fluctuating customer demand.
  • Affordability: Power Apps is relatively affordable, especially for small businesses. This makes it a good choice for restaurants on a budget.

In addition to these general benefits, Power Apps also offers a number of specific features that make it ideal for restaurant applications, such as:

  • Offline support: Power Apps applications can be used offline, which is important for restaurants that may have unreliable internet access.
  • Integration with other Microsoft products: Power Apps integrates well with other Microsoft products, such as Office 365 and Dynamics 365. This makes it easy to connect your Power Apps applications to other data sources and systems.
  • A large community of users and developers: Power Apps has a large community of users and developers who can provide support and resources. This is helpful for restaurants that are new to Power Apps or that need help with specific tasks.
  • OutSystems: OutSystems is a low-code platform that is more powerful and versatile than AppSheet or Power Apps, but it also has a steeper learning curve. OutSystems is a good choice for restaurants that need to develop complex or custom applications. Some of the features that make OutSystems ideal for restaurant applications include:
    • Online ordering
    • Table reservations
    • Menu management
    • Inventory management
    • Employee scheduling
    • CRM
    • Point-of-sale (POS) system

In addition to the examples mentioned above, the infographic below can also tell us more about other popular low code/no code platforms in the world.


Fig 2. Low-code/ No-code platform systems. Source: medium.com/@unigram_labs


Low-code platforms can be a great way for restaurants of all sizes to develop and deploy custom applications without the need for extensive coding knowledge. By choosing the right platform and following the tips above, you can create a custom restaurant application that will help you to improve efficiency, automate tasks, and provide a better customer experience.

Rockship will fill in the gap:

Rockship addresses the shortcomings of current low-code platforms by offering the following features:

  • Deep integration with restaurant-specific hardware and software: Rockship integrates seamlessly with popular restaurant-specific hardware and software, such as POS systems, kitchen management systems, and online ordering platforms. This makes it easy to automate tasks and streamline operations.
  • Support for complex workflows: Rockship can be used to build complex workflows, such as those required for order fulfillment, customer loyalty programs, and inventory management.
  • Scalability and performance: Rockship is designed to scale to meet the needs of restaurants of all sizes. Rockship also offers high performance, even under heavy load.

Next steps

In the next article, we will discuss how Rockship builds specific restaurant applications, such as online ordering apps, table reservation apps, and menu management apps.