The initial engagement involved developing a comprehensive mobile application for iOS and Android platforms, along with a back-office system for restaurant management. The client, M01, sought a solution that could handle order processing, delivery, and restaurant marketing. The project kicked off with a detailed Design & Discovery phase to align the development process with the client’s vision.
- Client Engagement Phase:
The M01 project originated as a concept to streamline the ordering process for a new cocktail bar. Named after a variation of the word “moy,” the initial goal was to create a digital menu app for the founder’s cocktail bar. However, as the project evolved it led to the decision to create a versatile app for multiple restaurants. The client engagement phase involved discussions around the initial concept, identifying challenges, and refining project goals.
- Project Kick-off:
The kick-off involved a transition from a single restaurant focus to a comprehensive platform. It addressed challenges such as managing stock and inventory for small restaurants. The app’s primary functionalities were outlined, emphasizing efficient order processing, payment verification, and real-time stock updates. The team also aimed to improve the user experience by incorporating innovative features like sets, bundling, and subscriptions.
- Development Process:
The development process spanned over four years, with a core team of two initially and evolving based on project needs and budget. The transition from a menu app to a comprehensive solution included regular updates and improvements. Challenges, especially related to stock management for smaller establishments, were addressed on a regular basis. The focus shifted towards making M01 more than just a menu app, incorporating Point of Sale (POS) features for efficient order processing.
- Communication and Workflow:
Communication between the client and our company was facilitated through daily meetings and regular communication via Slack. The client expressed satisfaction with the workflow, especially with the effectiveness of weekly meetings and daily communication. The smooth transition of the development team over the years highlighted effective communication and knowledge transfer within the team.
Documentation played an important role throughout the project. Initial requirements were outlined in a brief, accompanied by designs. Ongoing changes and client feedback shaped the project, with documentation extending to deployment details, infrastructure, and task tracking on Jira. Jira served as valuable documentation, providing insights into the project’s progress and decision-making at various stages.
Problems/Challenges & Goals/Expected Results
1.Developing a User-Friendly Interface:
Customer-Centric Design: Creating an intuitive and engaging interface for customers required a deep understanding of user behavior. We had to consider factors such as ease of navigation, visual appeal, and an easy order placement process. Extensive user testing and feedback loops were implemented to refine the interface and ensure it catered to diverse user preferences.
At the same time, creating a user-friendly interface for restaurant staff involves addressing the unique needs of the industry. Optimizing order management, integrating order status updates, and delivering a clear interface for staff to efficiently process orders were our key considerations. We worked closely with restaurant stakeholders to gain insight and tailor the interface to their operational needs.
- Order Processing and Payment Verification:
Making sure orders go through smoothly and payments are secure was extremely important for the M01 app to work well. With a lot of transactions happening at once, we needed a system that could process orders, verify payments, and make sure users had a great experience without any problems.
- Real-time Stock Updates:
Keeping users up to date on inventory was key. The tricky part was making sure that the look and feel of the app, the order process, and the actual inventory were all on the same page at all times. If things were delayed or out of sync, users might not be happy, and the whole operation could get disorganized.
- Evolving from a Single Restaurant Focus to a Versatile Platform:
So at first, the M01 app was just going to be a digital menu for this one cocktail bar. But the project got more complicated when the plan changed and it was decided to make it a go-to platform for many restaurants. Suddenly we had to figure out new features, make it work for different types of establishments, and make sure it could grow and scale reliably.
- Building the best software for restaurants and internal use
- Efficiently managing stock and inventory for small establishments
- Implementing innovative features like set creation, bundling, and subscriptions
- Build a robust software solution for restaurant order management.
- Provide a user-friendly experience for customers.
- Implement a secure and efficient payment system.
- Enhance restaurant marketing capabilities.
1. Iterative Design Process:
We adopted an iterative design process, starting with wireframes and prototypes that were continually refined based on user feedback. This approach allowed the team to fine-tune the interface to match the expectations of both customers and restaurant staff.
To ensure a consistent user experience across devices, the team implemented responsive design principles. This made the app accessible and user-friendly on many screen sizes, including smartphones and tablets. It contributed to a better overall usability and accessibility of the platform.
Visual Hierarchy and Clarity:
We also incorporated a clear visual hierarchy in the design, ensuring that essential elements are displayed in the most relevant places. This included prioritizing menu items, order buttons, and relevant information. Clear and concise labels were used to guide users through the ordering process and minimize confusion.
2. A robust order processing system within the app.
This involved features that streamlined the ordering process, from selecting items to payment verification. The system was designed to handle a high volume of transactions, guaranteeing accuracy and security in payment processing. The integration of secure payment gateways and verification mechanisms helped create a safe and trustworthy transaction experience for users.
3. We added a real-time inventory update mechanism.
This meant making sure the application interface reflected the most up-to-date information about item availability. This took the form of integrating technologies that allowed for instant updates based on changes in inventory, order fulfillment, and other relevant factors.
We wanted the solution to give users a peace of mind by giving them accurate and up-to-date information, all for a super fast and safe ordering experience.
Example: Making sure there’s enough of each ingredient for a dish is critical.
We wanted to keep things running as efficiently as possible, so we updated ingredient quantities in real time as, say, a cheeseburger order came in. And to avoid disappointment, we set limits on how many cheeseburgers customers could order based on available ingredients.
We also made sure everything worked well together by managing overlap with other items like hamburgers or double cheeseburgers. For small restaurants, this was a game changer, allowing them to offer a diverse menu without worrying about running out of key ingredients.
4. As the project scope evolved, our approach to development kept up with the changes.
This meant adding features such as sets, bundling, and subscriptions to make the app flexible for different types of restaurants. The development team worked to ensure that the app’s architecture and design allowed for scalability to meet the needs of a wide range of restaurants. Regular updates and enhancements helped M01 become more than just a menu app, but a comprehensive solution for multiple restaurants.
The M01 project successfully transformed from a digital menu app into a comprehensive solution for multiple restaurants. The project continued to evolve, with ongoing updates and improvements, including a UI/UX audit to enhance usability and performance. The latest version introduced POS features, connectivity with payment terminals, and a revamped user interface, contributing to positive reception, particularly in the Round In chain of restaurants.
M01 is now an app that connects the best restaurants, cafes and bars in one place.
Customers can order and pay at venues without talking to staff, find new venues, review the food and venue after purchase, and upload content.
- Skip the lines and go straight to your table.
- Order takeout without the hassle
- Find new venues, cafes, restaurants and bars
- Find the most honest reviews
- Pay with any credit or debit card. Simply store your card details in the app and pay with one click.
With the M01 app, clients simply select the venue, choose their food and drink, review the order, add their table number or select takeaway and place the order.
The client’s review, posted online, reflected the success of the project. The platform was described as successful, with minimal bugs and meeting internal team expectations. Communication between us and the client was highlighted as daily, resulting in a good workflow. The client expressed full confidence in us and highlighted their satisfaction with the quality results delivered on time.
The M01 project exemplifies effective communication, adaptability, and collaboration in addressing challenges and evolving from a specific restaurant focus to a versatile platform, showcasing the success of TH-EY in delivering quality results.