The 2017 List of the Best Food and Drink Apps

The wine and dine industry has experienced sort of a renaissance in the past few years, thanks to mobile technologies and the speed, convenience and wide variety of choices they provide.

However, this renaissance did not come without a list of new user demands, especially from Millenials. They demand top-notch user experience. They want convenience in terms of user interface, payment, or variety of choices. They want their apps to have a social facet. And — they’d love their apps to have that little extra ‘something’, that ‘secret ingredient’ that’s going to separate it from the rest — be it special offers, unique approaches to personalization or any other creative solutions.

So how did the industry react to these needs and wishes? In style. Below you’ll find the best food and drink apps, ones that have nailed it in terms of user interface, user experience, usability, and functionality.

Best Food and Drink App #1: NoWait

Image Credit: NoWait

What does it do?

This app makes waiting in line for a restaurant table a thing of the past.

What makes it stand out?

The app solves a unique pain point for both customers and restaurants. In today’s society, getting a table in a good restaurant without a reservation is close to impossible. Foodie culture has exploded and consumers are dining out more than ever before. They sometimes forget to book (or simply spontaneously decide they should eat out) and end up visiting a restaurant with more free space. On the other hand, restaurants sometimes have vacant tables but at the wrong time, causing them to lose money. Synchronizing visitors’ waiting times with free tables is now made easy, with a simple app which lets restaurants notify visitors when their table is ready. Instead of waiting in line, this allows visitors to take a walk around the neighborhood, do some window shopping or get a task done while their spot frees up.

Considering the app is about finding a spot at a restaurant and dining out — user experience is paramount. This app does it quite nicely. From the users’ side, it oozes simplicity. After asking for a table, the user leaves their name and number at the reception, and is ready to walk away.

He/she will then get a message confirming the reservation, followed with a link where they can always check their line in queue. When the table is ready, they’ll be notified once again. Simple.

From the hosts’ side, on the other hand, the app goes into much more detail, offering powerful analytics and helping restaurant owners spot problem areas and make improvements.

Best Food and Drink App #2: Munchery

Image Credit: iTunes

What does it do?

“It’s not take-out. It’s not home cooking. It’s Munchery.”

What makes it stand out?

There are many value points that make Munchery different but if we were to choose just one, we’d say it is the way it caters to the Millennial user base. The app comes with a couple of features which are best described as “so 2017“. There are virtually no unhealthy foods in Munchery — the focus in completely on foods that won’t destroy your body. It lists all ingredients used, breaks down nutritional facts and comes with a nifty calorie counter. And best of all — it allows users to schedule delivery on a daily basis. For Millennials — who tend to mix their office and living spaces, who enjoy takeaway food but still demand healthy meals and want to know exactly what they’re eating — these features are an absolute must. In terms of user experience, we can’t shake the feeling that the app focused mostly on how fast it can deliver information — and that’s exactly what Millennials are after. They want things done fast, and the way this app is organized it provides just that.

It breaks down foods into different categories that are just a swipe away. They’re all accompanied by large photos of those meals which only speeds up how users digest this information. Nutrition facts, ingredients and preparation are all a tap away. Also (and this is quite important), it offers order tracking, allowing users to know where their food is by just glancing at the app. Everything about this app is fast.

Best Food and Drink App #3: Eatstreet

Image Credit: Eatstreet

What does it do?

Online ordering platform.

What makes it stand out?

A single word would be ‘convenience’. A single word would be ‘convenience’. At first glance, a user might say the app doesn’t really offer anything unique. It has a large database of different street foods to choose from. Home delivery. Different means of payment, including cash, credit cards and PayPal. Group ordering and splitting the bill. Simple re-ordering and scheduled ordering. Everything users have come to expect from such an app. But then there is the ‘Near me’ button, which helps users look for fast food places in their vicinity. This is particularly useful for those looking for a quick snack, or would love to grab some food on their way back home.

Then, there’s the address autocomplete field which, as we’ve discussed earlier, does miracles for a mobile app’s user experience. Sorting the list in different ways (Yelp results, distance, pricing, speed of delivery), searching by cuisine or specific dishes is also available, and it’s rounded off with a popular items category, so users can see what others enjoy eating most.

Best Food and Drink App #4: Srvd

Image Credit: iTunes

What does it do?

Saves you from trying to outvoice the club’s speaker system as you try to order a drink on a crowded bar.

What makes it stand out?

Crowded clubs are faced with something of a catch-22. Without the crowd, it’s not an interesting place to be. But with a lot of people, ordering a drink at the bar is one hell of a task. Clubgoers need to squeeze their way through a bunch of people waving their money at the bartender. And they need to scream at the guy on the other side of the bar to order a drink. With Srvd, things are simple. Users bring up the app and order a drink. The bartender sees the order, and once it’s ready, sends them a Pickup Ticket. They show the ticket and pick up the drinks. Pay with a credit card. The user experience is amazing on this one. It comes with a very well thought-through color scheme — it’s totally dark, which is a nifty little add-on considering that it’s always dark in clubs — you don’t want to go blind by suddenly looking at something white and glaring.

Best Food and Drink App #5: Delectable

Image Credit: Delectable

What does it do?

It’s an Instagram for wines, and that’s not even remotely bad as it sounds.

What makes it stand out?

This app’s functionality is straight out of the future. It uses the smartphone’s camera to take a look at the label for the wine you’re drinking. In a moment, it will tell you the region where it originated from, the country and its varietal. Its newsfeed is similar to what Instagram or Facebook are doing with their apps, so users will be able to save their wine choices, share them with their friends and followers, but also see what others are drinking and — most importantly — purchase wine straight from the app.

Oh, and another thing. For most of Millennials, that wine-tasting ritual (the shuffling and the sniffing and the tasting) can be an awkward experience as most of them are newbies when it comes to knowing wine. So some of them turn to price as the quality benchmark. After all, you get what you pay for, right? Well, when it comes to wine, not always. Price isn’t always a good indication of quality, a pain point which this app solves nonchalantly. With Delectable’s database of wine reviews, and its advanced camera features, choosing the best wine for the occasion becomes a fun thing to do.

Best Food and Drink App #6: Starbucks

Image Credit: Starbucks

What does it do?

Gets you your daily caffeine fix, and then some.

What makes it stand out?

Starbucks has really nailed both user experience and personalization with its app. You’d think an app that helps you order coffee would be limited in its possibilities, but Starbucks has really taken in quite a few steps further. With features like Starbucks Rewards, Order Ahead, My Starbucks Barista (a voice-powered AI interface), digital gift cards, music discovery and others, Starbucks’ mobile experience is unmatched.

Best Food and Drink App #7: Vivino

Image Credit: Vivino

What does it do?

Helps you choose the best wine for the moment.

What makes it stand out?

Vivino is somewhat similar to Delectable, as this app too uses the phone’s camera to scan wines and bring up useful information. However, this app takes a slightly different angle to it, providing you with wine ratings and reviews from across the internet. It also allows users to scan a restaurant’s wine list to get useful information about wines on offer. Ordering wines directly from the app is also available.

Best Food and Drink App #8: Fooducate

Image Credit: Fooducate

What does it do?

Helps you inform yourself on what you eat and make better food choices.

What makes it stand out?

Being one of the older apps on the market (seven years and counting), this one has “ease of use” written all over it. The premise is simple — walk into a grocery store, scan the barcode of the item you’d like to purchase, and the app will reward you with quality information about it.

When we say ‘quality information’, we mostly mean two things:

1) It will translate the “ingredientish” language into plain English, telling the user what ingredients the item has that he / she should look out for

2) In case the item is essentially unhealthy, it will provide the user with a healthier alternative.

The app’s creators really kept in mind that their users will mostly have their hands occupied by shopping bags and carts, so they simplified the app as much as possible. It comes with no more than a handful of features, and tries to squeeze in as much useful information on the first screen as possible. That way users, after scanning the item, need only glance at their smartphone for a moment to learn most of the things they need to know about the product.

And the information provided there is solid. Food and Health called it ‘great reference tool’, andBreaking Muscle said ‘Fooducate app is a good option for those looking to be more informed of where their food comes from’.

Best Food and Drink App #9: Ginventory

Image Credit: Ginventory

What does it do?

World’s favorite Gin and Tonic guide.

What makes it stand out?

A classy drink (such as Gin & Tonic) for classy people (such as those drinking Gin & Tonic) demands a classy-looking app, and the boys and girls from Reed.be took that notion quite seriously. Ginventory has a really powerful user interface that speaks to the audience it targets dangerously good.

It’s slick and smooth. Everything from the UI design, to the color scheme, to the choice of fonts, to the style and tone of the app’s content — everything is literally screaming ‘this is class’. And that’s quite an important asset when you’re trying to cater to a specific audience. It looks and feels like the world’s greatest Gin and Tonic database, providing users with ample information on their favorite drinks, including images, detailed descriptions, information on the distillery, the ABV% (Alcohol By Volume), recipes, ratings and a huge community. It also comes with what you’d expect such an app to have — a means of buying Gin and Tonic.

Best Food and Drink App #10: Hooch

Image Credit: Hooch

What does it do?

Free drinks! Woohoo!

What makes it stand out?

Well, they’re not technically free — you do pay $9.99 a month to get the app. But with that subscription — you get one free drink every day, at a bunch of restaurants that partnered up with the app. So the value proposition here is one to raise a few eyebrows. And the drinks that the app offers are truly something, as well. Mojitos, Martinis, Lemon Egg cocktails, all kinds of drinks that would set you back a lot more than $9.99 — if you’d drink them every day. It’s a great app to go out and find new places and also to save a few greens — in case you’re more on the bohemian side.

Best Food and Drink App #11: Velocity

Image Credit: Google Play Store

What does it do?

Curates London’s best restaurants in a single app.

What makes it stand out?

First, keep in mind that this app is currently available only in London (yet that’s already catering to a population of over eight million). It curates collections of London’s best restaurants, offering its users a chance to discover new places, book tables, rate and read reviews, and pay via their mobile device. The app’s approach to the user interface is quite an interesting one, as it brings the Tinder gesture experience to restaurant browsing. Users can swipe left to ‘discover’ and right to ‘check in’.

Best Food and Drink App #12: Farmstand

Image Credit: Farmstand

What does it do?

Helps you discover locally grown food all over the world.

What makes it stand out?

This app takes usability and functionality to a whole ‘nother level. It helps users find local green markets and helps them pick the best products, even if the users are not really good at spotting fresh fruits and vegetables. It looks and feels like Facebook, with the ability to add friends, share images and comments, and scroll through the feed vertically.

Closing comments

Technology is simplifying and improving all aspects of our lives and it definitely didn’t skip cuisine. The modern society is faced with a couple of challenges when it comes to eating and drinking.

Many don’t have the time to cook. Everyone wants healthy food. Everyone wants to know exactly what they’re eating. And finally, more and more are deciding to eat out, either at fast foods or restaurants, but they hate waiting in lines. New mobile technologies, like the ones listed, are solving these problems expertly, changing (for the better) the way how we look at the restaurant business, but also how we look at eating out.

This article was originally posted on Product Mavens.


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