Case Study BBQ Restaurant At-the-Table Ordering App

A quick way to order your food at the table directly through the app and pay at the end of the meal. This reduces the wait time for a server to come to the table for ordering.

I was creating a new app to help people order directly from their tables. Before launching, I needed to see if it was an easy way to order and pay with the app. I’d like to understand what specific challenges our users might face in the ordering and payment processes and how I can fix those challenges.

Project Duration
December 2022 to April 2023

My Role
Lead UX Designer

The Problem
There are long waiting times for menus, orders to be taken, food delivery to the table, and at the end, the check to arrive, plus paying at the register. This causes stress for clients with children and those on a tight schedule.

The Goal
Get food ordered quickly, cutting down the time of waiting. Payments are paid at the table to cut down the waiting time for getting the check and paying at the register. This will get the user in and out faster and less anixety waiting for the food and payment to get to their next appointment or child down for nap.

Problem statement:

Samantha Rose is a married working mom with one child with ADHD.  She needs a quick way to order when she goes out to a restaurant to get her food to her child quickly because when her child is starving, he gets hyperactive, loud, and destructive, which makes her anxiety levels go up and frustration with eating out not an enjoyable experience. 

Problem statement:

Derrick West is a divorced dad of 2 children who needs to be able to get food quickly to his children because when the children are hungry, they can be loud and messy, which is distracting and frustrating to Derrick because he wants less stress while talking to other dads.


Sticker sheet Figma

Mobile low-fidelity prototype

You start with the homepage where you can navigate to table reservations, ordering, menu, paying the bill, and a shop. There is also a carasol of BBQ images that automatically moves through three images. Each process moves from primary screen to a confirmation screen with back button to cancel a process.

HighFi Prototype

Mobile high-fidelity prototype

This was my first project in the Google UX Design class, and though it will never come to fruition, I learned a lot from this project. One key point is starting with one type of user for the personas and going through the app’s research process to realize that there can also be a benefit to many other user types. Keeping bias out of the usability studies. Most importantly, how the whole process from start to finish of a UX design of an app is implemented.

Research summary of the user

I created empathy maps to understand the users I’m designing for and their needs. In mapping both Samantha’s and Derrick’s user journey shows how helpful it would be for users to have access to an order and payment at-the-table app to provide a quicker service of ordering, delivery and payment of the food.

A primary user group identified through research was adults with hungry children at a restaurant. This research study also included user issues with takeout applications because of the similarity of the two applications.

When doing a competitive audit report, I discovered that otherBBQ resturants did not have a vegetarian option, they did not have a childrens menu, and they even ran out of product early as well.

While keeping the user’s pain points in mind, I sketched paper wireframes for each screen for my app, focusing on navigation, ordering, and payment flow in mind. It was essential to sketch many examples in a paper wireframe of the home screen. That is your starting point and the beginning of the app. I prioritized the main features of the app. Reserve a table as one because it is a restaurant, and you will sit at a table. Then I placed a button for ordering with the menu to avoid waiting for the menu and the wait staff to take the order. I added a store because BBQ rubs and sauces are popular. If the customer wanted to purchase them, they could do so at the table with the ordering process on one bill. The final was paying the bill on the phone, which was quick and convenient. I placed a star next to those items I wanted to keep in the next step of the digital wireframe.

Moving from paper to digital wireframes made it easy to understand how the redesign could help address user pain points and improve the user experience.

This first user group initiated a need to have food ordered and delivered faster to the table. Waiting for menu delivery, orders to be taken, and payment all created stress for the hungry child, which stresses the parent. Users have been increasing the ability to use the phone for paying to prevent credit card information from being stolen, so this aspect was incorporated as a convenience to be added. Information Architecture of standard takeout apps with the problems users have of no images and heavy text menus, there was a need to include these in the at-the-table app pain points. This new app was being created, so research needed to incorporate the similarity to the takeout app’s user problems.

Usability Study

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Time On Task

Use Of Navigation Icons Vs. Search

User Error Rates Conversion Rates

System Usability Scale (SUS)

The KPIs used were to gauge the progress and insights of the user and the different tasks to get to the order and payment of the food  

First Study was testing the app before launching, we need to see if it is an easy way to order and pay with the app. We’d like to understand what specific challenges our users might face in the ordering and Payment, how we can help them fix those challenges. This was tested remotely using questionnaires. 5 participants (3 males, 2 females) between the ages of 18-65. Participants are those that like to eat BBQ foods and dine out at least once a week.

Second Study was testing the corrected issues from the previous testing but also expanding to not just BBQ lovers. We were still testing the navigation flow along with the fonts, colors, and images used in a high-fidelity prototype. I wanted to see if this app would be of interest in any restaurant not just BBQ Restaurant. This was tested remotely using questionnaires. 10 people (8 females, 2 males) between the ages 18-65; 5 Android and 5 iOS phones; one participant with allergies, gluten issues, and one that is a vegetarian. Random participants are those that dine out at least once a week or have used online ordering apps.

Jam session for the usability study results


This project was a course assignment, so unfortunately, this app will not go to the real world as is, but you never know if a restaurant might want to start this type of service. I see an app like this useful for bustling restaurants needing a quick turnover between clients. The orders go to the cook from the app, and the servers bring the food. The user can see what is going on with the time and expectations for getting back to work, a movie, etc.

I learned so much throughout the project. This app started from scratch but evolved from the personas and journey maps to the results from the usability research testing. I learned which types of user participants to select for low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototype tests. I learned that you cannot please everyone, so the research is fundamental in knowing how many have the same issues compared to a preferential opinion. It was important to check my biases to avoid influencing the testing results. Lastly, I understood that a design could start with a limited selected user and become something many can use.