How Much Does It Cost to Build an AR App for Food Menu like KabaQ

Anastasia Morozova
Chief Operating Officer

Augmented reality (AR) is among the most discussed technology trends over the last few years.

Numerous industries including the food sector use augmented reality mostly for education, entertainment, and advertising purposes.

How can augmented reality technology help restaurant businesses attract more clients?

The practice shows that the most efficient way to use augmented reality is to engage, entertain, and retain customers.

In this article, we will consider possible applications of AR technology for food brands and restaurants.

ar app for restaurant

How restaurants and food brands use augmented reality

Various dining outfits, fast-food outlets, and cafes collaborate with augmented reality development companies to build AR restaurant applications and food menus.

Besides offering a brand new user experience for visitors, AR food apps are an effective method to attract new visitors.

Here’s how various food industry brands use augmented reality.

1. Promo campaigns

AR can play a significant role in restaurant promotion campaigns. With various ad campaigns that involve augmented reality, such as offering your target audience to play an AR promo game, you can get more customers to your restaurant.

Many markets including the food industry are supersaturated with ordinary advertising. It’s a well-known fact that consumers suffer from banner blindness.

New ways of advertising based on smart technologies can boost the effectiveness of your promo campaigns.

2. Helping users find a restaurant address

Location-based augmented reality food mobile apps can display various locations over real-time images.

A mobile app called Fast Food Reality shows restaurant locations using a GPS tracker. With this application, users can find burgers, pizza, Chinese food, or donuts wherever they are.

Therefore, if you have a restaurant network, your AR mobile app can help users find one of your restaurants nearby.

3. Enhancing user experience during degustations

We, at Jasoren, have a great experience in the development of augmented reality for restaurant solutions.

One of our clients, a wine restaurant, needed to inform its visitors about different sorts of wine during a degustation in an interactive manner. So, we built an augmented reality app that displays information about each product.

To learn more about a product, users scan a glass label and see a virtually placed 3D bottle of this wine along with a virtual plaque with a detailed product description.

The whole AR development process took 127 hours with 56 hours on a design, 68 and 93 hours for core and user interface development accordingly.

augmented reality for restaurants

See also: How Much Does It Cost to Build an Augmented Reality App like Domino’s Pizza?

4. Engaging users with interactive menu items

AR can provide useful information about a particular dish in a more interactive way than a regular menu.

By scanning the plate, customers can learn about the health benefits of the dishes they order or any other interesting information that might be hard to find elsewhere.

Dish ingredients and nutritional information

One of the first AR-enabled virtual menu mobile apps was developed by Ericsson.

Their AR app allowed guests to view images of any particular dish, its ingredients, and useful nutritional information.

In addition, users could choose from several predefined languages for menu item description. To see that content, users had to scan the name of a menu item using their portable device.

Animated character

Your AR mobile app can contain some branded 3D animated character that would imitate a conversation with users and describe various characteristics of a dish.

Here is how it might work: a user scans an ordered dish, and then a funny character appears and starts interacting with a user. Your visitors might make selfies with this virtual personage and share them with their friends in social networks.

This engaging interaction with the help of augmented reality will improve your promo campaign and help you gain more profit.

Dish recipes

Once we try a dish, we’ve never tasted before we’re often curious about how this dish is cooked so that we can prepare it at home.

Indeed, restaurants may somehow improve traditional recipes to make their cuisine unique keeping their changes a secret.

However, you can provide your visitors with traditional recipes in a new and entertaining manner. They can scan the name of the menu item and see its recipe before ordering it.

How AR apps for interactive food menu like KabaQ work

Even though augmented reality food menu mobile applications are new to the food industry, there are already a few examples on the market.

KabaQ is a native AR app that virtually places 3D images of dishes so that visitors can learn how a particular menu item looks like before ordering it.

To experience an AR food menu users with a downloaded KabaQ app point and scan the restaurant menu card. Then they see 3D models of dishes in front of them.

KabaQ offers a platform for restaurants and food distributors.

Using this platform, the restaurants can integrate their own content to the AR application.

To do that they need to take photos of a dish from different angles. The app will combine these pictures and generate a 3D model so that restaurants could add this model to their AR menu app.

The model dimensions coincide with the real size of the dishes.

Restaurants that use KabaQ augmented reality allow their customers to view the model from virtually any angle as well as zoom in for a closer look.

It gives patrons a clear preview of a menu item’s size, texture, presentation, and ingredients.

A virtual food menu can ensure cross-sells. Users of this AR app can mix and match appetizers, sides, and desserts with their main course using just a smartphone or tablet.

Customers may see a live demo of the dishes’ preparation process.

This approach stimulates customer curiosity and encourages them to see more.

Using AR techniques, restaurants can grab the customers’ attention and provide visitors with useful content. Entertaining visitors this way, restaurants will make waiting for an order an enjoyable process.

augmented reality restaurant

Read also: 10 Use Cases of Using Augmented Reality for Beverage Tasting

How much does it cost to build an AR restaurant app like KabaQ?

If you consider creating an augmented reality app like KabaQ, it will be more cost-effective to hire a qualified augmented reality development company rather than wasting time finding various specialists who may not collaborate efficiently one with another.

Taking into account the need for learning what skills each developer should have to be able to satisfy your needs, we recommend finding a professional AR app development company that has deep expertise in building AR solutions for restaurants.

We will describe the major aspects of the AR food menu mobile app development.

The expertise of a specific augmented reality development company significantly influences the cost of creating an AR app.

Another important factor that forms the total price is the location of this team.

To avoid any misunderstandings, we will mention costs based on hourly rates within the U.S. (according to our research it is $150 per hour on average).

augmented reality food menu

App design

The app design is crucial for any mobile app including the AR one.

Since users first pay attention to the level of graphics and then to the app’s functionality, your AR app design should be highly realistic with detailed 3D objects.

An AR-enabled mobile app design like KabaQ can take from four to six weeks.

As a result, to design your AR food menu app, it will take between 160 and 240 hours.

Time estimate: 160-240 hours.  Сost: $24,000-$36,000.


The coding process is the most crucial part of the whole work.

To build an AR mobile app like KabaQ, developers may use the ARKit platform for iOS-based mobile devices and ARCore for Android.

Every app feature increases the length of the whole development process that inevitably leads to a higher project cost.

Since KabaQ has no functionality for making purchases in the app, it significantly facilitates the issue.

The time estimate for food menu application’s features:

  • a food menu: 80-170 hours
  • virtual food placing: 100-200 hours
  • making a photo of the virtual dish: 10-20 hours
  • social sharing: 10-30 hours.

Time estimate: 200-420 hours.  Cost: $30,000-$63,000.


Testing is an inherent part of the augmented reality application development process.

A half of a month is an average time needed to detect and eliminate bugs of an app like KabaQ.

Therefore, you should be ready to spend approximately $15,000 on perfecting your augmented reality food menu app.

Time estimate: 70-100 hours.  Cost: $7,000 – $12,000.

As a result, the development of an AR food menu app like KabaQ will take from 460 to 760 hours (4-5 months). You will have to spend $61,000-$111,000.

Within the food industry, the opportunities created by the augmented reality technology are nearly endless.

There are many different ways restaurants can benefit from the AR adoption and improve their outdated marketing techniques to attract customers, entertain them, and encourage them to share their AR restaurant user experience with their friends.

The food industry is supersaturated with various brands striving to obtain as a large market share as possible.

That’s why restaurants should turn to exploring new technologies to remain competitive within the chosen path.

Besides the useful and interactive content augmented reality can bring restaurant visitors, the AR technology can deliver the amazing and unforgettable pre-dinner experience to users.

Since modern people tend to keep an eye on something new, augmented reality can be a source of expanding the popularity of a brand that uses it and forms a new tech promo campaign.

The use of AR will ensure a significant position for your restaurant among other brands and, as a result, driving more sales.

In a long-term perspective, it will establish a strong customer loyalty thus ensure the fulfillment of your restaurant and word-of-mouth.

We are always ready to provide you with high-quality consultancy services. Contact us to get professional advice on your augmented reality project and we will guide you through every stage of AR development until the very launch.

You can take a look at our portfolio to check the projects we have created and make sure that, with us, all your expectations regarding quality and performance will be fully met.

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