Client: Shift4
Project: Restaurant Management App
Platforms: iOS native app
Role: Lead Product Designer
A restaurant management mobile application that provides a wide variety of robust, real-time reporting and analytics. This was designed to help improve efficiencies and reduce costs at either single or multiple restaurant locations. Management tools allow you to view, access and manage data for Total and Ticket Sales, Staff Performance, Table and Order management. This allows managers to have actionable insights and to make smart, data-driven decisions anytime, anywhere.


Project Overview

Client: Shift4
Project: Restaurant Management App
Platforms: iOS native app
Role: Lead Product Designer

Shift4 requested the development of a mobile application that would serve as a comprehensive management tool for restaurants. The aim was to streamline operations by providing real-time insights and analytics across sales, staffing, and table management, enabling restaurant managers to make quick, informed decisions directly from their smartphones.

Project Team

Design Team: Lead Product Designer (myself), Senior UX Designer, Engineering Lead, Project Manager
Client Team: Stakeholders, Product Owner, Engineering Lead, Engineering Team
Time Frame:: 4 Months


In the fast-paced world of restaurant management, the ability to swiftly access and analyze operational data is crucial. Many restaurants operate on thin margins, making efficient management essential for profitability. Existing systems often fail to integrate real-time data across different aspects of the restaurant’s operations, from sales to staffing, which can hinder effective decision-making.


Restaurant managers frequently struggle with fragmented systems that do not provide a unified view of essential operational metrics. This lack of integration leads to inefficient processes, such as manual data consolidation, delayed decision-making, and missed opportunities for optimizing staff performance and customer satisfaction. Consequently, managers are unable to respond proactively to day-to-day challenges, impacting both service quality and profitability.


  • Create a Comprehensive Mobile Application by developing a robust tool for efficient management of single or multiple restaurant locations.

  • Provide Actionable Insights for managers with real-time reporting and analytics on sales, staff performance, and table management.

  • Make Data-Driven Decisions that Empowers managers to make informed, quick, and effective decisions.

  • Ensure Operational Efficiency that mproves operational efficiency and reduce costs through enhanced decision-making capabilities.



    • Review stakeholder requirements
    • Educate on restaurant management and daily operations
    • Conduct Interviews with stakeholders and restaurant Managers
    • Perform a competitive analysis
    • Shadow restaurant managers

    Client Requirements, Restaurant Management & Daily Operations

    • Discussed Requirements: Engaged in detailed discussions and assessments of requirements in collaboration with the core team at Shift4.
    • Assessed Requirements: Focused on aligning the project’s goals with Shift4’s strategic objectives during collaborations.
    • Collected Insights: Gathered detailed insights on restaurant management and daily operations to inform design decisions.


    Completed a total of 11 interviews, 8 Restaurant Manger, 3 Stakeholders, utilizing a mix of in-person, video, and phone call formats.

    Key Findings

    • Inefficient Sales Tracking: Managers expressed frustration with the time-consuming nature of manual sales tracking, emphasizing the need for automated, real-time sales reporting to quickly adapt to business demands.

    • Staff Performance Uncertainty: There was significant concern about the difficulty in monitoring staff performance effectively. Managers sought features that could provide immediate insights into staff efficiency and customer service levels.

    • Complex Table Management: Challenges in managing table turnover and reservation systems efficiently were common, leading to a demand for intuitive and real-time table management tools within the app.

    • Inadequate Order Management: Pain points included the slow reaction to order changes and the inability to track order statuses in real-time, which often led to customer dissatisfaction.

    • Limited Access to Actionable Insights: Managers noted a lack of accessible, data-driven insights that could inform decision-making on-the-go, highlighting the necessity for robust analytics tools that could be consulted anytime, anywhere.

    Product Evaluation

    Performed an assessment of their existing mobile, web based application as part of a product evaluation.

    Key Findings

    • Delayed Sales Responses: The previous app required manual input for sales tracking, leading to significant delays and managerial frustration due to the inability to respond swiftly to changing business conditions.

    • Limited Staff Oversight: Absence of real-time monitoring capabilities hindered effective staff management, as managers could not access immediate data on staff performance or customer service levels.

    • Inefficient Reservation Handling: The app’s non-intuitive interface and inefficient management of reservations and table turnovers contributed to operational bottlenecks.

    • Slow Order Processing: The system’s slow response to modifications in orders and its failure to track order statuses in real-time frequently resulted in customer complaints.

    • Insufficient Analytical Tools: There was a notable deficiency in providing accessible, actionable insights, essential for making informed decisions quickly, which emphasized the need for enhanced analytical capabilities in the new app.

    Field Study

    Attended and actively participated in eight field studies, shadowing restaurant managers at diverse establishments, ranging from small family-owned eateries to large, high-volume dining facilities. This immersive experience provided firsthand insights into daily operational challenges and user interactions with technology.

    Key Findings

    • Diverse Usage Patterns: Smaller restaurants required quicker, more streamlined access to app functions due to staff multitasking, while larger establishments benefited from more detailed, department-specific features.
    • Varying Technological Proficiency: Technological proficiency varied among staff across different restaurants, impacting the ease of app adoption and highlighting the need for user-friendly interfaces and training.
    • Impact of Customer Volume:  High-volume restaurants needed rapid order and table management tools to keep up with customer flow, underscoring the importance of efficiency in the app’s design.
    • Customization Requirements: Different service styles and customer demographics demanded customizable app features to suit specific operational preferences of each establishment.
    • Feedback Mechanisms: Managers stressed the importance of having effective in-app feedback mechanisms to report issues and suggest improvements, facilitating ongoing enhancement of the software based on user experience.

     STAGE 1: EMPATHIZE – Key Findings Overview

    From the comprehensive product evaluation, stakeholder interviews, and field studies across five varied restaurants, it was evident that there are significant opportunities for improvement in restaurant management applications.

    Key learnings include the need for automated and real-time sales tracking to replace inefficient manual processes, the importance of intuitive and rapid tools for order and table management to accommodate high customer volumes, and the necessity for robust, user-friendly interfaces that cater to varying levels of staff technological proficiency.

    Additionally, customization options emerged as crucial for meeting the unique operational demands of different restaurant types, and effective feedback mechanisms were highlighted as essential for ongoing app refinement and enhancement based on direct user input.

    These insights underscore the importance of a flexible, efficient, and data-driven solution like InCharge to address the diverse needs and pain points of restaurant managers effectively.



    • Develop User Personas
    • Conduct Foundational & Exploratory Research
    • Created Sketches and Wireframes

    User Personas

    Developed three detailed user personas to represent the diverse spectrum of restaurant managers, each tailored to embody distinct management styles and operational challenges within the restaurant industry.

    Key Findings

    The three personas—Lisa, Susan, and Jamal—capture the diverse range of management styles and operational needs within the restaurant industry.  Lisa, the tech-savvy innovator, seeks advanced technological integration to enhance efficiency and predict trends, contrasting with Susan, the traditionalist, who prefers straightforward, user-friendly tools that simplify daily operations without overwhelming complexity. Jamal, managing multiple fast-food outlets, requires robust, centralized management systems that standardize operations and are easy for staff with varying skill levels to use, highlighting a need for scalability and ease-of-training across a broader workforce.


    For research, I conducted foundational and exploratory studies to gather insights about the needs of restaurant managers and prevailing market trends.

    Sketches & Wireframes

    I created initial sketches and developed detailed wireframes to visually outline and refine the user interface

     STAGE 2: CONCEPTUALIZE – Key Findings Overview

    Through the development of detailed user personas, I gained deep insights into the distinct needs and preferences of various types of restaurant managers, from the tech-savvy innovator to the traditionalist and the multi-location operator. This understanding was critical in guiding the foundational and exploratory research that highlighted key market trends and manager requirements.

    The creation of initial sketches and subsequent development of wireframes allowed for the visualization and refinement of the user interface, ensuring the design was both functional and user-friendly. These stages collectively shaped a robust framework for the  app, ensuring it was tailored to meet the diverse needs of the restaurant management industry.



    • Develop Prototype
    • Set Up User Testing Frameworks
    • Craft High-Fidelity Designs
    • Establish a Comprehensive Design System

    Prototype & User Testing

    Developed prototypes and conducted comprehensive user testing with 6 restaurant managers to gather insights about their expectations and requirements.

    Key Findings

    • Intuitive Reporting Tools: Managers appreciated the intuitive design of reporting tools that simplified the process of generating and understanding complex data analytics, enhancing their ability to make quick decisions.

    • Customizable Dashboards: There was strong positive feedback on the ability to customize dashboards to prioritize information most relevant to each manager’s daily needs, such as sales peaks, staff performance, and inventory levels.

    • Mobile Optimization: Restaurant managers highlighted the importance of mobile optimization, noting that the app’s responsive design allowed them to manage operations effectively on-the-go, without the need for desktop access.

    • Integration with Existing Systems: Managers valued the app’s capability to seamlessly integrate with existing POS and inventory systems, reducing the learning curve and minimizing disruptions in their current workflow.

    • Alerts and Notifications: The inclusion of customizable alerts and notifications for critical tasks like order shortages or staff check-ins was highly praised for helping managers prevent operational oversights and manage crises more efficiently.


    The Company

    • Increased Customer Retention: The InCharge app contributed to a 32% increase in customer retention rates for Shift4’s client restaurants, as improved operational efficiency and customer service directly translated into higher customer loyalty and repeat business.
    • Scalability Across Locations: The app facilitated a 42% easier management process across various sites, improving overall brand consistency for Shift4’s client restaurants.
    • Actionable Insights: Deployment of robust analytical tools provided restaurant managers with actionable insights, enhancing their response to market conditions by 37% and giving Shift4 valuable data to continuously improve the app.

    Restaurant Managers

    • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: The implementation of the InCharge app reduced manual tasks by up to 36%, allowing managers to allocate more time to strategic decision-making.
    • Improved Decision Making: With real-time data and analytics at their fingertips, restaurant managers experienced a 29% improvement in decision-making speed, leading to better resource management and enhanced customer satisfaction.
    • Increased User Satisfaction: The user-friendly interfaces and customized features resulted in an 62% satisfaction rate among managers and staff, indicating a significant improvement in daily operational ease.


    • Real-Time Data Visualization: Understanding the importance of providing restaurant managers with real-time access to data led to the development of dynamic dashboards and analytics that are both informative and easy to interpret.

    • User-Centric Customization:  Learning how varying needs impact the use of technology across different restaurant environments emphasized the need for highly customizable app features. This allows users to tailor the interface and functionality to suit their specific operational workflows.

    • Cross-Device Usability:  Ensuring the app functions seamlessly on various devices, particularly mobile platforms used on-the-go in restaurant settings, taught me to prioritize responsive design and test across multiple devices for optimal user experience.

    • Iterative Feedback Loops: Engaging with users through continuous feedback cycles helped refine the app’s features and usability, reinforcing the value of iterative design to enhance product reliability and user satisfaction.

    • Accessibility and Inclusion: The diverse technological comfort levels among restaurant staff highlighted the necessity of designing for accessibility, making sure the app is intuitive and easy to use for all users, regardless of their tech proficiency.

    • Scalability and Integration: Working with a platform that needs to operate efficiently at both single-location and multi-location levels deepened my understanding of the complexities involved in creating scalable solutions that integrate smoothly with other systems and software.

    Final Designs


    Sales: Dashboard

    Staff Labor: Dashboard & Staff Screens

    Staff Performance: Dashboard & Staff Screens

    Tickets: Dashboard & Ticket Screens

    Voids: Dashboard & Void Screens

    Tables: Dashboard & Table Screens

    Order Types: Dashboard & Order Type Screens

    Customer Loyalty: Dashboard & Customer Loyalty Screens

    Customer Reviews: Dashboard & Customer Reviews Screens

    InCharge Design System

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