: Shawarmer App - Restaurant Management System for GCC Region


Bilingual software for the FoodTech

from the GCC region




About the company

Shawarmer is a quick-service restaurant founded in 1999, which has grown to more than 90 restaurants across the whole Saudi Arabia region. The Shawarmer mission is to take a traditional street food and through innovation, creativity, and experimentation, constantly modernize and interpret shawarma with new flavors, sauces, and variations in wraps and sandwich styles. The company wanted to have mobile apps which will enable users to conveniently order food for pick-up from all of their Shawarmer restaurants.


Project Management







Our client came to us thanks to the GITEX tech show in Dubai. As a company known from prior experience with building custom software for businesses from a GCC region (ProTenders) – we were a perfect match!

Shawarmer company had some existing software made by another provider but wasn’t entirely happy with it, as it wasn’t as reliable as they wanted it to be. That’s why at the very beginning, our goal was to rewrite the current hybrid app to two separate native ones (iOS and Android), slightly change its flow and uprate its general functionality.

For starters, our development team consisted of 6 people (one each: CTO, Project Manager, UX/UI Designer, Quality Assurance, Android and iOS) which faced a huge challenge, to adapt their efforts to the local infrastructure. Besides rewriting, the app also required the UX&UI improvements and preparing the comprehensive interface documentation.

While working on the project, we suggested some additional features and improvements, which met our client’s acceptance. So after some time, we’ve expanded our team to 11 software development experts – CTO, Project Manager, UX&UI Designer, 2 x Quality Assurance, 2 x Android, 2 x iOS and 2 x Ruby on Rails developers.



Even though between our (Cracow) and Shawarmer (Riyadh) headquarters there is almost 5000 km of distance, the time difference is very small – only one hour. Nevertheless, when it comes to cultural differences they are much more visible. For example, in Poland, we usually have weekends (Saturday – Sunday) off, while in Saudi Arabia it is slightly different, with free Fridays and Sundays as their regular working days.

shawarmer app region

Bartosz, Project Manager​

“Initially, there were some cultural differences we needed to overcome – for example, different non-working days during the week or bigger holidays. We had to make sure that they won’t affect our mobile app operation in any way. Some of the application features required cooperation with different departments from our client’s company (eg. IT and marketing), so smooth communication was extremely important.

Thanks to this project, we had a chance to learn a bit about Saudi culture – for example, while working on prayer time feature development. As the project scope and our involvement have grown significantly (eg. KIOSK project) since the first release, I believe, that we’ve been successful in all of these points.”


Another challenge that we faced was the proper right to left (RTL) writing support. Shawarmer mobile app had to be available both in English and Arabic language. That’s why while doing the Quality Assurance we had to make sure that all of the texts are inserted right.

shawarmer quick access

Milena, Quality Assurance​

“It was my first contact with the Arabic language. At the very beginning, it seemed to be very complicated but at the same time, from the testing perspective – it was a very ambitious challenge! Every app view needed separate design, including opposite mobile device navigation buttons. Even though the Shawarmer team gave us translated documents, the fact of working with different alphabet was truly demanding. I can say with full confidence, that working on the Shawarmer App project is a great experience for me!”


Shawarmer app goal is to make ordering pick – up food from the restaurant as convenient as possible so integrating it with the local POS system was very important. That was the biggest challenge for us from a technological point of view. Fortunately, we have experience with gastronomy business (POSbistro) so not without the obstacles along the way, we managed to make Shawarmer app integrated with NCR POS system properly.

ncr pos systems

Kamil, CTO

“The application was challenging from the start as it is not a regular web application or simple API. Firstly we had to understand POS integration from the application existing version which used .NET components. Doing reverse engineering we found out how it works on the backend layer. Based on that and with the agreement from the client, we have built new integration from scratch which used REST API from POS. Thanks to that, we were able to provide new functionalities and scale the integration to accept more traffic. We’re still facing new challenges that we need to resolve or overcome due to POS limitations when scaling into more restaurants. That’s why this project is very interesting and there are still a lot of topics that we need to approach there in a specific way.”


The application required the UX&UI improvements and preparation of the comprehensive interface documentation. Basing on a Brand Book that we’ve received from our client, we have overdrawn the whole app making it’s more clear and visually engaging.

ux ui improvements

Sylwia, UX&UI Designer​

“In the first stage of building Shawarmer App, our main goals were to provide a project that will be easily expanded in the future and improve the app general user experience. From the very beginning, we focused on analyzing app workflow and we’ve marked points that might be difficult in use for the customer. At the same time, we worked with documentation provided by the client (especially Brand Book) as Shawarmer the company has quite strict rules regarding its visual identity. We recreated the whole existing project in designing tools and implemented all the necessary changes. The whole team was involved in the designing process and that was crucial, to develop consistent and efficient solutions that meet both users and system requirements.”

3. Mobile apps

Our client wanted to have two separate native mobile apps, both for iOS and Android users. This approach enables us to ensure better User Experience which in the end – makes users more eager to use the app. Both of the apps have the same functionalities as follows.


Tracking order status changes: the customer receives the notification when his/her order is ready for pickup from the restaurant. The Shawarmer can send promotional information to customers from their database.

push notifications

Agnieszka, Senior Android Developer​

“Providing the user with updates is one of the main goals of mobile applications. To handle that we focused on the way the user interacts with the information in our ecosystem. We have implemented a smart system for user notifications that use data collected through analytics in the application. Thanks to that, the user always knows all about his orders and ongoing offers.”


Shawarmer App enables users to share their feedback through rating the received dishes on a scale of 1 to 3 or writing a comment. Thanks to this data, restaurant owners have a chance to improve various aspects of their business. App users can also write their opinion on a specific restaurant (as there are more than 90 Shawarmer branches) which gives the owner valuable info about which locals are doing better or worse than others.

app contact line


The app is tracking all of the data connected with the way users are experiencing the software. How long do they stay in it, on which screens they are deciding to leave it or how long does it take them, to make an order successfully? All of these events are integrated into Mixpanel analytics. Thanks to all of that, the app owner can constantly improve its product, to make it as convenient and user-friendly as possible.

data analytics app


For iOS users, we integrated Shawarmer App with Apple Pay, as this solution is becoming more popular year by year and in 2018, reached almost 400 M users worldwide. Users are also able to use all of the other popular payment methods like credit cards, including Mada.

payments integrations

Piotr, Senior iOS Developer​

“Providing the user with updates is one of the main goals of mobile applications. To handle that we focused on the way the user interacts with the information in our ecosystem. We have implemented a smart system for user notifications that use data collected through analytics in the application. Thanks to that, the user always knows all about his orders and ongoing offers.”

4. admin panel

admin panel shawarmer

Both Shawarmer mobile app and KIOSK (our separate product, that we’ve built for our client to make ordering food stationary as convenient as possible – more about Shawarmer KIOSK app soon) are also supported by a dedicated Admin Panel, which allows easy access to any system settings. It also includes tools for tracking customer feedback and overall sales statistics.


Thanks to the Panel, the restaurant owner is able to see data about each of its clients (the ordering history). How much food are they ordering, in which flavors and in what time of day? Thanks to that knowledge he can, for example, focus on products that give him the most profits or award customers, who are making the highest amount of the orders. Shawarmer app users can evaluate each order and leave their opinions. Tools built into the Admin panel allow Shawarmer crew to assign customer relations representatives for each client feedback so customer satisfaction stays high. Built-in tools allow for quick data review.

User management for the Admin Panel allows for the easy addition of new staff to the system with proper permissions. Because of this, it’s easy to add a marketing analyst who’d like to review overall sales or a branch manager, who may be interested in checking what kind of feedback is his restaurant getting.
profile management


In case something went wrong, Shawarmer app users can report issues, which will be available to see in the Panel by the restaurant owner in the Reviews section. He can address them directly from the Panel to make sure that his services are of the highest quality. To avoid complaints that are not reasonable, the Admin Panel is also storing in the database and presenting various data like service speed (preparing/picking time) or the time of the payments.

Users are also able to send their general opinion about the specific restaurant or dish – like “it was good, but I would add some less onion”. Reviews and feedbacks are visible in separate areas of the Admin Panel. Thanks to all of that the restaurant owner has a chance to analyze various aspects of his business and make sure everything is working smoothly.

Mateusz, RoR Developer​

“Both Shawarmer KIOSK and mobile app are gathering a lot of valuable data – the key is to make displaying and analyzing them as convenient as possible. This is where Admin Panel steps in. Thanks to the possibility of filtering the gathered big data and presenting it as charts, everything becomes much more understandable and leads to making up highly – educated business decisions.”


Using the Admin Panel, Shawarmer restaurants staff with the right permissions can change the content inside the app in real-time. They can change banners visible in the app, “about the company” section and more, without stopping the app. The Shawarmer mobile app is having a “prayer time” functionality, which notifies the user that he/she will need to wait a bit longer to receive his/her food. The period of that time is also manageable from the Admin Panel. In case of any issues the app owner, with the right permissions, can always turn on a maintenance mode.


Admin Panel not only gathers all of the data from the Shawarmer Mobile App and KIOSK but also displays them in a clear yet comprehensive visual way. You can, for example, see there charts showing what was the reviews (good or bad, how much of each?) this week/month/year and compare it with the previous period. It can also display you which are the Top 3 restaurants so far or which cities are bringing the biggest profits. That way analyzing even the biggest amount of data becomes much more convenient.

data visualization




shawarmer final application


The result of our work is the construction of two fully functional mobile applications (iOS and Android) alongside a browser-accessible Administration Panel. The app is popular with both operating systems. On Android-supported devices, the number of downloads according to the Google Store is currently over 500,000. On the other hand, for the iOS operating system, Shawarmer has been rated more than 55,000 times on the App Store platform.

Currently, we are still cooperating with the Shawarmer, working on additional features that will be implemented soon. Among them, we can distinguish an option to order your food with the delivery.


“Railwaymen team helped us in rebuilding our Mobile applications with strong base. Their professionality made the process very smooth and fast. We did this in very short time even we had a lot of obstacles. Building the base in very professional way and as per the standard with the alignment of the up-to date technology helped us to start another project with them (KIOSK “self-service”) in very short notice and finished it as planned.”


Abdulaziz AlMusaireae,

Brand Extension Director

We are real!

Let's get it started!

Do you have project details?

estimate project
Joanna Brzezińska-Wajda - Head of Sales

Joanna Brzezińska-Wajda

Head of Sales