I am making an online ordering system for a restaurant as part of an A level school project.
Do I have to include the restaurant’s customers in the development stages?
Do I need to have requirements from the owner of the restaurant as well as from the customers? ?
This depends on what kind of “ordering system for a restaurant” you are creating, and who is actually using that software. If users of the software are only the staff or the restaurant owner, then you should interview them, not the customers.
If, however, you are creating an online “ordering system”, where customers directly enter their wishes at a terminal or web page, then you should also include a “representative customer” for giving you feedback about the usability. However, for such a topic like “restaurant visit” you probably do not need a “special expert”. You could try to fill this role by yourself, or include a person who has some experience in UI design, if you think you are not qualified enough in this.
If you get conflicting requirements this way, at the end the person you have a contract with decides, isn’t that obvious? In your A level school project, assume this is the restaurant owner. Typically you get functional requirements concerning the content of the system and the processes by the client. He should be interested in getting the system as usable as well, and a “representative customer” can help you in gathering non-functional requirements like usability.
The biggest conflict risk you have here is when you are going to exceed your budget because of adding too many “bells and whistles” to the user interface. But finding the right balance between these constraints is exactly the job if you take the role of a business analyst.
Presumably the restaurant owner is the customer for your project, so they decides what functionality they want – i.e. the requirements.
An investigation of the wants and needs and expectations of the restaurant customers would certainly be valuable, but this would be more on the level of focus group or usability studies. It wouldn’t be requirements gathering as such, although the research would hopefully inform the requirements that the owner decides on. Note that such a research phase would have a cost and the customer have to decide if they want to spend resources on this.
Start with the restaurant owner. The requirement gathering phase with this stakeholder will be interesting enough to begin with.