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Just like Zoom or Netflix changed how we communicate or chill, food ordering services have disrupted our daily culture. And this industry keeps growing. According to the Business of Apps report, this market will reach $320 billion by 2029. Do you want to tap its lucrative opportunities?
Entrepreneurs who decide to create a food delivery app face several questions. What features to add for clients, restaurants, couriers, and their management? What will help increase efficiency and provide better service? What technology stack to use? And finally, how much will development cost?
Softermii — a reliable software development company — prepared a detailed guide to cover all these essential topics. We have experience creating advanced, scalable solutions for various industries and needs, from grocery delivery apps to eCommerce platforms.
Stay tuned to learn more about how to make a food delivery app.
How to Stand Out, Building a Food Delivery App in 2023
Nextbite research admitted that 43% of Americans prefer enjoying restaurant food at home instead of going out. At the same time, 23% of consumers use food delivery apps at least once a week.
The distance to a meal from your favourite restaurant is reduced to a few clicks in the app. Brands like UberEats, Postmates, Deliveroo, and others have taken the industry to a new level of quality, flexibility, and ease of use. Let's look at the main features of the leading food delivery companies.
Leveraging Uber's success, UberEats provides millennials with a broader choice of services. The platform is as simple and convenient as the original Uber, and drivers’ availability allows the company to speed up the delivery time. Also, it has careful functions such as reminders to eat at particular hours.
Tip: If you already have a popular service that is at least slightly related to food or its delivery, use the naming and the existing business model. And don't forget to build a personal connection with your customers through engaging features.
Deliveroo maintains a limited delivery radius, partnering with local restaurants. For customers, it guarantees fast order fulfilment — on average, it takes 32 minutes. The company cooperates with high-end restaurants, whose business model rarely involves delivery. As a result, everyone benefits — the consumer, restaurants, and Deliveroo itself.
Tip: Don't be afraid to work with restaurants that haven't entered the delivery market. So you can offer consumers something exclusive.
Postmates is all about service mobility. Customers can quickly receive their orders using local delivery companies working through the API. At the same time, you can order not only restaurant food but also alcohol (except for some categories), groceries, household items, etc. But most importantly, the service is available 24/7, seven days a week.
Tip: Beat the competition on delivery speed by cooperating with delivery services. And don’t focus on only food, better become a one-stop solution, offering related products.
Features to Consider When Developing a Food Delivery App
Speaking about features, you need to understand that a consumer, a restaurant, and a courier need different sets of functions. Also, you should handle and connect all parties.
So here is a list of required and optional features to build a food delivery app like UberEats or Deliveroo:
Client App Features
As for customers, the designed app should provide quick and effortless food orders. And here are the key features to include:
Registration doesn’t have to be mandatory to place an order. But you can stimulate profile filling by accessing advanced features. For user convenience, make it possible through social networks or a Google account.
The customer database will come in handy for you more than once during marketing activities.
The home screen should provide quick access to all other features but not be overloaded. Also, show information about past orders, favourite places, and dishes.
Search with Filter
Create a convenient filter for establishments by price, cuisine type, special offers, rating, and distance to customers. Also, offer users the closest restaurants by default.
In the filter, consider special requests, such as vegetarian and vegan options and dishes free of gluten, lactose, and other allergens. Along with the price, indicate the preparation time.
A place for the main navigation containing information about restaurants, such as their rating, reviews, and contact details. You also need to place categories of dishes here.
Use the menu as a marketing tool to promote special offers.
Detailed information about the dish contains a photo, price, cooking time, ingredients, proportions, grams, and calories. Let customers edit it by adding or removing some ingredients. There should be an order button.
It would also be great if you could recommend complementary items, such as a specific wine to pair with pasta or fish.
The order information screen should include the delivery geolocation, dishes, and their quantity, prices with the total amount, and an estimated delivery time. Add a comment field and chat to communicate with the courier and delivery service.
Remember that delivery as soon as possible is not always preferable, so let customers set a specific time.
This feature includes a shopping cart and online payment options — Apple and Google Pay, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and others. Also, give the ability to pay in cash on delivery.
If your company offers coupons or discounts, allow users to use them at the checkout stage.
The ability to track an order improves the user experience and shows the customer that it is under your care. Also, this way, you don’t allow scams with a late delivery because everything is recorded in the system.
Connect order and courier information to the tracking page and the ability to contact them and leave a tip.
Use mobile push notifications to inform the client when the order is accepted and prepared or about the courier's arrival. Send out special offers and referrals, but don't be too pushy, so the user doesn't disable this option.
Many developers forget this helpful feature. Turn on the feedback option so that the user understands that their opinion is important and can see the reviews of other consumers.
Another link in the chain is a restaurant module. Let's see what functions are relevant for this application part.
Unlike the user, the restaurant must create an account in order to add relevant content there. It also increases engagement and, in the case of an aggregator model, helps generate more traffic.
The most important part of the restaurant functionality allows to:
- Edit dishes, their descriptions, photos, and prices
- Announce special offers
- Control food categories and their positions
- Design customization for different categories
Restaurants usually work with centralized platforms, so instruct them on how to use the application.
Situations can be different, so give restaurants the ability to accept and reject orders. They should have all the information about the order, payment, and delivery. It guarantees control and peace of mind for businesses.
Consider how the kitchen receives order information. Also, allow orders to be assigned to couriers after they have been prepared.
A good application should be easy to update and scale because HoReCa is a very dynamic area. Let managers quickly add new restaurants and their menus.
With this feature, managers should easily sort orders, send notifications to customers, and transfer data to couriers.
Data and its analysis are essential for any business. Enable tracking of revenue, units sold, preparation and delivery time, average bill, customer ratings, and reviews.
This data helps optimize the business and marketing campaign. Advanced features based on AI and ML can also include recommendations and predictions.
The perfect solution for a courier app is a separate module for Glovo. It allows workers to determine working hours, accept deliveries, communicate with customers, and receive tips in the application.
In any case, there are basic functions for the delivery module that you cannot do without:
As with restaurants, registration is mandatory for couriers. But before asking for a bunch of personal data, describe the working conditions in detail.
During the application process, ask to fill in their full name, personal ID, driver's licence, and phone number. If it involves live identity verification, integrate the camera and microphone function into the app. And for regular log-in, use a phone/e-mail and a password.
Be sure to create an onboarding video for new couriers.
For effective order management, add a filter. Let couriers rank orders depending on the distance to the delivery place and list all order details in a compact form.
Here you also need to add contact information about the client with the ability to contact them.
Structure information about completed, rejected, delayed, and new orders. Also, couriers need the function of accepting or rejecting an order, starting and ending the working day, and everything that supports the features of your business model.
Map & Navigation
Pay special attention to maps with a built-in navigator. The calculation should be as accurate as possible because it directly affects customer service. If your delivery involves the use of different transport types, be sure to take this into account.
You don't need to create your routing system. Just use Google Maps, Mapbox, Bing Maps, or other solutions.
You can also reward couriers for delivering faster than the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).
If your model allows flexible workload scheduling, connect a calendar like Google Calendar or Cronofy. You can also vary your rate by paying more on night shifts or holidays.
Don’t forget to add an ability to track earnings and withdraw earned funds.
Push notifications are helpful for customers and for couriers always to have order statuses updated.
The functional admin panel is required to manage the delivery workflow. Its structure depends on your business model, so it could be an aggregator, restaurant application, or chain solution. In any case, your app should provide:
You should be able to add and remove restaurants, view payments, and communicate with partners. It would not be superfluous to include the regulatory documents necessary for cooperation here — digital versions or scans (requires additional functionality).
To manage couriers, you need access to each employee's personal data, contact details, ratings, and reviews. Also, include work time and performance tracking, salary data, order information, and chat in the app.
Control the coverage and workload by highlighting times and areas with a high density of delivery staff. It lets couriers plan their workflow competently.
The analytical panel tracks financial flows, which is vital in cooperation with partners. In addition to general information about income and expense items, you need analytics on the orders and income made by each restaurant.
Graphs, tables, and charts simplify information perception, show company dynamics, and help owners make the right business decisions.
Read Also: Food Waste Management App Development
Food Delivery Application Development Stack
In the past, building a food delivery app required more effort and resources. Today, developers have a robust technology stack with advanced frameworks and tools:
- Cloud services — AWS, Azure
- Programming language — PHP, Ruby, Python
- Front-end — React and Flutter (cross-platform solution), Objective-C and Swift (iOS), Java and Kotlin (Android)
- Registration — Google sign-in, Facebook Login SDK
- Payment — Paypal, Amazon Payment, Stripe, Wepay
- Map and geolocation — Google Maps, OpenStreetMaps, Mapkit JS
- Restaurant listing — Yelp Fusion API, Foursquare API, Grubhub API
- Analytics — Google Analytics, Apple Analytics, Localytics
- SMS — Twilio
Food Delivery App Development Costs
How much does it cost to develop a food delivery app? The answer to this question is both simple and complex.
The formula for calculating MVP development cost is as follows:
Food Delivery App Development Cost = Total Number Of Hours * Hourly Rate
But what is behind the number of hours and developer rates? Let's sort it out in order.
Development cost is influenced by factors such as:
- App type
- Desired features
- Tools and technologies
- Team location
- Design complexity
- App security
The hourly rate is influenced not only by the skill level of a specialist but also by the type of their activity. To create a food delivery app, you will need experts, such as:
- Business analyst
- Project manager
- UI/UX designer
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- QA specialist
Now you know what factors influence the formation of development costs. Check out the approximate price for the main development stages, prepared by the Softermii team:
Web and Mobile Development
The basic stage of food delivery app development.
This is where the process of tech implementation happens: from the administrative panel and up to features and technologies you want to have in your application, like chatbot or push notifications.
The key thing is that the more complicated features you want to implement, the higher the development costs will be.
Additionally, you need to consider the platform for your app, iOS or Android. If you want to cover the needs of all clients, it’s better to create cross-platform apps that will be compatible with the major OS.
Web and mobile development price: can take up to 900 hours, costing approximately $27,000.
A unique UI/UX design will create responsive user interfaces and positive experiences by studying your target audience. Furthermore, an adaptive food delivery app design will run smoothly on any device, especially if it is a cross-platform app.
UX/UI design price: up to 200 hours, costing $6,000.
Testing and Quality Assurance
It is crucial to test your product before releasing it to the public. At Softermii, manual and automated testing will ensure that performance is unimpaired and that all bugs are eliminated.
Furthermore, this will provide insights into the application’s usage, improving features and interfaces.
QA price: up to 200 hours, costing $6,000.
A project manager will ensure that milestones are met and that the project’s scope remains as you want it to be. They will also perform risk analyses to identify potential security weaknesses and communicate with you on the delivery application development process.
Project management typically costs 10% to 15% of the total budget. However, considering our current estimate, it will be approximately $5,500.
How much does it cost to create a food delivery application? Look at the table below:
Real Estate App Development Cost
Web and mobile development
Testing and quality assurance
A basic and simple solution can be priced from $25,000 to $45,000. However, more complex apps can cost upwards of $70,000.
The total cost of food delivery mobile app development will vary depending on the project’s complexity.
The more complex app you want to create, the more talents and technologies you need. Yet, you may still get a price estimation of the custom food delivery application before you start to work on it. Feel free to contact us, and we will provide you with an estimate of a food delivery application development and explain what is included in the development cost.
Five Business Challenges to Solve with Food Delivery App
An app-based food delivery business is a challenging industry. And here are the main difficulties that such a company may face:
1. Disloyal Consumers
Customers care about getting delicious food to their doorstep quickly and easily. At the same time, players in this market are constantly improving their level of service. To retain the consumer, you must provide the best value for money and stimulate demand with innovative marketing activities. That's why high-quality analytics is essential, as well as bonus and loyalty systems, included in the app.
2. Delivery Speed
When a person is hungry, waiting is irritating. Accurately calculating the order waiting time and tracking it in real time is a technological way to calm customers.
The second thing to consider is the personal motivation of your couriers. To ensure that they work quickly and smoothly, guarantee decent pay, flexible work schedules, and a reward system. All this should also be considered in the courier module of the app.
3. Food Quality
The difference between the dish served on-premise and delivered is noticeable. Pay attention to who to partner with, focusing not on their quantity but on quality. Also, invest in good thermal bags to keep your food warm. And take care of your couriers so that they are motivated to deliver the order neatly.
Be sure to include reviews and ratings in your app so that consumers can evaluate their order prospects in advance. This way, they will be less likely to associate bad food quality with your business.
4. Inconvenient Interface
An inconvenient online food delivery app is a disaster because nothing prevents the consumer from placing an order with your competitor in a minute. UI/UX design should be visually pleasing, intuitive, and interactive. When developing an application, pay attention to its rich functionality and ease of use.
5. Unmet Needs
Many consumers face the fact that the food delivery service cannot meet their specific needs. Make sure your filter helps them find lean, vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free items. Also include the calorie and nutrient data for those who watch their diet more carefully.
Food delivery business is an up-and-coming area, but custom food delivery application development can be challenging. To build a strong product, you need to rely on industry trends and the experience of market leaders. In this article, we tried to clarify the main aspects of creating a food delivery app, including critical features, cost, and technology stack.
All that's left for you is to find a reliable software partner. Softermii provides full-cycle development for both promising startups and seasoned brands. For young companies, we use an integrated approach that includes market research, creating MVP, and achieving a break-even point. No matter what request you come up with, you will be satisfied.
If you have any questions or want to discuss your food delivery software idea, feel free to contact Softermii’s development team.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are business models for on-demand food delivery app development?
The order-only model simply connects consumers to restaurants, getting a commission on sales. The order-and-delivery model also implies control over delivery. A fully-integrated model provides complete control over processes — from food preparation to delivery.
How long does it take to develop a food delivery app?
On average, developing a food delivery app takes 550-800 hours, depending on the business model and required functionality. Today, programmers use ready-made API solutions, which can reduce development time to 4-8 months.
How should I start developing a food delivery app?
First, decide on the project scope and its business model. Learn the market to determine what competitors offer and what customer needs remain unmet. And finally, find a reliable development partner who will help you realize all your wishes optimally.
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