How to Create a Food Delivery App That Wins the Customer Base

18 December 2017 • 6 min read
How to Create a Food Delivery App That Wins the Customer Base
Slava Vaniukov
Written by Slava Vaniukov
Co-Founder and CEO at Softermii

Destination – food delivery. For many restaurants, food distribution network is an astounding chance to potentially double their profits. As much as it is the place for a startup leap to fame with unique innovative services. “How?” – you might ask. The key to hit the bull’s eye is in presentation. The right UX/UI design is the difference between hit and miss. For those wondering how to create a food delivery app to make it big, we share the following ideas our company has been using in a number of our successful projects.

In order to appeal to your clients, above all, you should offer the most convenient and pleasant looking user experience. Plus, on the technical side, you should build an app for food delivery that has:

  • Great mobile adaptation
  • Easy payment process
  • Thought out rating system

desktop view of shop

First of all, before starting your very own food delivery app development, define where your app stands in the bigger picture. Are you a food business owner ready to enter the on-demand delivery? Or are you a delivery service looking to help the restaurants distribute their products? You should know that, overall, there are 3 variations of enterprises working in the same line of business:

  1. Apps that aggregate multiple food websites in one place. This is a user convenience option to gather all the favorite services within one collection and use a single ordering form for all.
  2. Transportation service providers. Both making food and delivering it all across the city can be hard for some businesses. The app does the job of assigning you the person that will bring and deliver the package. These can work both outsourced B2B and B2C.
  3. Top-to-bottom food company that does everything. You make the food and deliver it. Complete-service on demand delivery app development is characterized by the need for additional control over the whole operation. The reason being it’s hard to monitor so many stages of completion that go beyond the walls of your restaurant. Thus, you need to build a piece of software that does everything in its power to make the work seamless.

Each business type comes with its own set of order processing dependencies. Namely, the parties involved in logistics. Overall, there are restaurants, delivery, and, of course, the customer. Here are the page layouts for different actors:


  • Sign in – page where users can enter their credentials to register, sign in via a social profile or choose to proceed without registration;
  • Order menu – choose the ordered items;
  • Drop point selection – select the address by placing a pin on the geo-map or entering it into text;
  • Checkout – choose payment methods. Details for online-payment, multiple purchased dishes, along with delivery fee and final price – all displayed. Make sure to include both online and offline options payment;
  • Review – leave feedback about the quality of service.

Delivery Personnel

  • Sign in – on this page the delivery person will be able to register and enter. It is important that the freelance couriers are screened and interviewed by an in-house manager before you hire them;
  • Order distribution – page where orders are listed and assigned to each person;
  • Order details – the current state of the delivered item;
  • History – the list of completed orders.

Food Company

  • Sign in – login page for managers;
  • Administration directory – main page to check the general metrics and notifications;
  • Specific order – progress and stage of the order. The item should only be approvable for cooking after it’s booked by the delivery person;
  • Messaging – manually sending out notifications to users and delivery personnel regarding the order status;
  • Payment directory – creating invoices and sending them to customers;
  • Reviews – getting user feedback.

This is the basic roadmap to help you make a food delivery app as well as some relevant functionality you should be aware to include into your project.


Don’t underestimate the power of details. The more aesthetically pleasing the user experience, the more soothed the person will be to make the final purchase. This is the game of associations – each visual and interactive element packs a symbolic meaning. It’s quite easy to underestimate the depth of how far this can go even with colors. For instance, imagine if Facebook neglected its emoji list and made every smiley face blue instead of yellow.

Here, you may observe the UI from our test project to give you a better idea. We’ve used a set of visuals and pallet that complement the presented goodies without stealing any attention from the primary objects.

The same concepts go for the animated actions. Two main motions the user will do are tapping and swiping. Make these changes more spectacular by adding visual effects. They don’t have to be some kind of explosions and excessive Blingee glitter. The notion is to create a lightly playful impression. Explosions aren’t playful, right? Golden flares would actually be appropriate when the user is redeeming rewards in terms of promotions etc. On the order page, it’s enough to create a tiny change for each action.

This includes the event when user touches the screen and it is not yet definitively a swipe or a tap. Briefly change the visual of the interactive object to achieve a minor but tangible response. This will play a huge part in making your app feel extra responsive.

With swiping it’s important that your transitions are not too trigger happy when it comes to traveling between different sections. User shouldn’t be able to swipe away accidentally. Add a certain amount of distance/effort needed from the user to swipe through in order to complete the transition.

As for horizontal swipe in particular, a good idea is to fit half of the previous and next item images into the screen along with selected item in the middle. User will be able to see a few options at a given time. One way this can be done is by creating a roller. The side items will fit better by looking smaller and make your app wackier.

In order to make the UX more elaborate, you may add some details into the transitions. Create parallel visual cues in the background for big swipes and make them scroll slower than the main items.

Tapping, on its own, can have a more “hitting” effect, sending the purchased item “flying” into the cart or having a goofy rippling effect. It may also trigger a nice looking transition animation, shifting the UI panels around. If the tap is meant to remove the item from the list, make sure it looks gradual. Add a little fade to the disappearing object.

You get the idea. There are many competitors fighting for the same client base, so you better stand out from the average local food delivery app and make yours more special with a fancy looking UI.

Unique features that you will need

You should pay extra attention to what makes the list of the most successful apps in your line of work – special features. No brainer to your clients, these will be a complex undertaking for your project.


Taking the beaten path after many big players, you may create geolocation tracking of your orders. Luckily there are a few APIs that you have at your disposal.

  • Client’s location. Google Maps API for Android and CoreLocation framework for IOS will help you zero in on your client.
  • Directions for the courier. Android devices will use Google Maps API all the same, while IOS will use Map Kit.

These are the two functions you will need to integrate in order to build on-demand food delivery app that tracks devices. As an alternative, much like Uber, you can use Google Map API for both for iOS and Android.

What you can also do is start an estimated delivery time feature. Some orders can be done remarkably quick and the client would love to know it. Market veterans like Dominos are already doing estimated delivery time but this one’s very data intensive. The reason is you’ll need to set up some machine learning which requires time and patience to gain momentum. Calculating it goes beyond the city map road length and needs to be based on big data. This is why the cost to create a food delivery app with this feature from the get-go would be too high, and you’ll only be able to present this function long after the launch.


As we’ve mentioned before, this is an essential feature that you as a food delivery company should not ignore. Allow card payments via the internal mobile banking services as well as PayPal’s Braintree, Stripe, Worldpay or Adyen, depending on the part of the world you operate in and the cost benefits for your users.


Releasing a public API will help your business expand as 3rd party developers will be able to use it and unfold your network in different cities. Also, middlemen will be able to integrate your app with their platforms and drive you some additional sales.


When delivery is set in motion, the only thing left to do is wait. What you can do is make a nice custom lock-screen that would keep the client informed with no need to unlock the device.


Obviously, it’s essential that you create a rating system and ensure that the entire chain is doing their best to provide top quality service. Couriers will be incentivized to keep up a good score, even when they are representing your company far away from the HQ. A great idea is to also allow rating the quality of food. There are successful examples of companies using food score as well as direct messages with chef.

This guide will give you some idea of what kind of architecture a successful food delivery app is supposed to have. Despite the huge competition in the market, we believe there’s always room to do everything even better and succeed. It is our hope that this guide will play its part in helping you.

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