May 15, 2019

The Secret Sauce to Make A Food Delivery App Right

When the hunger pangs hard – you order a pizza.

Or a burger. Hotdog maybe?

Whatever be it, an app like UberEats, GrubHub, Zomato or Swiggy can be your savior.

Thanks to these on demand food delivery apps that are making our hectic lives easier. When people are hustling 24*7, they find it really difficult to cook at home- each day every day. Even the most exotic chef wishes to take a little break and order food online.

No wonder how food delivery app giants saw an opportunity there and entered the market,(by making an app) to deliver piping hot favorites foods at your doorstep.

But they are not the only ones – a lot of startups are coming up to experiment the market and take advantage of the ‘need’.

If you are also in the race, this guide is curated for you. It will take you through the steps, idea validation and everything else that you need to make a food delivery app – that is unique, has a market need and obviously rakes high in revenue.

So How to Make A Food Delivery App?

Let’s break down what we’re about to discuss in simple steps:

  • Step1: Validate your Food delivery app idea
  • Step 2: Identify The Market Trend for food delivery apps
  • Step 3: Fix a food delivery model
  • Step 4: Finalize the major features
  • Step 5: Choose Your Development Partner
  • Step 6: Sketch your app wireframe
  • Step 7: Design and develop your app
  • Step 8: Test and Launch

Why Build An Online Food Delivery App? What’s In It For You?

Before we launch into the nitty-gritty details of how to create a food delivery app like Swiggy or UberEats, let’s asses the market and why food delivery apps are getting so popular.

how to make food delivery app

The Market Situation

The worldwide market for food delivery is around $108 billion, which is 1% of the food market and 4% of the food sold through restaurants and food markets. The market experts also expect the market to reach a staggering amount of $300 billion by 2030.

how to make a food delivery app stats

Along with the improvements in smartphone technology and an increase in the number of apps on the market, online food delivery apps are going to see around 16% more growth in the next five years. But what are the reasons for this widespread popularity of food delivery app? Why do people like these apps so much? Let’s see

The Reasons Why Food Delivery Apps like GrubHub and UberEats Are So Popular  

Food delivery apps are like genies in our phones. Genies who complete our food wishes.

But really, they are our lifesavers at the end of the hard day, when we don’t even want to see the face of a kitchen. A hard and stressful day should end with delicious food, and food delivery apps give us just that.

But besides this, what are the other reasons for the popularity of food delivery apps?

Time Saver

How long does it take to make a pizza?

Not a lot, but, why are you going to try when you can just order it? Online food delivery apps save the time you’d have spent to prep and cook. In that time, you can do something better, like read a book, or watch a movie, or maybe take a nap?

Not to mention, it is an amazing solution when you need good food, quickly. In half the amount of time it takes to make a dish, you’ll have the same dish delivered to your doorstep. And that is what makes food delivery app so popular.

Quick And Easy

Quiet related to the time-saving bit, food delivery apps are a quick and easy solution to all your food-related problems.

Say you have guests coming over, and you decided that you want to cook a lovely dinner for them, only to burn that chicken.

There is nothing to worry about though, you can quickly just order food from the app and save the day. Your guests won’t mind, cause, you did try to make that chicken, right?

From low-key date nights to dinner with in-laws, food delivery apps are the quick and easy solution to every problem related to food.

Better For Business

The food delivery apps are not only blessing the customers. The restaurants and eateries, that deliver their food through these apps are greatly benefiting from these apps.

They have a wider reach among their customers because of these apps, and a wider reach means more customers, and more customers mean more business. And more business translates into more revenue.

Quick Earning

Now for the delivery people, it is easy for them to make a little extra money by being one of the delivery app delivery person. And of course, a little goes a long way when it comes to money.

So as we can see, the benefits of food delivery apps are threefold. It is not only benefitting the customer but the restaurant owners and the food delivery people as well. Now that you are well aware of the market and popularity of food delivery app, let’s learn about the types of food delivery apps you can make.

What Are The Types Of Food Delivery Apps In The Market?

Before getting on the point of app features, let’s see the two major types of food delivery apps that exist in the market.

Third Party App a.k.a The Aggregator Model

The aggregator model, or the third party food delivery apps have been in the market for more than a decade. They are the perfect mediators between you and your favorite restaurant.

This model enables customers to browse through a wide variety of restaurants and their menus. The user first creates an account,  goes through the list of restaurants and their reviews by other customers and makes their choice.

After making their choice, they will place an order, and the order information is processed for delivery. the main function of this third-party app is to connect the two parties. Food delivery app like Zomato uses this model.

Since the delivery part of the order is taken care of by the restaurant, this is perfect for the big restaurants. But when it comes to the newer and smaller restaurants, it is harder to be featured on these apps. And that is where the next type of food delivery app comes in.

Logistics/Delivery Service Type:

This is a fairly new kind of food delivery service that only emerged around 2013. This is a similar platform like the aggregator model only with one added facility,

The order delivery is handled by the application itself.

Unlike the aggregator model, this is highly profitable to startups, since they don’t have to maintain a separate delivery system for the orders. And this cuts down the expenses significantly.

As for already established restaurants, it only adds to the profit, since they can now cut down on manpower spending and focus more on the main food processing part. Which is why this model comes with increased efficiency.

While the former involves only two parties – the restaurant and the users, for the latter, you need to develop an additional platform for delivery services. Apps like UberEats use this model.

Food Delivery App Model and Its Requirements

There is not only the customer app to make.

When it comes to a food delivery app, you need three different sides of the app.

  • The customer app
  • The admin app
  • The delivery person app

Let’s see why you need all these apps for your food delivery platform

The Customer App

The customer app is obviously the key to it all. This is the app that is going to be installed into the device of the customer. They are going to use this app to order from the restaurants listed.

Since this app is the key app, you have to make sure that this is made perfectly. The UI/UX needs to be smooth and without bugs. The app needs to have features that make the food ordering experience better for the user. We will talk about the feature a little later.

Now let’s talk about the admin app.

The Admin App

The admin app is obviously going to be used by the authorized personnel of the food delivery service or of the restaurant. This is the app that is used to accept customer orders, dispatch the said orders, handle payments, track the orders, and keep up with the logistics of it all.

Rather than creating it as a mobile app, you can make it a web-based software. Since this is going to be the brain of the entire operation, you need to pay significant attention to the development and maintenance of this app.

Any problems or crashes can mean loss of business, revenue and reputation for your service.

The Delivery Person App

This app is for the ones who are making the delivery. With this app, they can know if there are any new orders, they can also accept and reject the order. Along with that, they can find out what is the drop-off location of the order, and how to get there. In brief, this app is going to help them in every way to smoothly deliver the food to the user.

What Features Does Your Food Delivery App Need?

It is important to have amazing features in your app. But then again, you know that already.

So as you research about how to make a food delivery app, make sure to plan out the features for your app. Once you have figured out the features for your custom food delivery app, you can make sure that your app appears different and unique when compared to all the apps out there.

1. Registration

Your food delivery app needs a registration feature.

With this, the users can make a profile on the app. And with a proper profile, they can make the most of the app and everything it offers. Not only for customer apps, but you also need this feature for both the admin and the delivery person app.

With the right profile, doing business becomes a lot easier. The registration will help you to keep a track of who is who, between all your clients, customers and delivery persons.

2. Profile Management

Along with registration, you need profile management. With this feature, your users can optimize their profile with the right information, which is important for order placement and delivery.

For the admin app, profile management is even more important. The restaurants need to have a proper profile and be able to update it to make the best business for them.

And as for the delivery person app, they need to register and manage their profile with the right credentials. As employees of the food delivery platform, they need to provide you with the right details through their profiles.

3. Easy Search Option

Make sure to implement the feature of easy searching in your app. Because no one likes to spend hours searching for food when they are hungry.

With the easy search option, the users can search for the right restaurant on your app easily, making the order placement easy and quick, saving the time of the users and saving them from hunger as well.

4. Easy List For Easy Order

This is going to be a nifty little feature that can distinguish your app. You can create a list of restaurants based on moods and weather and cuisine, basically all the different variables. So that the user can easily find a list of the restaurant fit for their cravings easily.

Say someone absolutely wants to have dumplings for dinner. With this feature, you can create a section for Asian food, where you can list all the restaurants that make amazing dumplings. By doing this, you will make it super easy for the user to find the right place to get their dumpling dinner from.

5. Preferences On The Homepage

Showing the customer preferred restaurants and cuisines on the homepage is a nice feature that will keep the users hooked to your app. This is not only going to make it easy for them to make their choice but save their time as well

6. Order Tracking

Once that order is placed, it’s a matter of waiting. But of course, customers should not be kept waiting too long, especially when they are hungry.

It is normal for any custom food delivery app to have the feature of order tracking feature. With this, the customer will be able to see when their order is being dispatched and its progress towards them. They can also get an estimated time on when the food will be delivered.

After all, tracking the food while waiting is better than blindly waiting.

7. Easy Payment Gateway

Of course, when the order is delivered, there is the matter of payment.

This can be done in two different ways. Besides the usual cash on delivery, you can also choose to implement online payment. This is the easiest and faster way of receiving payment and safe too.

Many customers today prefer the online payment method, so make sure that you have multiple online payment options. Achieve it with options like Braintree, Stripe, CCAvenue, etc. This is an important feature, so don’t skip over it.

8. Ratings And Reviews

With the ratings and reviews feature, customers can leave reviews on the restaurants listed on the website, the different food they have ordered and the delivery services. This feature not only helps the other users to choose the right place to get their food from, but also the restaurants and the food delivery platform itself, to know where they can improve more.

9. Offers And Coupons

Who doesn’t like offers and coupons? Especially when it comes to food?

Make sure you have plenty of offers and coupons for the users. These special offers are going to retain your users and bring in more users. With special collaboration with the restaurants you can offer attractive offers to the users, who in turn will become loyal customers to the restaurants, and your app.

10. Push Notifications

Of course, you can not skip over this feature. The push notification is absolutely important, because without this, how can the users know when there are any special offers going on, or that their food is almost there?

But you have to make sure not to bombard the users with annoying notifications all the time. Let them choose what notifications they want to see and when they want to see it. This will add another layer of user satisfaction on your app experience.

The Tech Stack Of The Food Delivery App You Wanna Make

We have now told you all about the features you need for your food delivery app. Now we are going to tell you about the tech stack needed to build those features into your app.

  • For the registrations and authorization process, you can use Autho. They provide safe and secure authorization process in all kinds of the process- SMS authorization, email authorization, classic authorization, etc.
  • To add the details about the eateries you can use Google Places API.
  • For safe and secure payment gateway, you can use Braintree or Stripe SDK.
  • With Routific API you can integrate inbuilt route optimization. With this, the delivery personnel will know about the best routes to take while delivering an order.

Factors To Consider Before You Make Your Food Delivery App

Before we start talking about how to create a food delivery app, we are going to tell you about some important factors you need to consider.

These factors can make or break the success of your app. So make sure you check these out before starting on your app

1. Identifying The Right Niche

Everyone loves food. So everyone is going to use your food delivery app once it’s in the market. Right?

Now, you are not exactly wrong when you think this. Food delivery apps are liked by everyone, but there is still a slight point of preference you have to consider.

To distinguish your app from those out there, you need to target a specific niche for your client base. This way you can get more customers on your app.

how to make a food delivery app and selecting the niche

To set up your niche, you need to determine your customers first. Who are you making the app for? Students or workers?

Do they prefer fast food, or better restaurant quality dishes?

Are they vegetarians or hard-core meat lovers?

When you have determined your customer base, you need to research about their food habits. What kind of food do they like, how and when they order. Only after analyzing all the data you can make your app more distinguished than all the other apps out there.

2. Implementing The Correct UX

The right UX is important in case of an app.

And your food delivery app is no exception either. A good UX design is a driving force behind your app’s success. You need to ensure that your app is easy to navigate by the user. They also need to be able to find the information they need easily.

how to make a food delivery app and making the design right

So when you are thinking about how to create a food delivery app, you need to know that the interface needs to be both detailed and minimalist at the same time. Keep it clean and smooth with only important information on the screen. And don’t forget to keep the information in an organized manner.

3. Use Machine Learning To Display The Right Kind Of Restaurant

A student is not going to order from a Michelin star restaurant. And a top notch banker is not going to order food from a local pizza place.

make your app habit forming

It is important that the customers can find the right place quickly on their homepage. And that is why you can use machine learning to display a list of restaurants on the homepage based on the user’s preferences.

4. Coming Up With Proper Logistics System

When thinking about how to develop a food delivery app, you need to come up with a proper logistics system. A chunk of your revenue will come from proper food item delivery. The pattern will differ based on geographical location, traffic condition around the restaurant, etc.

Plan your logistics keeping these things in mind. Also, you have to consider the city routes and how long it takes when availing each. In time delivery is what should be in your mind while planning your logistics.

5. How To Make A Food Delivery App Right: Choose The Right Developer

It is essential to select the right food delivery app maker. The developer should understand your objective and implement updated software and agile techniques to bring out the best of your idea.

While there are two broad categories of developers: Freelancers, Agencies, you’re always advised to go for the latter. Agencies have the proper expertise and latest development tools at their disposal, which freelancers mostly lack. The right food delivery app development company will deliver the app the stipulated deadlines and never play around with your budget.

Plus getting an app developed by an agency comes with proper product licensing, guarantee and commitment that freelancers often fail to offer. Thus, it is always advised that you go for an agency if you want quality service delivered within minimum time and budget.

How Much Will A Food Delivery App Development Cost?

After learning all about how to make a food delivery app, you must be thinking about how much is it going to cost?

No matter the type of app you’re developing, it always comes with its respective price tag. So how much will your food delivery app cost? Simple. You have to just multiply the number of hours with the hourly rate.

[App Development Cost = Total Number Of Hours * Hourly Rate]

The cost of a food development app depends on the features you include in it. Of course, the more features you have the more your app is going to cost.

All your expenses would go down the drain if your users don’t like your app. Their feedback would help to iterate the process and make necessary betterments with every user review.

Also, you need to determine the nature of your app. Whether it’ll be a Native, Web or Hybrid app- everything will eventually determine the pricing. And yes, don’t forget to choose the right developer for your app.

Take A Look At Your Competition

Now that we have talked all about the makings of a food delivery app, let’s take a look at the market, and what your competitors are doing.

Assessing market competition is the best way to know what works and what doesn’t. Their success and failure story is going to help you with your app.

The two major food delivery app competition in the market is GrubHub and Ubereats. Let’s take a look at these two.


Founded in 2004, GrubHub has been in business for a long time. It has partnered with over 95k restaurants in both the US and the UK.

how to make a food delivery app like Grubhub

Their app UX is seamless and the app is full of amazing features that make it easy and amazing to use. GrubHub is an app that receives more than 400 thousand orders on a daily basis.


If you are thinking of making a food delivery app then you must know about Uber Eats.

how to make a food delivery app like Ubereats

It is one of the most popular food delivery apps in the market. When it was launched in 2015, Uber was already a well-established brand. It wasted no time in leveraging its huge driver base to embark on a food delivery business. And it worked. Uber already has a recognized brand, for which customers found it much easier to cultivate trust in its new food delivery business. Like Grubhub, it includes all the fundamental features. Plus its global presence enables it to offer a variety of multinational cuisines.

End Words on How to Go About Your Food Delivery App Idea

The market is saturated with food delivery apps. You’re not the first to come up with the idea. The competition is cutthroat, but you can deal with it in two ways.

You can let the competition discourage you into turning back and drop the idea altogether.

Or you can just go on ahead and take your chances. 

If you believe in your idea enough, then with the right technique and right strategy, you can create a food delivery app that will make sure to become a crowd favorite in no time at all.

Author Image

Pratip Biswas

Founder, Unified Infotech

I am an Entrepreneur and a Tech Geek with more than 1500 successful projects launched. I share my experience through my love for writing and help other entrepreneurs reach their business goals.