On-Demand Food Delivery App Development: Process, Features, and Cost

Published On: September 29, 2018
Last Updated: August 12, 2022
On-Demand Food Delivery App Development

The on-demand economy is growing exponentially with the introduction of new industries. Out of all, food is one such industry that has rooted its seeds in this economy at the early stage and received tremendous benefits.

Some companies, such as UberEats, Zomato, etc., have changed how people order food. These apps allow people to order food from anywhere and anytime. On the other side, many people have become more reliant on these on-demand apps to order food.

The demand for these on-demand food delivery apps is growing at a tremendous rate.

According to Statista, the on-demand food delivery app users are expected to reach 53.9 million by 2023.

The revenue of the online food delivery market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.90% between 2022 to 2027. It is expected to reach $96.50 billion in 2027.

If you also want to take advantage of this opportunity by considering on-demand food delivery app development, you have reached the right place.

Here, we explain how to build a successful on-demand food delivery app. But before that, we will look at the types of on-demand food delivery apps.

Types of On-Demand Food Delivery Apps

On-demand food delivery mainly fall under two main business models.

1. Restaurant to Consumer Delivery

It is a model adopted by restaurants or restaurant chains. In this model, consumers can order food from the particular restaurant’s mobile app, and their food gets delivered. The restaurant doesn’t take support from any external logistics and possesses its own delivery personnel.

Restaurant to Consumer Delivery

Here is how it works.

For Order Side

  • Customers download the restaurant app and browse various types of food that the restaurant serves to users.
  • Customers can order the food and choose a suitable payment method. Customers also get an option to add instructions like please keep food outside, make it spicy, etc.
  • The restaurant accepts the order and prepares it as soon as possible.

For Delivery Side

  • The delivery person at the restaurant collects the food and delivers it to the customers.
  • The app charges a delivery fee depending on the distance of the customers from the restaurant.

Popular Examples: Domino’s, Jimmy John’s

2. Platform to Consumer Delivery

It is a model that has been popular for over a decade. It is also known as the aggregator model.

On-demand food delivery apps that work as a mediator between you & your most loved restaurants are known as marketplaces.

The core purpose of this on-demand food delivery model is to attract a broader audience. The secondary goal is to allow users to order food from the desired restaurant.

Platform with Logistics Support

The Order Side

  • In this model, customers can browse various restaurants, including their menus. Here, a customer initially makes an account, checks the menu, reviews & ratings of many restaurants, and chooses the desired food.
  • After this, the customer places an order and makes the payment. These types of on-demand food delivery apps offer enhanced customer support to the users. A straightforward example of this can be GrubHub.
  • The restaurant receives the order through the mobile app. They confirm the order and send the message to the customer.
  • In several cases, the restaurant owner directly forwards the order to the kitchen via a POS system.

The Delivery Side

  • The delivery boy nearby the restaurant accepts the order and then collects food from the restaurant. Later, the delivery boy delivers the order to the customer.
  • For a smooth delivery, the restaurant shares the number of the customer with the delivery boy.
  • A customer can track the order in the food delivery application only.

In this model, the on-demand food delivery app charges a fixed fee for each order from the restaurant. This model allows restaurants to get constant orders from customers. On the other hand, aggregators can earn a suitable commission.

Popular Examples: UberEats, GrubHub

6 Steps to Develop an On-Demand Food Delivery App

Here are the 6 steps you should consider for creating a successful on-demand food delivery application.

Step 1. Check Food Delivery Industry Hot Trends

To create a modern on-demand food delivery app and give tough competition, you need to understand the things running in the industry and its trends. You can consider hot trends such as social media integration, chatbot support, smartwatch support, etc.

Step 2. Choose On-Demand Food Delivery App Model

We have already discussed two main types of on-demand food delivery models. It is time to select a suitable on-demand food delivery model according to your business requirements.

Step 3. Conduct Market Research

After deciding on the on-demand food delivery model, you need to conduct thorough market research and study your competitors.

For this, install popular apps in the market and check their reviews, ratings, features, and downloads. It helps you get better insights into what works well in the industry and what people expect from an on-demand food delivery application.

In short, you can identify all the weak and strong points of successful on-demand food-delivery apps. It helps you to provide a better on-demand app solution than your competitors.

Along with doing research, you need to find out answers to some of the crucial questions as given below:

  • What is the vision & mission of your business?
  • What are the needs and pain points of the users?
  • What features do you wish to integrate into your on-demand food delivery app?
  • How will you monetize your app?

By understanding the demand of your customers, you can create a suitable on-demand food delivery application.

Step 4. Create an MVP Version

As you are starting your journey in the on-demand food industry, exploring before diving deep into the ocean is essential. An MVP app allows you to do just that.

An MVP stands for a minimum viable product. It includes only the primary features required to fulfill the demand of the users. Here, you can obtain feedback from users at the initial stage and update the app as per their expectations.

In short, an MVP allows you to obtain maximum feedback about your app with minimum effort & cost. Therefore, we highly recommend you consider MVP app development.

For creating an MVP application, you can reach out to a mobile app design company. They will understand your requirements and create a suitable MVP app following the latest UI/UX guidelines.

Step 5. Convert MVP into a Full-Fledged App

After you build an MVP, you need not be in a rush for app development. A better strategy is to postpone the secondary features until your MVP app becomes successful.

You can create a list of these features and include them at the later stages.

Before converting your MVP into a full-fledged app, you need to look upon some essential things:

  • Check the reliability of the MVP app.
  • Ensure that your app is scalable.
  • Track the performance of your app & enhance it.
  • Identify the market for your MVP and present your app to that audience.
  • Define all the essential features you want to include in upcoming versions.

After considering all the essential things about the MVP, you can convert it into a full-fledged app. For the same, you can hire a mobile app development company.

The mobile app development company understands the needs of your business and creates a suitable on-demand food delivery app.

Step 6. Testing & Launch

After your on-demand app is developed, it’s essential to test it thoroughly and ensure that the app is bug-free.

The mobile app development company you hire will conduct testing according to the latest app testing practices for better reliability & security.

In general, the development team conducts different types of testing as follows:

  • Functional testing
  • Usability testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Performance testing
  • Security testing

After testing your app, it’s time to launch it on the relevant app stores.

Before you launch your mobile app, it is necessary to understand all the app store guidelines and keep all the essential things ready for submission.

Generally, leading app stores, such as Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store take two weeks to approve any app. But, if you have prepared for various challenges, you can launch your app on time.

After looking at the on-demand food delivery app development process, let us look at essential features that you should include in your on-demand food delivery application.

Define the Key Features of Your On-Demand Food Delivery App

You can integrate features into your on-demand food delivery app according to the requirement.

In general, an on-demand food-delivery app consists of four versions. These include the customer, delivery personnel, restaurant, and admin.

Let us look at the core features of all of them:

Customer App

A customer app is the most critical part of an on-demand food delivery app. They will use this app to look for restaurants, view the menu, and place an order.

It is crucial to create a bespoke UI/UX design of the app to attract an audience. Why?

The main reason is that if customers don’t understand the interface, they do not like to stay on an app.

App features are one of the factors that decide the conversion. You should ensure that customers can smoothly place an order from your on-demand food delivery app.

Here are some of the primary features of a customer app:

Registration & Login
Customers can register on your on-demand food delivery app with the help of this feature. You can integrate popular third-party services like Facebook and Google to allow users to log in quickly.

Select a Restaurant Based on the Location
A user can enter the location or give location access to the app. Then, the user can view a list of restaurants delivering food. A user can choose a restaurant as per their needs.

Multiple Payment Options
People like to make payments using different payment methods. Hence, you should provide multiple payment options to users like net banking, digital wallets, credit/debit card, etc.

Push Notifications
Users like to get notified about the latest offers running on the app. Besides this, they would like to know the status of their placed order. You can keep users updated with the same using push notifications.

Ratings & Reviews
Restaurants like to know the ratings and reviews of their food from users. You can integrate a feature using which users can provide ratings & reviews of the food item after receiving it.

Customer Support
People face a lot of issues regarding orders, payment, etc. You can integrate a feature through which customers can reach out to support.

Restaurant App

This solution is highly essential for restaurants. Moreover, many restaurants prefer to develop a web solution as it is simple to manage.

Using this app, they can handle all the incoming order requests. Here, restaurant workers can accept orders, keep them ready, and notify delivery partners.

Some of the key features of the restaurant app are as follows:

Menu Management
With the help of this feature, restaurant owners can modify their menu based on the food availability and its craze among the audience.

Order Management
A restaurant receives orders from different customers. This feature helps the restaurant owner to look after multiple orders and check orders whenever needed.

Payments Tracking
This feature enables a restaurant owner to look after the entire payment history and check all the pending payments.

Delivery Tracking
The feature enables the restaurant owner to track the real-time location of orders that are out of delivery.

Daily Sales Updates
A restaurant should be able to track its performance using the on-demand food delivery app. The owner can check the total orders users have made on the on-demand food delivery app daily.

Delivery Personnel App

A delivery personnel app is mainly for persons delivering food to customers. They are using this app to accept or reject orders. Besides this, they can also check the drop-off location and the best route for the same.

A delivery person app should be user-friendly and fully functional. As they are using the app on the go, it is convenient to develop a mobile app.

Here are some key features you should include in a delivery personnel app.

Quick & Secure Login
Having a secure login ensures that your app is reliable. Hence, you should provide an option where delivery persons can log in using their username and password. Later, they can accept orders from customers.

Order Management
Delivery staff can manage various orders simultaneously. They can view, accept, and then deliver orders accordingly.

Push Notifications
With push notifications, restaurant owners notify the delivery personnel about the order, food being prepared, and ready for pickup. The delivery person notifies the user that their food is on the way along with the estimated delivery time.

Navigation
This feature provides a proper route for the delivery staff from the restaurant to the customer.

Delivery Status
The delivery staff can keep their service active or inactive. However, people that keep it active will only receive the orders.

Admin App

The admin section of the food delivery app is markedly different from that of the customer section as it deals with backroom services.

Authorized personnel looks after an admin app. It is the core of the entire food delivery operation, and that’s why you need to allocate more time for the development and maintenance of this app.

Any bugs or scratches in this app will affect your entire on-demand food delivery ecosystem.

Here are some key features you need to include in your food delivery app.

Delivery Management
Using this feature, the admin can view all the orders & manage them from one place.

Restaurant Management
Admin can manage various restaurants using the on-demand food delivery app. He has complete control of adding or removing restaurants.

Notification Management
The feature keeps the admin to remain updated with the things running on the on-demand food delivery app. These include user sign-ups, restaurant registrations, orders, etc.

Review Management
It is an essential feature that will help you build customer loyalty. The admin can look after the reviews and remove them as per the requirement.

Before you develop your on-demand food delivery app, you need to build a comprehensive ecosystem so that your app works well for the people involved in it.

According to the on-demand food-delivery app model you want to develop, you need to decide the requirements.

If you choose to build an on-demand food delivery app based on the platform-to-delivery model, you will require all four parts.

  • Customer App
  • Restaurant App
  • Delivery Personnel App
  • Admin App

In case you plan to build an app according to the restaurant-to-consumer delivery model, you will require three parts. These include a customer app, delivery personnel app, and admin app.

Let us break down all the main features you should include in a food delivery app.

Customer App

  • Registration & Login
  • Select the restaurant based on location
  • Multiple Payment Options
  • Push Notifications
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Customer Support
Restaurant App

  • Menu Management
  • Order Management
  • Payments Tracking
  • Delivery Tracking
  • Daily Sales Updates
Delivery App

  • Quick Login
  • Order Management
  • Push Notifications
  • Navigation
  • Delivery Status
Admin App

  • Delivery Management
  • Restaurant Management
  • Notification Management
  • Review Management

Now, we will look at the popular monetization model you can integrate into your on-demand food delivery application.

4 Monetization Models for On-Demand Food Delivery App

An application is not complete until the integration of a suitable monetization model. According to the revenue goals & business requirements, you should integrate a monetization model. Here we will provide four monetization models that you can consider for your on-demand food delivery application.

1. Delivery Fee

It is one of the most popular monetization models adopted by food delivery apps. Based on the application, you can charge a fixed delivery fee or charge depending on the location, distance, estimated delivery time, or festival.

2. Advertisement

Advertisement is a basic monetization model for food delivery applications. Many restaurants struggle to get customers and generate revenue. Hence, they are looking for something to reach out to users.

With this model, restaurants can pay charges to rank in the featured lists of restaurants on the food delivery app and get the target audience’s attention.

3. Commission

It is a monetization model suitable for platform-to-consumer delivery applications like Zomato. Here you charge a specific commission for every order from a restaurant. The commission charge depends on the size and popularity of the particular restaurant.

4. Subscription

Subscription-based models are becoming popular in the majority of applications. You can provide a monthly or yearly subscription to the users. Free delivery, discounts, coupons, etc., are several benefits you can offer to all users that buy a subscription plan.

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Food Delivery App?

The estimated cost to make an on-demand food delivery application is $10,000 to $30,000. In general, the cost of an on-demand food delivery app depends on the overall complexity, essential features & functionalities, platform (android & iOS), development approach, and more.

If we combine all the factors, a basic on-demand food delivery app would cost $10,000 to $15,000. While, if you want to integrate unique features and develop a medium complexity app, it will cost around $15,000 to $30,000.

If you want to build a fully functional on-demand food delivery app, the cost will be $30,000 or more.

You can choose to develop the best app as per your business requirements and overall budget. To estimate the cost of your on-demand food delivery app, check this blog on the app development cost.

Final Words

We hope you have understood how to make a food delivery application.

If you want to develop an on-demand food delivery app as per the latest market trends, you can reach out to an on-demand food delivery app developer.

GuruTechoLabs is a leading on-demand app development company. We can understand your business requirements and then offer you an ultimate solution that helps you start & grow your on-demand food delivery business efficiently.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.