Food Delivery App Development Guide – Cost and Key Features

Online food ordering delivery apps like Postmates, Grubhub, Doordash, Zomato, Just Eat and Uber Eats are making life as hassle-free as it ever could be. People can order their favorite dish from the comfort of home and get immediate doorstep delivery. If you want to upscale your restaurant business, the best way is to start Food delivery app development. The next bailiwick in the era of the internet and smartphones is simply your restaurant table. If you want to monetize the trends, all you need to do is hire a food delivery app development company to leverage the power of technology for your organization.


The market of online food delivery apps has faced succinct growth in recent years. For businesses, this is high time to get started with customer-centric food ordering app development for the app users. The food delivery business is worked on two businesses models; the logistic support model and the aggregator model. For the restaurant owners, you must go for the aggregator model to build a specific app for your business, while if you are the service provider you can choose to develop the logistic support food delivery model app to tie up with the ordering app businesses. In the short, it is estimated that the cost to develop the online food delivery service is a range of lies between $12k-$20k. However, the cost may rise as per the model you have to opt for food delivery app development and the complexity of the app. It is wise for business owners to choose an optimum model for the monetization of their app. The app generates revenue either by promotion and ads or by revenue share or surcharge. That involves four stakeholders; restaurant, rider, and user.

This blog serves for

  • Restaurant owners; to build their own app instead of paying for the other aggregator apps.
  • Entrepreneurs; to develop their food app-building to avoid any hurdle of the aggregators.
  • Startups; should start their on-demand food delivery apps to satisfy the customer’s needs with their services.

Food Delivery App Market Share

  • Statista claimed that the current surge in the market of food delivery apps is growing with revenue of $401 B by the end of 2025, with an annual rate of 10.4%.
  • In pandemic times, the user base percentage has expected a penetration rate of 23%.
  • According to the BusinessofApps, the food delivery apps in the USA are accompanied by more than 111 M users in 2020 and are expected to grow.
  • In the last three years, people ordering via these online food delivery apps are double the figure, 625 M in 2020. And it continues to grow.
  • With the concept of raising the dine-in options, the total food app delivery market is anticipated to reach $24.4 users by the year 2023.
  • The digital ordering platform and delivery options have faced a humongous growth of 300% in the last few years.
  • Key players in the market of food delivery apps are:
  • JustEat
  • Grubhub
  • Zomato
  • Ubereats
  • Postmates
  • Zomato is very popular in the Indian market, Ubereats is in international demand, while GrubHub is the best choice for the homegrown regions.
  • Grubhub has covered 18% of the USA food app market in 2020.
  • Depending upon the scope of the project the cost to build the food delivery app will decide.

The tempting fact is that these food online delivery app options are fast and instant for the customers to get food with comfort.

How does this On-Demand Food delivery App work?

If you want to develop a food delivery app, the first thing you need is to collaborate with nearby restaurants and local food vendors to let your users have a plethora of cuisines to choose from. The success of these apps is highly dependent on the joint efforts of the firm and restaurants. They should go for the development of the food delivery mobile application as one unit that functions together.

A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners often hesitate to start such a business as they aren’t sure about the factors that influence food delivery app development costs. The cost is mostly driven by the factors like how many points of interaction would be there. The simple step by step process is:

Read Also: Cooking-Food Recipe Mobile App Development- Cost & Key Features

  • User Search: The user looks through the list of restaurants and dishes and chooses the one they wish to order. Our experts add various filters to the application to make sure that the choice-making process becomes easier and better.
  • User Confirms Order: The user confirms the order and chooses the mode of payment. The payment could be made by any medium like COD, Credit Card, Debit card, Ewallet App Development, or integrated in-app wallet.
  • Restaurant Confirms the Order: Once the process is completed from the user’s end the restaurant confirms the order and shares an estimate of how long would it take for them to deliver the food.
  • Restaurant Prepares the Food: The restaurant prepares the ordered food for delivery.
  • Valet Is Assigned: As the food is being prepared, in the meanwhile the delivery valet for your order is assigned.
  • Valet Collects Order: As the order is prepared, the valet collects the respective order and sets it out for delivery.
  • Order Delivered: The valet delivers the order to the destination.

With in-app calls, order tracking, and location tracking services, it becomes easier for the valets to deliver food in the shortest time span.

Soon there would be a time when Artificial Intelligence solutions would take up the charge and the food would be delivered through drones and robots. With the world going contactless and cashless, it is becoming quite important for businesses to bring in picture delivery alternatives that need fewer instructions and can deliver food as soon as possible.

Once the order is delivered, to the customer the profit margin is split between the app owner and restaurant owner.

The work process is easy, there are a few more challenges that you as a business owner may face when talking about home delivery application development.

Major Challenges and Their Solutions When Developing Food Delivery App

One more factor other than the cost of food delivery app development that may give you second thoughts about your business is basic marketing challenges. Food delivery app developer at Octal IT solution, share here the challenges and its solution to help you through the tasks.

Competitive Market Could Be Scary

With some of the big names in the market already, setting up a foot and establishing your ground may be a tough call to make. With interesting features, prompt responses, and credible services you can gradually set up your foot in the market and be in a win-win situation.

Partner with Various Restaurants

Restaurants are already partnering with some big names and sharing their profits with them. As time passes, it would become quite difficult for the restaurants to build new collaborations. Convincing them to collaborate with you is going to be a great challenge.

Offer some better partnerships and reach restaurants that don’t partner with a lot of food delivery apps.

Building an Impressive and Stable UI/UX

When it comes to food ordering app development, your food delivery app developer must focus on the transitions between the panels. With clear transitions and an easy understanding of the app, one can surely make a difference in the functioning and popularity of the app.

Read Also: Challenges Faced by Food Delivery Apps like UberEats, Postmates & Swiggy

Choosing the Right Set of Features

This is another challenge that you may face when we talk about food delivery app development. If you are looking forward to making an app work, all you need to do is choose the right set of features for a highly competitive and revenue-generating app.

In the article later, our experts have shared a list of features that would help you in mobile app development.

The right developer Can Change the Game

When it comes to taking any business online, the first challenge is to hire mobile app developers. See if they can help with the latest tech trends and information. Review their client testimonials and study their market value. These are a few factors that can help you decide who to hire for your work.

Choosing the Right Business Model

Another factor that influences the food delivery app cost is the business model used. Mobile app developers discuss here various food delivery app models that you can use for your app idea.

These are a few challenges and their solutions that would help you ace the food delivery app market like a pro.

Food Delivery App Models to Choose From

Dedicated Food App Delivery Model

Here the food delivery app acts as a platform where the user and restaurants meet. The user can place the order here and the restaurants can get the order delivered. The app is not bound to provide the rider or the delivery service.

For example, if you place an order via Domino’s app, it is the rider assigned by Domino’s who delivers the order.

The cost of developing an aggregator food delivery app model can be estimated at $121.29 per customer.

With Logistic Food Delivery App Model

One of the most important food delivery app features is the rider. If you can take the responsibility to get the food delivered on time, then you are already ahead in your game. This app model helps the customer to connect with the restaurant and place their order. Further, they assign a rider who would collect food from the restaurant and deliver it to the customer.

A step-by-step approach to developing a Food aggregator mobile App is shown below in a more exhaustive way.

Food Delivery App – Restaurant Panel

Restaurant owners will also have to go through a registration and login process from the app itself, and they have to submit extra for the authenticity of the business. The details of the functioning would be shared with the restaurant owners by the developers in form of food delivery app documentation.

  1. Dashboard: Once the restaurant owner sets up an account, they are redirected to their home page, which is the dashboard. Here they can keep track of the pending orders, completed orders, and ones, which are on the way to delivery for better insight and summary of what is going on.
  2. Accept or Decline Orders: This is the most important part of on-demand food delivery app development as delivering the food in time is an important concern. Users may cancel the order if it takes longer than the estimated time and it will count such delay as a loss and can leave a negative impression.
    Since not all restaurants can offer delivery on their own, it depends on the availability of the rider to accept or reject the order.

  1. Manage Restaurant Account: Each restaurant owner can set an account by adding their restaurant pictures, name, logo, food images, hours of operation, minimum order quantity, and add all the menus available along with the price and expected delivery time. They can also mention discounts from their end for any particular item.
    These features often influence the delivery app development cost.
  2. Payment: In the payment section, the users would have the option to transfer the money to banks or any other platform like PayPal or Wallet app as per their preference. Showing daily revenue reports can also be an added feature along with all the history.

Food Delivery App-Rider Panel

When an entrepreneur comes to us with questions like how to make a food delivery app in India, the first thing we ask them to confirm is if they want to have a rider’s panel or not.

Read Also: Why Octal is the best company for Food Delivery App Development

  1. Login: The rider will receive login credentials from the admin to enter the application.
  2. Order Request: When the customer places an order then it will be the auto-assigned basis on the location. Each order will appear with the order ID, customer name, and delivery address. The rider can either accept or reject the delivery request on the home delivery application. Also if permitted he can let the customer view his details.
  3. Order Delivery: Once the order is accepted; he/she will deliver the order at the customer location and make the order completed. Order will be maintained with status i.e. placed, packed, on the way, delivered, etc.
  4. Order History/Logs: This panel lets the delivery boy check past orders that are completed. When talking about developing an app like Zomato, each element of the app must be well-taken care of.  Filters like date range, status, and ID can make the process of verification easier.
  5. Call/Chat: Zomato app development cost includes the price of integrating an in-app calling and messaging feature. This makes it easier for the customers and delivery person to communicate with each other.
  6. Push Notifications: The delivery boy will get a push notification for any update from the customer panel or the restaurant panel if required.
  7. Wallet/Get Paid Offline: The delivery person would be paid by the admin on a weekly or monthly basis. If the delivery boy has an in-app wallet then he can receive payment in his wallet else the payment would be transferred to a bank account.
  8. GPS Tracking: It is significant for the customer and the restaurant to track the location of the delivery boy.  Also, with GPS tracking the customer can guide the delivery boy to their exact location.
  9. Transaction History: This is an important aspect that one needs to mention in their food ordering app documentation. Here the delivery boy can check the past transactions and see his total income in just a click.
  10. Online Support: It is important to include this feature in your app. In case the delivery boy faces a lot of issues, he can communicate with the support team to get instant help.
  11. Google Map Navigation: As the delivery boy will be responsible to deliver the order if he accepts, he can view the customer’s address on the map and can be navigated to the designation through the Google map.

Food Delivery Mobile Application – User Panel

After the successful download and installation of the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, the customers further need to log in and register to the app.

  1. Login: With simple social media integration of Facebook, Gmail, or by just a single OTP confirmation on the user’s mobile number the login process can be completed.
  2. Location: When talking about the food delivery app development, one important feature is the pick location. Based on the user’s location, the list of available restaurants is shown, and estimated delivery time is also calculated.
  3. Homepage: When developing an app like Zomato, the relevance, and the features of its homepage must be well studied. Let your app show nearby restaurants, most ordered dishes, and other things that your customer wants handy.
  4. Menu: This is another most noted feature of an on-demand food aggregator mobile app. Let the customer review his order and other details before making the final payment.
  5. Set Pickup on the Map: Either let GPS pick up your address so that the app recognizes your exact location or manually set your pickup location on the map.
  6. Payment: Once everything is checked and verified it is time to make the final payment. Let the user choose from various payment methods the one that suits them the best.
  7. Review Screen: Developing a review section would already be a part of the cost to develop a delivery app. Let users write reviews and comments in the section for each restaurant in detail.
  8. Past order: Let the app show past orders to make re-ordering easier.
  9. Offers and Discounts: Let your users be updated be about the offers and discounts their favorite restaurant is offering. Push notification is an important feature your delivery app developer needs to include in your product.
  10. Contact Information: It could be that the customer needs to connect with the restaurant or the rider or the rider needs to connect with the customer or the restaurant, just make sure the information for each is updated and shared for clear communication.
  11. Track Delivery Boy: Track the exact location of the delivery boy and see him coming in real-time.
  12. Search: The section is placed on the top of the home screen of the home page and is mandatory for the on-demand food delivery app. When talking about food delivery apps price comparison is an important factor. Let users search by the food name of all the restaurants that are delivering a particular dish at various prices.
  13. Refine Search: As a firm or an entrepreneur, one can also keep an option for filtering things like delivery time, reviews, offers, and sort the list by user’s preference of ascending and descending in terms of price.

Advance Features of the Food Ordering App

On-time delivery and promptness are the key factors that drive engagement and customers to your mobile app. Machine learning can help in calculating delivery time. The restaurant app development cost takes into account many factors like order quantity, location to be delivered, traffic, and availability of the drivers.

Take a Quick Look at the Home Delivery Application Features List

Queue Algorithm- Order assignment will be processed through the queue algorithm in which the system will auto-detect the delivery boy’s current location and assign a nearby delivery boy. Location can be set by the admin that what range will be covered for queuing.
Push Notifications- Push Notifications are one important feature that the Mobile Application Development Company should not skip. The user must be notified about the order status timely. Regular updates help users know when their food is arriving.
Real-time Analytics- Real-time Analytics Panel powered by DB infrastructure and algorithms. It keeps you in control of your operational data and helps you reach time-sensitive events to build projections. With the Analytics Panel, you get real-time revenue reports, revenue projections; drive your business by the numbers, and much more.
CMS for News & Articles- The developer can focus on various aspects of the app. The admin can share articles and news about the new restaurants in the area or they can feature a dish. When it comes to the home delivery app, there are a few more aspects that can be looked for.

Some of the features that can be included are-

  • Coupon and Vouchers for more discount
  • Smartwatch extension
  • Lock Screen Widgets
  • Option to share in the food order Social Media
  • Schedule delivery and pick up
  • Check out what nearby friends are ordering
  • Booking tables in nearby restaurants

Find By Meal Type- Let your app developer make it easier for your customers to navigate through the app by simply showing options like breakfast, lunch, evening, snacks, and dinner instead of nearby restaurant lists. The app must provide different sections according to food types and users’ interests.

For example, a section for quick foods can be prepared and delivered within a few minutes. Another section of the app can be for healthy diet conscious people. After selecting the main item from the menu, the user should be shown options to choose complementary dishes and added beverages. Along with that, the user can also keep an option for customizing the meal. It will give the user more flexibility in what they are ordering and will leave a good impression of the app.

Monetization Models helps Food delivery apps to Generate Revenue

  • Promotion and Ads: these revenue-gaining models help to promote their food-relevant ads like cuisines on their platforms of the niche restaurants.
  • Surcharge: the restaurants charge an extra fee to their customers for the food they have delivered to their doorstep. This model is used by logistics service providers.
  • Revenue Share: for completed orders with the restaurants, the business has charged a small recurring fee to take some profits.

Required Technology Stack for Food Delivery App

The food delivery app cost is also affected by the technology stack that is used. Before developing the final app working on a prototype would be a great idea.

  • Payment –  Square API, Braintree & PayPal, Netbanking, Stripe, EWallets
  • Cloud Environment – AWS, Google, Azure
  • Android and iOS have their own development framework so that will not be an issue.
  • For GPS tracking, the business entity can use the Core Location Framework for iOS and Google Location API for Android.
  • For real-time direction tracking, it can use MapKit for Apple devices, and for Android, Google Maps API is more than sufficient.
  • For listing the restaurants as per the range or location, the app developer can use GrubHub API and Foursquare’s API.
  • The registration procedure can be made simple by the Facebook SDK login system or just by any social media login.
  • For storage, one can rely on Amazon Cloud Storage and auto-scaling web servers.
  • Amazon S3 Bucket and Cloud front for data backup will be a good option.
    For analytics and performance comparison, the app developer can try Google Analytics or Mix Panel. Making your API for data handling from the database is the most efficient way.

What Team Structure Would Be Required?

The first thing which makes a good impression of the On-Demand Food delivery app development is the sleek and clean user interface. Hiring an experienced UX/UI designer is a necessity rather than a choice. A team of two backend developers, two Android developers, and two iOS developers is enough for a successful food app development. It is also important to have a team of testing and quality assurance professionals in case of a major breakdown of the App.

  • Project Manager
  • UX/UI Developers
  • Android/IOS developers
  • Backend Developers
  • QA Teams
  • Delivery Manager

How much does it Cost to Make an App like Zomato?

Well, the food delivery app development cost largely depends on the functionalities and features you wish to implement in your app. However, to give an approximate value, a simple food delivery app may cost around $12,000 – $20,000, whereas a more sophisticated solution may go beyond $40,000.

  • U.S. based developers:  $50 to $250 per hour
  • Eastern Europe based developers: $30 to $150 per hour
  • Food app development cost in India: $10 to $80 per hour

And the below-defined estimate for your app as well (For developing a reasonable app, with the limited features and Android coding, the cost of building an app like Zomato in India can be calculated based on the below bifurcation of involved activities).

  • Technical Food Ordering App Documentation (40 hours – $1000 to $1500)
  • UI/UX design (60 Hours – $1500 to $3000)
  • Front-end and Back-end development (400 Hours – $7,000 to $ 15,000)
  • MVP testing (80 Hours – $2000 to $4000)
  • Polishing and bug fixing (40 hours – $1000 to $2000)

Another significant point to remember is that developing an iOS app costs slightly less than an Android app, as that needs rigorous app testing which involves an enormous sum of money.

Sneak Peek into the Future of Food Delivery App Development

The scope of food delivery applications isn’t just restricted to the present day; it has a greater prospect too. With various technologies assisting humans over various functions the face of almost every industry is bound to change by the next decade. Let’s explore here the technologies that are expected to expand the scope of the industry.

1. Mixed Reality: With augmented and virtual reality in action, all you need to do is push yourselves further and let the users have the real-life experience of watching their food being prepared.

Exactly what Domino’s did for kids!

2. Expansion of Business Model: When talking about the business model the scope of expansion is really vast. New partnering solutions, better collaborations, interesting food journeys, etc. can make you stand out from the competition. If you are looking forward to investing for the long term then considering expansion scopes is a must.

3. New Delivery Options: With the outbreak of the pandemic, drones have entered the delivery market. Cool! Who knows what the future holds for us, but automated vehicles and drones are surely on their way to gaining popularity and claiming their market stature.

4. Big Data: Customer data and analysis are a major part of the game. With advances in big data solutions, customer information can be easily explored. You can make use of predictive analysis and see if you can understand your customers better and make use of their working process.

5. Crypto Food Ordering: With blockchain app development gaining popularity, isn’t it interesting to make use of it to place your orders? This is just anticipation. You cannot be sure what to expect in the future. Being hopeful about the future trends and upscaling your business to walk with the trends is important.

If you are looking forward to investing in the business, the food delivery app development cost would surely include integrating the basic models of these technologies with your application.

The Key Takeaway!

Surely, this is a long read. It is going to help you take your business to new heights and earn great revenues. Zomato and similar apps have been in the business for a long and entering the market with something similar would be a great challenge.

Hire mobile app developers to create a food delivery a who can blend creativity with innovation to make you stand out from the crowd and take your business to new heights.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top