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The food delivery industry is globally one of the fastest-growing. This sharp growth is primarily fueled by the ever-increasing customer base for delivered food. According to Mad Mobile, the growth rate of the food delivery market in the US will grow at 8.29% annually, reaching $466,472 million by 2026.

According to Statista, the number of people who prefer to order food online is expected to reach 2.5 billion users by 2027. As for revenue in the online food delivery market, it is projected to reach US$1.02 trillion in 2023.

This new reality pushes restaurants to cooperate with existing delivery services or create their own food delivery apps — causing slumps in sales or loss of business if they don’t adapt. Industry demand is growing, and now it’s a perfect time to learn how to create a delivery app and become a leading player among restaurants and customers by considering food delivery app development.

Who Can Benefit From Owning a Food Delivery App

There are three main kinds of businesses that should consider creating an online food delivery app instead of using existing popular services.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

Restaurant Chains

Owners of a restaurant chain across the city or country can consider developing their own food delivery app instead of paying extra fees to an aggregator app.

Entrepreneurs of a Particular Region

They may consider creating a food delivery app in their region to cater to local demand, bridge market gaps (aggregators like DoorDash are not available in their area), and contribute to the local economy while providing convenience and innovation to consumers.


Startups may strive to create food delivery apps due to the market opportunity, low entry barriers, ability to scale and innovate through tech, and respond to changing consumer trends.

Types of Mobile Food Delivery Apps

The model of a food delivery app can vary and depends on the business goals and requirements. Food delivery services can be local or worldwide, giving various opportunities to start or expand existing businesses. Below are the typical business models of food delivery apps.

Order-Only Model (Grubhub, JustEat) 

The order-only business model сonnects consumers with nearby restaurants and enables interactions between them. This helps boost the food order rate of restaurants using the food ordering app.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

This model entails that the restaurants pay various fees to the app owner for every order they receive through an app. It can be a commission fee—a flat percentage of the order cost regardless of the order amount or a setup fee—an additional fee on top of the commission fee. 

One more con, the owner of the food delivery platform can’t control delivery speed, service efficiency, or quality of the delivered food — these are the food providers’ responsibilities.

Order and Delivery Model (UberEats, DoorDash)

This model implies delivery as a service—the app owner manages orders and food delivery in the application and receives a commission from the restaurants and a delivery fee for each order purchased through the app. 

Plus, the app owner controls the delivery speed and management of couriers, which helps ensure a high-quality consumer experience.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

Fully-Integrated Model (Metabolic Meals, Eat Purely)

The fully integrated business model implies that the application owner handles everything in the mobile app, from food preparation to delivery. Even though this is a costly model, the app owner controls delivery speed, service efficiency, and food quality, which creates high-level consumer satisfaction and more revenue.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

Steps Before Creating Your Food Delivery App

There are a few critical steps to take before proceeding with the food delivery app development process.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

1. Stay Up-to-Date with Market Trends 

The food delivery market is heavily reliant on trends — people are attracted to “hot” apps with popular features. If you’re left behind on these features, you’ll miss out on customers.

The first step is to ask yourself what the customer wants. What is today’s customer looking for in food delivery services? Social media integration, virtual assistants, and smartwatch integration are a few areas to consider.

2. Research Your Target Market

You want to build an app that meets the needs of your target audience, so begin by understanding those needs. At the very least, document the audience’s demographics, prioritizing aspects such as age, gender, nationality, and income.

3. Identify Critical App Features 

Every successful food delivery app has a few basic features, including registration and login. For instance, can customers log in via social media? Search is another vital consideration. Other key features include ordering, payment notifications, order tracking, reviews, and ratings.

4. Select Technologies for the Development

To develop a food delivery app you’ll need different technologies for different features. For instance, if you intend to list restaurants, the Grubhub API or FourSquare API would be required. Meanwhile, you can consider popular payment gateways such as Square API, Braintree, Stripe, and PayPal to accept and process payments.

You also need technology that pinpoints the user’s location in your food delivery app. Excellent options include Google Places API, Google Maps, and the Core Location Framework. Finally, other common technology options include Amazon SNS, Urban Airship, and Firebase Cloud Messaging for push notifications.

GPS Tracking Case Study

Food Delivery App Features

The food delivery app’s functionality should be developed in the context of three key categories of users: client, restaurant, and courier.

Customer Side

Below we list the main functions of the client side of an average food ordering app.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

Registration Function

Customers should be able to sign in and create their accounts to track orders, make secure payments, and leave reviews, along with email confirmation and password recovery options.

Checkout and Shopping Cart

Ordering directly from the menu is a small but crucial customer-friendly option worth considering. You can implement filters so customers can search by food category or meal to make the selection even more comfortable. The cart should contain all the necessary information, including the total cost and payment methods.

Order Planning

Customers should be able to choose the estimated delivery time to receive the order when convenient.

Geolocation and Order Tracking

With a map integrated into your solution, you can enable users to find a restaurant or eatery nearby or in a specific location. The order tracking feature will add convenience, estimate delivery times, and learn about possible delays.

Information About the Courier

The user needs to know specific details of the courier: name, vehicle, and phone number to contact if necessary.

Chat and Calls in the App

For great customer satisfaction, let them check their order updates in the app, chat with customer support, or call them directly.


Convenience matters, so integrate the payment system through the application for fast and secure payments into your food ordering app. Integrate credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and more for making payments. It’s always better to enable as many variants as possible.

History of Orders

This feature is essential for both customers and sellers, as well as for the admin panel, as it allows you to withdraw an order, check details, or find the name of a dish you require.

Reviews and Ratings

This feature allows users to choose from a variety of establishments based on the honest and sincere user reviews.

Restaurant Side

And now let’s find out the necessary features of a food ordering app for restaurants.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

Registration Page

Catering establishments should be able to include their name, location, opening hours, contact information, and menu on their profile.

Payment Management

Payment methods should be stored and managed in the admin panel, ensuring high accuracy and security.


This is integral to every admin panel and provides valuable information about the app’s performance metrics. It allows you to track inventory, orders, delivery times, marketing campaigns, revenue, and more.

Order Management

Restaurants should be able to easily access orders to accept, change, or reject them. Consider the option of changing the status of an order.

Menu Management

The restaurant side should be able to add, remove, and edit menu items. Uploading photos is highly recommended, as people eat with their eyes. In addition, it is essential to include descriptions and prices that complement the dishes.

Order Status Tracking

Restaurants need to see upcoming, in-process, and already-delivered orders to allocate work and estimate delivery times properly.

Courier Tracking

To ensure fast and convenient delivery, the food service business must be able to find the nearest courier or the nearest one on the desired route.


All three agents, customer, restaurant, and courier, must be able to contact each other. Chat can provide smooth, real-time communication convenient for everyone.

Courier Side

And finally, let’s consider the functions of a food delivery business that are necessary for courier services.

How to Develop a Modern Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats

Account Creation

Couriers should also be able to register with their email, phone, or social media. The account must be verified, as well as all required documentation and information provided.

Order Updates 

Couriers should be able to change the status of an order when they arrive at the restaurant, pick up the order, and go to deliver it so that the customer is kept up to date.


Geolocation on the delivery personnel side of the application will allow delivery agents to find the best routes to customers. Make your map easy to use and interactive, like UberEats.

Request Access to Data

Couriers need to know order details such as delivery address and time, order contents, and username and contact information, so they need access to all of that.

Monetization of Online Food Delivery Service

The cost of food delivery app development depends on its complexity, functionality, scale, and technologies used. So that these costs are not in vain, the project’s payback should be calculated in advance. As a rule, the following monetization options are used for online orders of ready meals the following ways:

  • Commission. An agreed part of the amount that the restaurant receives for a dish purchased through the service.
  • Advertising. Charging a fee for establishments to place their listing on the main page, with a unique design, at the top of the listing or in recommendations.
  • Delivery payment. The web service takes over the delivery responsibility, taking a percentage of the order or a fixed amount.
  • Membership sale. Loyalty for money is when a client pays a monthly subscription fee and, with it, has the right to participate in promotions, bonuses, and discounts.

Practice shows that the most effective strategy for making money on online food delivery is an integrated approach using all possible ways of monetization.

Food Delivery App Development Tips and Best Practices

Once you’re finished with the food delivery app design, development of a food delivery app ensues. The following recommendations and best practices can be divided into user needs and tech requirements and can help you build a robust app for long-term success:

User Needs

  • Quick and easy search. The app’s ability to access the user’s location to quickly order a meal from the nearest restaurant.
  • Order status. Receiving information about the order status in real-time such as “order accepted”, “meal prepared”, and courier’s location.
  • Real-time courier monitoring. Users want to see the location of their courier to plan their time and know the approximate delivery time.
  • Сonvenient payment methods. The ability to choose preferred payment methods—cash, credit card, or Apple/Google Pay. This will help you expand your target audiences.
  • Customer support. Don’t underestimate the value of the support team that handles complaints, delivery problems, and so on. 
  • Promo codes. This is an opportunity to smooth out conflicts with unsatisfied customers by offering promotions or gifts.

Technical Requirements

  • Reliable project infrastructure. Aggregators and new deliveries with logistics support require a lot of effort invested in server-side software. Suppose there is a sudden influx of users to the service that will affect everything: server software performance, network hardware, resource quota reserves, the application’s ability to handle competing requests on its own, and so on.
  • Robust security. Ensuring the security of a mobile app from the start is critical. Sensitive data, such as payment and contact details, must be encrypted and stored securely to avoid data leakage and misuse of the food delivery platform business logic, resulting in loss of reputation and trust.
  • Logging. Logs are essential when there’s trouble. If you have logs for everything, you can trace the source of the problem with ease. For example, incoming and outgoing traffic, and branches in your algorithms use a unique ID for the set of logs to link them to the same long-term operation. This will help you better understand the app’s behavior and diagnose and prevent potential issues.
  • Clutter-free admin interface. A straightforward admin interface will help you get more work done in less time. This means two things — first, you’re able to process more orders per minute, and second, faster order processing results in higher customer satisfaction, leading to repeat business!
  • Tracking business and technical metrics. Everything that makes you money, especially long-term processes, must be reflected in the database and automatically tracked—the number of orders processed per day, returned orders, UX usability, rejections from restaurants, average delivery time, etc. This will help you troubleshoot and proactively manage and prevent problems with your food delivery business.
  • Collect user metrics to enhance the user experience. It’s impractical to measure UI user-friendliness with objective metrics. Instead, consider establishing small focus groups to observe how customers navigate the app, process their feedback, and enhance the app. Moreover, utilities that collect user metrics can help you develop a more functional user interface—duration of the interaction with the app, visited screens, buttons pressed, and so on—to measure UI and UX friendliness. 
  • Code review process. Projects tend to grow, and with them, the team grows, leading to a more diverse approach to implementation. Code reviewing allows the exchange of experience and the rotation of knowledge, which strengthens expertise among individual team members.
  • Strong documentation. Finally, documentation is just as necessary as the food ordering app itself. Without proper documentation, diagnosing issues in the app becomes almost impossible. Develop strong documentation and keep it updated at all times.
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NIX Case: OnlineFood — Fully-Integrated Food Delivery App

The client is one of the largest online food ordering and delivery marketplaces in Europe. NIX efficiently developed a food delivery app that allows users to order food from a favorite cafe or restaurant and covers all processes, from receiving an order to delivery. The app provides users with multiple functions to make the ordering and delivery processes as convenient as possible. Some of the notable features include restaurant recommendations, search filters, customizable delivery details, and real-time order tracking.

The developed food delivery app has a particular user flow:

  1. Drop a pin on the map or type in your address.
  2. Choose a restaurant available in your area.
  3. Add everything you like to the shopping cart.
  4. Place an order and track it on the map.
  5. Receive your order and enjoy the meal.

You can read more about the Online Food food delivery app here.

How to develop a Food Delivery Service Like DoorDash

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an On-Demand Delivery App?

A comprehensive project requires a holistic business approach that will help enhance the business’s performance and profitability by providing full-fledged support. 

The essential team for building a food ordering app from scratch includes:

Choosing an outsourcing company with extensive expertise in diverse business domains and tech solutions can be a good-fit solution for a restaurant app creation since it appears less costly than an in-house team.

Buyer's Guide

In-house food delivery app development suggests a closer connection to the team and a better understanding of corporate culture but requires intensive cash flow for recruiting, maintaining an entire department, and bearing all costs associated with it.

The next step is summing up the advantages and disadvantages of development types and picking the most fitting for your future project.

Let’s look at the priority features of the on-demand food delivery service and how much it costs.

Taxi Case Study

Order-Only Mobile App

An app like JustEat provides ordering and delivery from restaurants in many cities with a food catalog, order management, and 24/7 customer support.

The first version of the food ordering app with customer and admin roles and no payment processing or geo-tracking features can be developed within 2.5–3 months.

If you choose the Eastern European development team, it would cost roughly $57,000–$65,000.

Order & Delivery Mobile App

An app like UberEats covers multiple restaurants, allows ordering food, and provides delivery services. It’s usually an excellent choice for startups if they have competing features to stand out among the current players on the market.

With a full cycle of service providing and managing various restaurants, the first version of the app can be developed within 3.5–4 months. 

If you choose the Eastern European development team, it would cost roughly $77,000–$90,000.

Fully-Integrated Mobile App

An app like EatPurely includes one restaurant chain and covers a whole cycle of ordering, preparing, and delivering to the nearest locations with the support of clients, partners, and couriers. Individual businesses and restaurant owners usually choose this type of app.

The app’s first version with the restaurant chain’s infrastructure, payment processing, and geo-tracking support can be developed within 3–4 months.

If you choose the Eastern European software development team, it would cost roughly $67,000-$75,000.

We at NIX Can Help

Our experience developing IT solutions for businesses gives us an edge when developing modern applications of all kinds. Let us help you plan your food delivery app development for your business, deliver an outstanding service—and enter the market with a bang!

RFP Template For App Development

The online food delivery market is rapidly growing, and such apps are gaining popularity among users. That is why cafes, restaurants, and catering establishments should consider developing a custom food delivery app. To overcome the competition, you should consider your solution’s elements in detail and entrust its development to professionals who know how to make a delivery app. You can always contact us to get a robust, feature-packed, and visually appealing application within a reasonable budget.



What Are the Key Features to Consider When Creating a Food Delivery App?

Speaking about how to make a delivery app, a modern one is expected to have key features, including GPS tracking, multiple payment options, an in-app messaging tool, search filters, and push notifications. Companies also offer additional incentives like bonuses, loyalty programs, and cashback to retain customers and improve their experience. Ratings and reviews can also help app users evaluate the market’s offerings and choose high-quality products. Finally, the best food delivery apps have easy onboarding, intuitive navigation, and an elegant design that shortens the learning curve for users. 


What is the Typical Cost for Food Delivery App Development?

There are multiple factors that influence the overall food delivery app development cost. The scope and features of the application, technological stack, design complexity, and labor rates will determine how much you will end up paying. For example, developer rates in Eastern Europe and Asia are on average significantly lower compared to North America and Western Europe. For comparison, creating an average food delivery app will cost around $70,000 USD in Eastern Europe versus $90,000 in the US.


What is the Functionality of a Food Delivery App?

Custom food delivery app development involves four main elements: customer app, courier app, restaurant app, and admin panel. Each element requires different sets of features and may vary in complexity. For example, the admin panel is the administrative side of the product, while the courier app offers couriers access to customer and restaurant information. End users need food options, payment gateways, GPS tracking, messaging, and more. Finally, the merchant side is for restaurant owners who can set up their accounts, manage food options and pricing, etc.


What Are the Key Steps Involved in Food Delivery App Development?

Development of a food delivery application, much like the creation of other app types, requires a few important steps. The first vital phase is information gathering, market research, competition analysis, target audience setting, and other steps associated with product discovery. The second phase includes the building of a prototype and minimum viable product (MVP) with basic features, design, and navigation to test the idea and collect initial feedback. Using the gathered responses, you can fine-tune the design and features and continue the coding process. Later, companies move to the quality assurance phase and release the product to their audience. However, food delivery app development is an ongoing process that requires continuous revision and maintenance, even after launch.


How Can I Create a Food Delivery App That Stands Out in the Market?

The best way to stand out from the competition is to make a food ordering app that users genuinely enjoy. To achieve this, invest some time and money into minimum viable product (MVP) development that will allow you to test your idea in real-life settings. An MVP is a basic, functional app version that users can actually interact with and provide feedback about its strengths and weaknesses. This step will give you a significant advantage and help you launch a product that your user base will like. Another tip is niching down and making a unique tool that will appeal to a specific demographic.


Can I Make a Food Delivery App for Free?

Creating a food delivery app is a lengthy and complex process that requires extensive market research and involves numerous tech specialists with a high level of expertise in app development. Even if you are a developer yourself, you will require assistance from UX/UI designers, business analysts, marketers, testers, and other experts to build a functional product. Although there are methods of reducing the costs using certain technologies and outsourcing, it’s not possible to build an app completely expense-free.


What Are Some Strategies for Building a Successful Mobile Ordering System?

If you’re wondering how to make a food delivery app that reaches your audience and attracts customers, focus on both development and marketing. Make sure to extensively test your product for errors and smooth operation. Besides that, invest a portion of your resources into marketing activities such as app store optimization (ASO), social media growth, digital advertising, etc. Another best practice is to identify your unique selling proposition and market your own app accordingly.


How Long Does It Typically Take to Develop a Food Delivery App?

Your food delivery app development time is contingent on the complexity of the product and your expertise. Besides core features like registration, maps, and payments, you can extend your app functionality with additional options for real-time GPS tracking, social media integration, reward systems, personalized recommendations, voice instructions, etc. On average, the entire app development takes a year or longer.


What Are the Biggest Challenges in Delivery App Development?

Any delivery app development team needs to ensure a high level of data protection as the product will deal with personal user data, including payment information. One of the biggest concerns is to build an app that will not unintentionally reveal this data to hackers. Another common obstacle is creating a food delivery app that stands out, but does not disappear inside the competition pool.


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