An Extensive Guide on How To Build a Food Delivery Application

We reckon you have come here with a question in your mind — is it a good time to develop a food delivery app? Let’s try to find out the answer by looking at some statistics.

Food ordering applications earned 22,073 million dollars of revenue, which will increase to 31,413 million by 2023 (Statista). 

Also, Eluminati Inc. reported that over 58% of consumers prefer convenience over everything else.

These statistics declare that now is the best time to develop a meal delivery mobile app. Are you wondering how? Don’t worry, as we are here to answer all your questions and resolve your worries regarding food delivery app development.

Essential Features of Food Delivery Apps

There are a lot of core features that you should incorporate into your food delivery service app to make it more useful. Some of those must-have features are discussed below.

1- Detailed Description of the Food Offered and Restaurants

Your app should offer the correct information regarding the meals being offered and the restaurants you cover. You should ask the restaurants to give their accurate details. It includes their specialty, availability of the delivery services, contact numbers, addresses, menus, and pictures.

Allow users to search all this information from the app to help them check out various hotels to pick one that suits their budget and taste.

2- Order Placement

Customers hate food delivery apps with long and complicated order placement processes. So, keep it simple and quick. 

Try to minimize the steps between ordering and paying as much as possible for a smooth user experience. Also, your interface should be easy to navigate, particularly for regular customers. 

Some apps let repeat customers add more than one delivery location. Consumers should be easily able to submit, cancel or change their orders. Try to provide an extra option for users to give specific meal instructions. 

Some people are allergic to a specific food ingredient or might not like the taste of it. Therefore, allow your app users to customize their orders to stand out from other similar apps.

3- Sign up Process

The same goes for the signup process. Your app’s registration process shouldn’t be a headache for users. Ensure your registration section is crisp and short. And don’t ask users for complex details. 

Ideally, they should be able to fill it within a minute. Another good idea is to let people sign up using their Gmail or Facebook accounts.

4- Search Filters/ Custom Tools

You must add various search categories/filters for the ease of users. Customers get frustrated if they aren’t easily able to fill their food baskets with their desired items.

Your app users should be able to filter restaurants by cuisine, price, google restaurant reviews, or location.

5- Automated Instant Geo-location Tracking

Today’s users want speedy services. Sometimes, people order food as they are so hungry that they can’t even wait for the time it would take them to cook it themselves. 

Therefore, they take out their phones and place a food order with a few taps. And they expect the food delivery to be as fast as the order placement process was.

Though it’s impossible, you can try to make the delivery time as low as possible by enabling real-time location detection. Along with saving time, it improves the customer experience. Include automated location tracking in real-time, to allow more seamless transitions, better business, and satisfied consumers.

It is a feature most successful food service apps have. By providing their geo-location, users conveniently find restaurants in their area and make things easy for the delivery staff.

6- Various Payment Methods

Remember, users want to use different modes of payment, and facilitating them to use their preferred payment method will make them happy.

Thus, you should add payment options like cash on delivery, payment via credit card, online banking, e-wallets, and others

7- Built-in Tracker

It is an integral and desirable feature for customers to add to your on-demand delivery app for food as it allows users to track the meal delivery process. This functionality also helps restaurants to assess the food preparation process.

8- Push Notifications

Add SMS and push notifications to let your customers know about their order status, discounts and deals, and order reminders in case the user is busy.

You might have received notifications saying<Accepted>, <Delivered>, and <Arrived> during the process of ordering food through a food delivery app.

If yes, you know how these notifications satisfy you by telling about the order’s acceptance, delivery, and arrival. 

9- Customer Reviews

No mobile app can grow and improve without user feedback. The same goes for food delivery apps. You need users to rate your services and give reviews about their experience.

Users tend to use those food delivery apps that give them reviews of previous customers. It helps them decide what to order, and you improve your business.

You can integrate this feature using AWS and Microsoft Azure.

10- Reward Programs

Customers usually love incentives like reward programs/loyalty programs. You can send discounts, personalized offers, and notes as part of your reward program. Successful food delivery mobile apps try to retain old customers and bring new ones by using promotional coupons and deals at certain times.

11- Order History

Have you ever used a mobile app for food delivery that shows you your order history and let you reorder food? Then, you know how convenient it is to order your favorite food items, again and again, with this feature. Additionally, order history is essential for food shops/hotels to keep track of analytics.

Two Working Models of Food Delivery Applications

There are two standard models for the food delivery business applications.

1- P2C (Platform to Consumer) Model

Multiple food ordering apps use the peer-to-customer or P2C model. It usually includes an on-demand platform that allows consumers to order meals through a third party. 

It is a vital aspect of the development process of food delivery apps. Users can place their order through a mobile or web-based marketplace and choose to have their food brought starlight to them. They can also pick up the food they order from a designated address or restaurant.

Popular apps based on the platform-to-consumer model are Amazon Restaurants, GrubHub, and Eat24. These applications differ technically but function in the same way.

People place their order via an app or online then a courier guy brings their ordered meal to them. You should use various platforms to promote your business, like social media sites, online, etc.

Adopting the P2C model present some difficulties. However, it is very beneficial if employed to complement an omnichannel tactic. It offers two big advantages — cost reduction and ease of use. 

Users don’t have to visit a store in person and wait in a queue when they order food through their mobile devices. Plus, meal delivery services spend less than hotels and can charge lower prices. It is a plus point for the foodies ordering the meals!

2- Restaurant to Consumer Model (R2C)

This business model allows a meal provider, typically a food truck or a full-service restaurant, to sell food to customers. It includes the food shop/restaurant, courier guys, and customers.

Pizza Hut and Dominos are two popular examples of this food delivery app model. Some restaurants want to reach more consumers by opening their outlets in various locations, but they need a lot of capital and other resources. The R2C model is a possible solution for those hotels.

If someone leverages this model, they can even stand beside businesses that were previously one step ahead of them in the market. This model helps restaurants expand their business without spending upfront money to build infrastructure and operations.

Moreover, it enables them to contest other prominent businesses by targeting smaller geographic locations or individual customers.

Steps to Build a Dynamic App for Food Delivery Services

1- Market Research

You should research your competitors and analyze their performance to find their weak points. The best way to do that is to check out customer reviews of those apps.

Notice if a user has said something good or bad about their services. Also, see their list of food items, user experience, and user interface.

As you do it, you will start identifying areas of improvement and their strengths. Don’t underestimate the power of this research. It will give you a treasure trove of information you can implement while building your mobile app.

2- Pick a Suitable Business Model

Two business models are commonly used for food ordering apps — P2C and R2C. Therefore, it’s important to survey the market before you begin.

It will aid you in assessing and learning which model best fits your needs. For market surveys, you would need to splurge on tools/resources such as questionnaires, focus groups, etc.

Resources and tools don’t provide an accurate picture of the market, but they can give you an approximate result that fits your app concept or needs

3- Decide the Core Feature Set

You make a blueprint of your business plan that identified your vision and objectives for the app product in previous sections.

The next step is to lock in some of those core details. It will describe your product’s appearance and way of functioning as you intend.

4- Select a Hybrid Tech Stack

You might want to create separate android and iOS apps. You might only have experts who can create an android app. But, you should have your food delivery app on both platforms to reach maximum people.

It would mean spending money and hiring a resource for iOS app development. To ensure your app runs on multiple operating systems, you should use a cross-platform tech stack like PHP, Cordova, Ionic, etc. 

Cross-platform technology helps you cut down development costs. It also enables us to build android and iOS apps using JavaScript as the programming language and web technologies.

5- Take Services of an Experienced Mobile App Developer

Try to find a mobile app developer who has already developed food delivery or similar apps. Hiring such a developer can be very costly, especially if you start with little capital.

Fortunately, there are reliable mobile app development companies with teams of geniuses having expertise in various app development domains.

Try to find a company that provides affordable services and can consider your particular category and requirements.

Ask the agency/developer if they have prior experience in catering to the demographic you are targeting. Your app developer should understand and talk into your users’ language flawlessly.

If you ignore this aspect, your product may seem too generic or overtly focused on the wrong target audience. Your app will attract more users if it functions, fulfills its goals, and appear well.

Choose Software Stack for Your Mobile App

Based on your chosen business model, you will require different technologies. Below are the technology stacks you should choose to enable functionalities in your app.

Payment Method

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Square API
  • Braintree

Restaurant Listing

  • FourSquare API
  • Grubhub API

Find Customer’s Address

  • Google Maps
  • Core Location Framework
  • Google Places API

Pop-up Notifications

  • Firebase Cloud Messaging
  • Amazon SNS
  • Urban Airship

Bottom Line

Before you begin working on your food delivery app project and make it live, you should learn all the ins and outs of effective app development. This article was an attempt to help you in this, and we hope now you are confident to kick start building your app.

We know it’s a time of excitement but do not forget what we have taught you through this guide. Keep in mind all the players involved in your chosen business model. 

A food delivery app typically involves multiple parties, and each one’s convenience is vital to streamlining the process. Finally, all this boils down to handing your project over to someone experienced, like an app development service provider/professional. It’s better than trying to do it yourself or getting someone inexperienced to do it and mess with the whole project.  

rahul panday

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