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How to make a food delivery app? Essential features and cost of food delivery app

Food delivery apps are becoming insanely popular because…everyone loves food. Whenever someone doesn’t want to cook a meal themselves or just craves to eat something they love, they will open up a food ordering app to order the food.

You may have heard of Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash. These food ordering apps are one of the most used apps globally.

The current value of the food delivery services market is worth $25.7 billion in the US.

If you are here; you may have a food business and look for creating an app for it. Or you want to create an intermediary platform between the restaurants and customers like UberEats. Or, maybe you are just wondering how much a food delivery app costs.

In any case, you will get to know what is the tech stack required, essential features, and the cost of creating the app.

Continue reading!

So how to create a food delivery app?

Creating a food ordering app is not a piece of cake. It’s better to create a plan before developing a food ordering app; for your own restaurant or even other restaurants.

That’s why we have a step-by-guide on how to create a food delivery app along with some app ideas that you would like to know.

1. Verify Your App Idea

Pandemic has affected online orders the most. When people weren’t able to enjoy their meals at those fancy restaurants during covid-19, ordering food at home was the only single option.

People seek convenience nowadays. For example, have you seen anyone buying DVDs at a local video store anymore? Most probably not because many customers prefer video streaming services like HBO Max and Netflix over buying DVD movies now.

Statistics that support food delivery app ideas:

  • The online food delivery service is growing at the rate of 10.39% with a project market volume of US$401,391m by 2025
  • The average revenue per user is projected to be $154.89 in 2021.
  • The number of users in the online food delivery segment will be 2638.1m by 2025.

(source: Statista)

Plus, we have another guide on how to come up with an app idea to further validate your food ordering app idea.

2. Decide between food ordering and food delivery models

Generally, we call every app related to eateries a food delivery app, but there are a few business models for these apps.

i) Order-only Model

The food “ordering” app is, basically, an order-only application. Here the food ordering service provider acts as an intermediary between a customer and their favorite restaurant. It’s called the aggregator model as well.

Restaurants have to register their business on the application, and then customers can check out their menus, reviews, ratings, etc., before placing an order.

According to this model, a customer’s order is sent to a selected restaurant. And the restaurant prepares the order and delivers it to the customer.

Order-only service charges a specific commission on the orders, from 10% to 30%. Grubhub and JustEats are examples of order-only food apps.


  • Do not have to worry about delivering the food
  • Minimum management efforts are needed to manage the orders only
  • Low barriers to entry as anyone can come with an app to create an intermediary between customers and restaurants


  • Harder to capture the eateries. Your app will need a large user base to make bigger food chains interested in your food ordering application.
  • Less profitability ratio
  • Have to face higher competition

ii) Order+Delivery Model

On the other hand, we have a food delivery app or logistics model that consists of both orders and delivery. These are more convenient for smaller restaurants that do not have their delivery service or want to save costs on delivery.

The customer places an order, the restaurant prepares it, and a delivery guy from the food delivery service delivers the order to the consumer.

The logistics model can take 25–30% commission on orders with delivery charges. Uber Eats and Deliveroo are examples of the order-and-delivery model.


  • Higher profitability potential
  • More opportunities to scale up the business size
  • Small or medium-sized food businesses that find it costly to set up their delivery service will be more interested in a company that will take care of the delivery.


  • Requires more management to handle both orders and delivery service
  • Costs associated with hiring and training the delivery personnel

iii) Restaurant to Customer Model

As the name suggests, it’s for already existing eateries to develop a branded food delivery app for their offerings.

The customer makes an order, the restaurant prepares it and delivers it to the desired location. In the past, people used to make phone calls to order their favorite pizza.

But it’s way easier now to choose different deals and offers through the app of a restaurant.

Domino’s pizza is a great example of this model. A pizza lover can decide between various flavors, deals, and options that give a fun and interactive experience.

3. Food delivery app niches/ideas

Targeting a specific food app niche is essential because this industry has cut-throat competition. Not every food ordering app has to target every single food service available. It’s better to target a niche market and maybe, later on, decide to put other niches in your business model.

Some popular food delivery app niches:

  • Pizza delivery app
  • Baby food delivery app
  • Grocery delivery app
  • Frozen food delivery app
  • Vegan or vegetarian meal delivery app
  • Organic and natural food delivery app
  • Home-cooked food delivery app

4. Decide the required features within the food delivery app

Before moving on to food delivery app development, you need to note the essential features for customer, restaurant, and delivery team panels.

Features for customers:

  • Home
  • Search bar with filters
  • Login/Signup
  • Contact information
  • Creating a delivery location on the map
  • Menu
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Buy/Add to cart options
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Payment options
  • Order tracking
  • Contactless delivery
  • Previous orders
  • Customer support

Features for restaurants:

  • Business Registration options
  • Dashboard for managing certain activities
  • Order management panel for accepting or rejecting orders
  • Modes of accepting payments

Other than these features, there have to be ways of verifying a business before registering them on your app. You don’t want frequent complaints from customers about late orders, replaced items, or poor packaging, etc.

The best solution will be to get a website for your food delivery service. So the food businesses register on your website first before selling food through your food delivery application.

Features for delivery personnel:

  • Login/Signup
  • Order requests
  • Setting up the location
  • Chat and call options
  • Map navigation
  • Online support
  • Payment withdrawal

Similar to restaurants, the delivery people have to be verified as well. Like you will need some documentation from them to check if they do not have any criminal records in the past, and other identification essentials as well.

5. The tech stack required for on-demand food delivery app

When you finalize the features you need for your food delivery application, the next thing you will need to know is the tech stack required to build an app like UberEats, FoodPanda, or Deliveroo.

Use Autho for registration and authorization processes. It offers all kinds of authentication like SMS verification and email authorization, etc.

For restaurant listing, you can apply Grubhub API or Foursquare API.

Square API, Braintree, Stripe, or PayPal can be used for secure and safe payments.

Google Places and Google Maps are best for finding locations and adding information about restaurants.

Firebase Cloud Messaging or Urban Airship for push notifications.

How to find and hire software developers for your startup? What and where to look for

6. Cost of Food Delivery App

Finally getting to the good part you were anxiously waiting for. The cost of the delivery app depends on the number of resources required for the project. So first you will need to find out the number of people needed to complete the project.

Ideally, a food delivery app will need:

  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Business Analyst
  • QA Engineer
  • 2–3 Back-end developers
  • 2–3 developers per OS platform

Developer rates across different regions:

  • US developers — $50 to $250 per hour
  • European developers — $30 — $150 per hour
  • Asian developers — $10 — $80 per hour

Average timeline and costs for each app type:

i) Food ordering app (orders-only)

  • Cost: $50,000 to $55,000
  • Timeline: 2–3 months

ii) Food delivery (orders + service)

  • Cost: $70,000 to $80,000
  • Timeline: 3–4 months

These are average timelines and costs and may vary according to project requirements.

Concluding Thoughts

Now you know how to make a food delivery app and the associated costs. But making an app is one thing because a business model won’t work if there’s no planning behind it.

That’s why it’s better to work on a business strategy and plan before thinking about developing a food delivery application.

If you have ideas and want to work on them but feel stuck, contact our business team for help.

Over the years, Phaedra Solutions has helped many clients with not only developing tech solutions but coming up with innovative business ideas as well.



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