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How to Build a Food Delivery App: A Step-by-Step Guide

Myroslav Hryshchenko

Myroslav Hryshchenko

Senior Mobile Developer

16 min

Food delivery apps are taking off. The revenue from these convenient services already hit $22 billion in recent years.

And with experts predicting it could surge to over $31 billion by 2025, now looks like a prime time to bite into this market.

After all, over half of customers rank convenience as a top priority these days. An on-demand way to order meals without cooking or going out has massive appeal.

Of course, major players like UberEats, Postmates, and Grubhub have already staked their claim here. But their meteoric success stories show that new food delivery apps can thrive.

These mega brands all started as smart MVPs (minimum viable products) focused on core user needs.

While launching your app in this competitive space won’t be easy, the rewards can prove worthwhile. If you develop with strategic planning guided by industry insights, small startups absolutely can still carve out a profitable niche.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, from understanding how food delivery apps work to mapping out technical features to calculating costs.

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The market statistic, that shows huge growth - the main reason to develop food delivery app

How Do Food Delivery Apps Work?

To develop a food delivery app, we will begin by first knowing how these applications function.

At the outset, the food delivery applications are empowering. These applications work effectively and give the users full control over their choices.

From selecting their favorite restaurant to ordering food that they like, these food delivery apps develop a huge database.

Step 1A consumer will get recommendations of nearby restaurants or some special orders for the day.

Right from restaurant selection to checkout and payment, the consumer is at the lead.

The users know how to create a basket of the desired items in the food ordering app.

Step 2Once the items are in the cart, the user can review them and move to payment.
Step 3Once the order is final, the restaurant gets a notification and starts preparing the food.

In your journey to make a food delivery app, it is also essential to know how to connect the user with the restaurant and the delivery guy.

Step 4After preparation, a delivery guy takes the order and delivers it to the customer on their specified address.

Everything has to run smoothly and without any interruptions. Be it connecting the user to the restaurant using geolocation or payment transfers.

There are two types of delivery models that you choose. One is to create a standalone food ordering app and another it order and delivery application.

Before knowing how to make a food delivery app, do you understand the two working models of this niche?

Read ahead to compare both types of food delivery apps and to understand how they make money.

Order Only ApplicationOrder and Delivery Application
Examples working on this modelBefore knowing how to make a food delivery app, understand its working model.

Working on the lines of Delivery.com or Eat 24, your application will only take orders and forward them to the merchant.

Applications like Ubereats and Doordash are working on this model.

You allow the user to generate the order and also take care of the delivery.

Working ModelThe merchant is responsible for arranging adequate transportation and delivering the order to the customer when it comes to delivery.You will not only create a food ordering app, but you also have to know how to add a delivery service to it.

Your company will be responsible for delivering food orders to the customers.

Bikes and cars with Ubereats banners on them, you must have seen them, right?

These delivery guys are under company management.

They are trained and provided with materials from the company itself.

Revenue GenerationYou may ask if they make a simple food ordering app, how do they work to generate money.

The companies operating on this model charge a commission on the total order value from the restaurants. The commission may range between 10% to 30%.


If you create a food ordering app that has a complete system, the revenue comes as commissions and delivery charges.

Since they set up the infrastructure of delivering the order, the commissions are also higher.

When it comes to delivery charges, they depend on your company structure. Either you can go for a base fee or set the price according to the distance.

Any LimitationsYou will find a lot of competition in this segment of the market.

Since the implementation costs are less, the majority of the companies start small with a single solution.

As they grow, it is easier to scale and cover the other side of the market.

The initial cost is huge, as you have to take care of training and setting up the required infrastructure for the delivery.

However, if your wagon is on the right track and it gains speed, the sky’s the limit.

As the pioneering food delivery app development company, we can help you develop any type of solution for your business.

Several functions act in unison to help deliver a single order. If this isn’t magic, then what is?

Moving forward with knowing how to make a food delivery app we will test business ideas in the discovery phase.

How to Win Over the Market

Some may say that the food delivery application market has reached satiety. But, as an experienced food delivery app development company, we know that there is always room for innovation.

In this segment of how to create a food ordering app, we will start with the market research and discovery phase.

The idea validation to create a food ordering app starts with knowing the idea and how to capitalize it.

At the very outset, it is essential to do careful and in-depth market research. This will help you develop a deep understanding of how to go ahead and make your food delivery app.

You need to analyze your:

  • Market audience
  • Competition
  • Outreach
  • Revenue generation options
  • Demand Gap
Marketing tips, tricks and lifehack on how to growth after creation of a food ordering app

With these analyses, you need to find a way to fill the void that is left by the already existing services.

Understand the pain point of the users who use food delivery apps before you develop your own.

Ubereats(2014) came after Postmates(2011), but the former’s revenue is higher than the latter.


Where Postmates works on a food delivery-only app model, Ubereats knew how to make a difference. For them, starting such a service is akin to scaling the business.

Market Analysis

To create a food ordering app, it is important to know how to make it different from others.

Start by listing the basic features, integrations, UI/UX, and other systems to develop an MVP.

Decide the key partners and formulate a plan for fundamental activities, resource utilization, and value proposition.

Sit with your team and decide what aspects you need to create a food ordering app.

The discussions must revolve around:

    • Growing your user base
    • Advertising your application (which channels to use, how to target customers).
    • Understand the collaborative measures.
    • How will you approach the restaurants and enlist them in your database?

Building Customer Relationships

Knowing your end-user is another vital aspect of how to create a food ordering app.

When the users have options like Ubereats, Grubhub, Doordash, and Postmates to order food.

Majorly, those who are busy with their professional lives will tend to order food online. There are other market segments that you can target.

But, these individuals are your primary market. Therefore, identify the key factors to attract the highest market demographic towards your application.

Leverage the power of social media and other channels to build your presence. You can offer discounts and other such perks after you develop food delivery app.

More important than customer acquisition is retaining the customer to use the application.

So focus on:

  • Giving some discounts
  • Effective customer support

How to make money from your food delivery app?

Let’s take an overview of the cost structure before we look into the money generation aspect of how to make a food delivery app.

Your cost of MVP will depend on the feature integration and the application size. Further, you need to decide the sort of a food ordering app you want to create.

Hence, the identification of the market segment is a key aspect of how to make a food delivery app.

Setting aside the development cost, as a business owner, it is essential to factor in the operational costs too. The employee training, infrastructure setup, among others.

The initial setup cost is exponentially high. This is one of the reasons why founders create a food ordering app to start with and then scale as they grow.

How do the food ordering apps create revenue to fuel their processes?

Well, there are two significant methods for generating revenue:

  • Restaurant Fee

You can charge a commission from the restaurants on the total order value. Further, once your application gains traction, you can also ask them to pay a subscription fee to land on the featured list.

  • User Fee

Users can pay a fee on their order value majorly for the delivery services. For better engagement, set a limit of minimum order and provide free delivery above that.

Before you decide to ask how to make a food delivery app find out the monetization model

How to Create a Food Ordering App

To create a food ordering app, you must know how to control both the back-end and front-end functions.

By virtue of being the most sought after food delivery app development company, we can take care of the entire application development life cycle.

Begin from the idea validation moving to create the mockups, wireframes, and UI/UX designs. The front-end development services consist of:

  • Developing user interface
  • User-interface sequences
  • Designing the buttons and screens.

To make a robust food delivery app, understand how to utilize the next-gen technology stack for different functions. That includes:

  • Database development
  • Logistics control
  • Data management
  • Authentications and API Integrations
  • 3rd party setup

Technology Stack for a Food Delivery App

Your food delivery app startup is as good as the tech stack that you choose. The effectiveness of development technologies helps develop a scalable food delivery app.

Backend Technologies:

ServerNginxAn expert at handling and balancing traffic, NGiNX helps manage incoming traffic efficiently.
FrameworksLaravelWe use Laravel because it is highly secure, and the codebase has superior safeguards.
DatabaseMySQL and RedisMySQL makes it easier to scale and boasts a high-performance functionality.

Whereas, Redis’ own hashing mechanism streamlines the object storage and optimizes the caching.

HostingAWS and VULTRWith AWS or VULTR, our developers can upscale or downscale any application on demand.

Front-End Tech for a Food Delivery App

Apart from back-end, know how to utilize the best front-end technologies and create a food ordering app. Here is a list of technologies that we work with

Cross-PlatformReact and FlutterReact works with blazing fast speed and allows us to develop an ultimate application that seamlessly works on all the platforms.

On the other hand, our expertise in Flutter allows us to create well-designed and interactive solutions for both iOS and Android devices.

iOSObjective-C and SwiftTo develop iOS-based solutions, we rely on Objective C and Swift as both are stable and can integrate smoothly with APIs.

As the top food delivery app development company, we leverage from the latest additions and upgrades to these technologies. Our aim is to provide the best digital solutions to our clients.

AndroidJava and KotlinJava’s sandboxing and ability to build highly secure solutions helps it stand apart from others.

We also use Kotlin as it is interoperable with Java and boasts easy maintenance.

Team Required to Build a Food Delivery App

How many team members do you think are ideal to create a food ordering app?

Here’s a list of professionals:

  • Front-end developer
  • Back-end developer
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • DevOps
  • Quality Assurance

Types of Food Delivery Apps

The real question is how to make a food delivery app is what type of application do you require?

Because there are different segments of the market that you can cover off shooting from this domain.

As an advanced development company, we can help you create any type of food delivery app.

Every type of food delivery or ordering app needs to create a smooth customer journey.

More importantly, the application design and features must resonate with the user requirements.

You can also choose to collaborate three different versions of the application into one. Hence, it is important to know how to create the framework and cost estimation of the individual food ordering app.

We will talk about three significant types of applications, their path, and essential features.

App for Users

A food delivery app users must find it easy to create their food carts with their favorite items.

Either the user will scroll through the main page and look for different options. Or they will search for their favorite restaurant and start ordering.

In both cases, ensure that you provide them with easily navigable screens and utilize the platform-specific functionalities.

What will be the major features that must be a part of the MVP version? Shall I leverage AI or Machine Learning at the very beginning? Which food delivery app development company can help me?

Many similar questions take birth in an entrepreneur’s mind while searching for how to create a food ordering app.

As the top food delivery app development company, we have a tremendous amount of experience in creating such applications.

With this in mind, here’s a list of essential features from a customer’s perspective:

Registration or Sign UpThe signup page must be simple, intuitive, and easy to understand.

For better engagement, allow signing up via the user’s Facebook or Google account.

Personalized Profile PageHow to create a food ordering app that gets you on the top?

To reach the top of the food chain in the market, focus on making things easy for the customer.

Create a dedicated profile page on your food ordering app and help them know how to utilize it.

The customer profile shall have their saved payment methods, previous orders, and favorite foods.

Restaurant Location with GeolocationEither give them the freedom to locate a restaurant on the map or give your users suggestions for nearby restaurants.

For better engagement, develop a food delivery app with modern-day features.

Sort the choices by functionality, distance, and previous orders.

Placing an Order / PaymentIn this, create a food ordering app, cart for your customer, and integrate it with different payment options.

Adding more payment options makes it easier for your customers to pay and move ahead with the orders.

A good way is to present them with an overview of the order that assures the order itinerary and can make changes.

Ensure that you keep the “Add to Cart” button within the thumb’s reach.

Push NotificationsDevelop food delivery app system to send recurrent notifications to the user and keep them updated.

If you build an order only app, integrate notifications that convey order preparation and dispatch.

For Order and delivery applications, notifications about order placement, completion, preparation, dispatch, and arrival are essential.

Review the Restaurant and FoodHow to make a food delivery app that becomes the user’s go-to solution?

One way is to give them practical suggestions about the best restaurants and dishes.

This feature will help you identify the most preferred restaurant and dishes in a serviced area.

With the help of the user’s feedback, you can sort the restaurant according to the popularity meter.

Tracking the OrderTracking the order allows the user to know the ETA.

This helps them interact better with the application and the delivery guy.

Integrate the details of the delivery guy on the tracking page and build an in-app calling facility or allow the user to call them.

App for Restaurants

Moving on to the next segment, how to make a food delivery app from a restaurant’s perspective?

Restaurant owners need assistance from a development company to build the best food delivery app. They need to develop a well-managed system.

The usual pathway of such an application will consist of accepting the order, getting payment notifications, updating the user, and handover to the courier.

You must know how to make a robust admin panel of your food delivery app.

Listed below are the major features to develop and incorporate in your food delivery app.

Registration and Profile Set upAllow the restaurants to create an account in your application.

For better engagement, help them learn how to make a profile in the food delivery app.

A restaurant must be able to add their menu and set the prices along with some pictures.

You can also develop food delivery app on an aggregator model. In which case, these steps are vital to get more traffic.

Order Acceptance and AssigningAlthough a restaurant owner won’t ever say no to an order.

Still, provide them with an option to accept or reject orders.

Make a food delivery app that helps them know how to streamline orders.

This helps them ensure that they are in control of their services.

Other than this, embed the assigning function into the admin panel of the food ordering app.

The same admin panel must have an option to assign orders to the couriers after it is prepared.

Information Updates and EditingUnderstand how to create a food delivery app that is easy to scale.

The reason being that restaurant menu and listing often change.

Therefore,it helps the managers know how to make changes within a food delivery app.

This will help you increase engagement with the owners.

Added to this, make the update process easier and thorough without confusing the managers.

Order ManagementWhen you create a food ordering app, it is necessary to build a single-window management system.

This should allow the manager to:

  • Sort the orders
  • Send notifications to the user
  • Forward the details to the courier

DevOps Engineers

Optimize Your Development Lifecycle with DevOps Experts.

App for Couriers

In this part of how to make a food delivery app, we bring your attention to the courier segment.

A courier or delivery guy needs to get the precise details of the order. They will get the notification from the restaurant application’s admin panel.

To create a good food ordering app, focus on how to add precise geo-location and tracking features.

Registration and ProfileTo create a food delivery app for the courier, focus on how to add more functionalities.

It is possible to let the users place orders without signing up. But the courier guys need to register and update their details at will.

Order Status and ManagementWhile you develop an ordering app for a food delivery guy, give tools for order management.

The service person can receive the order request and allow them to accept or reject the delivery order.

Further, it is imperative to give the dispatch details and delivery address on a single page.

Integrating a map in this section will certainly enhance their user-experience.

Push NotificationsIntegrate your food ordering application with a notification feature for the delivery guys.

This will help them get an updated status of the order.

Order sorting and FilterTo create a good experience in the food ordering app, add a filter option.

This will allow the courier guys to streamline their orders and gather the details on a single page.

For easy management, list the delivery details list-wise and maybe rank them according to the distance.

Apart from all these service-specific features, there is one common feature for all. Communication is one of the key aspects that joins all three services.

It is essential to know how to make a food delivery app that allows communication. With Cross-interface communication, you can facilitate a connection between three services.

As the top food delivery app development company, we can help you create a connection between all three services.

This will allow a user to communicate with the restaurant’s interface. The restaurant’s admin panel can then communicate the order details to the courier.

Upon delivery, the delivery guy can again connect with the restaurant and confirm the order delivery.

What is the Cost of Developing a Food Delivery App?

After knowing about how to create a food ordering app, it is also important to understand the costs.

Being an affordable app development company, we will provide an estimate to build a food delivery solution.

To develop a food delivery app’s cost estimation, we are going to entertain the MVP version.

Estimation for Basic features of three segments:

Access and Authorization388
Profile Setup and Editing277
Push Notifications3214

Followed by this, let’s estimate the cost for how to create a food ordering app with specific segments.

The User Service Application:

GPS Search and Geolocation3658
Menu List312
Location Access642
Tracking the order3232
Payment Portal1444

This was the estimation to create a food ordering app, the customer version.

Moving on, with the cost aspect of how to make a food delivery app. Let’s know the cost of the courier version.

The Courier Application:

Order Page or Manager3232
Order Status Communication2061
Map Integration35

While you create a food ordering app, know how to differentiate between different services.

As an example, the most effective UI/UX, and functionality must go with the customer’s app.

For a restaurant and courier food ordering app, understand how to make them more functional than beautiful.

Given below is the cost-estimation you need to develop a food delivery app for the restaurant.

The Restaurant Application:

Order Manager3232
Forwarding and changing order status2061
Customer Tracking847
Maps Integration35
Order Details and History1032

In total, you need 1000 development hours to create a food delivery app.

Now, when it comes to setting the price, developers from different countries have various prices.

Almost every developer will know how to make a food delivery app. But the key is quality and timely delivery.

More importantly, it is essential to hire a team that knows how to create a custom food ordering app.

An in house team will charge around $100 to $120 per hour.

In comparison to this, you can also look to outsource the work to the Ukrainian developers. The average price in Ukraine is $30 per hour.

Lastly, you also have the option to hire freelancers to build the solutions. By taking this option, you can set aside a food delivery app development company. In this case, the price may be lower, the communication issues can damage your app.

Having said that, here is the total tally of development cost.

FunctionTimeCost ($30/hour)
Development1000 hours$30,000
Quality Assurance168 hours$5,040
Project Management112 hours$3,360
Total1280 Hours$38,400

So, here is the answer to how to create a food ordering app and its cost.

Want to Create a Custom Food Delivery App?

Building a custom food delivery app takes the right development partner. With extensive on-demand app experience, our team understands how to strategize, design, and develop an app positioned for real-world success.

We stay on top of the latest market trends and user expectations to inform smart innovation. Our proven process enables rapid builds to meet your exact business needs.

Ready to bring your app from concept to launch?

Contact us today to discuss building a custom food delivery app tailored for your customers and positioned for growth.

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