How To Build A Food Delivery App

SaaSJanuary 08, 2024

According to recent statistics, 60% of Americans place at least one weekly food order online, highlighting the immense potential for food delivery app development. In 2020, the pandemic significantly boosted the food delivery industry, leading to unprecedented growth. As a result, entrepreneurs are now looking to create a food delivery application to tap into this expanding market. 

Developing a food delivery app that can compete with established players like Uber Eats and Deliveroo requires careful planning and execution, along with the assistance of a reliable app development company. These companies specialize in mobile app development, including food delivery software, and possess the expertise to create a feature-rich and user-friendly food delivery application.

With the global online food delivery market projected to reach a revenue of US $1.02 tn in 2023 and an anticipated CAGR of 10.3% from 2022-2030, investing in app development in this sector holds significant promise.

Reading this article on how to build a food delivery app is essential for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to enter the booming online food delivery market. It provides valuable insights into the current industry trends, growth projections, and the steps involved in creating a successful food delivery application.

First, let us see the various web-based food delivery apps you can develop.

What are the different types of web-based food-ordering apps you can develop?

Order Only Model (Platform-to-Customer)

It is one of the best food delivery software models for newcomers in the field, representing the first-generation restaurant service model.

Order Only Model

Working model:

  • Several restaurants and eateries register on the web-based app that the application owner provides.

  • The restaurant owners can showcase their brands to a large audience.

  • The web-based app lets customers view the menu and order food from these restaurants.

  • A restaurant sends a confirmation message to the customer when it receives an order.

  • The delivery agent delivers the order to the customer’s doorstep.

  • The application owner charges a flat commission when a restaurant receives an order through the app.

  • The customer will receive the mobile number of the delivery boy to contact about any issues.


  • Hassle-free business for the application owner as the restaurant deals with food preparation and delivery services.

  • The owners can go for minimum capital investment at the beginning phase.


  • The options of food are limited as restaurants list them.

  • The application owner holds no control over the quality of the food or service.


Delivery Service Aggregators (Order & Delivery Model)

The food delivery app model remains unchanged, but now the platform takes care of logistics, making it an attractive choice for restaurants and cafes seeking to streamline operations. With comprehensive app development services, the platform handles the complexities of delivery, alleviating the hassle for businesses.

This service method has gained popularity among restaurants and cafes as it allows them to focus on their core operations while ensuring efficient and reliable food delivery services through the app.

Order and Delivery Model

Order and delivery model

Working model:

  • Restaurants register on the online food delivery app platform that the application owner provides.

  • The customers can check the menu of the restaurants and order the food as per their choice.

  • Once the restaurant receives the order, it sends a notification to the customer.

  • When the order is ready for delivery, the restaurant notifies the delivery agent nearest to the restaurant.

  • The customers will have to pay a delivery fee. The fee depends on the distance between the restaurant and the drop-off location.

  • Customers can leave messages to the delivery agent, like don’t ring the doorbell, leave the order outside the door, etc.


  • The application owner can charge a flat commission for each order from the restaurant.

  • The platform owner can also set a certain amount as a delivery fee from the customers.

  • The app owner can ensure a delivery service to its users by providing appropriate training to the delivery team.


  • The platform owner must ensure that the customers experience an on-time delivery service.

  • The delivery team should be well-trained to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.

  • The app owner should manage the web-based app's features and logistics, making this system more challenging than the order-only model.


Integrated (Full Stack) Business Model

In this food delivery app model, the service provider or company takes complete responsibility for end-to-end food delivery activities. With comprehensive app development services, the app handles all phases of the process, including food preparation and order delivery.

This model offers convenience and efficiency for both customers and restaurants, as the service provider manages the entire operation, ensuring a seamless experience from start to finish.

Integrated Business Model

Integrated business model

Working model:

  • The admin will receive the orders from the customers.

  • The platform owner of the food delivery app has to prepare the food in their place or partner with a chef.

  • The company owning the food delivery application should have its fleet service

  • The company gives each driver a set of orders to deliver to the customer's doorstep.


  • No need to rely on a third party.

  • The company can have the entire profit, as there is no commission involvement.


  • High operational costs.

  • Serve multiple deliveries on time.


Subscription-based Online Ordering Model

This renowned food online ordering system is an excellent choice for restaurants looking to establish their food delivery app. With holistic app development services, the SaaS-based platform empowers restaurants to create their custom food ordering system.
Notably, the food delivery software facilitates customers in accepting unlimited, commission-free orders, providing a cost-effective solution and enhanced control over their online food delivery operations.

Subscription Based and ordering Model

Subscription-based food ordering model

Working model:

  • Restaurants can receive information about orders through the interface of the online platform.

  • Customers can download the web-based food delivery app to order food items.

  • Restaurants can receive the data of their customers and can retarget them to improve their business.


  • Restaurants do not have to pay commissions.

  • More return on investment.

  • An easy check-out option will be available.

  • No involvement of third party-delivery apps

Example: ChowNow

What are the essential features of an online food delivery app?

Let's explore the essential features that can make a food delivery app the best in the industry:

User/Customer Features

  1. Easy Access:
  2. In the food delivery app, customers need to have a seamless sign-up or log-in experience. Users must be able to sign up or log in to their accounts quickly. Allowing a customer to register using credentials of different social media accounts makes the process less time-consuming and hassle-free.
  3. Search Menu: The web and mobile app must have a search function that lets users look up nearby restaurants and menu items.
  4. Cart Feature: The customers should be able to add food items from more than one shop. Instead of placing the order many times, the cart feature should make it easier for them to check out all at once.
  5. Payment Option: You must integrate your web-based food delivery app with a secure payment platform that can support multiple payment gateways. It would be more helpful if you could provide the provision for online payment, as people prefer digital transactions nowadays.
  6. Tracking The Order: You must integrate the web-based food delivery app with Google Maps functionality so buyers can know their orders' real-time status.
  7. Reviews & Ratings: The customers must be able to express their opinions about the service and share their experiences through feedback on the website.

Restaurant Features

  1. Login Feature: The restaurant owners must be able to log in effortlessly to ensure a speedy service.
  2. Menu Management: Restaurants must be able to make menu items available or unavailable depending on the item's availability.
  3. Push Notifications: Restaurant owners must be able to communicate with their audience. The push notification option helps restaurants to make any special announcements.
  4. Checking Feedback: The restaurant or cafe owners must be able to check the ratings and feedback left by the customers for their food and service. It will help in making improvements in their business strategies.

Admin Features

  1. Admin Log-in: The admin must be able to access the admin panel easily.
  2. Efficient Restaurant Management: With a single admin account, the admin must be able to log in and control all restaurants quickly.
  3. Order Management: The web and mobile app must have an order management feature. It will help the admin in the effective management of multiple orders.
  4. Payment Management: The admin must be able to set and track the transactions. The admin must be able to customize the payment options depending on the type of business.
  5. Application Management: The admin should have overall control over the app and ensure there are no errors in the system. It will ensure the delivery of a smooth service for customers and restaurants.
  6. Discounts & Offers: The food delivery app must have an option for the admin to set any discounts or rewards to grab customers' attention.
  7. Technical Assistance: There should be a provision to seek technical help on the admin panel. It helps the admin correct any food delivery software-related issues.

Delivery Features

  1. Registration: The delivery person must register their details effortlessly through the app.
  2. Order Management: The delivery agent must be able to see the details of the orders received. It helps the person to understand the packages they have to deliver.
  3. Status Update: The delivery person must be able to update the status in the app once he delivers the order.

The Development Team Required To Build A Food Delivery App

If you're considering the development of a food delivery app, having a reliable and competent development team is crucial to bringing your vision to life. Mobile app development for food ordering necessitates a skilled team proficient in various areas, including software development, user interface design, and project management. An experienced team will ensure your app is functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing. The development team should also be well-versed in optimizing app performance and addressing scalability challenges. When selecting your team, look for individuals with expertise in mobile app development, knowledge of the food delivery industry, and a track record of successful projects.
It's also important to consider the app development cost and ensure the app development team's pricing aligns with your budget and project requirements. By assembling the right team, you can increase the chances of creating a highly successful and profitable food delivery app.
Now, we'll explore the development team required to build a food delivery app and the skills you should look for when selecting your app development team.

  • Front-end Developer: Front-end developers work on the visible elements of a food ordering app. They are responsible for implementing interactive features for users to engage.

  • Back-end Developer: A back-end developer concentrates on server-side delivery app development. They write code that forms the backbone of your app and makes it the best food delivery app.

  • UI/UX Designer: UX designers ensure that the platform can deliver a smooth user experience. The UI designers take care of the appearance of visuals and the overall screen.

  • Business Analyst: The business analyst interprets the business processes, products, services, and software by data analysis and suggests areas for improvement or change. It will help your business to attain its goals fast.

  • Project Manager: A project manager oversees whether a project is progressing per the schedule and staying within the planned budget. In delivery app development, a project manager plays a vital role in ensuring the project progresses according to the schedule and stays within the allocated budget. They oversee the overall food delivery app development process, coordinate tasks, and keep the project on track, ensuring the successful and timely delivery of the food delivery app.

  • DevOps Engineer: A DevOps engineer has to collaborate with the development and operations teams to implement the automation tools and release the codes for your web-based food delivery app.

  • Quality Assurance: A QA Engineer discovers and fixes the bugs on your food ordering platform before it launches.

What Is The Tech Stack For An Online Food Ordering System?

Now that you have a clear vision of the features you want to integrate into your food delivery app, it's time to delve into the technical aspects. Building a robust food ordering app requires careful consideration of the tech stack.

The following technology stack offers a solid foundation for your delivery app development, encompassing the essential technologies and frameworks needed to create a seamless and efficient platform for the food delivery industry.

Front-End Technologies:

Components TechnologyBenefitsWeb appReactReact helps create a faster user interface. Mobile app (cross-platform)FlutterFlutter helps in providing highly expressive UI.

Back-End Technologies:

ComponentsTechnologyBenefitsServerNginxIt is very efficient in managing higher traffic.FrameworksVue.jsIt is flexible and showcases high performance.DatabaseMySQL and RedisMySQL are easily scalable, while Redis has flexible data structures.HostingAWSIt can easily upscale or downscale an app. Data Storage & BackupAmazon S3 BucketGood for storing long-term data at a low cost.

For Other Applications:

ServiceTechnologyRegistrationFacebook SDK, Gmail SDKListing the restaurantsGrubhub API or FourSquare APIGPS user location trackingCore Location framework for iOS, Google Location API for android real-time direction trackingMapKit for iOS, GoogleMaps for androidPayment services square API, Braintree, Stripe, PayPal, EWallets, NetbankingPush NotificationAmazon SNS, Firebase Cloud MessagingPush notificationAmazon SNS, Firebase Cloud MessagingData analyticsGoogle Analytics or MixPanel

Factors to Keep In Mind While Developing a Food Delivery App

When embarking on the app development of a food delivery app, there are several critical factors to keep in mind to ensure its success. These considerations range from understanding the target audience and market trends to selecting the right app development company to bring your vision to life.

By carefully considering these factors, you can create a food delivery application that meets your users' needs and stands out in a competitive landscape.

  • A Seamless Experience: Including features like smooth scrolling, better UX design, and easy clickable options can make the customer's experience more delightful while trying to place a food order online.

  • Understand Your Audience: When you launch a new food delivery app, test it on a smaller scale. Understand the choices of a small audience by targeting a small area in the beginning. Make enhancements to your food delivery app accordingly. Then slowly scale it when your business starts flourishing. 

  • Technical Part Of The App: Always be careful while choosing the technology to build your food delivery platform. The tech stack you plan to implement for your MVP must be able to fulfill your requirements and be affordable. It has a significant impact on the final food delivery app development cost. Approach the technical part of your app with a good vision. It contributes to 70% of the application's success.

Advantages Of A SaaS-based Food Delivery Platform

  • The restaurants do not have to pay a transaction for every order.

  • Do not require a huge upfront investment for the food delivery app development.

  • Automatic software updates are possible, and subscribers do not have to worry about platform maintenance.

  • Restaurants can pay monthly or yearly for using the food delivery application.

  • Order processing time is less due to the centralized POS system.

  • One can know the status of an order through real-time tracking.

  • Using an app or a web-based administration panel, restaurants may quickly manage their menus and dishes.

  • The online food delivery app will be available on mobile apps -iOS and Android, and websites.

  • All the data will be backed up and stored in the cloud.

Food Delivery App Development Cost

Are you considering building a food delivery app that offers subscription plans?

If you're contemplating building a food delivery app with subscription plans, it can be a strategic move to attract and retain customers. Subscription models provide benefits such as loyalty rewards, exclusive discounts, and personalized experiences.

Partnering with an experienced app development company like RaftLabs is crucial to implement this feature successfully. They can guide you through the entire process, from conceptualization to deployment, while considering app development costs and ensuring seamless integration of subscription plans into your delivery app. With their expertise in delivery app development, they can help you create a compelling subscription model that adds value to both your customers and your business.

Why Choose RaftLabs To Build An On-demand Food Delivery App?

When it comes to building an on-demand food delivery app, choosing RaftLabs as your app development company offers numerous advantages. Our SaaS-based food ordering system allows subscribers to opt for flexible and cost-effective monthly or yearly subscription plans. We understand that the app development cost depends on the specific features and functionality you aim to incorporate. The engineers at RaftLabs, know how to conceptualize and design a custom food delivery app.

With RaftLabs, you can expect transparency in pricing, ensuring you get the best value for your investment. For instance, developing a food delivery app with basic features typically ranges between US$10-25k, while a software solution with more advanced functionalities can start at US$50k.

Our experienced team of engineers specializes in web and mobile app development and strongly focuses on food delivery apps. By following an agile development process, we have successfully created Grubly, an online food-ordering platform.

Grubly - An online food ordering App

Grubly - an online food-ordering app

RaftLabs provides extensive app development solutions and services, catering to clients across various regions worldwide, including Ireland, USA, UK, and India. Our track record of serving customers globally showcases our expertise in delivering top-notch app development solutions.


Many entrepreneurs and companies nowadays seek a custom and unique solution to create SaaS-based food delivery software. RaftLabs can help you launch an excellent food ordering platform in the market as we have a wealth of expertise in food delivery app development.

If you are interested in building an app like UberEats or Deliveroo, our developer team can help you. We will evaluate the market trends and determine the ideal methods to allocate resources before starting the food delivery app development for your company. We are enthusiastic about providing quick, creative solutions for our customers. Contact us today for a free technical consultation on how to make your dream to build a food delivery app using our best and cheapest app development solutions.

How much does it cost to create a SaaS-based food ordering app?

The food delivery app development cost varies depending on its features. The typical cost of an online food ordering application ranges between US$ 10-25k. The price starts at US$ 50K if one plans to make a food delivery app with more advanced features.

Where to find the best software developers to create a food-ordering app?

Developers at Raftlabs are experts in developing food-ordering apps. We have successfully developed an app called Grubly that was launched in 12 weeks.

What are the steps for developing a food delivery app?

Developing a food delivery app involves several crucial steps to ensure a successful outcome. Here are the key steps to consider:

  • Define your app's objectives and target audience, conducting thorough market research.

  • Collaborate with an experienced app development company specializing in delivery app development, offering comprehensive app development solutions and services.

  • Plan your app's features and functionality, including user registration, menu browsing, ordering, payment processing, and order tracking.

  • Design an intuitive user interface and user experience, prioritizing ease of use and seamless navigation.

  • Leverage mobile app development technologies and frameworks to build a robust and scalable app for multiple platforms.

  • Implement secure payment gateways and integrate with popular third-party services for efficient operations.

  • Conduct rigorous testing and quality assurance to ensure smooth functionality and a bug-free experience.

  • Deploy the app to relevant app stores, following the guidelines and procedures of each platform.

  • Continuously update and enhance the app based on user feedback, market trends, and emerging technologies.

  • Monitor app performance, gather analytics, and optimize the app for improved user engagement and satisfaction.

Considering factors such as app development cost, it is essential to collaborate with an app development company that offers cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality. By following these steps and leveraging the expertise of an experienced app development partner, you can create a successful food delivery app that meets the needs of your target audience and drives your business growth.

Name some top food delivery apps across the globe.

Some of the top food delivery apps are:
ChowNow, DoorDash, Foodpanda, Uber Eats, and GrubHub are some of the top food delivery apps.

What are the advantages of investing in an online food ordering app?

High scalability, enhanced security features, accessibility to user analytics, online presence, easier branding, and budget-friendly are the advantages of having an online food ordering app.

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Riya Thambiraj

Creative content writer at RaftLabs

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