Breaking Down The Science of Food Delivery App Development

Breaking Down The Science of Food Delivery App Development

Over the course of centuries, lifestyle might have changed drastically, but people have not stopped consuming food. However, they do not any longer have the time to cook their food. In addition to that, there are a lot of people moving into new cities in search of careers. These people might not have the time or the need for them to set up a full-fledged kitchen.

For such people, food delivery applications are the way forward. These services take care to deliver food from restaurants in the vicinity of the homes of customers. This would ensure that the customers can enjoy food in the comfortable confines and convenience of their homes. 

Although there are a lot of players in the market who rule the business of food delivery, there is still a lot of space for new players to enter the market and establish success. There are a lot of statistics that support this opportunity.

The Stats That Matter :

  • According to RetailMeNot, 25% of smartphone users around the world have at least one food delivery application installed.
  • Revenue from online food delivery businesses stands at a staggering $94 billion, and at 9.3% annually and is bound to reach an annual revenue of $134.5 billion by 2023.
  • A survey firm questioned 300 adults in Indonesia and it was revealed that 48% of the users perceive ordering from food delivery applications is a practical option. In addition to that, 1% of the users said that they might not consider going to a restaurant and 13% agreed that they do not have time to cook their food at home.

It is quite evident that the food delivery market is quite open for new players not just to survive but also to succeed.

Different Types of Food Delivery Apps

Food delivery applications are not monotonous and there are different kinds of food delivery businesses, and proportional opportunities for making profits.

Aggregator Platforms

As the name implies, aggregator platforms serve as a bridge between the restaurants and the customers by bringing them together and facilitating the order. They serve as intermediaries between the restaurant and the user.

The customer can browse through the list of restaurants that can deliver to their location. They can add items to their menu and place the order. Once the order is placed, the restaurant takes care of preparing the food and have it packed. A delivery executive picks up the order and delivers it to the user. 

Logistic Platforms

The main goal of this type of food delivery service is to just deliver. Unlike the aggregators that connect both restaurants and the users, this type focuses more on the users. Based on user-request, the executives take care of going to the restaurant, order the food, pick it up and deliver it to the customer.

 Restaurant-Specific Platforms

Sometimes, restaurants can be so large that they have a need to maintain a separate delivery fleet for processing food orders from users. The customers do not have any contact with the delivery person. They call up the restaurant or place an order through the specific restaurant-app. The restaurant takes care to send their delivery executive to the address of the customer to get the food delivered.

 The Revenue models

No business is complete without a sustainable and scalable revenue model. Each type of application has its own revenue model.

  • The platforms make their revenue by charging a commission from the restaurants. It is justified as they facilitated that particular food order.
  • The logistic platforms charge a delivery fee from the user. 
  • The restaurant-specific platforms can charge a delivery fee based on the distance or have the food delivered for free.

Outside these special cases, the different channels of revenues can be categorized as below:

  • Delivery charges –  A fee is charged from the customer for the food delivery. The delivery fee can be either a flat charge or a percentage of the total order based on the distance.
  • Ads and sponsorships – The platform can charge a fee from the restaurants for them to be featured on the top. They can also charge sponsorships from businesses for events like online food festivals.
  • Peak hour charges –  These charges are quite similar to the surge pricing in the cab industry. It is quite possible that during peak hours, the demand for food delivery is high. The application can charge an extra amount from the customers to get their food delivered.
  • Commission –  This is, with considerable distance, the most prominent channel of revenue. It is to be a grade that a restaurant might not process as many orders if it was not for food delivery services. Therefore, these food delivery services charge a commission from the restaurant.

The Essential Features

There are three different entities involved in the proper functioning of the food delivery app –  the customer, the restaurant and the delivery executive. Each entity is provided with an exclusive app that is packed with features that make it easy for them to track what matters to them. 

Customer App

The customer application needs to have the following features: 

  • Easy registration and login –  The registration should be made available through multiple possibilities like email address, phone number and using existing credentials like Facebook and Google.
  • Restaurant search option –  Taking into consideration the location of the user, the app should show all the available restaurants that can deliver to the location.
  • A simple mechanism to place orders –  The order for the food should be simple to execute in a few intuitive steps.
  • Order tracking – The customer should be able to continuously track the progress of the order and the movement of the delivery executive on the map.
  • Contacting the executive –  The delivery executive should be reachable over the phone for the customers to direct them to the exact location.
  • Payment options –  The customers should be able to make their payments using multiple methods like debit cards, credit cards, wallets, UPI, and even cash.
  • Review and rating system –  The customers should be able to read their experience in terms of both the food from the restaurant and the delivery from the executive.

In addition to this, the customer can also enjoy added experiences like a complete history of orders, 24/7 customer support and loyalty programs that will keep them hooked to your application.

Restaurant App

The restaurant is the one that facilitates the food being processed and it might not be an exaggeration to say that the restaurants determine the livelihood of a food delivery application in a locality. The restaurants need to be provided with features that makes it easy for them to accept orders and quickly realize the payments made online.

  • The administrative dashboard –  The dashboard page should help the restaurants track monitor and manage orders on a real-time basis. It should also give an overview of the total number of orders executed over a certain statue of time.
  • Content management system –  The restaurant should have the power to upgrade their menu and images as they keep changing from time to time. It might be a tedious process to get in touch with the app developer every time there is a menu upgrade.
  • Accepting and rejecting orders –  The restaurant should be able to accept or reject orders based on the workload that they have at that point in time. Although rejecting an order might momentarily tarnish the image of a restaurant, it results with a good name and in the long run. 
  • Communication –  The restaurants should be able to communicate with both the customer and the delivery executive whenever needed.
  • Payment processing –  Since food delivery applications accept payments online, the restaurant should be able to get the payment processed to their account in the shortest possible time. If the food delivery application can facilitate automatic payment processing by a limit of time or account, it will be a great advantage for restaurants.

 App for Delivery Executives

The delivery executives facilitate the narrow-yet-strong connection between the restaurant and the customer. They bring the earnings for the food delivery platform and passively for the restaurants as well. Their application needs to be in line with their requirements and should enable the efficient execution of the delivery process .

  • The delivery executive should be able to register themselves into the service without much hassle. The registration can be facilitated through email addresses or phone numbers or social media accounts. In addition to that, the delivery executives need to have their identity verified by uploading a digital copy of their legal documents. 
  • The delivery executive should be able to give a live status of their availability. They also have the liberty to accept or reject orders according to their wishes. They should also be able to update on the status of the order if it has been picked up from the restaurant and if it has been delivered to the customer.
  • The delivery executive should be able to see a complete history of their earnings. If need be, they can also apply filters to find out the bonuses they have earned over a certain stretch of time.
  • The delivery executives should also have access to a loyalty program and should be aptly rewarded upon completing a certain number of deliveries. This not only helps in retaining them but also serves as a perk for attracting other new delivery partners.

In addition to all of these, that can be a list of features that further enhance the marketability of your application. You can consider bringing in subscription options for standard orders. You can also have a payment option where you can get discounts by using your native wallet.


It is quite evident that the market for food delivery apps is open and lucrative. To capitalize on this positive trend, you can choose to deploy a food delivery app development company to create your app from scratch. A smarter way to do it would be to use customizable Ubereats clone to jump-start your business. It will save you a lot of time and money. After all, everybody loves a quick delivery of what they want, right?


I Develop, Analyze and Maintain a repository of market & competitive intelligence and form perspectives on trends, challenges & evolving needs.

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