How much does the Development of a Food Delivery App Cost?
Want to build a food delivery app and don't know its overall development cost? This blog will provide you with a rough estimate of the cost and some elements impacting the cost.
November 11, 2022
On-demand food delivery applications are getting day by day popular because of the target audience and market demand they hold. Out of all the on-demand applications, food delivery apps have a strong position in the market because of the experience they provide to their users. Some such examples include Uber Eats and Grub Hub.
With the perfect blend of intuitive navigation, user-centric features, and comfort, food delivery apps have revolutionized the on-demand application market. However, this revolution has made many businesses ask how much the development of a food delivery app costs. The answer to this is explained in detail in this article.
But before you dive right into the cost of development, you must know about the top market players, factors affecting the cost features it should have and the technology stack required.
What is a Food Delivery App?
Food delivery apps allow their user to get food delivered from their favorite restaurants to their homes with just a few tabs. These apps either connect their users with the restaurant they want or offer food from a specific restaurant.
Food delivery apps are the new favorite of people in play stores and there are several reasons for it. These apps have made the lives of so many people easy by getting their food delivered to their homes if they don't want to cook or want to eat something from their favorite restaurant.
Top Food Delivery Apps in the Market
Currently, there are various food delivery businesses available in the market. Still, only a few have made it to the top include:
Also Read: Hotel Booking App Cost
Common Challenges for Developing Best Online Food Delivery App
You would never want to develop another Uber Eats or GrubHub. Since the market is currently dominated by big names like these and will automatically influence the way you want to develop your food delivery app.
Firstly, you need to consider that your app will fulfill the needs and demands of your target audience alongside following the food delivery model. Secondly, it must be stable and functional to develop and maintain your app's reputation.
UberEats is an app that is a product of multiple iterations. For this reason, it is not practically possible for you to develop a food delivery app from start to finish that is known as a fully-featured app. However, you can create a wishlist for your app while creating a minimum viable product that is ready to launch.
Business Model for Food Delivery App
Following are the business models for food delivery apps:
Using this model, your app act as a mediator between user and restaurants. The app following this model offers different options to its users to order food and let the restaurant view the order and get it delivered to the customer without any support from the app’s parent company.
Apps following the Integrated Model have to go for external delivery services and restaurant couriers. Several restaurants have to provide their courier services or they either hire delivery agents to get their customers to get their orders delivered to them. This model allows restaurants to choose the delivery services provided by the app or can deliver it on their own.
Inventory Business Model
Apps having Inventory Business Models are alternatives to UberEat-like applications by connecting its users to only one business. The admin of the application controls all the operations within the app from offering food menus to getting the food delivered to the user. This type of food delivery application does not allow multiple vendors to offer their service but focuses entirely on a single restaurant. This type of business model is followed by applications of Mcdonald's, Domino’s, and other big food chains.
Platforms with Logistics Support
Food delivery apps following this model have to provide logistic support to the restaurant to get the food delivered to the end user. It involves handling the complete service offering of the restaurant except for food preparation.
By using such an app model, you have to provide your user the choice to choose food from the menu, make the order, and track the food till it gets delivered. Whereas the restaurant gets to check the order status till it gets delivered to the customer and they get paid for the order. The only thing the restaurant has to do in this model is to prepare food.
As per certain research, it has been suggested that online food delivery apps will get to expand their market by $13,000 million by the year 2024. These apps will become font-runners of this market capitalization. Major players like UberEats and DooDash hold a very strong market in the food delivery app industry. However, there is still an abundance of opportunities available for startups or even established companies by going for a specific audience through their app.
Monetization Models for Food Delivery Apps
Being an appreneur, you want to create an impact and develop a position in the market. You can do so in two ways, either you want to fill in an existing gap in the market, or you are proposing a way to lower the cost of food for its end-users. Once you have a clear goal for your app, it will level up the game of your app monetization. Some of the monetization models for your food delivery app service like Grubhub are:
The delivery fees for each order vary depending on the distance, time of the day, and order quantity. This is the most commonly adopted monetization model for food delivery businesses. In such models, a percentage of the fees go to the courier’s salary, however, the rest of the generated revenue is collected at the restaurant’s end.
In this monetization model, apps offer in-app advertisements for other apps to generate extra income. Apps like Grub Hub are an example of the app following advertising as its monetization model.
By following this mode, you offer standard services to your users whereas those with subscription plans get to have special perks. Those special perks include low delivery fees, discounts, promos, special offers, bonuses, etc.
This is the most commonly followed monetization model by businesses having order and delivery services. If your business model is following an aggregator app, you will be charging a commission from the restaurant over every order they get.
Developing a Hotel Booking Mobile Application- A Step-by-Step Guide
Following are the steps which are followed for developing a food delivery service like DoorDash:
Step 1: Choose App Type
Though all delivery apps fall under the category of on-demand apps, however, there are two conventional types of apps to have food delivered:
Restaurant to Customers
This type of app will be a basic restaurant food delivery app just like McDonald's. This type of app is economical but holds narrow scope in the market.
On-Demand Food Delivery App
This type of app will connect different food businesses and restaurants to customers. This type of app demands investment but has a strong scope in the market.
Step 2- Devise a Development Strategy
Once done with deciding the app type you want to develop and the business model to invest in, now is the time for you to write the app scope. This involves deciding which platform you want to develop an app for i.e. iOS or Android, a web app or a desktop app, or a cross-platform app. Furthermore, it involves:
- The magnitude of your food delivery app- features complexity, MVP
- Problem your app will solve for its users and USP
- App architecture, APIs, technology stack, frameworks, and database
- Business model, monetization strategy, and recombinant innovation
- Development milestones, the timeline for completion, and total services included
If you have enough knowledge of the technical domain, you can document this development strategy on your own. If not, your app development company will create one such document including the level of effort, proposal, and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
Step 3- Features to Add
The type of features you will have in your app will directly affect the cost and time of your food delivery app development. In your app development proposal, you will certain features that you want to be included in your app.
- Restaurant, sub-menu, and food listing pages
- Search filter
- Order booking and order history
- in-app messaging
- Chat support for customers
- Seamless sign-up
- Different payment methods
- Push notifications
- Ratings, reviews, and favorites
While choosing the features, you must consider the target audience of your app and create a mix of customer and restaurant-centric features. Consumer-centric features will include placing orders, online payment, and push notifications. Whereas restaurant-centric features include an admin panel, analytics dashboard, order viewing, update management, etc.
Step 4- Complete Technical Specifications
Technical specifications are an integral part of your food delivery service. It includes front-end development, back-end development, API integration, and cloud deployment.
Step 5- Testing and Deployment
During the testing phase, the QAs must ensure to test the app considering the user experience it will provide to its users. It is because the ideal target audience of your food delivery app is the consumer side who will be using the client side of the app to place their orders.
Here are 5 of the factors that must be considered by testers or Quality Assurance staff:
- Loading speed and performance of the restaurant and product listing
- Security and privacy for personal, organizational, and financial information
- Qualitative UI and UX elements
- Virus, bugs, or errors in code
- App security testing and response to hacking attempts
Must-Have Features for Food Delivery App
The user of your food delivery app has to register himself after downloading the app and for that following sections are expected to be there:
By logging in, the user of the app gets to create his account and get registered. This process can be carried out via email, phone numbers, and other social media accounts.
Using this feature, the user of the app gets to explore the desired restaurant or various restaurants located in his area. It also helps the user to know which vendor is close to their home or office.
This allows the user to see restaurants near their location and search for them.
Selecting the Delivery and Pickup Point from the Map
This option allows the user to add delivery and pickup point for their order.
Shopping Cart and Checkout
The shopping cart feature allows the user to check all the important product information of the order including total cost, delivery time, and payment options.
This feature must integrate various payment methods including PayPal, credit card, debit card, Apply Pay, and Google Pay as well as cash on delivery.
If the merchant isn't offering a delivery option, the user has to pick up the item himself. This feature provides the user with the option to choose the time and date of pickup.
Reviews and Rating
This is not a vital option for food delivery apps following the inventory business model but it is preferable to have one. It is helpful for users to know about various cuisines that the restaurant is offering and then order accordingly. Also, it makes them share their reviews and ratings about their order to help other users.
This feature is available on the user's side as well as the restaurant and admin side of the panel. It helps them in recalling their order history.
This feature allows the user to track the location of the courier in real-time. It helps the user in knowing the time it will take to deliver their order or if there is any delay. Apart from this, this feature is also helpful for apps like UberEats by pinpointing the restaurant location to the user.
Once the order is delivered, its delivery status is marked as completed at the user end and the user can proceed to rate the driver.
Search Product/Product Details
This feature helps the user to search for a specific product and check its details. It also helps them to search merchants via their Zip Code. However, for this, we will add the merchant zip code in the signup process for merchants. Users can even search via merchants and place multiple orders from the same merchant or can specify items to be bought from different merchants.
This feature gives the user of the app to have access to the courier’s information like name, vehicle number, and cell number to get in touch with him if required.
This panel will have features like
This feature allows the restaurant owner or the employees to edit their menu along with uploading food pictures, descriptions, and prices.
The restaurant owner can add discounts and offers on the selected items.
This feature enables the restaurant owner to accept or reject the offer or even change them. It also allows them to manage order status.
View Earning Points
This feature allows the merchant to check their earning points and the balance they have with the food delivery business.
Restaurants uses this feature to decide if they want to use their delivery services or want to take help from a food delivery service for their order delivery.
This feature allows the restaurant to notify the delivery service provider about the estimated time required to get the order prepared.
Restaurants will be able to see their earnings and payment history through this feature.
This feature is used by restaurants when they want to deliver custom parcels and couriers within a small radius. The restaurant chose the delivery and pickup point, parcel details, and estimated delivery fees.
Delivery Boy App
This panel will be for the person delivering the food where he has to do the registration and other verification needed by the restaurant and the app owner. This will include features like
Delivery boy also needs to log in and register into the apps to start working. To log in, various options are available including email, phone number, and social media platform.
To ensure the security level, courier personnel are required to create their profile and add their personal information. This created profile is then checked by the app admin and the uploaded documents are then verified along with provided information.
This feature allows the delivery person to accept or reject the order he has been notified of. If he accepts the offer, he will receive order information.
Delivery Drop Location
Once the order is accepted, the delivery boy will be given access to the order location to get it delivered. This helps the restaurant as well as the delivery boy to navigate the order and its delivery.
Once the delivery boy has set his status to ‘active’, he will be able to receive orders. He will get a notification for each order he receives.
Google Maps Navigation
Maps allow the delivery boy to find the easiest route to reach the drop-off location.
This features provides the delivery boy with access to order information such as its address, time of delivery, the content of orders, user’s name, its contact number.
This feature at the delivery boy side panel includes the order status updates. It will continuously update the status like when the food is picked up, when it is on its way, when it has been delivered, and so on.
View Upcoming Deliveries
This allows the delivery person to know about incoming orders as well in case of getting another order close to the vicinity he is delivering.
View Earning Reports
This helps the delivery boy to know about his earning points and the balance he has left with the company.
Once the order is delivered, the delivery person confirms about order completion. An invoice is then sent to him according to the order and its delivery charges.
This is where the admin of the app get to see stats on the home page like the total number of order received, the number of orders accepted, canceled order, and generated revenue on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
This feature is used by app admin to allow a restaurant to perform its operations via its application. It also helps them keep a track of their activities.
This is an important and helpful feature at the end of the admin panel as it makes him analyze the app's performance. It allows him to keep track of orders, inventory, delivery time, etc.
In this feature, all the information about payment methods is stored along with high–level security and accuracy.
This feature provides the admin with access to assigning or assigning orders to delivery personnel along with ensuring timely and smooth delivery.
Delivery Boy and Restaurant Signup
Once the restaurants and delivery boots have registered themselves, the admin provides them with pin codes specifically generated for them.
This feature is where the admin can change delivery charges, commission on every order, service charges, etc.
This is where the admin sets the payout cycle after which the user's credit cards will be charged and the restaurant and delivery boy get paid.
Admin can check the delivery status and history of orders.
Delivery Provider Listing
In this feature admin will be able to view all delivery boys, add delivery boys, and deactivate delivery boys.
In this feature, the admin will be able to view all restaurants, add restaurants, and deactivate restaurants.
Some advanced features include:
- Que Algorithm
- Push Notifications
- Real-Time Analytics
- Payment Systems
- CMS for Articles and News
- Customized Searches
- Social Media Sharing
Technology Stack for Food Delivery App Development
A few years back, the cost of developing a food delivery app was pretty high and takes a lot of time to complete. However, in the present time, developers have a range of technology stacks. Some of such technology stacks suitable for the development of food delivery apps are:
- Cloud services- Azure, AWS, Kahu, Cloud Sigma
- Registration- Google sign-in, Facebook Login SDK
- Payment- Paypal, Stripe, Amazon Payment, Wepay, Braintree
- Maps, and locations- Google Maps, OpenStreetMaps, Mapbox, Mapkit JS
- Restaurant listing- Foursquare API, Grubhub API, Yelp Fusion API
- Analytics- Google Analytics, Localytics, Apple Analytics
Factors Affecting the Cost of Food Delivery App Development
The complexity of any developmental stage can affect the overall cost. If you are creating a simple app with basic features, it is going to cost less than that a feature-enriched app.
Unlike so many apps on Google Play Store and App Store, apps for online food delivery need strong app security as it stores the personal information of their users including addresses, contact numbers, and financial credentials. All of this information is of high concern for people using food delivery apps. To provide them with a satisfactory experience, your food delivery app must have a strong data retention method.
Different strategies are used by developers to ensure app security which is done in two ways i.e. deploying end-to-end encryption of all information and use of back-end development tools. Other than these two data security methods, it all comes with a certain cost.
You do want to lower the overall cost of your app development, but you would never want to compromise the data security and privacy of your users. Also, you would never want to hand over the back end of your app to hackers. So, to avoid such mishaps to happen with your app, your developers and QAs must test the app for all these possible vulnerabilities during the development and testing phase.
This includes the cost of additional elements that you may want to incur in your food delivery app development process.
This includes domain, hosting, and data servers used for app deployment. It costs between $15 - $150 per month.
This includes the protection of the intellectual property rights of an asset. This tool is recommended to be used only if your food delivery app has a unique proposition or out-of-the-world scope. It helps you secure your food delivery app idea. The cost for which ranges somewhere from $1,500 - $5,000.
This includes marketing your app forward either through yourself or through app store marketing agencies. It also involves practicing different marketing strategies like search engine marketing, social media marketing, authority building, etc. Its cost ranges from $100 - $1,000 per month (initial stage only).
It is considered a business function in which you may want to invest. To monitor app downloads, reviews, and ratings, you have to hire a VA which will add to your app cost. However, you can also do this on your own if your food delivery app is your full-time business. It costs somewhere between $100 - $250.
If you have got your app made by some reputable company, they will provide 0 to 45 days of free app maintenance service to you after the app launch. However, you have to hire a separate app maintenance service provider after the first year of your app launch. Its cost ranges from $500 - $2,500.
Food Delivery App Development Cost
The cost to develop a basic food delivery app with Vizteck Solutions using our pre-built components can be $12,000 - $25,000 with 60 days warranty/Bug Support/Issues. However, if you want to develop a feature-enriched application like UberEats, the cost will range from $26,000 - $45,000. In this mentioned cost, hosting charges for the app aren’t included. If you want to get the hosting for your app done, it will follow the following payment criteria:
Number of servers
3 servers; 2 for database and 1 for hosting code
2 for database and 2 servers for code
2 for database and 2 for code (higher specs)
Load (Light usage- 20-100 users any given time
Approx 10k users per month
Approx 20 users per month
Approx 50k users per month
On the other hand, the customization cost has the following criteria
2 hours of changes
10 hours of changes
25 hours of changes
Fixes/issues handling included
The time to develop a food delivery app varies depending on the features, scope, and technical architecture. However, on average it takes 550 - 800 development hours. In the case of outsourcing a development team, a dedicated team will take 3-5 months.
With Vizteck Solutions, you can go live within a month where we use our ready-made components to build the app for you with a unique design.
Cost of Food Delivery App Development Cost Per Service in US Dollars
To help you have a clear idea of your budget, we are providing you with a breakdown of the complete development process in US dollars:
- Discovery- $1,500 - $2,500
- UI and UX design- $6,000 - $7,500
- Back-end and front-end development- $12,500 - $30,000
- API integration- $2,500 - $3,500
- Testing- $5,000 - $10,000
- Deployment and launch- Approx $500 - depending on your contract
If you are getting your app built from us, Vizteck Solutions, you can get most of these components built in the range of $12,000 to $15,000.
The top players in the food delivery industry like Doodash, and UberEats hold a very large market share. Still, there exists a good number of opportunities for new entrants. So, if you want to enter into the industry of food delivery businesses, you can get all the required guidance and development services from Vizteck Solutions.
How Do I Start A Food Delivery App Of My Own?
Check which companies are delivering locally in your area.
Track food delivery business trends
Chose the right food delivery model
Research your target audience
Choose the main features of your app
Select technology stack
Is It Cheap To Build An App Or A Website For Your Business?
Building a website is cheaper as compared to building an app. However, the choice for making one must be based on your business needs and the features you want for your app. A food delivery app should ideally have both a website and an app.
How Do Food Delivery Apps Make Money?
Food delivery apps make money through the commission they get from restaurants or food businesses for every order placed. The standard percentage of commission is 30%. These apps also charge a certain amount of money to their customers.