The demand for on-demand services is booming. Food delivery services provided today fit perfectly with the tight schedule of the consumer and offer the freedom of choice and ease of use that customers of today desire. It is this potential that makes them a lucrative investment for entrepreneurs and a challenging task for the developers.
The trends show that the new generation would rather dine-in comfortably than dine-out. Modern apps like UberEats, Zomato, Postmates, GrubHub and Swiggy offers this option with unlimited restaurant, cuisine and payment options that make their lives more convenient. It is apps like these that are changing the face of food-delivery service; as more consumers get accustomed to this way of dining, the more they are motivated to hunt down apps with better deals.
Prerequisites of building an on-demand food-delivery app
Before the development of a food-delivery app, here are some essential factors that you should keep in mind –
Test your concept locally. Start a marketing campaign that caters to the local customer base before taking it to the next level.
Hire Dedicated Developers
Hire skilled developers who have worked on a similar project or in the same field previously
Engage potential customers before you launch
Promotion is essential even before you launch your beta product. Engage your prospective customers via social media channels and via the food-delivery app.
Initial focus on feedback
Keep your focus on getting customer feedback on the initial stage. Make the required enhancements to your product based on genuine reviews.
What type of food-ordering app do you plan to create?
There are many types of food-ordering app, but in the current market scenario, there are two models that dominate. Those are –
The Aggregate food-ordering app model
This model is based on the traditional food-delivery system. The start-up acts as the third-party that manages the customers and the restaurants. Therefore, as the third-party, the food delivery app aggregators offer the required exposure to the restaurants. Meanwhile, customers can access different menus, reviews and ratings on the app after registration and place the order. The information and confirmation of the order are passed to the restaurant by the aggregator. After confirmation, the dispatch and the delivery of the order are taken care of by the restaurant themselves. The customers don’t have to pay for added service. Apps like Zomato and FoodPanda used to fall in this category until they started providing their own delivery service.
Food-delivery app model with delivery service
This model differs from the aggregate model, as it has added logistic support for all its partner restaurants. The food-delivery app model with delivery services provides a lot of support for start-ups who don’t have their own resources or the bandwidth to deliver at great distances. From the restaurant’s point of view, this type of model brings in a lot of benefits and takes care of arduous tasks such as maintaining delivery personnel, vehicles and making deliveries. UberEats and Swiggy are the best examples of food-delivery app model with delivery service.
Full-stack food delivery platforms
There are apps like McDonalds, Dominoes and Pizza Hut which are huge enough that they provide their own app, food and delivery service.
Food delivery for traveller apps
One of the newest concepts in food delivery service is where one can order food while travelling in public transportation. Apps like Sdoof, Travel Khana and railRestro offer services where one can enter the PNR number or the train number, boarding date and station and order fresh food to be delivered at their seat.
Defining the target audience for your food delivery app
One of the initial questions that any business building a new app is – how to find the target audience to market your app. When it comes to defining the persona of the end user for food ordering service- it needs to be more specific than just delivering delicious food.
What is your target audience – is it busy employees looking for a quick yet healthy meal or college students on a weekend night? You need something that sets you apart from your competitors – like for e.g. Travel Khana which delivers specifically for travellers on train or Spicebox which caters tiffin box-styled lunch packages for employees.
How does an app like UberEats or Swiggy Work? – Functionalities and Features
Some of the main features that you should include in your food ordering app are –
Having complete access to detailed information regarding the restaurants’ menu and the price is essential. Good visual representation of the recipes on the menu is an added advantage as it helps greatly for the customer to make their final choice.
Online payment integration
For those who don’t want to pay cash and prefer online payment, online payment mediums like debit/credit card payment, wallet and net banking etc. are necessary.
Option to re-order
A quick option for quickly ordering past orders or order popular items of the menu must be included.
Delivery time estimate
The delivery time estimate is a cool feature that shows the customer when their order is going to be delivered. All possible parameters are taken into consideration so that the delivery time estimate is as accurate as possible.
GPS Tracking and Geolocation
The GPS tracking feature identifies the users’ location and after verifying it, a two-way tracking system is activated. With this feature, the customer can track the movements of the delivery personnel and where they have reached. Meanwhile, the geolocation feature allows the user to see restaurants in their locality and to order from an area that is close to them so that they can save up on delivery charges.
Reviews and rating
Reviews and ratings are a good feature that helps customer judge a restaurant before they have order food from them. Apps like Swiggy, DoorDash and UberEats also provide a good rating system separately for the delivery personnel (by the customers) depending upon their level of service.
Functionalities and features for the Customer
Customers must be able to log-in their accounts with ease, retaining all the custom settings they may have employed when they were last logged-in. Social media logins through Facebook or Twitter should be available.
Locating a restaurant
After registration, the customers can locate the restaurants in their vicinity. They can gain information such as certain hotel’s menu, prices, discounts and reviews/ratings. It is better if you have an advanced search feature that allows you to search by locality, restaurant name or by name of dishes.
Place an order
The customer must have the ability to add, remove or edit their chosen orders easily. Before the final order is confirmed, the customer must be shown the summary of the order if they want to cancel or edit it. They can have to option to either pick it up or deliver it to their location.
Customers must have multiple payment options, but the crucial factor here is safety with speed and ease of use.
Setting drop location and order tracking
Setting the right drop location is important so that you can get your meal at home, office or wherever you are hanging out (you can use ‘locate me’ option to give your location automatically). Plus, there is an advanced tracking feature that lets you track your order in real-time.
Rating and reviewing
The customer must be able to rate out of five stars and leave a detailed review. Enable customers to let the restaurant know exactly what is wrong – the dish, the delivery personnel, the app or some other aspect?
Functionalities and features for the Delivery Personnel
Making a profile
The delivery personnel need to identify themselves primarily before they start making deliveries for the company. Therefore, they will register on their version of the app and provide personal information such as mobile number, social media account, email address and other critical data.
After registration, they must have access to all the relevant information in regards to the size of the order, the pick-up/ drop locations and other specifications. Order management feature must allow the delivery personnel to either accept or reject the delivery request by booking/rejecting it.
Status updating and option to call the customer
This feature allows the delivery professional to update their status so that customer knows where their order is instantly. Like for e.g. the delivery professional can update their status to approved/disapproved when customer’s order is gone through/not gone through, or they can change it to ‘order picked up’ or ‘completed delivery’ statuses – when the package is picked up and the payment and delivery are completed respectively.
The delivery professional must also be able to access customers’ number in case there is any confusion regarding the drop address.
In-App navigation app
This feature will help the delivery professional to get to and from the pick-up location and drop location quickly and efficiently.
Functionalities and features for the Partner Restaurant
This common feature is similar to what is offered in consumer and delivery professional versions. The restaurant also needs to register themselves using an email id and create a password to be visible in the system.
One of the most essential features of the restaurant version of an app is the admin panel which helps partner restaurants manage the whole process- starting from order placement to delivery professional’s request to managing restaurant information (like delivery time estimate or change in menu/price) etc.
It is important that all partner restaurants are allowed to update information regarding their contact information, name, open-hours, address and other details etc. They must be able to publish and share relevant content, update photos, update menus, change prices, descriptions and delivery changes etc.
Order Management and Payment
Once the orders start coming in, the restaurant must have a system to process the orders. To do the same they need features such as a detailed view of the order, ability to update the status of the order and send notifications to the delivery professional when the order is ready to be delivered and to the customer when their order is accepted. The payment feature is one of the most straightforward ones- the payment is only released to the restaurant after the consumer confirms that they’ve received the order.
Functionalities and features for the Platform owner
These are the features available to the platform owner, who is in charge of handling the web service portal
The platform owner has to manage the different stakeholders and their functionality, thus they need an admin dashboard that will display the various restaurants registered on the platforms, their users and delivery professionals etc. The admin must be able to add/remove any stakeholder using this control panel.
Analytics and Reporting
Booking insights and metrics can be generated from the app and reported to the platform owner. An analysis of the number of users on board, usage time, demographic information, number of restaurants registered and delivery professions, profits/loss calculations etc., will be recorded in the reports.
An Anatomy of a Food-Ordering App – Technological Aspects and App Development
It is essential to think about the technological aspect before you start developing your app, as the answer can change depending upon your requirement, platform preference and budget etc.
You need to make decisions such as choosing Android or iOS, whether to create the app from the scratch or with third-party tools like APIs, SDKs, choosing native or hybrid app development etc.
Creating an UberEats or a Swiggy is very different from creating something like WhatsApp or Facebook because a food-ordering app needs three different versions of the app (for the customer, for the partner restaurant and for the delivery personnel) and a separate admin panel- thus bringing the total count of deliverables to four.
The primary focus of the development is to keep the app user-friendly in all versions. Therefore, when a customer uses an app like UberEats, they would like to have advanced search options with different parameters, meanwhile, the delivery professional would need a strong GPS integration to predict the time need accurately and reach the delivery location efficiently. The restaurant management team would also need a database that can handle high number of orders and strong GPS integration.
MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
An MVP, in simple terms, “is a product or a prototype, which contains enough features that validate the user or the consumer to know what the product is all about and in which direction the development of this product is heading to”.
There are many factors like for e.g. trending technologies, market competitiveness and the economy that influence how the product fares in the real world. One of the best ways to test your product before you make too much investment is to release an MVP and see how it does in the market. With MVP, you can minimize development costs, save time otherwise used for fixing unexpected bugs and mistakes.
It is important that the user interface on the customer version of the app must be very user-friendly and interactive. They must easily able to find the needed restaurants from their vicinity right from when they open the app. All in all, the UI/UX of the app must be smooth, seamless, as quick as possible. It must be comprehensive and inclusive of advanced menu processing, order selection feature and payment systems.
The right mobile app development company for your food ordering app
If you are about to embark on creating your own app, but don’t have access to the required resources to do it in-house, then you’ll need to partner up with mobile app development company to get your app developed. Here are some things you can keep in mind to find a good development team –
- Examining their portfolio – assessing the portfolio can you give you the company’s choice of projects and how they work against the competition. It will give you an idea of – if / how they’ve worked on a food ordering app development or something similar.
- Observing their work approach – Find out if they follow the lean development process or Agile Development process. These approaches help in keeping a tab of all project milestones and assist in overcoming them.
- Read customer testimonials – Thoroughly read what the previous client had to say in their review in regards to the app developers’ dedicated development team, communication skills, time management etc.
- Trust companies that have a sound infrastructure in place – choose a mobile app developer that can promise a reliable and streamlined process of development. Check their software and hardware infrastructure- if they are in place and are well-equipped.
How much does it cost to make an app like Swiggy or UberEats? – Pricing and Budgeting
Ultimately, pricing and budget are major factors when deciding how you should proceed with app development. While pricing is different project to project, there are some things that you should consider (which will factor in your app development costs) while you develop a food ordering app –
- Features and functions you want in your app
- Android or iOS (Android usually costs less)
- Third-party integration or backend development. Third-party integrations are preferred if you are short on finance as they are cheaper, however, they do acquire huge recurring expenses in long-term. Meanwhile, server backend is usually preferred as it may be a huge investment initially but is preferable on a long-term basis.
- Cross-platform app v/s native platform app. Costs for cross-platform are relatively lower than native apps
- If you want social media integration or want an admin panel in the app
- The team or the mobile app development company you choose
- Upgrades and maintenance costs after the app release
“The global food delivery mobile app market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.9% — to $16.6 billion — by 2023” – Allied Market Research. This and numerous other statistics and trends show incredible growth in food ordering apps like UberEats and Swiggy.
However, like UberEats uniquely facilitated food delivery by freelance drivers associated with Uber and Postmates which started delivering groceries and alcohol along with food to their app users, you need an X factor that can sell your app. So, ultimately, a USP (Unique Selling proposition) is essential for long-term sustenance in the market.
Having seen the roadmap to build your UberEats or Swiggy-like app – now is the time to put your plan into execution. Share your idea on contactus@intelegain and let’s begin building your new digital business.