How to Build a Food Delivery Application

Food delivery



The rise of food delivery has become a major trend in 2020. As more and more countries are going under lockdown in the wake of the global pandemic, consumers across all demographics struggle to have resources or motivation to cook from scratch at home. No wonder that more than 70% of Americans order food using various delivery methods and applications.


The competition among food delivery apps is tough but it doesn’t have to discourage you from trying to get a slice of the pie, quite literally. So how do you jump the food delivery trend?


By starting the on-demand food delivery app development. Here’s your definitive guide on how to build a food delivery app. But first, let’s take a look at how food ordering apps work from the inside out.


How Food Delivery Apps Work

Using a food ordering app, users browse the food offerings on their devices, pick the dishes. They can pay for the order online or opt to pay cash to the driver. After a bit of waiting and tracking the order online, customers receive the order and optionally tip the driver. After enjoying their meals, they can leave a review.


Here’s what goes behind the scenes. After the payment confirmation, the order is placed at the cash counter of a restaurant. Staff can accept or deny the order with a note. As soon as the staff accepts and fulfills the order, it goes to the nearest available delivery man which has been signed up with the system. The delivery man or a driver picks the order for delivery to the customer address.  Order is delivered and the driver marks delivery as completed on their mobile device.


This seemingly simple system has numerous elements that must work in harmony. Let’s see what are the core and nice-to-have features of a food delivery application.

Food Delivery App Features List

A food ordering platform is made of three essential parts: the customer app, the restaurant app, and the delivery app. Here are the recipes for building each of these apps:


Customer app

Login: First of all, customers need to register by entering basic information such as their email address and physical address.


Categories: Customers need to conveniently browse either a list of restaurants and their menus or a menu of a single restaurant. They should also be able to browse the lists by restaurant rating, cuisine, price range, or sales and promotions.


Tracking: Real-time order tracking helps tame hunger and build trust at the same time.


Payments: Customers must be able to pay any way they want, including Google Pay and Apple Pay, as well as cash to the driver. Ideally, the app should provide a possibility to leave a tip to the driver.


Order Management: No one likes to spend hours choosing food when hungry, so reordering using order history should be made easy.


Delivery Management: Customers may want to schedule a delivery or be able to pick up their order from a physical location.


Discounts and Reviews: Everyone loves a good deal, and everyone loves to leave a review for a stellar service they received.


Support: 24/7 live chat and timely help build trust and will ensure repeated orders from your app.


Restaurant app

The restaurant-facing app should support smooth business running without interruptions or excessive complications.  Here’s what your food delivery app should offer to partner restaurants:


Login Registration and Account Management: Needless to say, businesses need to keep their details accurate and current. They should be able to manage their branding and logo.


Real-time Order Management: Restaurants should have visibility in full order lifecycle, from in-coming, under-process, scheduled, or dispatched. The kitchen should receive new order alerts.


Menu Management: Restaurants should be able to easily add and edit items, photos, pricing, and portion sizes.


Payment Management: Partners should at-a-glance see all successful and pending payments, both online and cash, to easily manage accounts.


Customer Communication: A great feature to add is a live chat with customers to respond to queries in real-time.


Delivery app

Perhaps the easiest part of the food ordering platform is the driver-facing app. Drivers need:


Profile Management: They should be able to add their vehicle information, payment details, documents, and schedule availability.


Live Tracking: Both the restaurant and the customer should know the real-time and route of the vehicle by using GPS tracking.


Delivery Status: Drivers can indicate the latest delivery status like “Waiting”, “On my way”, “Delivered”, “Paid in cash,” and more.


Among the nice-to-have features, you should consider adding to your food delivery app when it takes off and becomes successful are logistics integration to make supply ordering easier, ordering from social platforms, and customer chat.


With all of these multiple building blocks in mind, how long should it take to build a solid, well-functioning food ordering app, you may ask. Surprise, surprise! You still have time to catch up with the rising trend amidst global lockdowns which should take a few months at least.


How Long Does It Take to Build a Food Delivery App?

When you partner with a reliable and experienced food delivery app development company, the whole process from start to finish should take up to 2 months. This depends on the number of changes requested, however, this is the realistic timeframe you should be looking at.


And What About the Costs?

When it comes to food delivery app development costs, you should be looking at the starting price of $13,000 which covers the initial built of the product. Depending on the complexity of the features requested, this amount can multiply but not extensively.


Even the cost to make a food ordering app is higher than to build a website, it’s definitely worth it, because, according to estimates, up to 85% of customers prefer to order their food from apps rather than websites.



The food delivery industry is booming again with the support of technology. The popularity of online food ordering is projected to grow month by month no matter what is the lockdown prognosis. This means that there’s always a place on the market for a food delivery mobile app that makes ordering food even more seamless, faster, and convenient. So, to start your journey to a prosperous food delivery business, make your first step – a free project estimate.


Olga Veretskaya is a Market Observer at Anadea. Olga specializes in writing about available and innovative technologies for business. Frequent areas of expertise include eCommerce, AI, retail, and digital transformation.