How to Create a Food Delivery App from Scratch in 4 Steps

If you are thinking about how to create a food delivery app without experience, you are on the right blog.

By the end of this blog, you will learn:

  • How to build a food delivery app that stands out from competitors
  • What is the food ordering app development process?
  • How much does it cost to develop a food delivery app from scratch?
  • Which are the top food delivery apps in 2023?
  • What are the core features to include in a food delivery app?

Before that, do you know what is the market size of online food delivery services?

According to a BusinessWire survey, the global food delivery services market is forecasted to reach $215.56 billion by 2024. Check the following image for more information.


Source: BusinessWire

With the experience of our food delivery apps developers, we have curated this guide to provide you with comprehensive information on creating a food delivery service platform.

So, let’s get started.

Why Invest in Food Delivery App Development?

Check the following statistics to know the market scope of the food delivery market.

Online Food Ordering Statistics

  • According to Statista, the global revenue of the food delivery segment is estimated to reach $343.80 billion in 2023.
  • The revenue of the food delivery segment is expected to increase by 8.28% in the period 2023 to 2026.
  • According to Frost and Sullivan, online food delivery is estimated to reach $200 billion by 2025.
  • As per the report by eMarketer, the food delivery app users are expected to increase to $53.9 million by 2023.



  • In the United States, 60% of people use online delivery services once a week, per Nation’s Restaurant News.
  • 63% of customers find online delivery food is more convenient rather than dining out with family.

Hence, it’s the right time for entrepreneurs to give serious thought to create food ordering platforms or apps.

However, there are several challenges faced by existing food ordering platforms, such as:

  • Ensuring the safety standards for the food packet delivery.
  • Maintaining the quality of the food served at restaurants and when delivered to doorsteps.
  • There is little scope for turning new customers into loyal ones.

Thus, by solving all the above problems, you create a successful startup and be a part of this growing industry around the world.

Want to Build a Food Delivery App?

Tell us a bit about your idea. We have experience in designing and developing custom mobile apps for different industry verticals.

Cta Image

Let’s move further to know the process to make a food delivery app.

How to Build a Food Delivery App from Scratch in 4 Steps

With the 4 easy steps, we will explain how to make a food delivery app like Uber Eats. Let’s discuss the first step of conducting competitors’ research.

  1. Do Competitors’ Research for Your Food Delivery App

    When you perform market research in Canada, you will notice that there are top restaurants like Subway and McDonald’s that are using online food delivery platforms. But, here, you need to find what is unique in those food delivery platforms?

    For example, the DoorDash food delivery platform offers features like POS integration, optimization in menus, and in-app promotion methods to attract new customers. Additionally, you can download and use food delivery apps such as

    • DoorDash
    • Postmates
    • SkipTheDishes
    • Uber Eats

    This will help you understand the app structure and the app’s interface, and you can even search the users’ reviews to find the gaps in the existing apps. Furthermore, conduct research on the current requirements of your target audience. This will lead you to make an improved version of apps for food ordering services.

    To get a core understanding of the market situation, find the answers to the following question:

    • Who are your potential users?
    • What could be the new features to include in your app to make it unique?
    • What attracts your audience to order food online using food delivery apps?
    • What are the current problems in the existing market? How can you solve it for your own food delivery app?
    • How to monetize a food delivery mobile app?
  2. Choose Your Food Delivery Model

    Once you are done with market research, you can now focus on the second core part of the food delivery mobile app development process, which is choosing the suitable delivery app model. For a better understanding, let’s look at the two types of food delivery models and how they work.

    1. Order Only Model

    In simple terms, food delivery companies will only be responsible for ordering and managing orders in the order-only model.

    Examples: Grubhub and JustEat

    How Order Only Model Works

    In this model, companies gather information about the restaurants, their menus, and ratings/reviews on the app. Then, users get the option of ordering food from their favourite restaurants. Remember, these platforms do not offer delivery services. The restaurants are obliged to make food deliveries. Although, these platforms approximately charge from 20% to 30% of the commission on restaurants to make profits.

  3. 2. Order And Delivery Model

    The order & delivery model takes the food ordering system to the next level by providing food delivery support. So, restaurants don’t need to invest in delivery services. Instead, companies using this model are responsible for managing orders as well as delivery of those orders.

    Examples: DoorDash and Deliveroo

    How Order And Delivery Model Works

    In this model, restaurants list their food menu, and the rest of the things like order management, delivery partner management, and delivery of food is managed by these food delivery apps. Moreover, this model helps startups, small restaurants, and cafes as these new ventures don’t have enough resources to invest in delivery platforms.

    3. Complete Stack Model

    A food delivery business does everything in-house, from cooking food to delivering it online, which comes under the complete stack model. These restaurants are known as ghost or cloud kitchens.

    Restaurants using the full-stack model tend to earn more in comparison to other models. This is because they have control over the whole chain process and work on improving the quality of food to provide it at its best.

    4. Restaurant-to-Customer Model

    In the restaurant-to-customer model, the restaurant itself starts serving food around the locations. The best examples are McDonald’s, Burger King, and Domino’s Pizza.

    To get a more comprehensive reach of customers, these companies started their delivery platform in the nearest locations. Additionally, they even tie-up with the best online food delivery platform like DoorDash to offer meals in the regions where they don’t serve.

  4. Essential Features for Your Own App Like Uber Eats

    To build a food delivery app, we have described the essential food delivery app features that you should consider in your on-demand food delivery app development. Checking out these features will give you insight into why Grubhub and SkipTheDishes have integrated and how it benefits users. We have listed the features for each app in the following table.

    • Features for customers’ app
    • Features for restaurant owners’ app
    • Features for courier partners’ app
    User App FeaturesRestaurant App FeaturesDriver App Features
    ProfileOrder ManagementRegistration
    SearchOrder Accept/RejectManage Delivery
    Order PlacePaymentStatus
    Real-time TrackingMenu ManagementIn-app Chat/Call
    CouponsRestaurant SetupPush Notifications
    In-app ChatPayment/Order HistoryOrder Sorting
    Payment IntegrationOrder StatusGeolocation
    RecommendationMap Integration
    Booking HistoryNavigation
    Earning History

    To get more ideas about the features, you can use your competitors’ apps for reference. Then, conduct research on the features to list them down for your app. It will help you to understand what you should include in your app and what not. Even, you will get the answer on how the application will function.

    Furthermore, you will have an understanding of each step that is included in the app. Hence, you will have a readily available list of features for your app.

  5. Find a Reliable Food Delivery App Development Company

    Why hire an app development agency? There are two major benefits of hiring a mobile app development agency over freelance app developers or in-house app developers. Let’s check them out.

    • An outsourced app development agency will likely have a better understanding and expertise in food delivery app development.
    • Agencies have different professionals like quality analysts, product managers, back-end developers, and UI/UX designers who makes your food ordering product development possible.

    Therefore, choosing an app development company like Space-O Canada will be a better option for developing your food delivery app.

    Hiring an app development company allows you to leverage their expertise in developing your food delivery mobile application. Furthermore, you utilize the experience of your hired mobile app development company to get a basic idea about what to include and what not to include.

    Afterward, as per market analysis, the company will help you develop your app’s wireframe and prototype. Finally, once the prototype of your app is designed, the food delivery app developers will help you create the application.

    Depending upon your delivery app requirements, the app developers will program the application. After development is completed, then the testing phase is conducted to ensure the app is bug-free. Finally, your app gets deployed in the app marketplace. Lastly, we maintain and upgrade your app as per your requirements.

    Before you build a full-fledged product, it is advisable to develop the MVP of your project idea. The MVP (minimum viable product) helps you to make a food delivery app with essential features and launch it in the market quickly.

    mvp download book

    Space-O is one of the leading mobile app development companies having expertise in developing on-demand food delivery apps. Contact us to learn more about our food delivery app development process.

    So, after knowing the process of creating a food delivery app, let’s know the development costs to create a food delivery platform for your business.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an On-demand Food Delivery App?

The cost of custom food delivery application development ranges from $25,000 to $35,000 for a single mobile app platform.

Every app is unique, and the cost to build each app is different. In the app development process, factors like features, functionalities, platforms, time to build, and many other factors affect the cost.

To get an estimate of on-demand food delivery app development expense, you need to apply a simple formula:

Estimated Development Hours x Developer’s Hourly Cost = Total Mobile App Development Cost

Here is an estimated timeline that will help you calculate the cost approximately.

DeliverablesEstimated Man Hours
DevelopmentGraphics DesignQC/TestingProject ManagementTOTAL
I) Native iOS (iPhone) Application for Customers162262316228
II) Native Android (Smartphone) Application for Customers162262316228
III) Native iOS (iPhone) Application for Delivery Provider104141510143
IV) Native Android (Smartphone) Application for Delivery providers104141510143
V) Web Application for ‘Store owners’161202316206
VI) Back End & Web Services Development1742517216
Note: If you provide the graphic design yourself, exclude the estimated hours for it.

So far, we have discussed the food delivery business model, process, cost, and timeline. You also want to know the technologies used to create food ordering platform for your business. We have discussed this in the next section.

Technology Used to Build Food Delivery App

Using the appropriate technologies contributes to making successful food delivery apps. So, we, as an on-demand food delivery app development company, have mentioned the tech stack here to go forward with the online food delivery app development for your food delivery startup.

Tech Stack
Programming Languages
  • Objective C
  • Swift
  • Java
  • Kotlin
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
Cloud Storage
  • Amazon S3
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • Google Analytics
  • Mixpanel
  • Visual Website Optimizer
  • Mixpanel
  • Google Analytics
  • Gmail
  • AWS
  • SendGrid
Deployment Platforms
  • Cloud
  • iOS
  • Android

Just investing in online food delivery services is not enough. If you want to make your own food delivery app that becomes successful, then you should also know how you can make the most of your food delivery app. Here are some tips from our experienced business analysts, developers, and technical professionals.

4 Tips for Successful On-demand Food Delivery Business

  1. Provide Affordable Service

    You could provide cheaper service as compared to food delivery giants as they invest in marketing, but you could start with your existing customers and become a food delivery hub in your area, then slowly grow out to become a leader in the market. You could also sell it to or merge with a bigger company or local restaurant, which is profitable for both.

  2. Expand Your Services

    Diversify your delivery services like Postmates. Implement an Uber-like business model for food, alcohol, and grocery delivery. So, by implementing this business model make your on-demand delivery app like Uber Eats for food delivery, Uber for alcohol delivery, and Uber for groceries, all in one platform.

  3. Make Your App Unique

    You need to make sure that your food delivery app is like Grubhub but not its clone. It must stand out in the crowd from other food delivery apps. You need to find USP to make your food delivery app different from your competitors.

    Most Uber for food delivery and top food delivery apps have certain basic features like real-time order tracking feature, in-app chat, and payment gateway integration. But, to make your app unique, add advanced features as follows.

    • Multi-language Setup: If you want to target a wide audience, include this feature in your food delivery application.
    • Favourite Order: Many people like to eat a particular item from a specific place at regular intervals. Give a feature where the user can save his/her food item and get it delivered to his/her place every time.
  4. Provide Filter Option

    When you create food ordering platforms, make sure to add a filter feature to find customers’ favourite restaurants or food. The customers must have an option to choose from different types of food items, price ranges, and ratings.

    Even the Foodora app provides an option to pick up an order instead of just getting it delivered.

    In the next section, we have described some of the advanced features that help you to make your food delivery app different from your competitors.

Advanced Food Delivery App Features

  1. Contactless Drop-offs

    To meet the safety measures and to avoid mishaps, you being a food ordering or food delivery startup, should have this feature. People are getting more cautious about hygiene and in-person contact. Thus, you can carry out your deliveries with such options. And leave the package at their doorsteps or on their vehicles to avoid contact.

  2. Eliminating Delivery Charges

    To encourage online purchases and continue practicing social distancing, you should eliminate your service fees. You can also urge your customers to tip your delivery person the same amount which they used to pay the delivery fee or charges.

  3. Scheduled Meal Kit

    If you want to build an engaging app to meet the demand-supply food chains, you should prepare some meal kits with basic necessities that people can immediately buy without going through individual categories. This will also help you manage your inventories well in advance and will result in timely customer satisfaction.

  4. Check the Packaging

    Allow your delivery guy to check the order history when he goes to pick up the order. Such a tactic of cross-checking will meet the end user’s requirement, and they will also rely on your services for accurate order deliveries.

    For this, you can also integrate an in-app camera so that the delivery guy can send a photo of their respective package and address the users for picking up and checking the parcel.

  5. Monthly Subscription and Order Pooling

    Let’s take the example of Postmates to understand this better.

    The users of Postmates get a monthly subscription at a fixed price with the feature called Postmates Plus. With this subscription, they get unlimited free delivery for the entire month. If they don’t subscribe, they need to pay delivery charges for each order. Fortunately, Postmates has lowered the minimum size of food orders making the customers happy.

    Another feature, Postmates Party, is like Uber Pool for delivery. Customers get the food delivered for free, eliminating the delivery charges if they pool their orders with their neighbours.

    So do not forget to integrate this feature if you wish to make your app stand out.

  6. Schedule Delivery

    This unique feature is from the Postmates app. The customers can schedule delivery of food at their convenience. They may order their dinner while they are in the office at 4 PM and get food delivered at 7:00 PM.

  7. Pick Up

    The pick-up option is fairly common in most Uber-like apps for an online food ordering business. This feature waives the delivery fee, and the customer can order online and then pick up the food by themselves.

  8. Dine-in

    Dine-in was recently introduced by the Uber Eats app. With this feature, a customer can order online, skip the waiting lines and delivery fees, and come to sit in the restaurant and eat.

Need a Food Delivery App with Advanced Features?

Have a food delivery app idea? Tell us about your mobile app idea. Let our professional tech guide you in developing a food delivery app.

For successful food delivery mobile app development, you will have to closely identify your competitors. Herein we have curated a list of the best Canadian food delivery apps.

5 Best Food Delivery Apps for Canada in 2024

LogoApp NameRatings ReviewsFeaturesDownload Link
SkipTheDishes-iconSkipTheDishes Android: 4.7/5
iOS: 3.8/5
Google Play: 380.6K
App Store: 1.22L
  • Search filter (even by delivery charge starting from $0)
  • Real-time tracking
  • Save addresses for quick service
  • Re-order favorite items
  • Push notifications
Android | iOS
Tim Hortons iconTim Hortons Android: 4.7/5
iOS: 4.6/5
Google Play: 40.8K
App Store: 84.1T
  • Ordering and reordering favourite items
  • Tims rewards for loyal customers
  • Customize recipes and save favorites
Android | iOS
DoorDashDoorDash Android: 4.8/5
iOS: 4.6/5
Google Play: 14.5M
App Store: 28.5L
  • Order and group orders
  • Schedule delivery according to preferred timings
  • Real-time tracking of order
Android | iOS
Uber EatsUber Eats Android: 4.8/5
iOS: 4.4/5
Google Play: 6.1M
App Store: 47.4L
  • Browse local restaurants in the town
  • Schedule your order
  • Option to choose contact-free delivery
  • Customized your drop off point
  • Easily re-order food from your history
Android | iOS
Little-CaesarsLittle Caesars Android: 4.8/5
iOS: 4.7/5
Google Play: 291.8K
App Store: 3.17 L
  • Automatically detects the closest food store in near location
  • “Custom pizza builder” to get tailor-made pizzas
  • Order scheduling that lets users schedule up to 6 days in advance
  • Save favorites for quick ordering
Android | iOS

Do you still have questions about the food delivery app development? Want to know more information about it? Check the following section for FAQs.

FAQ About Food Ordering App Development

  1. How do online food delivery apps make money?

    There are several ways in which a food delivery app makes money. Here’s the list of some famous monetization models in food delivery apps.

    • Commission on food orders – You can charge a restaurant small commission fees on each order that is placed through your platform.
    • Premium subscription model – By implementing a subscription model, you can offer different plans to your users for accessing premium services like free delivery, discounts and membership in your food delivery app.
    • Delivery charges – Some restaurants don’t have staff to deliver the order. So, in this case, they use your delivery staff and you charge a delivery fee.
    • Advertising – Offer advertising options to restaurants and charge them a commission against it.
  2. How do food delivery apps work?

    The food delivery solution works in 4 simple steps:

    • A customer places a food order from a wide variety of dishes on the menu from your food ordering mobile app.
    • The order is instantly pushed to your smartphone or tablet, where you review it via the admin app.
    • The delivery personnel are informed on the delivery app about the pickup and delivery details.
    • After the food is prepared, the delivery boy picks it up and delivers it to the relevant customer.

Develop Your Own Custom Food Delivery App

During food delivery app development, it is necessary that you know which food delivery market niche you want to target, what challenges you will face, and how you plan to face them.

A food delivery app should provide freedom of choice to the consumer; it should fit into the consumer’s schedule, should be user-friendly, and work excellently for restaurant business owners.

If you need an app that lives up to all and much more, Space-O will come to your aid. As a leading mobile app development agency, we develop and deploy smartphone mobile apps for iOS, Android, and web platforms. We also specialize in developing mobile and web-based IT solutions for the food and beverage industry.

If you have any doubts or queries about developing food delivery software, food delivery logistics, on-demand delivery apps, restaurant app development, or food ordering apps for restaurants, feel free to contact us.

You could also choose to consult our technical expert about food delivery application development cost, timeline, and process. You will get a 30-min free consultation by just filling out the contact form below.

Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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