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How to Build a Restaurant App like Zomato, Postmates, UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub

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Yuri Musienko
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Zomato is a mobile application for finding restaurants, reserving tables and delivering food. The application is presented in 24 countries, has 50 million users and annually brings its owners $ 200 million in revenue. In our article, you will learn how to create an application like Zomato, attract the attention of gourmets around the world and monetize it.

# 1. Niche and Target Audience

Build an App like Zomato Niche and Target Audience

Eat Clean Me is a Good Example of a Niche Healthy Food Delivery Application

Today, the global food delivery market is divided among themselves by Grubhub, Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Eats24, Foodpanda, Zomato and other major players. These are universal services operating according to the “all for all” marketplace scheme. There is no point in directly competing with these giants, since they already have a large base of regular users and a lot of money to improve service and marketing.

Instead, it’s best to choose one of the vertical markets, focusing on a certain type of food (vegetarian dishes, healthy food, fast food, set meals for the office, homemade food, etc.) or cuisine (French, European, Brazilian, etc.). Such services know their niche and target audience for sure, and therefore can create a better user experience and thus gain competitive advantages at the start.

Niche Project Examples:

  1. Eat Clean Me - a service for delivering tasty, healthy and healthy food.
  2. Monster Pet Supplies - Fast online pet food delivery.
  3. Food for All - trade in unsold perishable foods and dishes that remain in shops and restaurants at the end of the day.
In addition, you can concentrate on a specific country or region where the online food delivery service is absent or poorly developed. How does Glovo, conquering the unoccupied markets of small cities in Eastern Europe (50-200 thousand population).

# 2. Business Model and Monetization

Build an App like Zomato Web Service
Zomato Web Service and Application Transactional Revenue Mode
Initially, the Zomato Internet service developed as a restaurant guide, where you could find out what kind of establishments are present in the city and see their menu, prices, ratings and reviews (that is, it was an analogue of the well-known Yelp). Later, Zomato added an online delivery system so that customers can order food if there are no tables left or they want to have a romantic dinner at home, without wasting time and effort in cooking.

In 2016, the company made another major improvement by introducing an online reservation function called Zomato Book. Due to this, Zomato service has become a universal platform that caters to all gourmet needs: restaurant search, table reservation and online food delivery.

As for monetization, a few years ago, Zomato earned revenue solely through advertising, but now, after the proclamation of the transition to the transactional model of monetization, the share of advertising in revenue has decreased to 60%. The remaining 40% is:

  1. Zomato for Business. A special application for restaurants, which connects their establishments to the listing of the service and makes it possible in real time to update information about special offers, promotions, events and discounts. There is a flat fee for this service, which varies by country and region. For example, in the USA and Canada this is an average of $ 100 per month.
  2. Zomato Book. An online table reservation service that allows users to make, change and cancel reservations, regardless of whether the restaurant is open or not. Restaurants pay a fixed fee of $ 130-150 for connecting to the Zomato book.
  3. Zomato Events. The service takes a small percentage from the sale of tickets to various profile shows and events related to the restaurant business, cooking and eating.
  4. Zomato Whitelabel. A solution that allows restaurants to create Zomato-like mobile applications for their business, where you can choose a dish, book a table or order an online meal delivery.
  5. Zomato Base. Consulting services designed to help restaurants survive, develop, change their profile (cuisine, direction) and expand their presence in other markets.
  6. Zomato Gold. Subscription with preferential terms for users in individual partner restaurants. A program participant does not pay for the second most expensive dish on the check (one free dish for one visit) and receives one free drink for each already ordered (maximum two free drinks per visit). Valid only in India. Subscription price - 2000 rupees per year (about $ 30).

# 3. Basic and advanced features

Build an App like Zomato workflow
Zomato application workflow and who is involved in it
Creating a mobile application like Zomato, you need to implement four user roles: customer-buyer, restaurant, courier and administrator. To do this, you need a number of functions common to all (registration, authentication, profile settings, tracking the status of the order, including location, etc.) and several functions tailored for a specific user role.

User / Client Panel. Designed for people looking for a restaurant or wanting to order food delivery. For such users, simplicity, a well-designed listing and an honest rating system / reviews are important. That is, you need to implement the following functions:
  1. Search. Allows users to search for restaurants, cafes, eateries, pubs and bars by cuisine, dishes, schedules, location, availability and rating. Using the search function, people can find an institution and evaluate its menu, prices and service, as well as check the availability of tables and opening hours.
  2. Order basket. Choose your favorite dishes and add them to your order basket with one or two clicks. The simpler and clearer this feature, the better.
  3. Order status tracking. Allows customers in real time to monitor the status of the order (in line, prepared, given to the courier) and the location of the courier. So people can check when they receive the order.
  4. Payment system. Integration of payment gateways PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Braintree and others in the application. There should be several payment options so that each user can choose the usual payment method.
  5. Rating system. Ratings, reviews and reviews of the restaurant, food and couriers play an important role in improving the quality of service. They screen out bad counterparties and promote those who do their job well.
  6. Availability book. Allows you to receive information about the availability of free tables in the restaurant and book a table with a few clicks on the screen, which is much simpler and faster than traditional telephone reservations.
Restaurant Owner Panel. A set of tools that will help the institution to best present itself and its dishes to customers. Among them are the following:
  1. Creating a profile and its setting. Restaurants can specify the address, schedule, menu with prices and contact details. Presentation of the menu and dishes can be in the form of a separate card with a photo and price for each dish, a simple list or a photo / scan of a paper menu. The first option is implemented in Zomato, as customers like it better.
  2. Order Management. It enables restaurants to monitor the status of the order: performed, planned, dispatched, closed. For convenience and effectiveness, it is important that there are time points and a specific artist opposite each item. This will help restaurants streamline the process.
  3. Menu control. The ability to add and update food cards, where the price, ingredients, minimum order quantity, cooking speed, etc. are indicated. It should also be possible to highlight today's special dish or set breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
  4. Restaurants should be able to set and update discounts, as well as add special applications, encouraging customers to purchase through additional benefits and savings.
  5. Courier tracking. Real-time location of a courier using Google Maps or its equivalent. Owners should be able to check the total delivery time and the route on which the driver chose to deliver the food.
  6. Push notifications. Report a new order, status change, payment, rejection and other important things. Under heavy loads, this is a critical feature that ensures that no order is lost.
Courier panel (delivery service). Zomato does not work with freelance couriers like UberEATS, Foodpanda and Postmates do. Restaurants deliver their orders using their own couriers. The following functions are important to them:
  1. Login and verification. In applications like Zomato, couriers must register restaurants. If the couriers register themselves, then we need verification tools that will give the restaurant the opportunity to confirm that "this courier is ours." This will protect all parties from fraud.
  2. Profile setup. Entering and changing personal data of the courier: first and last name, address, work schedule, used transport and relevant certificates (for example, driver’s license), if necessary.
  3. Order Management. Tools necessary to receive and close an order, including the ability to receive payment and set up sound push notifications that work even when the application is closed.
  4. Geolocation. Integration with Google Map or Waze to view the delivery route. The application should determine the route and indicate the delivery time, which will help to calculate the time of arrival of the courier to the client. At the same time, couriers should be able to optimize the route.
  5. Payments. The courier application must be able to confirm and pay for delivery. This can be done by matching the location of the courier with the delivery location or by interacting with the courier application with the application on the client’s phone. This interaction can also be used to initiate on-site order payment.
Admin panel. You will also need a panel with which you can manage listings, profiles, payments and more. The following functions are responsible for this:
  1. Restaurant Management. The ability to add, update and delete any restaurant or cafe from the listing. Checking the status, activity and interactions of the institution with customers. Ability to change the category of restaurant, cuisine, dishes, delivery options and payment methods.
  2. Performance Monitoring. Tracking the status and activity of all restaurants, couriers and customers. Ongoing monitoring of ratings, reviews and reviews, including monitoring the IP of connected devices (important to prevent rating wrapping) and honesty of reviews.
  3. Analysis and reporting. Receive real-time data and reports on user activity in general and in the context of certain actions. Better if it is not stingy text and numerical data, but graphs, charts, and diagrams that are easier to perceive and analyze.
  4. Commissions and monetization. The ability to set commissions on orders, financial transactions and other functions related to application monetization.

# 4. Marketing policy

Build an App like Zomato food and entertainment
Zomaland is a food and entertainment festival hosted by Zomato
Zomato app is aimed at people aged 18 to 35 who want to order food delivery or find a restaurant with good service and delicious food. At the same time, the main focus is on busy people who need food delivery, and young people who want to have a good time with their friends. To attract them, the company uses:
  1. The company estimates that almost 30% of their subscribers came through referrals - sites that do reviews of restaurants, dishes and cuisines, while providing a link to the Zomato app.
  2. SME and SEO. The company constantly invests a lot in creating various content that attracts people and search engines.
  3. Social networks. Facebook, Instagram(mobile app), Twitter, and YouTube activity also attracts users and boosts brand awareness.
  4. Promotions. Zomato regularly holds various promotions and events to attract users.
As for stocks, it is not only about network activity, but also about real events. For example, the Zomaland Food and Entertainment Festival, which brings together several of the best restaurants, musicians, comedians, as well as interactive installations and games under one roof.

The company also regularly organizes Food Sprint and various local events dedicated to food and everything related to it.

# 5. Application development features

When the basic concept, functionality and monetization models are ready, you can begin to directly code the application. This process consists of the following steps:
  1. Collection of requirements. Drawing up preliminary application specifications.
  2. Prototyping. Building the logic of the user flow (how a person uses the application to achieve the goal) and creating application screens (searching for places to have lunch, restaurant menu, order management, payment, tracking, etc.).
  3. Creation of UI / UX design. Determine how the application interface will look for all user roles. Here Zomato relies on vivid images of restaurants and dishes that launch dopamine systems in the client’s brain and facilitate the ordering of food here and now.
  4. MVP Development. Creating an application with a minimum set of functions, which is enough to test the concept and performance of key ideas. Usually this is a restaurant search and checkout, including payment.
  5. Testing. A dedicated team checks the MVP for performance, relevance and virulence. Based on the feedback, MVP is improved and updated until you get the application you need.
  6. Deployment. Adding an application to Google Play and the App Store. With marketing support and increased technical support attention.

How to Build a Restaurant App like Zomato, Postmates, UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub key takeaways:
  1. # 1. Niche and Target Audience
  2. # 2. Business Model and Monetization
  3. # 3. Basic and advanced features
  4. # 4. Marketing policy
  5. # 5. Application development features
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