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How Much Does It Cost to Make a Food Delivery App or Website

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Yuri Musienko
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Creating your own food delivery service is a great business idea. Proof of this is the success of startups like DoorDash, Seamless, UberEATS, Grubhub, Eat24 and Foodpanda. In addition, studies show that every fifth American orders home meals via the Internet at least once a week. And the share of such people is constantly growing, as the market itself.

Make a Food Delivery App or Website Morgan Stanley

In the next 4 years, the online food delivery market will grow by 16% per year (according to Morgan Stanley)
So, if you were planning to create a web service for the delivery of food, now is the time to do it. So far the market is on the rise and there are not so many competitors as in other industries. In our article you will find answers to key questions that may arise during the study, planning and implementation of this project:

Time and cost of development

The cost of developing an application or a food delivery site depends on many factors. The main among them are the complexity, the number of functions and the hourly rate of developers. The complexity is mainly affected by whether you want to use existing solutions (templates, clones) or intend to create everything from scratch. In the first case, the price will be in the region of 1,000 - 5,000 dollars, in the second - from 20,000 dollars.

As for the number of functions, their list depends on which application or website you are planning to create:

  1. Aggregator. The service acts as a platform where manufacturers, couriers and buyers meet and establish business connections (one-time or permanent). The site operating according to this model enables buyers to order food and track the order, restaurants - receive and manage orders, couriers - take orders and monitor their implementation: location, payment status, workload.
  2. Logistics support. This model implies that you provide support to restaurants in the form of the delivery of their goods to final consumers in real time. That is, the whole range of their services goes to you, except for the actual preparation of food. The end user selects a product from the menu, places an order, and tracks where it went. At the same time, the restaurant, through your service, tracks the status of the order and sends the food to the courier arriving on your part.
To develop aggregator services, you need to create three options for your service for each party (restaurant, courier, customer) or one that will work with all parties at the same time. It is long and expensive. Logistics support is easier and cheaper.

The third factor, the hourly rate of developers, is largely determined by the programmers of which country you work. For example, in the USA, Canada, Western Europe and Australia, the rate of a web developer is $ 50–100 per hour, in Eastern Europe - $ 40–60 per hour, in Africa - $ 10–50 per hour.

Make a Food Delivery App or Website

Hourly rate of web developers in different countries (according to codementor.io)

Depending on what country programmers you hire, the cost of developing a food delivery service can be as much as $ 20,000 or $ 40,000. This is a regular site or application. If you want to create something unique, complex or stand out, then the price of development can increase many times.

Thus, if we take into account all these factors, a relatively simple formula for estimating the cost will come out: based on the complexity and the number of service functions, we will determine how long it will take to create a product, and then multiply this time by the hourly rate of developers. For the online food delivery service, it will look like this:

Make a Food Delivery App or Website table startMake a Food Delivery App or Website table end

As you can see, the cost of creating an application or website for the delivery of food requires from 21 to 37 thousand dollars of investment. If we add to this the realization of several additional functions that are able to distinguish the service among competitors, the cost of development will increase by another 5-15 thousand dollars.

Functional food delivery service

User panel

The first and main task that needs to be accomplished during the development is to create an attractive design for the client page or platform through which users choose a restaurant, food, delivery method, payment option and place an online order. This page / screen can be divided into the following subcategories.

Login and Registration

Make a Food Delivery App or Website login

Foodpanda application registration and login page

Getting a customer to your service begins with the registration page and login. It is best if the registration will be carried out using social networks or a phone number. Logging in via e-mail is also necessary, although it is not very popular right now.

The first entry - registration - is long and requires additional efforts from the user to complete the profile: name, address, phone number, email, etc. However, all subsequent entries should be as simple as possible. Ideally, this should be logged in using fingerprint scanning in the application and automatic authentication in the web service.

If you want to personalize clients, you can ask them to specify:

  • several favorite cuisines (Georgian, Thai, French);
  • referred payment method (cash, card, bitcoins);
  • the time they agree to wait for the order (half an hour, hour or 10 minutes);
  • list of favorite restaurants, franchises.

In addition, it is very important to determine the user's location during registration in order to know which city (region) offers to recommend. To do this, you can ask the client at the very beginning to indicate his city or use the GPS sensor of his smartphone.

Search menus and categories

Make a Food Delivery App or Website UberEATS

Choice of kitchens in the service UberEATS

When developing the menu, you need to take into account three key customer needs. First, the client does not like to spend a lot of time, so the menu should be divided into convenient categories (restaurants, kitchens, cooking speed) and it should have a search function. Secondly, the buyer wants to know what he is buying: how it looks, what it is prepared from and how (it is important for those who are on different diets).

Thirdly, the buyer wants to understand how qualitatively (tasty) this or that dish, therefore the rating system and reviews should be integrated into the menu (about them below). That is, when a user enters a dish, there should be something like stars, points, success rates (how many liked it) and the number of voters.

Make a Food Delivery App or Website UberEATS

Rating of dishes in the service UberEATS

You can also add to the menu the ability to select dishes to order. It's about choosing the fillings of the dish and / or the way it is cooked. For example, you can give users to choose the pizza filling, the sharpness of the sauce, the level of the steak and the amount of spices in Indian dishes.

Adding order to cart

Make a Food Delivery App or Website Foodpanda

Order cart in the Foodpanda application

After the customer has made a choice, he must place an order. This function should be as simple and informative as possible so that the user can clearly see which dishes are ordered, how much they cost together and separately, how long it will take to prepare and deliver. There must also be a map with which you can track the current location of the order (courier).

The choice of payment method and payment

Make a Food Delivery App or Website payment

Choosing a payment method in the Foodpanda application

When the customer checks the cart and makes sure that everything is okay with the order, he will proceed to payment. As a food delivery service developer, you must remember that customers do not like to pay before the courier arrives with the order, so do not impose on them a prepayment or advance payment. It is also desirable that the client has the opportunity to indicate which bills he plans to pay off.

Most popular payment methods:

  1. Google Pay and Apple Pay.
  2. Credit and debit bank cards.
  3. Cash on delivery.
If a customer chooses an online payment, you must give him the opportunity to pay a tip to the courier in the form of a specific amount of money or a percentage of the order amount. And this money should not be transferred to your account, but immediately to the courier's account / wallet (minus the taxes that you must pay on your part).

Order tracking

Make a Food Delivery App or Website Eleken

Eleken order tracking funktion

Modern technology allows you to track the location of the order in real time. To do this, you need to teach the service to use the GPS sensor in the courier's smartphone and display this data on the screen of the user and the restaurant as a marker on an interactive Google Map. Experience shows that this function raises the usability of the service at times, because the client knows exactly where his food is and how long it will be for him to wait. The simple message “will arrive within 20 minutes” does not give such an effect.

Ratings and Reviews

Make a Food Delivery App or Website service

Restaurant rating in UberEats service

Customers should be able to rate the restaurant, meal, delivery service and courier, as well as see what ratings and reviews other people have left. This increases the usability of the service and the level of competition among restaurants and couriers.

Order criteria that are important to the customer:

  1. Match of the real dishes and photos in the menu.
  2. Compliance with the weight, composition, method of preparation and configuration.
  3. To what extent the dish has cooled (heated) during delivery.
  4. Satisfaction level.
Customer support

Make a Food Delivery App or Website desk

UberEats help desk service

The application or food delivery site should support its customers in the use of their service, the choice of restaurants, consumer protection, and the like. To do this, create a section FAQs and organize support service in real time.

Restaurant Bar

After creating the client page, the developer must create a page for restaurant owners and administrators. It should be simple, convenient and multifunctional. Appearance is also important, but only as a bonus.

Restaurant panel features:

  1. Login and Registration. If you creating a service aggregator, then you need a login panel similar to the client one, only with large requests for the information provided.
  2. Listing management. Owning a restaurant is extremely important to have the ability to manage a list of menus and items of food catalogs. It's about the choice of image, description, preparation time, delivery, payment methods and working time.
  3. Order Management. Allows you to keep records and monitor the status of orders received from customers. Here it is also desirable to implement the calculation of the ingredients required for orders and the assessment of the availability of couriers.
  4. Check of reviews and ratings. Having feedback will help the restaurant identify problem areas and improve dishes, packaging, service and other things. It is important that representatives of the restaurant have the opportunity not only to look at the reviews, but also to communicate with customers, to clarify what exactly they did not like, and how, in their opinion, this point can be improved.
  5. Pop-up notifications. They inform about the received order, sending the courier and his arrival, making payment and so on. It is important that the visual messages are complemented by sound signals.

Courier panel

Service or application where almost everyone can register and earn extra money. It is enough to be of age and have roller-skates, a bicycle, a scooter, a motorcycle or a car. The creation of a food delivery service on this side is to develop such functions:
  1. Login and Registration. When registering with the courier, you need to specify your location (in which city he will deliver the food), convenient working hours, used vehicle and acceptable payment method.
  2. Request for order. When a customer places an order, he is automatically assigned to one of the couriers based on his location. The order request contains information about the client's name, point of delivery, shipping address and cost, if payment is made in cash. The courier has the right to accept or reject the order if the conditions do not suit him (for example, he finishes work after 20 minutes).
  3. Order history. Allows you to view past orders, including how the courier rated customers.
  4. Call / chat. When a courier accepts a request for an order, he is given the opportunity to communicate with the customer. The client can also contact him.
  5. C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery). If this payment method is chosen, the courier can pick up the money from the client and send it to the restaurant.
  6. Push notifications. Will inform the courier about the receiption of the request for the order and any change in its status, about arrival to the point of settlement with the customer.
  7. Online Wallet. It will receive tips and money for the implementation of courier orders. If the wallet is integrated into the application, the money will be credited to its account. If not, the money will immediately go to the courier’s bank account, and the wallet will simply display the settlement status.
  8. Transaction History. Shows a full report on the earnings of the courier.
  9. Online support. It is needed to get help in a variety of cases.
  10. GPS navigation. Tracks the location of the courier in real time.
  11. Google MAP navigation. Shows the place of delivery, point of delivery, current location and the best route. This data is obtained by all parties, so if the restaurant or customer sees a faster way, they can contact the courier and inform him about it.

7 trends that will change the world of online food delivery

Make a Food Delivery App or Website Jafflechutes
Snack bar Jafflechutes delivers toasts and other food with drones and parachutes
Players such as UberEats, Just Eat, Deliveroo and Grubhub have won a huge market share in the online delivery of food thanks to marketing and technological innovation. If you want to go one level with them, when developing your own service, you need to rely on the future. Here are 7 trends that will most affect the market in the near future:
  1. Millennials - the main drivers of the market. The report of the consulting company Technomic Generations states that in 3 out of 5 cases millennials order food delivery or take-away restaurants, so when developing you should rely on this target audience.
  2. New delivery channels. According to OrderTalk survey, people want online food delivery services to improve their online ordering system, allowing them to buy food through social networks, being in a car or through intelligent helpers like Siri.
  3. Modern delivery options. Just Eat and Eat24 deliver food using machine-robots, Domino-drones, Jafflechutes- parachutes.
  4. New niches. Monster Pet Supplies have released an application for online food delivery for animals. Food for All offers unsold dishes from restaurants with a 50% discount. In UberEats, they came up with the concept of a virtual kitchen: the buyer says what to cook for him, gives an order to some of the idle restaurants and gets his meal by courier.
  5. AR and VR. Online food delivery services use additional and virtual reality to update marketing campaigns (Just Eat), increase brand awareness, increase sales and conduct virtual training for employees (KFC).
  6. Crypto orders. Cryptocurrency has become a part of popular culture, and many companies use it to sell their goods. For example, PizzaForCoins, Lobster Gram, Papa John's Pizza, Feastly, Levy Restaurants and Takeaway.com.
  7. Big data. Just Eat, Doordash and Grubhub collect and analyze big data on their customers, logistics and restaurants to speed delivery, improve inventory management and provide recommendations to customers.

Merehead does professional development of food delivery platform. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.

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