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How to Make a Food Delivery App like GrubHub?

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Yuri Musienko
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Merehead is a leading development company
Featured image for How to Make a Food Delivery App like GrubHub?

The development of a successful food delivery service is not limited to a website or phone number. Any respectable company definitely needs to create an app. It helps clients to always have access to their favorite delivery service and order food quickly without wasting time on the search for the site. A good app should be functional and have an intuitive and beautiful interface. How to create a high-quality mobile app?

How do food delivery apps work?

Nowadays courier services are in demand so mobile program development has become a priority for them. It’s important to realize that a company’s success depends heavily on the quality of the site or app. It’s also important to work with clients, get feedback, receive complaints and reviews.

An entire food delivery system consists of two essential components:

  1. Your partners must be reliable. An expensive restaurant, café, fast food joint – their products have to be high-quality and fresh.
  2. A courier is an important part of the delivery service. He may work at a time of his convenience or on an ongoing basis at your discretion. A good courier, who knows how to communicate and negotiate with people, is an important and valuable employee.
Let’s consider the example of a food delivery app GrubHub. This is a quite popular service, which cooperates with many good restaurants. A developed partnership allows the company to deliver food even from those restaurants that don’t provide delivery. The program contains a list of available restaurants in the region and each client is able to order anything with the help of one app.


How does GrubHub work?

Despite the big number of restaurants on the list, the app is convenient to work with. The interface is user-friendly and all features are optimized for the users. It should be stated if a guest doesn’t have the installed app, he can always get access to the service via the website. Essentially, the app relies on the site and is a more convenient version of it. The company always should have an additional platform for the orders not to lose clients.

Creation of a mobile app for the clients

GrubHub runs on two operating systems: iOS and Android. If you develop an app only for one of them, this means that you lose almost half of users, who are ready to download it onto their smartphones.

According to analytical data, GrubHub is one of the top 10 most popular food delivery apps among the users of both operating systems.

After installation, you need to register and fill in some data. Please note that almost all apps request data about bank cards and personal information. This might cause clients’ negative reactions. You should take this factor into account while building your own application.

Order processing

To choose dishes, the client performs several operations and all of them should be in the app functionality.
  1. Choice of a city and region, after which the user should see the available restaurants.
  2. Choice of a café, restaurant, diner.
  3. Then the client wants to see a menu and a range of dishes to choose from.
  4. Items he’s liked are added to the cart, after which the client makes an order.
  5. The app should have a feature of choice from sauces, additions, drinks, and a feature of writing a comment on the order, additional proposes.

The possibility to write a remark with information or question is extremely important for a guest. That allows him to get feedback, which helps to avoid many bad situations. For example, the user can specify an ingredient, which has to be removed from the dish because of allergy, diet, or taste preferences.

Cost of delivery

You should take care of a possibility for the client to see possible prices right away. The cost of delivery has to be calculated at the registration of the order. The calculating process is of two kinds: with a fixed price for the region and with a price that depends on a distance. Add discount coupons, promo codes, and provide special offers for your clients to attract more attention to the service.

For instance, GrubHub sometimes provides customers with codes for a price reduction or free delivery. The app is set to send notifications so that no one misses such a prize. Seeing a notification, the person is likely to click on it to open the app. This is an effective feature for any app.

It’s considered normal for prices in a restaurant and app to differ. Restaurants, which you cooperate with, specify the menu available for delivery. They are based on convenience, speed of cooking, and characteristics of dishes. When updating the app, the menu and prices may be updated as well.

Possible options for the exchange of up-to-date information with the restaurant:

  • exchange with a restaurant website via API;
  • manual updating data with the help of the admin panel.

Bonuses and cumulative discounts

You can create a mobile app in such a way that clients receive bonuses for their orders and have the opportunity to cumulate them. It’s possible to pay for the food or delivery using the accumulated points. This motivates people to install the app on their phones and register. Especially if a bonus program operates solely in the app. It’s important to consider a system, which would be used to award bonuses, at the stage of development. It may be based on the following matters:
  • does the awarding of bonuses depend on the amount that the client has spent;
  • time of day, holidays, the workload of the couriers and the restaurant;
  • who will provide a discount: a delivery service or a restaurant;
  • how does the restaurant get paid if the client has bought food for bonuses.
Offer your clients bonuses for having their friends installing the app, dissemination of information about the service, rating in Play Market or AppStore, which GrubHub frequently does.

Communication with the clients via email reminds them of the service if they haven’t used it for a long time and informs them about the new offerings. Communication with clients via email isn’t effective. Not everyone will subscribe to your letters. Even if people subscribe, they unsubscribe later anyway. Notifications on the app are the best option. You can briefly announce changes in them: tell about the expansion of the list of restaurants, inform about special offers, congratulate on holidays, offer an updated version, notice of the status of the order, etc.


Cooperation with large chain restaurants

Opening the app, the client wants to find his favorite restaurant or café and make an order there. The broader your base of restaurants is, the more likely you will find favor in the eyes of people.

A control panel for a restaurant manager on the app should be considered. So you don’t have to control all processes related to change of the menu, price of dishes, etc. This is called «affiliates home» and is widely used among app creators. Such features might be available to the restaurant manager:

  • change of the logo, address, phone number and other information;
  • adding information about all changes in the menu;
  • information about the number and composition of orders made through the service;
  • reports, budgets, total income, and various documents.

Courier’s work

A separate app or section for couriers would be a great addition. Employees are provided with a separate program, which has everything required to work. By agreement, a courier may work a standard workday or have flexible hours. It’s appropriate to develop a separate section for the courier on the app, where the record of his working hours and completed orders will be kept. Therefore, both an employer and an employee will be informed, which allows for avoiding conflicts or troubles.

You can add other basic features for this type of app:

  • navigator, separate or connected to other services;
  • information about the order: amount and method of payment;
  • client’s comments: change of delivery address, additional wishes, methods of communication when questions arise;
  • contact with a separate operator, who specializes in work with couriers.

Administrative section

GrubHub is an automated app. That being said, administrators and managers of delivery service are ready to get in touch with the clients daily. Two-way communication has to be well-organized; otherwise, you might lose a lot of clients. Operators should always be ready to resolve conflict situations, record requests to the service, assist in solving technical problems.

While programming, make sure to take into account the roles of administrators and give them access to specific blocks for the work. For example, the chief administrator of the resource should have full access to all possible data. Then, in chain order:

  • content manager should have access to changing and updating data, adding texts or visual content;
  • finance managers should have access to reports, statistics, documents, reviews;
  • operator should have all data about the current orders, their status, messages.
A clear assignment of responsibilities by blocks will help structure the service work. A well-established system will work well if each employee is responsible for his part of the job he specializes in.

Main aspects of app development

The creation of a food delivery app should be thought out in the detail. As of today, there is a great competition and a steadily growing demand for courier services. For this reason, you should responsibly approach the project development.

Pay attention to several things:

  1. The user should place an order without thinking of where to find a button, menu, or other components. You shouldn’t go overboard with decoration and you better focus on the development of understandable and simple navigation.
  2. Speed of work of the app. If the program is slow, its components are uploaded for a while, it constantly freezes up, the client will just delete it and write a negative review. Avoid the congestion of images, optimize them to reduce their «weight», test and test the app from different devices again and again.
  3. It allows automating processes of data exchange between the service and the restaurant. This is convenient and doesn’t waste employees’ time. If you say no to this feature, be ready to change information for the relevant one manually.
  4. Customer attraction. This would include advertising on various media, app optimization, and interaction with various social networks. The possibility to share an order or a picture on social networks with the help of the app will boost the program’s popularity.

What else you should remember

Additional functionality you shouldn’t forget when creating the terms of reference for the developer:
  • possibility to compile statistics;
  • two-way communication settings;
  • services that help to detect and correct errors;
  • possibility for the client to rate and write a review.
After the app launch, it will still need upgrades, maintenance, and error correction. GrubHub like other similar services always finalizes its resource considering the clients’ wishes, updates the interface, and does not stand still.


How to Make a Food Delivery App like GrubHub? key takeaways:

#1. How do food delivery apps work?
#2. How does GrubHub work?
#3. Creation of a mobile app for the clients
#4. Order processing
#5. Cost of delivery
#6. Bonuses and cumulative discounts
#7. Cooperation with large chain restaurants
#8. Courier’s work
#9. Administrative section
#10. Main aspects of app development
#11. What else you should remember

Merehead does professional development of Food Delivery App. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.
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Yuri Musienko
Author of the post
Merehead is a leading development company

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