Food Delivery App Development Guide

Food Delivery App Development Guide

Estimated read time: 16 minutes

Are you interested in a food delivery app development guide?

You are at the right place as we discuss the entire food delivery app development process in this article.

The global food delivery app market is expected to reach $320 billion by 2029. 60% of restaurant owners stated in a survey that offering delivery services led to an increase in sales.

You could also join this growing industry and mark your share in the profits via an innovative food delivery app. Let’s see how to do that successfully.

Food Delivery App Development Process

To develop a food delivery app, you need to take the following steps:

Market Analysis and Requirements Discovery

You need to study current trends and business models in the online food order market, including popular food delivery apps. Understanding the target audience would help you develop an app according to the end-users’ requirements.

You can choose to develop any one of the following food delivery applications for the food industry:

Restaurant Delivery App

This delivery app works for a specific restaurant or food business. Customers of a specific business can place orders via this restaurant app. An app developed for a specific restaurant helps business owners avoid third-party services and commissions. 

The development of a custom food delivery app is comparatively costlier but businesses get a boost in customer retention via personal branding and intuitive user experience.

For example, Dominos gets over 80% of its sales via digital channels including a mobile app.

Aggregator App

Aggregator apps list restaurants and home-based food businesses available in the market. Users can search for meal options in various locations.

Uber Eats is a perfect example of an aggregator app. These apps connect restaurants and consumers and held a significant revenue share in the food app delivery market by 60$ in 2021.

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Aggregator food delivery apps work on two business models. The first is a three-way model which connects businesses, customers, and delivery personnel. 

Another model does not provide delivery logistics and just connects food businesses with consumers. Restaurants can then either offer delivery services on their own or offer only takeaway services.

Out-of-the-box Food Delivery App

This is a white-label software solution where you, as a software service provider, develop and provide food delivery companies with an app builder.

Businesses could then modify and customize the out-of-the-box app solution according to their feature requirements and branding.

After selecting the type of food delivery app solution, you need to decide on the app features. A food ordering app typically has the following features:

Restaurant App

Food businesses use the restaurant app module. It offers the following features:

  • Menu management helps businesses add and edit their menus, including price details;
  • Order management option helps a restaurant acknowledge new orders and keep track of every order as received, in-process, delivered, canceled, etc.;
  • The Analytics feature gives insights into sales, revenue, customers, etc. It also shows customer feedback, delivery time, operating hours, etc.

Customer App

Consumers use the customer app which offers the following features:

  • Users can signup/login using their social media accounts, email addresses, and phone numbers. Multi-factor authentication can be used to make accounts more secure;
  • User profiles allow users to add their information such as name, address, etc.;
  • A search feature allows searching for a restaurant in any location;
  • Users can place an order, view the cart, apply discount coupons, etc.;
  • An in-app payment feature helps users complete online payments;
  • Users can also provide feedback on restaurant services, etc.

Courier App

Food delivery riders use a courier app. It offers the following features:

  • Users can signup and create their profiles;
  • Riders can view new orders and their delivery details;
  • Delivery providers can accept new deliveries, track order status, view order details, etc.;
  • Riders can receive in-app payments for each delivery.

Form an App Development Team

Now that you have finalized your app specifications requirements, you can start with the app development process. First, you must have the following professionals onboard to undertake the food delivery app development process:

  • A UI/UX designer;
  • An iOS app developer;
  • An Android app developer;
  • An app tester;
  • A business analyst;
  • A project manager.

Select an App Development Methodology

Your development team needs an app development methodology to follow throughout the project. Agile methodologies, like scrum, are used by mobile app developers to give deliverable timelines, assign tasks to developers, track progress, etc.

85% of scrum survey respondents state that scrum improves the work quality for their teams. The success rate of projects using scrum is 62%. 

Your project team would gain the following benefits by using the scrum methodology for food delivery app development:

  • Scrum development breaks down the whole app development process into sprints. Each sprint releases a deployable feature into the market. Small development iterations or sprints help developers quickly release app features for the users.
  • Developers get the flexibility to incorporate changing user requirements into the app. Weekly backlog meetings would help your team review and reprioritize sprint tasks.
  • Productive scrum meetings, including daily standups, weekly sprint reviews, and sprint retrospectives after sprint completion, form a cohesive team with effective communication among developers and product owners.

Provide Food Delivery App Development Infrastructure

Now that you have the required app development team onboard and have selected the app development methodology, the next step is the provision of software application development infrastructure, which contains servers, storage, development tools, etc., to successfully develop, test, and deploy mobile apps.

We suggest you opt for a cloud-based infrastructure. It adds flexibility and scalability and is cost-effective for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

According to Statista, the cloud application market is expected to reach $168.6 billion by 2025. By 2027, more than 50% of companies will adopt cloud platforms to accelerate their business operations.

For example, you could opt for IBM Cloud computing services, a leading cloud service provider, and take advantage of the following:

  • Your app developers could use IBM Cloud Functions to write and deploy food app code via a serverless computing platform in various programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, etc.;
  • Your backend developers could use IBM Cloud Object Storage to store and retrieve large amounts of unstructured data like food images, videos, etc.;
  • IBM Cloud Foudary could help your developers build and deploy a scalable food application using a range of programming languages and frameworks.

Food Delivery App Design

Your UI/UX designer would design the app user interface and front-end elements. App designers follow app design principles to design an intuitive user experience.

Your app designers should consider the following design principles while designing food app wireframes:

  • Simplicity: Keep your app design simple and easy to use. Do not clutter with too many elements or text. 41% of users prefer simple and plain designs;
  • Consistency: Follow a consistent design pattern throughout your food app in terms of color, typography, iconography, etc.;
  • Navigation: Use a clear and proper hierarchy with an app’s contents;
  • Responsive: Design an app responsive to different screen sizes and orientations. 45% of app users prefer app designs that work well on multiple devices;
  • Accessibility: Keep your food app accessible to all, including people with disabilities. You could use appropriate color contrasts, alternate text for images, etc.

Moreover, your app designers should follow the following guidelines while designing app prototypes to give optimum user experience to users on every platform:

MVP Development

You need developers with the following expertise to develop a feature-rich food delivery mobile app:

Native Mobile App Development

Native mobile apps are built for specific operating systems. They give more control to developers on user experience. 

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Native apps easily integrate with systems features and functions, such as sensors, cameras, etc. They are installed directly on mobile phones and give a fast and smooth user experience.

Android and iOS are the two main operating systems in the mobile smartphone market. 

You require the following skills to develop a native Android app for food delivery:

  • Programming languages like Java and Kotlin. Java is a robust programming language that supports scalability, while Kotlin, a relatively newer language supported by Google, is interoperable with Java and comes with easy maintainability;
  • Integrated Development Environment, like Android Studio or Eclipse. Android Studio has an 89.58% share in the Cloud IDE market;
  • Android software development kit (SDK) and build toolkits like Gradle;
  • Git version control system;
  • Serverside technologies like Node.js or Google Firebase. Firebase is a mobile platform to efficiently manage your app’s backend using utilities, such as remote configurations, A/B testing, etc.

iOS app development requires expertise in the following technologies:

  • Objective C and Swift programming languages. Apple supports Swift for iOS app development. It is easier to write and maintain and is designed to optimize app performance;
  • Integrated development environments like Xcode IDE offer all the tools to design, build, test, and deploy iOS apps like code editors, debuggers, simulators, etc.;
  • iOS frameworks like Core Graphics, MapKit, etc., help developers quickly code iOS app features;
  • CloudKit offers Apple cloud services for iOS app development, such as data synchronization, user account authentication, etc.

Hybrid Mobile App Development

Hybrid apps offer cross-platform compatibility, which means they run on several operating systems and help reach a wider audience. As hybrid apps are built using web-based technologies, they are easy to maintain and update. 

Hybrid apps are wrapped in a native container to run on a specific platform. A combination of web and native code makes them less performant than an entirely native app. They also have limited access to device functionality.

Usually, businesses looking to target multiple mobile platforms opt for hybrid apps as they are cost-effective. Gartner predicts low-code platforms will form 65% of application development by 2024.

You require developers with the following skills to develop a hybrid food delivery app:

  • Web technologies like HTML and CSS;
  • JavaScript programming language as it is the primary technology to build the logic of hybrid apps;
  • JavaScript frameworks, like React Native, offer third-party plugins and community support for app development. React Native also allows developers to reuse code, etc.;
  • Open-source UI frameworks, such as Flutter. Flutter uses Dart programming language and helps developers build responsive apps with a native look and feel.

API Development and Integrations

APIs (application programming interfaces) are essential to creating efficient mobile apps. APIs allow apps to access and use external data and services.

Your developers could develop APIs to access restaurant listings, interact with backend systems such as databases, handle app users’ authentication, etc.

98% of enterprise leaders agree that APIS are essential for their digital transformation process. 49% state a smooth customer experience as the main benefit of using APIs, while 48% believe accelerated innovation is the main factor behind using APIs.

Your developers require the following API development skills:

  • REST (Representational State Transfer) architecture helps develop RESTful APIs that use HTTP requests to GET, POST, DELETE, and PUT data;
  • Understanding of XML and JSON formats to interpret data;
  • GraphQL query language assists in requesting the required data;
  • Node.js is an open-source run-time environment and supports non-blocking I/O operations;
  • Postman tool offers features to develop, test, document, and monitor APIs;
  • Swagger Hub supports the design and development of Restful APIs;
  • Cloud-based API development and management platforms, for example, Microsoft Azure API Management, offer tools like developer portals, analytics, documentation tools, etc.

Your development also needs expertise in native and third-party API integrations. These services, such as push notifications, in-app payment channels, location-based services, etc., come with guidelines for authorization, throttling, etc., to send API requests and receive responses.

Database Development

You require developers with expertise in data handling and storage. They should be able to process and store structured and unstructured data using the relevant database technologies. 

For example, your developers can use the following:

  • SQLite is included as a built-in feature in mobile applications and supports a range of datatypes and fast queries;
  • Realm is an efficient mobile database engine and supports real-time synchronization, data encryption, etc.;
  • Core Data is an Apple framework to manage object graphs and store data on iOS platforms;
  • Room is a database management system by Android for mobile applications. It supports reactive programming, compile-time verification, SQL queries, etc.

Latest Technologies

You require the latest technologies in your food delivery application to offer an innovative user experience. For example, partner with app developers with specialized skills in the following cutting-edge technologies:

Artificial Intelligence

You could use AI for several features in a food delivery application, such as

  • Personalized food recommendations based on user’s data on previous orders, preferences, search history, etc. 89% of US businesses reported an increase in revenue after app and website personalization;
  • Predictive analytics to predict demand for food items based on time of the day, weather conditions, etc. ;
  • AI-powered chatbots to entertain user queries on menus, refunds, order tracking, etc.;
  • Delivery optimization via real-time traffic updates, route planning, time estimates, etc.

You require developers with the following specialized skills to build AI-based app features:

  • Understanding of machine learning, including supervised and unsupervised algorithms, natural language processing (NLP), including techniques like sentiment analysis, text classification, etc.;
  • Expertise in data engineering processes to understand and utilize large amounts of data via data cleaning, preprocessing, etc.;
  • Proficiency in programming languages like Python, R, etc., which offer several machine learning and data science utilities. For example, PyTorch, a machine learning library, is written in Python for NLP, image processing, etc.;
  • Core ML framework by Apple to integrate machine learning models in iOS apps. It supports decision trees, neural networks, etc.;
  • IBM Watson helps integrate AI-based features into mobile applications, such as language translation, visual recognition, etc.
Virtual Reality

You could use virtual reality technology to enhance the user experience. For example,

  • You can use VR to implement virtual restaurant visits that give users an insight into the restaurant ambiance, food preparation, etc.;
  • VR could n be used to create an immersive customer service experience where users can virtually interact with customer service representatives in a more realistic way, etc.

According to a survey, 42% of participants were interested in experiencing products before purchasing, and 39% experienced increased confidence in purchase decisions.

Your developers require skills in the following technologies to build VR-based features in your food delivery mobile application:

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  • Google VR SDK offers a set of APIs and tools to build VR features in Android and iOS apps;
  • Apple ARKit to build virtual reality and augmented reality-based experiences in iOS apps;
  • Vuforia is an AR and VR platform to create immersive experiences in mobile apps via features like image recognition, etc.
IoT

Internet of Things technology connects physical devices via the Internet to collect and exchange data over the network. The global IoT market is expected to reach $650.5 billion by 2026.

IoT enhances the user experience of a food delivery app in the following ways:

  • Real-time tracking of delivery vehicles via IoT sensors to provide real-time updates to customers on their food orders;
  • Use of IoT sensors to maintain the temperate of food during delivery;
  • Integration of smart appliances in restaurants to speed up the food preparation process;
  • Integration of wearable devices such as smartwatches to place and track orders, etc.;

You require developers with expertise in the following technologies to integrate IoT into your food delivery app:

  • IoT protocols, such as MQTT, CoAP, etc., assist communication between mobile apps and other devices;
  • Near-field communication technology exchange data between mobile devices and IoT devices like tags, sensors, etc.;
  • Cloud services such as AWS IoT Core help developers securely store, process, and analyze data from IoT devices; 
  • SDKs for IoT development, such as Google IoT SDK helps integrate Google IoT functionality into a mobile app.

App Testing

Application testing is essential as it guarantees all features work correctly and all non-functional requirements, such as security, performance, scalability, etc., are met. 71% of app uninstallations are a result of unexpected app crashes. 

Your app testers would perform several test routines to ensure the seamless working of a food delivery app. Some tests include the following:

  • Usability testing of an app’s navigation and interactivity;
  • Compatibility testing of an app on different devices, platforms, screen resolutions, etc.;
  • Security testing of your food app’s security features, such as data encryption, authentication, etc., against potential security vulnerabilities;
  • Regression testing guarantees an app works fine after recent changes and modifications, etc.

Food Delivery App Launch

Once your testing team tests your food delivery app and is sure the app works as planned, your project team can start the app deployment process.

Your developers would build the deployment package that includes the app code, configuration files, and other dependencies. They would deploy this package and configure the settings to run it smoothly.

Your developers can use tools to make app deployments easier. 

For example, your development team can make use of the Docker tool and take advantage of the following:

  • Your developers can package your food app and all its dependencies in a single container and deploy it on any environment, including cloud-based platforms;
  • Docker also helps developers with scalability as they can create multiple instances of a container and distribute load across them;
  • It is a lightweight tool and does not require a heavy operating system. Your developers would be able to run deployment routines quickly.

App Monitoring and Maintenance

Your project team should continue to monitor app performance in the market. Your business analyst would monitor your food delivery app usage among users via app downloads, user reviews, etc. According to a report, 44% of defects are found by app users. 

Your developers would monitor the technical performance of your application on various operating systems, including iOS, Android, and the web. They can use app monitoring tools to accelerate the process.

For instance, your project team could use the Firebase Performance Monitoring tool for the following benefits:

  • It is a free app monitoring tool by Google that your developers can use to get real-time insights into the app performance;
  • Your developers could keep track of key metrics, such as app startup time, responsiveness, network performance, etc., via diagnostic tools;
  • It quickly integrates into mobile apps and supports Apple and Android platforms.

You also require an app maintenance plan to ensure your food delivery app is up-to-date with new software versions, security patches, and hardware upgrades.

Ready for Food Delivery App Development?

The food delivery industry is growing, which makes it more competitive. You require a qualified and expert software app development team to develop an innovative app for a food delivery business.

DevTeam.Space can help you here via a field-expert community of software developers. All our developers are vetted for their app development expertise using the latest technologies. They have built software solutions for several industries, including finance, healthcare, and entertainment. Moreover, they follow an AI-powered agile process for application development.

If you plan to partner with our high-quality software developers to develop a food delivery platform, you can send us your initial project specifications via this quick form. One of our account managers will get back to you to answer your questions on the required tech stack, basic food delivery app cost, etc.

FAQs

1. How would you design your own food delivery app?

You would analyze the current online food delivery market trends and end-user feature requirements for food delivery mobile apps. Your UI/UX designers should go for a simple and intuitive app design that is consistent and responsive on all platforms.

2. Which programming language is best for online food delivery apps?

If you plan to build a native app, Java or Kotlin works best for an Android app, and Swift programming language for iOS app development. Cross-platform applications use JavScript, CSS, and related frameworks.

3. How does a food delivery app work?

A food delivery app can be a restaurant-specific app or an aggregator app that lists all the available restaurants in a particular region. A food delivery services app can offer a three-way business model that connects restaurant owners, consumers, and delivery service providers or connect restaurants and consumers.


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Alexey Semeney

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