How to Build a Food Delivery App like Uber Eats?

How to Build a Food Delivery App like Uber Eats
Faiza Khalid
CIS engineer | Developer | Tech Writer

Are you wondering how to build a food delivery app?

The global food delivery application market is expected to reach 62.836 billion USD by 2030. Uber Eats holds 24% of the total US food delivery app market. 

According to statistics, Uber drivers completed 6.3 billion trips in 2021 compared to 6.9 billion in 2019. This indicates the potential for new startups to make their mark in the growing food delivery app market.

Build a Food Delivery App like Uber Eats

We will now list the vital steps you will follow to develop a food delivery app like Uber Eats.

Perform Target Market Research

The first and foremost step is to understand your target market. You will perform market research to get insights into the current market trends and target audience preferences.

You will find answers to the following questions:

  • Who are your competitors, and what is their business model?
  • How do they provide value to the end users?
  • What are the demographics of your target audience?
  • What do they love and resent the most about the delivery apps currently available in the market?

Such a detailed market analysis will help you figure out the pain points of your target app users and provide a solution to their problems via your food delivery mobile app.

Develop Food Delivery App Development Team

You need to build a professional mobile app development team. You will hire for the following roles:

  • A project manager helps you plan the app development lifecycle, assign development tasks to dev team members, keep track of the project’s progress, perform cost and time estimates, etc.
  • A business analyst helps you understand your business market and works together with the project managers to build a mobile app as per user requirements.
  • A UI/UX designer designs an attractive and intuitive mobile app user interface.
  • An Android developer develops a native Android app.
  • An iOS developer builds a native iOS app.
  • App tester tests your mobile app for bugs and errors.

Decide Project Scope

Now, you will decide the scope of your food delivery app project that can compete with Uber Eats. A good starting point is to study the working and business model of Uber Eats.

App Business Model

Uber Eats follows a traditional food delivery model. The three-way business model connects restaurants, customers, and delivery service providers. 

Restaurant owners list their restaurants on the Uber Eats app along with their menus and prices. Customers can view these listings and place their orders. Restaurants connect with a rider or delivery agent to deliver food orders.

Another food delivery model that food delivery apps work on is only an Order-only platform where the food delivery app service does not provide delivery logistics to restaurants. Restaurants either offer only takeaway services or manage their own food delivery services.

You will choose the business model depending on the type of service you want to deliver to the consumers and food business owners via your food ordering app.

App Features

You will also decide the features you want to build in your own food delivery app. Uber Eats offers the following functionalities for its three types of food delivery app users:

  • A customer panel with the following features:
    • An easy sign-up and login, preferably with integrations with social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, for a swift sign-up process;
    • Profile with information about the address, contact details, etc.;
    • Search option via cuisines categories, location, etc.;
    • Order placement, tracking, and cancellation process;
    • Orders history for easy reorders;
    • Multiple payment options.
  • A restaurant panel with the following features:
    • Easy sign-up and log-in;
    • Option to upload menu with food details and images;
    • Easy menu edit option;
    • Orders management with features like notification for a new order, updating order status for customers, etc.
    • Delivery management.
  • A delivery service panel with the following features:
    • Easy sign-up;
    • Notifications for new orders with address;
    • Option to set availability;
    • Navigation feature;
    • delivery process summary;
    • Payment details.

These are a few of the many key features that your food delivery app must have to ensure a seamless user experience. An important point is to make your app stands out from the rest.

You will offer a feature or app experience that sets you apart from the competition.

You will finalize your app functionalities and prepare a systems requirements specification document with the help of your project manager and business analyst.

The SRS document will help your mobile app developers develop a food delivery app as per your project requirements.

Choose an App Development Methodology

Your project manager will assist you to choose and implement a suitable mobile app development methodology. Mobile app development usually follows agile development methodologies like scrum and kanban.

Mobile app development involves volatile user requirements and app updates that need to be fulfilled efficiently.

The Scrum technique divides the app development process into multiple iterations, called sprints. Each sprint delivers a deployable app feature at the end of each sprint.

Scrum teams are cross-functional and follow close collaboration. Daily standup meetings and weekly sprint meetings help assign tasks to each member and evaluate the progress of the development process.

Your project manager will use various tools like Jira, Asana, Microsoft Azure Boards, etc., for implementing agile project management procedures.

You can read our article on top project management trends for more information.

Provide Mobile App Development Infrastructure

You need to provide your app developers with the mobile app development infrastructure. This will include backend servers, development platforms, networking capabilities, etc.

Cloud-based development and computation technologies are popular today due to the extensive advantages they offer to their users. These include easy scalability of resources, flexibility to use the latest technologies with minimum setup costs, agility in the app development lifecycle, etc.

You can opt for any leading cloud service providers available in the market today. Some of the prominent examples include Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc. 

Read our blog on what is cloud development for more details.

Design a Food Delivery App

Your UI/UX designer will design the user interface of your food delivery app.

Your designer will create design wireframes and mockups as per UI/UX principles of users’ needs fulfillment, user control, accessibility, real-world connection, design consistency, etc. An intuitive UI provides clarity and is easy to use.

They will use tools like Sketch and Figma to develop high-fidelity prototypes that provide details of UI layout, the interaction between various UI elements, visual color themes, etc. 

Your mobile app developers will follow design guidelines like Material Design Guidelines and Human Interface Guidelines, as provided by Android and iOS, respectively, to develop an app that meets the app store design requirements.

Develop a Minimum Viable Product

Your mobile app developers will develop the core features and handle the backend integrations with servers, databases, etc. They will code the application as per design prototypes provided by the UI/UX designers.

There are two options for food delivery app development; native app development and cross-platform app development. 

A native app is for a specific mobile operating system like Android, iOS, Windows, etc. A cross-platform or hybrid app runs on every mobile device from one code base.

Native apps give high performance and better user experience compared to hybrid apps, as they are optimized for specific hardware and software capabilities. 

We would advise you to build a hybrid app as a minimum viable product (MVP) and gauge user response to your food delivery app solution. A minimum viable product has the essential features and is improvised as per target customers’ feedback. 

You can first release an MVP as a hybrid app; so that majority of the market uses it and provides their feedback. This will help you test our food delivery app idea. You can then initiate a native app development process as per end-users requirements to offer an excellent native mobile app experience to users.

Cross-platform Application Development

Your developers will use programming languages like JavaScript and C#. App development frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, etc., make the app development process easier through supporting libraries and tools.

Native Mobile App Development

Android and iOS are the two leading mobile OS platforms in the market. You can reach a wider user base via iOS and Android food delivery applications.

Android App Development

Android developers use programming languages like Java and Kotlin to develop feature-rich Android apps. Kotlin is open-source and offers features like Java interoperability, lazy loading, data classes, collection filtering, etc. 

Your developers will use development tools like Android Studio IDE, AVD Manager as a simulation tool for virtual devices, Charles Proxy as a diagnostic tool, Shake bug as a bug reporting tool, etc., to ease the development process.

iOS App Development

Apple recommends Swift programming language for iOS app development. Swift is compatible with Objective-C, which was previously mainly used to develop iOS apps.

Your developers will use iOS development tools like XCode IDE, Jazzy documentation tool, Transporter content uploading tool, etc.

Database Development

The selection of mobile app databases depends on requirements like data structure, storage size, data security, data model scalability, etc. 

SQL databases work better for transactional data processing where the data structure does not change frequently. They work for analytical queries. NoSQL databases are a better option when data model scalability and flexibility are a priority. They assist with rapid development practices. 

SQL-based SQLite, PostgreSQL, etc., and NoSQL-based Couchbase, Amazon DynamoDB, etc., are commonly used as mobile app databases.

API Integration and Development

APIs form an integral part of a software application. APIs help integrate third-party services without the need to build them from scratch. Your developers can include multiple functionalities in your food delivery app through APIs. 

For example, your developers can use

  • Amazon SNS, Firebase Cloud Messaging, etc., for push notifications;
  • Google Location API, Core Location Framework, etc., for finding user and restaurant locations;
  • Foursquare API for restaurants listings; 
  • PayPal, Stripe, etc., for payment gateways.

Your development team should also be familiar with API development, testing, and documentation if your project team decides to follow a microservices architecture and build core app features as loosely coupled API services.

You can read our guide on how to build an API for a mobile app for more details.

Developers use tools like SwaggerHub, curl, SoapUI, etc., to efficiently design and develop APIs.

Machine Learning 

Your app developers should be familiar with machine learning algorithms and model development to develop advanced features in your food delivery app.

Some ML-based features include a personalized user experience, chatbot integrations, order placement on wearable devices, etc.

In personalized app experience, machine learning models read user activity data and suggest restaurants based on user preferences. 

A chatbot feature provides efficient customer support available 24/7. Natural language processing (NLP), an ML domain, help create chatbots that understand emotions through human language and tone and offer near-human-like interaction.

Wearable devices have become common today. Innovative businesses are actively offering services through wearable technology like smartwatches. For example, Domino’s, a Pizza restaurant chain, now offers a feature to place orders on the go through smartwatches.

Multiple frameworks, libraries, and APIs are available to integrate machine learning capabilities into your mobile application. Your developers do not need to develop ML models from scratch. 

However, a good understanding of primary ML algorithms, like regression, classification, clustering, recommendation systems, etc., will help them choose the best ML model for your app features.

Some common and lightweight ML toolkits for mobile apps include Apache PredictionIO, Caffe, Core ML, etc.

Test Your Mobile App

Application testing is an essential part of the mobile app development lifecycle. Your development team has to ensure that all app features are bug-free and produce results as required. 

Your app testers will create manual test scenarios and use tools like Appium, Espresso, XCTest, etc., to automate test scripts.

Launch your Food Delivery App

Once your testers thoroughly test your food delivery application, your development team will deploy it in the user market. DevOps processes make app deployment efficient through practices like continuous integration, continuous delivery, monitoring, logging, etc.

App developers use DevOps tools like Appcircle, CircleCI, CodeMagic, etc., to efficiently build deployment workflows.

Monitor and Maintain

After app deployment, you will monitor the performance of your mobile application and the response of your application users. You can use tools like Qualaroo, Qualtrics, etc., to collect user feedback and incorporate it into your future development iterations.

Your users will point out feature limitations and suggest new functionalities they would like to have in your application. This will help you improve your minimum viable mobile application as per market feedback.

App maintenance is an essential part of a mobile app development project. Every app needs regular maintenance to keep up with the latest technologies, new versions of development tools and mobile devices, etc.

You can set up a schedule with your development team to conduct app maintenance after a time interval.

Ready to Invest in Food Delivery App Development?

The mobile app market is competitive, and the food delivery market is more so. With the food delivery business sector booming, this is a great time to invest in the market and mark your share in the profits.

However, custom food delivery app development is a complex project. You will need professional mobile app developers and project managers to develop your mobile application successfully. 

If you, as a business owner, do not find such talent on your team, we would advise you to partner with a credible software development agency. DevTeamSpace can also help you with its field-expert software developers community.

All the developers at DevTeamSpace are vetted for their development skills and have experience in market-competitive software solutions development for a range of industries using the latest technologies.

You can either outsource your complete food app delivery app to dev teams at DevTeamSpace or hire designers and developers according to your project team requirements.

You can get in touch with us by sending us your initial project specifications via this form, and one of our managers will contact you to discuss how we can help you build your next food delivery or restaurant app.

FAQs on How to Build a Food Delivery App

1. How do I make a food delivery platform app?

You will start by validating your app idea for an online food delivery startup. Next, you finalize your project scope, including a business model, monetization strategy, and app features. You will need an app development team to create and test your app with the latest tech stack. If you do not have such skilled developers, you can partner with an experienced mobile app development company like DevTeamSpace.

2. How much does it cost to build a food delivery app?

The final development cost of a food delivery app will depend on the complexity of your app features. An app development process can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. You can contact DevTeamSpace to get a more accurate estimate.

3. What is the most successful food delivery app?

Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, etc., are successful food delivery apps today.


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