In 2023, we’ll be seeing dramatic growth in the order delivery segment of the market according to research . Another source expects the revenue to reach $0.91 trillion by December. The growing popularity of food delivery companies like Uber Eats and EatStreet has been followed by the appearance of many smaller food delivery apps.
To stand out in this highly competitive market, you need to develop a state-of-the-art app for food delivery that creates a remarkable user experience. How to do it? Start with predicting user needs, implementing multiple food delivery app features, and choosing the right tech partner for the job. Binariks is a food delivery app development company with a proven track record of creating apps that succeed.
Predicting all clients' demands and planning the relevant functionalities may be difficult. That’s why we present you with a list of food delivery app essential features.
How food delivery platforms work
Before you get acquainted with the food delivery features, you need to learn about the basic principles of on-demand food delivery services. Software for food delivery allows diners to order food from restaurants or stores to their location. Such systems also provide restaurant management dashboards and coordinate the couriers responsible for order delivery.
There are two most common models according to which food delivery platforms work:
The logistics model
It is a model applied by the world's most prominent food delivery companies, such as Uber Eats and DoorDash. In this case, you connect the diners with restaurants or stores and take responsibility for delivering meals. Such a model may be challenging to implement because you will need to build an entire logistics network . Meanwhile, it can bring you great benefits in the long run. For example, you can raise your profits with a 15%-30% delivery fee charged per each order placed with your food delivery service app.
The aggregator model
It is the most common model for food delivery apps. Such applications connect customers with restaurants and stores without taking any delivery responsibilities. One of the best examples of such food delivery software is Zomato. The main benefit of the aggregator model is that it is rather simple to operate. You do not have to hire people and build your own courier network coordinated with a delivery driver app. It makes such an approach much less costly than the logistics model. The main drawback of the aggregator model is that the selection of restaurants and stores is limited to those that provide their own delivery.
Mind that a food delivery system connects different user categories – restaurants, couriers, and diners. Therefore, such a platform usually integrates several interconnected food delivery apps, including:
- An order management app for restaurants/stores. It organizes online ordering for restaurants and stores by allowing them to accept and manage orders.
- A courier delivery app. Such an application coordinates the drivers delivering the meals.
- A food delivery app for diners. This app allows clients to order food from restaurants or request on-demand grocery delivery to their location.
In this material, we will focus on the development of food delivery apps for diners, or rather the food delivery features that are needed for this. An ordering app for food delivery is oriented toward a broad user base. Therefore, to ensure the success of the entire food delivery system, you should build a great user experience with such an app for delivery. Read also our location-based mobile app development guide.
We've created one of the most downloadable food delivery apps in the world, read how
Binariks Built a Food Delivery Marketplace for EatStreet
We've created one of the most downloadable food delivery apps in the world, read how
15 must-have food delivery app features to include
Now, let's proceed to a more practical part. Here we present the most valuable features of the online food ordering system to include in a food ordering app. Features of a food delivery app can be divided into several categories:
User Profile and Ordering
Feedback and communication
GPS and tracking
Ratings and reviews
Order tracking options
Integration with social media
Integration with third-party apps
List of recommendations
1. User profile
A user profile is the basic user interface feature of any app for food delivery. You need to make it as convenient to use as possible. This means ensuring secure yet fast log-ins and log-outs. An opportunity to authorize with one’s Google or Facebook account will save the user’s time. You should also add other user profile sections that will make a profile more customizable and user-friendly. These may include user personal data, payment settings, order history, and a personalized list of recommendations.
2. Dynamic lists
Some restaurants or stores may close over time or just be too busy to receive orders. Hence, you should introduce dynamic lists of restaurants and grocery stores that will be continuously updated to show available options. This will improve user experience because they will see only relevant offers and, thus, save their time. Also, make sure that your list is easy to navigate and has many filters. This applies to all menus or lists in your food delivery service app for restaurants or delivery grocery apps.
3. Interactive search
You do not have to reinvent the wheel. You just need to include a traditional search box in your food delivery software. The user will type the name of the desired restaurant, store, or meal in this box and receive a list of suggestions. Mind that many clients may not know the precise names of dishes, restaurants, or stores. This means that your interactive search tool should provide relevant suggestions even when users make mistakes.
4. Order tracking options
Users of food delivery apps often lack patience. Add order tracking features to food delivery apps to relieve the least patient and the most hungry diners. It goes about immediate updates on the order status and the ability to track its location. While implementing location tracking features in your food delivery app, make sure to avoid common for map-driven software faults. For example, a map glitch can show the client a disappointing picture in which a courier does not move for more than five minutes. Each order canceled because of such issues is a big failure for your delivery tracking app. Fortunately, a fast and stable connection and proper integration of GPS systems into your software solve this problem and many more GPS-related issues.
5. Group orders
To make food ordering convenient for groups of diners, implement a group order feature. Numerous users will be able to order meals from their personal devices and then unite their orders into a single one. An automatic split bill function for group orders will also save users’ time.
Building a group order feature and ensuring app connectivity may be challenging. It will also increase the food delivery app development cost significantly. However, this feature will significantly improve the user experience with your product.
6. List of recommendations
Among the features of the food ordering system, another important one is the list of recommendations. While launching a food delivery app, users often don’t have specific preferences. They may just scroll over your lists, unable to decide which meal to choose and where to order it. To help them out, integrate basic analytical tools with your food delivery software for lists of recommendations. Such recommendations may depend on both the history of individual orders and general trends in online ordering for restaurants. Anyway, they will relieve indecisive users from lengthy decision-making.
Screenshot of the recommendation list, Wolt
7. Ratings and reviews
It will not come as a surprise that the food and beverage industry clients like reading reviews. You can meet such users' demands by introducing a simple system of ratings and reviews in your app. Each user that requests a delivery from a specific restaurant or grocery store should get an opportunity to leave short text feedback and rate its services. It helps restaurants or groceries rank better in-app search results. In addition, dissatisfied with restaurant or store service users get an opportunity to express their discontent.
8. Convenient and secure payment options
Allow food delivery software users to add numerous payment methods in the application and switch between them instantly. Also, ensure connectivity with the introduced payment systems so there will be no transaction failures or delays. Finally, do not forget to secure all transactions and the client's payment data with tokenization, data encryption, and transaction verification tools. Even minor payment safety issues can be damaging to your reputation or even make you liable.
9. Live chat
Another food delivery app feature is a live chat. In most cases, additional requests can be settled via the telephone, as most delivery grocery apps or restaurant ordering platforms display the relevant phone numbers to users. However, some clients may want to keep their phones private or have mobile network issues. Hence, the best solution is to introduce a live chat feature. It will connect your ordering software with the app that manages online ordering for restaurants and the courier delivery app. As a result, a user will use the chat to contact restaurant staff, store employees, or delivery persons and explain one's concerns or preferences.
10. Notifications system
Make sure to create a notification system that will update the client about their orders, special offers, and delivery status. In-app push notifications are the industry standard. The client receives them in real time and will not miss such notifications among loads of received SMSes. In-app notifications can support your marketing practices by promoting special offers to users. Here are some tips on how to use in-app notifications wisely.
Do not underestimate the value of a well-planned approach to notifications. Specific faults, such as spam messaging and wrong notification timing, may irritate some users. This will, eventually, turn them away from your food delivery software.
11. Voice instructions and voice integration
Voice instructions are a way to make your app more inclusive by allowing visually impaired customers to navigate through the app and place orders. However, this feature is also useful for a wide pool of mainstream customers. To put it into context, voice assistants are expected to be used on 8.4 billion devices by 2024 (source ), which exceeds the world's population. People use voice assistants for everything because it is effortless, fast, and comfortable, and this is just what features of a food delivery app should be. Voice instructions should allow scheduling the order, reordering, and placing a brand new order from start to finish.
12. Integration with social media
Social media integration allows customers to sign up and log in through their social media accounts and share photos, videos, and other information about their orders. Aside from allowing people to interact with your app in yet another way, this option is also an online marketing tool. It serves as an organic way to increase exposure without trying too much.
You can track what customers post to see which trends they usually respond to. Last but not least, integration with social media provides yet another dynamic communication channel to interact with customers.
13. Reorder options
While trying new foods is an exciting option that food delivery apps provide, many customers choose to go for their order staples time and time again, as they know what to expect from the meal.
For many of these customers, an option to reorder previously placed orders with a single click or through a saved list of favorite items is a must. This option also reminds people what they ordered last, which is a way to save time, something most customers want from a delivery app.
14. Integration with third-party apps
This feature gives customers additional perks beyond delivery, like the ability to book tables at the restaurant. Not many apps on the market go for this feature as it is more difficult to realize, but it allows expanded cooperations with your restaurant partners. If your goal is to work with restaurants beyond just delivery and have your customers turn to you for more services and become an ultimate app for all things restaurant-related, this option is excellent.
15. Customizable menus and item descriptions
Outside of apps, restaurants often have dynamic menus with seasonal offerings, different brunches every day, or special offerings, but apps cannot often reflect that because it requires having a special feature to accommodate. Customizable menus and item descriptions option is one the unique features that allow restaurants to showcase their unique offerings and stand out from competitors.
Not only that, it is excellent for customers who want to make very particular choices about their food and those who often eat at the restaurant they order from outside of delivery, know the menu, and want their dine-in experience to be translated to take-out more seamlessly. Finally, this option is great for people with allergies and dietary restrictions.
Tech stack for developing food delivery app features
Now that you know the essential features of food ordering system for restaurant to include during food delivery app design, let's proceed to some practical implications. Choosing the appropriate tech stack is essential for the development of a food delivery app. Here are some tech stack recommendations that will help you launch a successful application for on-demand food delivery services.
User profile authorization through Google or Facebook saves time for your app's users. Use Google and Facebook software development kits to ensure seamless connectivity with Google and Facebook.
Use the most credible and popular digital wallet platforms to ensure secure and fast payments. The best solution is to integrate Google Pay, Amazon Pay, or iOS Wallet as the most widely applied payment platforms with top-notch connectivity.
Restaurant/store listing and recommendations
Implement specific APIs, such as GrubHub or FourSquare, during food delivery app development. They create lists of location-specific recommendations that will make your product more customizable and user-centered.
If you want to save money on idle capacity and ensure higher software scalability, use cloud platforms for food delivery app development. World's best cloud providers, such as AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure, offer a broad tech stack required for building cloud, hybrid cloud, or serverless software .
Mind that the tech stack for food delivery application development depends on the platforms on which your app will run. Food ordering software may be web-based, but in most cases, those are mobile apps for iOS and Android or cross-platform systems. If you do not know which technologies to choose for the development of a food delivery app, ask reputable mobile or web development specialists to consult you.
The cost of developing features for the food delivery app
The cost of developing a food delivery app varies greatly depending on specific features and other factors, like developer rate, development tools and technologies, the progress of the development cycle, design of the user interface, and security features. Other factors that might come into play are acquiring intellectual property rights, marketing, and maintenance.
The total cost can be anywhere between $30,000 for a very basic app and $150,000 for a complex app like Deliveroo or Postmates, with many additional features. Successful companies make these investments worth it, as demonstrated by the revenue of the top food delivery companies:
The estimated cost of specific food delivery features
This is the list of estimated prices for different app features. The final price depends on the scope and complexity of the feature, developer rate and experience, and other factors.
- User profile and basic user interface: $2,500 to $5,000
- Admin panel: $8,000 to $15,000
- Payment system: $3,000 to $10,000
- GPS order tracking and push notifications: $2,500 to $6,000
- Reviews and ratings: $1,500 to $3,500
- Dynamic lists: $5,000 to $10,000
- Interactive search: $2,000 to $5,000
- Live chat: $3,000 to $8,000
- Recommendation list: $5,000 to $10,000
- Reordering options: $2,500 to $5,000
- Group orders: $7,000 to $10,000
- Voice instructions and voice integration: $10,000 to $20,000
- Integration with social media/third-party apps: $3,000 to $10,000
- Customizable menus and item descriptions: $5,000 to $10,000
Implementing the basic food ordering app features: expertise is what really matters
Even the most promising food delivery app project with an advanced tech stack will not go without technical expertise. If you are unsure about your technical capacity or just lack technology experience, there is a solution. Outsource food delivery application development to real experts with a proven record of successful food and beverage industry projects.
Binariks is ready to become your helping hand in food delivery app development. We have successful experience working on EatStreet , a food delivery system software for the US market. The client had a mobile app for diners, a web platform for restaurant delivery management, and a delivery driver app for couriers. Binariks provided specialists experienced in food delivery application development specialists to EatStreet. Our software engineers used Angular, Java, and iOS Swift tech stacks to optimize the client's web platform. We also integrated the application with Google Maps. Finally, we added numerous functions of online food ordering system, including a group order option and a convenient payment system, to the Android and iOS ordering apps.
Read the full case study to learn more about our approach to developing a food delivery app and the value provided to the customer. Also, make sure to check our portfolio and get to know about our digital technology expertise.
Finally, contact us if you need food delivery application development services. Let's build the next big thing in the food delivery business together!
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