In 2020, the order delivery segment of the food industry grew dramatically. For example, in the second and the third quarters of 2020, the revenues of America's top four food delivery companies rose by $3 billion collectively. And the market continues to grow in 2021. The numbers below prove this.
Therefore, more and more companies enter the lucrative food delivery business. The growing popularity of such food delivery companies as Uber Eats, EatStreet, and DoorDash has been followed by the appearance of many smaller food delivery apps.
To stand out in this highly competitive market, you will need to develop a state-of-the-art app for food delivery that creates a remarkable user experience. How to do it? First of all, predict user needs and implement multiple functionalities that fulfill those needs.
We understand that it may be difficult to predict all clients' demands and plan the relevant functionalities. That’s why we’ve created a list of essential food ordering app features to help you.
How Food Delivery Platforms Work
Let's begin with 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 the delivery of 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 a customer 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. An ordering app for food delivery is oriented on 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.
Food Delivery Apps: 10 Features to Include
Now, let's proceed to a more practical part. Here we present the most valuable features to include in a food ordering app for delivery.
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 in use as possible. This means ensuring secure yet fast log-ins and log-offs. 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 app.
3. Interactive Search
You do not have to reinvent a 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 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. To relieve the least patient and the most hungry diners, add order tracking features to food delivery apps. 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
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 the indecisive users from lengthy decision-making.
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 that 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
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 the 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.
Tech Stack for Developing Food Delivery App Features
Now that you know the essential features 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. To ensure seamless connectivity with Google and Facebook, use Google and Facebook software development kits, respectively.
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.
Implementing the Basic Food Ordering App Features: Expertise is what Really Matters
Even the most promising food delivery app project with the advanced tech stack will not go without technical expertise. If you are unsure about your technical capacities 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 of working on EatStreet, a food delivery system software for the U.S. 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 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 features, including a group order option and a convenient payment system, to the Android and iOS ordering apps.
Read the full case study to know more about our approach to food delivery app development, 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!