How to create a food delivery app?
Development insights

The cover represents an article dedicated to food delivery app development. The background depicts a mobile app screen with a food menu. At the forefront, there is an image of a food delivery scooter heading towards a destination on a map.

Convenience is king — and when it comes to dining, nothing proves this more than the surge of food delivery apps. These apps have become a key part of how we enjoy our meals, changing our eating culture and habits. If you're an entrepreneur in the food ordering industry, understanding how to create a delivery app is crucial. From the different types of apps that cater to various needs — be it restaurant-to-consumer delivery, grocery ingredients, or specialty diets — to the intricate app development process involving market research, strategic planning, and technological execution, this article delves into essential food delivery app development insights.

Over the past five years, the online food delivery sector within the United States has seen its earnings multiply threefold. Back in 2015, around 66 million people in the U.S. spent $8.7 billion on delivered meals; fast forward to 2020, and the revenue from food delivery soared beyond $26 billion with a user base expanding to 111 million.

According to Statista, by the year 2028, it is predicted that the online food delivery sector will achieve a staggering revenue of 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars.

The image depicts a chart that shows a steady growth of the online food delivery sector, suggesting that food delivery app development is in demand. The revenue is expected to reach $473.6B.

As you can see, now is a good time for delivery app development, as the market keeps growing. Let's figure out what food delivery apps are all about.

What is a food delivery app?

A food delivery application is a program you can use on your phone or computer that lets you pick a restaurant, look at their menu, order food, and have it delivered to your place. These apps meet the growing need for easy and quick food delivery, making it possible to get your favorite meal delivered to your door whether you're craving something late at night or prefer to get your food without leaving your home and having to cook. Let's take a closer look at the different types of such apps:

Types of delivery apps

1. Restaurant-to-consumer apps

This type is pretty straightforward. Restaurants create their app to take orders directly from customers and deliver the food using their own system. Examples include major chains like Domino's or McDonald's. These apps are great for restaurants that want full control over the customer experience, from food ordering to delivery.

The image shows McDonald's mobile app screens: delivery progress on a map, a user profile, and a map with the nearest restaurants. The picture serves as an excellent example of restaurant-to-consumer food delivery app development.
McDonald's app is a representative example of how restaurant apps function

2. Platform-to-consumer apps

These are the apps that most people think of when they hear “food delivery”. Apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub fall into this category. They act as a middleman between the customer and a range of restaurants. Users love them for the variety and convenience they offer, allowing them to order from multiple restaurants within a single app. Creating such an app means building a robust platform that can handle partnerships with numerous restaurants, manage logistics, and ensure customer satisfaction.

An image shows three screens of the Uber Eats mobile applications: list of the nearest restaurants, city map, search categories. It shows a good example of a platform-to-consumer food delivery app development.
Uber Eats is one of the market leaders in the food delivery industry

3. Grocery delivery apps

These apps focus on delivering ingredients for meals, rather than cooked food. Apps like HelloFresh or Blue Apron allow users to choose meals for the week, delivering the necessary ingredients and recipes directly to their door. Similarly, grocery delivery apps like Instacart let customers shop for groceries from local supermarkets via the app, which are then picked up and delivered by a personal shopper. These apps appeal to those who love cooking at home but seek the convenience of home delivery.

The image showcases three screens from the HelloFresh mobile application: a customer's box, menu categories, and a home page. This serves as a good example of grocery delivery app development.
In the HelloFresh app, users can order ingredients for meals with easy-to-cook recipes

4. Specialty food delivery apps

Focusing on specific niches, these apps cater to particular dietary needs or interests. For example, there are delivery services exclusively for organic food, vegan options, medical diets, or even gourmet meals. Designing an app in this category means understanding the unique needs and preferences of your target audience.

The image displays three screens from the Live Better application for vegans: a map indicating available restaurants, a list of restaurants, and a menu. This is a suitable illustration of on-demand food delivery app development.
Live Better is an on-demand food delivery app for vegans

When creating a delivery app, consider which type aligns best with your business goals and target market. Each category offers unique opportunities and challenges, from logistics and partnership management to customer service and app maintenance. Remember, the type of app you choose will significantly impact its software development process, feature set, and marketing strategy.

How do these apps work?

Using a food delivery app is simple. First, you download the app and set up your account. Then, you can start looking through different restaurants in the app. You can narrow down your choices based on what kind of food you want, where you are, how well the restaurant is rated, or how long it will take to deliver. After picking a restaurant, you choose your dishes and place your order. The restaurant receives your order, prepares your food, and gives it to a delivery person who brings it to you.

Behind the scenes, the app is busy managing orders, keeping track of where the delivery person is, and giving you updates about your order until it arrives. This coordination between you, the restaurant, and the delivery person is key to making on-demand food delivery apps work.

When it comes to making a food delivery app, there's a lot to think about. The app needs to be easy to use and have safe ways to pay and a strong system for delivering the food. This includes using GPS for the best delivery routes, a good support team for customer questions and problems, and using information wisely to make the service better.

In simple terms, a food delivery app connects customers, restaurants, and delivery people in a system that values being quick, easy, and efficient.

How to build a food delivery app

Conduct market research

When you dive into creating a food delivery application, the first crucial step is to really understand your market. This entails conducting thorough market research before you even begin to plan the app development. Why is this so essential? Simply put, knowing your potential customers, competitors, and the overall demand in the online food delivery sector can significantly shape the success of your delivery app.

Let's break down why taking the time for proper market research sets a strong foundation for your food delivery app development.

First, it lets you identify gaps in the market. By analyzing what's already out there, you can pinpoint what other delivery apps might be missing and how you can fill that void, offering something fresh and appealing to your future users.

Second, understanding customer preferences and behaviors is key. As you plan your food delivery app, knowing what users expect, their pain points with current apps, and what would truly improve their experience can guide your app design and features.

Lastly, keeping an eye on your competitors during market research helps you to differentiate your app. You'll learn what works well and what doesn't, empowering you to make informed decisions in your own delivery app development journey.

Choose your business model

Moving forward in our journey of food delivery app development, understanding the different business models is paramount. These models determine how your app will generate revenue and shape the structure of your delivery business. Let's examine the most viable business models for a food delivery app.

1. Commission model: This is a prevalent approach in delivery app development. Under this model, the app owner charges a commission fee from restaurants for every order placed through the app. The commission rate can vary, but it's essential to strike a balance that appeals to restaurants while ensuring profitability. This model is particularly attractive for platform-to-consumer delivery apps, as it allows for a diverse range of restaurant partnerships and a consistent revenue stream.

2. Subscription model: Another effective model is offering subscription plans to users. Customers pay a monthly or yearly fee to access special benefits, such as free deliveries, discounts, or exclusive deals. This model can significantly enhance customer loyalty and create a stable, predictable income for your food delivery app. It's crucial in this approach to provide enough value to convince users to subscribe.

3. Delivery fee model: In this straightforward model, the delivery app charges customers a fee for each delivery. The key to success here is finding the sweet spot for pricing: too high, and you'll drive customers away; too low, and your margins suffer. Some apps adopt a variable fee structure, adjusting costs based on distance, order size, or demand to maximize profitability.

4. Advertising model: Incorporating advertising into your app development strategy can open additional revenue streams. By offering restaurants or food brands the chance to feature ads within the delivery app, you generate income while helping them reach a broader audience. This model works well when combined with others, offering a supplementary revenue source that can grow as your app gains users.

Choosing the right business model for your delivery app is crucial. It should align with your app development goals, market demands, and the unique value proposition of your delivery business. Whether you opt for a commission, subscription, delivery fee, or advertising model, ensure it serves both your business's bottom line and your users' needs. Balancing these can propel your food delivery app to success, making it a go-to choice for hungry users everywhere.


Diving deeper into food delivery app development, an aspect you can't afford to overlook is design. The design of your food delivery mobile app not only impacts user experience but also plays a pivotal role in building trust and loyalty among users. Here are some key advice points on how to design a food delivery application that stands out:

1. User-friendly interface: Simplicity is the key to any successful app design. Your custom food delivery app should have an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface. Users should find it straightforward to search for restaurants, browse menus, and place orders with just a few taps. A clean, uncluttered design with obvious call-to-action buttons enhances usability and user satisfaction.

2. High-quality images and descriptions: Remember, people eat with their eyes first. Including high-resolution images of food items can significantly influence a user's decision to order. Accompany these images with clear, concise descriptions, and you'll not only entice customers but also help them make informed choices.

3. Personalization features: Offering personalized experiences can set your food delivery mobile app apart. Use data analytics to tailor recommendations based on a user's previous orders, search history, and preferences. Features like saving favorite orders or customizing dishes add a layer of convenience, making users more likely to return to your app.

4. Responsive and adaptive design: Given the variety of devices and screen sizes today, your food ordering application must look great and function well across all of them. Responsive design ensures your app's layout adapts to different screens, providing a seamless experience whether on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

5. Load speed: A slow app can frustrate users and drive them away. To ensure quick load times and smooth transactions, you need to optimize your design — get rid of heavy elements that make loading slower and focus on minimalistic design.

6. Feedback and support systems: Incorporate features for feedback within your app design. Allowing users to rate and review restaurants and delivery services not only helps you maintain high standards but also informs other users. Moreover, easy access to support in case of issues or questions is crucial for a positive user experience.

The image is a food delivery app design concept, created by the Ronas IT design team, displaying three screens of the application. The first screen presents a dish description, the second shows categories along with a list of restaurants, and the third represents a user's previous orders and favorite meals.
Here's how we designed a food delivery app concept — check it out on Dribbble

Designing a food delivery application requires a user-centered approach, focusing on creating a visually appealing and useful platform. By following these design principles in your delivery app development, you can create a custom food delivery app that delights users, encourages loyalty, and stands strong in a competitive market. Remember, the goal is to make the process of ordering food as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.

Need help with designing your food delivery app?


Embarking on food delivery app development is a journey that extends far beyond initial ideation and design. As you transition from design to the nuts and bolts of creating your app, it's essential to navigate through app development, testing, publishing, and post-release support with precision. Let's dive into how to efficiently develop a food ordering app.

Development phase

The development of your app is split into two main segments: mobile app development for iOS and Android platforms, and web development for the app's administrative backend. You might opt for native app development, which means building separate apps for each platform using their respective languages and tools, or cross-platform development, which allows you to write code once and deploy it on both platforms. The choice depends on your budget, timeline, and performance requirements. Additionally, incorporating best practices in software development, such as Agile methodologies, can help keep the process flexible and iterative, accommodating changes more easily.

A proficient development team is crucial at this stage. It should include mobile developers, web developers, UI/UX designers, and quality assurance (QA) engineers. Collaboration among team members ensures the app's front-end appeal to users, back-end functionalities, and overall performance align with your vision.

Testing phase

Testing is an integral part of the delivery app development process. It involves checking the app for bugs, performance issues, and usability hurdles. QA analysts should conduct various types of tests, including functional testing to ensure features work as expected, performance testing to gauge the app's responsiveness, and usability testing to validate the user experience. Security testing is also crucial to protect user data and transactions. This phase might require several iterations, as identified issues are fixed and retested.

Publishing phase

After development and testing ensure the app's readiness, the next step is publishing it on app stores. For mobile app development, this means submitting your app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Each platform has its guidelines and review processes that you must comply with. Ensure you prepare compelling app descriptions, high-quality screenshots, and other necessary metadata. The approval process can take from a few days to several weeks, so factor this into your launch timeline. For web development, this means deploying the app to the production environment, making it accessible to users.

Post-release support

App development doesn't end with the launch. Post-release support is vital for the app's long-term success. This involves monitoring the app's performance, fixing any emerging bugs, and releasing updates to improve functionality or add new features based on user feedback. Engaging with your user base through support channels and actively seeking their feedback can provide valuable insights for enhancing the app.

Moreover, marketing efforts should continue to attract new users and retain existing ones. Analyze app usage data to understand user behavior and preferences, guiding your updates and marketing strategies.

Food delivery app development is a comprehensive process that encompasses mobile and web development. Each phase, from app development and testing to publishing and post-release, requires careful planning, execution, and ongoing effort. Having a solid development team, using rigorous testing methodologies, navigating the publishing requirements adeptly, and investing in post-release support, can help you ensure your food delivery app successfully enters this dynamic market.

Ronas IT experience

At Ronas IT, we also have a food delivery app development case. Noah, our client, isn't a regular restaurant or food delivery company, they're more about delivering specialty foods. They reached us to build a marketplace app for farmers that would connect local food producers with consumers. We were tasked with designing and developing interfaces for three different apps: consumer mobile apps for iOS and Android, an app for food producers, and an admin panel. During the design phase, we made sure the app stood out with unique branding, developed a design kit for easy updates, and provided a space for farmers to promote their products.

The image is an example of food delivery app development by Ronas IT. It features the Noah application, which facilitates the delivery of farm products directly from farmers to customers without third parties. The image displays three screens of the app: a city map highlighting the nearest producers, detailed order information, and a product description.
Here are some screens from the Noah app — you can check the full delivery app development case here

We decided to use native programming languages, Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android, to ensure high app performance and a smoother in-app experience. For the admin panel, we chose Angular and Laravel frameworks known for their ready-to-use components to speed up the development process.

Given the admin panel's role in holding sensitive information for both users and farmers, enhancing security was a priority. That's why we selected Laravel to develop the admin panel owing to its robust security features that guard against major security threats like cross-site scripting, SQL injections, and more. To speed the development up even further, we implemented multiple third-party integrations — Google Map SDK for the map, Stripe SDK for secure payments, and Firebase services for analytics.

Our team completed all these tasks in four months, launching the Noah farmer marketplace app just in time for the harvest season, resulting in high earnings. The Noah team was so happy with our work that they chose to keep working with us, and we have since added new features and provided ongoing support after the app's release.

Key features of a food delivery app

Choosing key features during the food delivery app development process is essential, as these features determine the app's usability, appeal, and functionality. An average delivery app caters to three main user groups: clients, restaurants, and couriers. Each group has unique needs and requirements that the app should fulfill to ensure a seamless and efficient operation. Let's explore the essential features of each side of the app.

Client side

For the client side of your food delivery application, the focus should be on usability and convenience. Consider including the following features:

  1. Registration: Allow users to quickly sign up using their email, phone number, or social media profiles.
  2. Advanced search filters: Enable users to search for restaurants by cuisine, location, ratings, and price range.
  3. Menu listings: Provide detailed menus with appealing food photos to help users make informed choices.
  4. Customizable orders: Let users tailor their orders with options for add-ons, special instructions, or dietary preferences.
  5. Secure payment methods: Incorporate multiple payment options, including credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, and COD.
  6. Real-time tracking: Allow users to track their orders in real-time from the restaurant to their doorstep.
  7. Ratings and reviews: Enable users to rate their experience and read reviews from others.

Restaurant side

For the restaurant side, the food delivery app should streamline operations and enhance order management. Key features include:

  1. Dashboard for order management: A user-friendly dashboard to view and manage incoming orders in real-time.
  2. Menu management: An easy way to update the menu, prices, and item availability.
  3. Sales analytics: Analytics tools to track sales, popular items, customer preferences, and peak times.
  4. Push notifications: Notifications for new orders, changes in order status, or when a delivery is on its way.
  5. Respond to reviews: A feature for restaurants to respond to customer feedback and reviews.

Courier side

Features on the courier side of the delivery app development should focus on simplifying delivery tasks and improving efficiency. Important features include:

  1. Delivery requests: A system for couriers to accept or decline delivery requests based on their location or schedule.
  2. In-app navigation: Integrated navigation and route optimization to facilitate quicker deliveries.
  3. Earnings tracker: A feature for couriers to track their earnings, tips, and delivery metrics.
  4. Delivery schedule: Allow couriers to set their availability and manage their delivery schedule.
  5. Contact options: In-app messaging or calling features for couriers to contact customers or restaurants if needed.

Developing a restaurant app might need fewer features. Here, we designed a UI for a restaurant app concept with features like browsing food categories, selecting dishes, placing orders, and payments.

The image shows a pizza delivery app design concept for a single restaurant, created by Ronas IT. It displays two mobile screens; one screen presents the menu and its categories, while the other provides a description of a pizza.
You can see more of our design concepts on Dribbble

In app development for a food delivery app, it's crucial to prioritize these features based on your target market's specific needs and preferences. Remember, the goal is to create a balanced and efficient ecosystem that benefits all parties involved in the delivery app. By carefully selecting and implementing the right features for each user group, you ensure your food delivery app development results in a product that is not only functional but also competitive and appealing to users.


Choosing the right tech stack for food delivery app development is crucial for creating a robust, efficient, and scalable app. The tech stack encompasses the technologies, frameworks, libraries, and tools used in the development process. For delivery app development, this decision impacts everything from the app's performance and user experience to its security and maintainability. Let's explore the suitable tech stack that we chose based on our experience.

Mobile app development

For the mobile development part of your food delivery app, React Native is an exceptional choice. It allows for the development of cross-platform apps that deliver a native-like experience, significantly saving time and resources without compromising quality. React Native's vast library ecosystem and its ability to reuse code across iOS and Android make it an attractive option for mobile app development in the food delivery sector. The use of React Native also facilitates a smoother UI/UX, which is crucial for keeping users engaged.

Web development

When it comes to web development for the administrative or order management side of a food delivery app, Angular and Next.js stand out. Angular, a versatile framework powered by Google, is perfect for building highly interactive web applications. Its architecture makes it easier to manage heavy data needs and complex features typical in the back-end of delivery apps. Next.js, on the other hand, offers server-side rendering, which can significantly improve the web application's performance and SEO, an important aspect for attracting more restaurant partners and users to your food delivery app.

APIs, libraries, and tools

Implementing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) is vital in software development for food delivery services. They facilitate seamless integration with external services such as payment gateways, maps for real-time tracking, and SMS for notifications. Speaking of payment gateways, it's essential to choose reliable and widely accepted options to integrate into your app, such as Stripe or PayPal, ensuring secure and hassle-free transactions for users.

For real-time location tracking, leveraging APIs like Google Maps or Mapbox is recommended. These can help diners track their orders and assist couriers in navigating routes efficiently. Furthermore, integrating analytics tools such as Google Analytics will help you understand user behavior and refine your marketing strategies.

Security and data handling

Security should be a top priority in the tech stack decision. Implementing robust authentication mechanisms and using secure, encrypted connections are non-negotiable for protecting user data. Libraries like OAuth for authorization can enhance security in your app development process.

In addition, when handling large volumes of orders and user data, choosing the right database and server solutions is crucial. MongoDB or PostgreSQL can serve as scalable and flexible databases to manage dynamic content and user profiles effectively.

Choosing the right tech stack

Ultimately, the choice of tech stack for your food delivery app development depends on various factors, including the project's requirements, the team's expertise, and the desired time-to-market. React Native, Angular, and Next.js serve as highly efficient technologies for development, respectively, while the proper use of APIs, libraries, and tools will ensure a secure, seamless, and enjoyable experience for all users involved in the food delivery process.

By thoughtfully selecting your tech stack, you lay a solid foundation for a food delivery app that is equipped to handle the demands of the dynamic food delivery market, ensuring scalability and performance. This meticulous approach to delivery app development positions your project for success, inviting positive reception and widespread adoption among users, restaurants, and couriers alike.

Have any doubts about choosing technologies or platforms?

How much does it cost?

The development cost of a food delivery app requires careful consideration of various factors, including app complexity, platform choice, chosen technologies, design, security, and ongoing maintenance. A thoughtful balance between budget constraints and the desired quality and feature set will pave the way for a successful app in the competitive food delivery market.

Given the above considerations, the development of a food delivery app can range significantly in cost. For a basic app, development prices might start around $20,000 to $40,000 for one platform. A more feature-rich, complex app developed for both iOS and Android could easily range from $100,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on the specifics of the project.

Here we calculated the cost of food delivery app development at Ronas IT based on the key features we mentioned above:

FeaturesCustomer's app
  • Authorization
  • Onboarding
  • Search for products
  • Shopping cart
  • Order a product
  • Order tracking
  • Order history
  • Reward program
  • Profile management
UI/UX design

110–120 h



630–650 h


FeaturesCourier's app
  • Workflow (accepting/declining orders, viewing city maps, etc.)
  • Orders history
  • Support
  • Profile management
UI/UX design

40–50 h



240–250 h


FeaturesMerchant's app
  • Authorization
  • Orders management
  • Order page
  • Products management
  • Analytics
UI/UX design

20–30 h



320–330 h


Management of UI/UX

6–7 weeks


Management of development

10–11 weeks



Keep in mind, these are rough estimates and the actual cost could vary based on the development team's location, the app's features, and the hourly or project rates of the involved professionals. Opting for freelancers or offshore development teams can reduce costs, but may introduce challenges in communication and quality assurance.

Final thoughts: Serving success

Embarking on the journey of developing a food delivery app is no small feat. It involves a meticulous process of understanding market dynamics, choosing a business model, mastering the design for an engaging user experience, and selecting the right technology stack for robust app performance.

Beyond these initial steps, developers face the challenge of equipping the app with features that cater to the distinct needs of clients, restaurants, and couriers — all while ensuring scalability, security, and compliance with industry standards. Yet, with the right approach, tools, and expertise, food delivery app development can be an immensely rewarding venture that not only meets the growing demand for convenience but also opens up lucrative opportunities in the burgeoning food delivery industry.

Through this comprehensive guide, we've explored the key components and considerations in developing a food delivery app, aiming to provide a solid foundation for those ready to take on this exciting challenge.

If you're in search of a reliable development partner, you can contact us by filling out the form below. Our manager will contact you in 24 hours to discuss your project in detail.

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