RST Software
Editorial Team
Ross Krawczyk
Reviewed by a tech expert

Food delivery app development: building apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Deliveroo

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Introduction to food delivery app development

If you’re in a food business, using a food delivery app like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, or DoorDash is a must-have. Since the coronavirus pandemic, people significantly changed their shopping habits and are more likely to order food via easy-to-use and intuitive ordering app.

Simply put, having a food delivery app makes your food business ready to face today’s challenges and provide your clients with modern solutions. Food delivery software can bring your company a lot of benefits and push your business forward, leaving competitors behind.

Market overview and potential growth

If, somehow, you still hesitate to invest in food delivery app, let us show you some data and stats proving that you definitely should change your approach. According to Business of Apps, the entire food delivery app industry is expected to reach $165 billion market size by 2029!

Key features of successful food delivery apps

Food delivery app can, in fact, open your business to new markets and help with customer acquisition but to fully benefit from it, you need to develop your app properly. In this section we’ll discover the key features of food delivery apps that will help you to stand out of the competition and win this race.

These key features are

  • User-friendly interface and design
  • Seamless order placement and tracking
  • Easy payment options
  • Customer reviews and ratings
  • Offers and discounts

Let’s describe them one by one.

User-friendly interface and design

In general, it’s a must-have in apps for every market. Simply put, if your app is difficult to use and doesn’t look good, people won’t use it. A good User Interface is crucial here because it can turn your visitors to buyers. A well-thought-out and plain design is focused not only on the visual side but also maximizes responsiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of the app.

Seamless order placement and tracking

The whole order and tracking management starts when a customer places an order, and ends when the food is received. Having in mind that people trusted you and already paid for the delivery, the entire process has to be as seamless as it’s possible for the end user. It has to go smoothly, without any delays or other problems.

Easy payment options

Nothing is more frustrating when you’re hungry, want to order some food from the food delivery app like Uber Eats, but the payment process is complicated. In most cases, your clients will simply resign If they find these kinds of obstacles on their way. That’s why you have to provide easy-to-use payment options to make the entire process simple and fast. And yes, we used plural form because, according to RetailWeek, at least 48% of shoppers want more than one payment option.

Customer reviews and ratings

Nobody wants to get disappointed when the delivered food doesn’t meet expectations. That’s why you need to implement a customer reviews and ratings system in your food delivery app. Thanks to that, your customers will be able to make orders they will love. And once they’re happy with ordering food via your app, they’ll be more eager to come back in the future.

Offers and discounts

It’s quite self-explanatory. Who doesn’t like getting special deals, discounts, or free delivery options from time to time? Make sure to include these special offers in your apps. It can happen randomly or with some special occasions like, for example, some events or holidays in the user’s city. You can also think about some loyalty programs. When people will see that you offer the best deals, they will be more likely to order food via your app again. Simple as that.

Development process for building a food delivery app

Now, having all the key features covered, let’s find out how to run a development process to create build a food delivery app.

Idea validation and market research

Before jumping into coding, it’s recommended to think twice and validate the idea. On top of that, even if the concept of the app seems reliable, you should do a market research to verify if there’s a need for this kind of app on the market. So, in this case, it’s good to hire some experts to conduct a product workshop for your team. During such workshops, you will work on:

  • Defining target personas
  • User scenarios
  • User flows
  • Business models and value propositions of your product
  • User stories
  • Roadmapping

Read more: While validating your vision, it’s always good to find some areas where you can save some of your financial resources. You can find these insights in our free guide explaining how to build a location-based startup without breaking the bank.

Choosing the right technology stack

The next step of the food delivery app building process is to choose the right technology stack. Nowadays, it’s good to have your app available on every device, both on Android and iOS, with no differences in performance or user experience. This can be achieved with the use of React Native development. It allows you to build cross-platform apps with one codebase working on both Android and iOS. On top of that, one of the greatest superpowers of React Native is its highly-developed open source community with numerous libraries useful in building location-based products. By opting for React Native, you can:

  • Cut development costs
  • Accelerate time-to-market of your app
  • Build reliable and stable mobile app
  • Maximize app security
  • Build apps with native-like UIs

UI/UX design principles for food delivery apps

When the idea is evaluated, and you have chosen the right technology stack, it’s time to take care about User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) of your food delivery app. Simply put, it’s like adding value to your app’s vision by validating and fine-tuning your idea before writing codebase.

The proper UX/UI product design lifecycle should include:

  • Product workshops
  • UI design workshops
  • UX research
  • Delivery of the final design

Read more: If you’d like to know more about designing high-quality products that can really boost sales in your company, be sure to check out our free ebook about building products that sell.

Decisions on app functionality and integrations

Decisions on app functionality and integrations are critical to the success of a food delivery app. Here are some factors to consider when making these decisions:

  • Target audience

Understanding the needs and preferences of the target audience is essential for determining the app's functionality. For example, if the target audience is busy professionals, the app may need features such as quick ordering and invoicing.

  • Competitor analysis

Analyzing the features and functionalities of competing food delivery apps can provide insights into what works and what doesn't. This can help in deciding which features to include and which ones to avoid.

  • Business objectives

To make an app that pays off, it should align with the business objectives. For example, if the goal is to increase revenue, the app may need to focus on upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

  • Integrations with third-party services

Integrating with third-party services such as payment gateways, delivery partners, and customer service tools is crucial for the success of a food delivery app. These integrations should be carefully evaluated based on their reliability, security, and cost.

  • User experience

If you want to build a successful food delivery app with a lot of happy users, you need to remember about one crucial thing. It has to provide a seamless user experience. For example, the app should have an easy-to-use interface and provide real-time tracking of orders and delivery.

  • Technical feasibility

The app's functionality and integrations should be technically feasible. This includes considering factors such as the app's architecture, data storage, and scalability.

  • Regulatory compliance

If you want to build an app with easy payment options delivery to home, your users will be asked to give you their personal data. And, of course, these data has to be safe. That’s why make sure that your app comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as data privacy and food safety regulations.

App testing and quality assurance

After each stage of the development process, you need to make sure that everything’s working as you have planned. This evaluation process allows you to spot unwanted mistakes, bugs and errors in your app and fix them before the release of the final product.

So, what should you consider  for testing and quality assurance in a food delivery app?

  • Usability testing

Testing the app's usability involves evaluating how easy it is to use the app's features and functionality. This includes testing the app's user interface, navigation, and overall user experience. Usability testing can be conducted through user testing, where real users are asked to perform specific tasks within the app while being observed and monitored.

  • Functional testing

Functional testing involves testing the app's features and functionality to ensure they work as intended. This includes testing features such as ordering, payment processing, delivery tracking, and user account management. Functional testing can be automated using testing frameworks and tools, or it can be performed manually by testers.

  • Performance testing

Performance testing involves testing the app's performance under different conditions, such as heavy user traffic or low internet connectivity. This includes testing the app's load times, response times, and ability to handle user requests. Performance testing can be automated using load testing tools, or it can be performed manually by testers.

  • Security testing

Security testing involves testing the app's security features and ensuring that sensitive data is protected. This includes testing the app's authentication and authorization mechanisms, as well as testing for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting. Security testing should be performed by trained security testers and can be automated using security testing tools.

  • Integration testing

Integration testing involves testing the app's integration with third-party services, such as payment gateways and delivery partners. This ensures that the app can communicate and exchange data with these services without errors or disruptions.

  • Localization testing

Localization testing involves testing the app's language and cultural adaptability for different regions and countries. This includes testing the app's translations, date and time formats, and currency conversions.

Comparing Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Deliveroo

As we are aiming to build a food delivery app like Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Deliveroo, let’s have a closer look at them. In the following section, we will compare these three food delivery platforms in terms of:

  • Unique selling points of each app
  • Geographic presence and expansion
  • Revenue models and commission structures

Unique selling points of each platform

While analyzing the marketing communication of Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Deliveroo, we can point out the following unique selling points of each platform:

Uber Eats’s USP

Global reach – the app is available in more than 6,000 cities worldwide what makes Uber Eats one of the most widely available food delivery apps on the market.

Integration with Uber – Uber Eats is integrated with their popular ride-hailing app Uber. It allows users to easily switch between ride-hailing and food delivery services.

Advanced tracking – the food ordering platform from Uber offers real-time order tracking, updates on the delivery status and driver’s location.

DoorDash’s USP

Restaurant partnerships – DoorDash, with over 450,000 restaurant partnerships in the US, Canada, and Australia, is offering their users a wide variety of cuisines.

DashPass subscription – DoorDash food delivery app offers its users a subscription service called “DashPass”. It provides a free delivery and lower service costs for a monthly fee.

Huge focus on great customer support – DoorDash takes the customer service very serious. Their app is known for its 24/7 customer service hotline. It allows users to resolve any issues quickly and maintain positive brand reputation.

Deliveroo’s USP

Restaurant selection – Deliveroo has partnerships with over 140,000 restaurants. This includes high-end and exclusive ones, which gives users a wide range of dining options.

Fast delivery – One of Deliveroo’s sales points is its fast delivery time, even 30 minutes in some cities.

Tech-driven operations – Deliveroo uses advanced technology to optimize its operations, including AI-powered route optimization and machine learning algorithms to predict demand.

Geographic presence and expansion

When it comes to their geographic presence and expansion, Uber Eats is the winner. Uber is available in over 6,000 cities globally, while DoorDash operates in over 4,000 cities across the United States, Canada, and Australia, and Deliveroo is available in over 500 cities across 12 countries.

Revenue models and commission structures

Uber Eats’s revenue model

Uber Eats primarily generates revenue through a commission-based model. The commission rate varies by market, but is typically around 30% of the total order. Uber Eats also charges customers a delivery fee, which can range from $0.99 to $7.99, depending on the market and distance. Additionally, they have a subscription service called Eats Pass, which provides users with free delivery and other perks for a monthly fee of $9.99.

DoorDash's revenue model

DoorDash also primarily generates revenue through a commission-based model, with commission rates ranging from 15-30% of the total order. In addition, DoorDash charges restaurants a fee for providing delivery services, which can range from 10-15%. DoorDash also charges customers a delivery fee, which can vary depending on the market and distance. Similar to Uber Eats, they also offer a subscription service called DashPass. The plan provides users with free delivery or considerable savings on orders for a monthly fee of $9.99.

Deliveroo's revenue model

Same as Uber Eats and DoorDash, Deliveroo also primarily generates revenue through a commission-based model. Their commission rates are ranging from 15-35% of the total order. On top of that, Deliveroo also charges customers a delivery fee that vary depending on the market and distance. Additionally, Deliveroo offers a subscription service called Deliveroo Plus, which allows to users save up to £5 on delivery fees per order or get special offers at restaurants. The plan is available for a monthly fee of £11.49.

Legal and regulatory considerations

As food delivery platforms like Uber Eats collect customers’ data, can be a source of income for both restaurants and couriers, and mediate in food delivery, they have to comply to a lot of legal regulations. Let’s go through them briefly.

Compliance with food safety regulations

Food delivery apps must comply with food safety regulations to ensure customers that the delivered food is safe for consumption. This includes adhering to food storage and handling guidelines and ensuring that food is delivered within a safe temperature range.

Privacy and data protection laws

Food ordering platforms collect and store customer data, which must be protected in compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

Employment and labor laws

Also, companies producing restaurant apps must comply their apps with labor laws regarding the classification of delivery drivers as employees or independent contractors, and provide them with appropriate compensation, benefits, and protections.

Marketing strategies for food delivery app success

A wise man once said that developing great products without marketing is like trying to make an eye contact with someone in a dark room – nobody but you can see your effort.

So, let’s briefly go through some popular and battle-tested marketing strategies for ordering systems for restaurants.

Optimal app store optimization (ASO) practices

App store optimization is the process of optimizing your app’s listing in app stores aimed for improving app’s visibility and increasing downloads. Here are some example practices worth considering:

  • Keyword research

Researching relevant and high-volume keywords that users are searching for in the app store can help improve the app's visibility in search results.

  • App title and description optimization

The app's title and description should be clear, concise, and accurately describe the app's features and benefits. Including relevant keywords in the app's title and description can also help improve search visibility.

  • App icon and screenshots

The app icon and screenshots should be visually appealing and accurately represent the app's features and benefits. High-quality screenshots that showcase the app's functionality and features can help attract potential users.

  • Localization optimization

Localizing the app's listing for different languages and regions can help increase visibility and downloads in different markets.

  • App size

The app's file size can impact its ranking in the app store. Ensuring that the app has a reasonable file size can help improve its ranking and user experience.

Social media campaigns

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok are great channels to reach out to potential customers. Make sure to create social media profiles for your food ordering apps and post creative and engaging content to build relationships with your potential customers.

Partnerships with local restaurants and influencers

Partnering with restaurants, food bloggers, and other businesses can help increase brand exposure and drive user acquisition. This includes co-marketing campaigns, sponsored events, and collaborations on social media.

Paid advertising and promotions

Investing in paid apps and promotions on social media platforms or Google Ads can help you reach more potential users of your food delivery platform. These ad platforms allow you to adjust your campaigns in many details and target users based on location, interests, and behaviors.


To wrap everything up, if you’re operating in a food market, building a food delivery app can be a milestone for your business. But to win this race, you need to have a well-thought-out plan for your product, prepare its UVP and develop a solid marketing strategy. And, of course, you have to create the app that users will love, with great design, user experience and astonishing performance metrics. We recommend starting easy, though, and developing an MVP.

If it seems like a rocket science, don’t worry. We’d love to build this rocket for you. We’ve been there and done that and our team is always eager to help.

People also ask

How much does it cost to make a food delivery app?

The cost of developing a food delivery app can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the app, the features and functionality required, the platform(s) you choose to target (e.g., iOS, Android, web), the development team you hire, and the region where the development is carried out.

Generally, developing a food delivery app involves various components, such as user interfaces (UI/UX), backend development, database management, payment integration, location services, and more. The more features and complexity you want in your app, the higher the cost.

To give you a rough estimate, a basic food delivery app with essential features and functionality can start at around $20,000 to $30,000. However, this estimate can increase significantly as you add more advanced features, such as real-time order tracking, customized menus, loyalty programs, promotional offers, and integration with third-party services.

Additionally, ongoing maintenance, updates, and server costs should be considered as part of the overall cost. These expenses can vary depending on the scale of your app and the number of users.

It's important to note that the figures mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on various factors. To get a more accurate estimate for your specific requirements, it's recommended to consult with a professional app development agency, who can provide you with a detailed proposal based on your specific needs.

How do I start an app delivery business?

Starting an app delivery business involves several steps. Here's a general guide to help you get started:

Research and planning:

  • Identify your target market and understand their needs and preferences.
  • Analyze the competition and identify gaps or opportunities in the market.
  • Define your business model, such as whether you'll operate as a standalone delivery service or partner with existing restaurants or stores.

Define your services and features:

  • Determine the types of deliveries you'll offer, such as food, groceries, or a combination.
  • Identify the features and functionality you want to include in your app, such as order tracking, payment options, user ratings, and reviews.
  • Consider additional services like loyalty programs, discounts, or partnerships with local businesses.

Create a business plan:

  • Outline your business objectives, target market, revenue streams, and marketing strategies.
  • Develop a financial plan, including projected expenses, revenue, and profitability.
  • Determine the legal structure of your business and consider consulting with a lawyer or accountant.

App development:

  • Hire a professional app development team to build your app.
  • Work closely with the development team to ensure your requirements are met.
  • Test the app thoroughly to identify and fix any bugs or issues.

Establish partnerships:

  • If you plan to deliver from existing restaurants or stores, establish partnerships with them.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions, commission rates, and delivery arrangements.
  • Ensure that the partners align with your business values and meet the required quality standards.

Set up operations:

  • Establish a reliable delivery network, either by hiring in-house delivery staff or partnering with independent contractors.
  • Set up systems for order management, dispatching, and tracking.
  • Implement customer support channels to handle inquiries, feedback, and complaints.

Launch and marketing:

  • Prepare a marketing strategy to promote your app delivery business.
  • Leverage social media, online advertising, and local marketing channels to reach your target audience.
  • Offer incentives, discounts, or promotions to attract new users and encourage repeat business.

Monitor, adapt, and grow:

  • Continuously monitor the performance of your app and delivery operations.
  • Collect and analyze user feedback to improve your app and services.
  • Adapt your strategies based on market trends and customer demands.
  • Expand your business gradually by adding new features, expanding to new locations, or partnering with additional restaurants or stores.

Remember, starting an app delivery business requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a focus on providing excellent customer service. It's important to stay adaptable and responsive to the needs of your customers and continuously strive to improve your services to stay competitive in the market.

How can I make my food delivery app successful?

To make your food delivery app successful, you need to focus on several key areas. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. User-friendly interface: Design an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows customers to browse menus, place orders, and track deliveries easily. Ensure a seamless and enjoyable user experience across different platforms (web and mobile) and devices.
  2. Efficient order management: Implement an efficient order management system to handle incoming orders, communicate with restaurants or stores, and dispatch deliveries promptly. Accuracy and timeliness are crucial for customer satisfaction.
  3. Reliable delivery network: Build a reliable delivery network by hiring trustworthy drivers or partnering with reliable delivery service providers. Ensure that deliveries are made on time and that the drivers maintain a professional and friendly demeanor.
  4. Fast and accurate delivery: Speed is a critical factor in the success of a food delivery app. Strive to deliver orders as quickly as possible without compromising on quality. Ensure that the app's GPS tracking and real-time updates provide accurate information to customers about the status of their orders.
  5. Diverse restaurant selection: Offer a wide range of restaurant options to cater to different tastes and preferences. Partner with popular and well-rated restaurants to attract a larger customer base. Consider including a variety of cuisines and price ranges to cater to different customer segments.
  6. Secure payment options: Implement secure and convenient payment options within the app, including credit/debit card payments, mobile wallets, and cash on delivery. Ensure that the payment process is smooth and transparent, providing customers with confidence in their transactions.
  7. Personalization and recommendations: Use customer data and order history to personalize the app experience. Provide tailored recommendations and promotions based on their preferences, previous orders, and location. This can help increase customer engagement and retention.
  8. Customers support and feedback: Provide excellent customer support channels, such as in-app chat, email, or phone, to address inquiries, issues, or complaints promptly. Encourage customers to provide feedback and ratings to continually improve your services.
  9. Marketing and promotion: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote your app and attract new users. Leverage social media, online advertising, influencer partnerships, and local marketing channels. Offer attractive incentives, discounts, or referral programs to encourage customer acquisition and retention.
  10. Continuous improvement: Continuously analyze app usage, customer feedback, and market trends to identify areas for improvement. Regularly update and enhance your app's features and functionality to stay ahead of the competition and meet customer expectations.

Remember, building a successful food delivery app requires a strong focus on customer satisfaction, efficiency, and continuous improvement. By providing a seamless and enjoyable user experience, reliable delivery services, and a wide range of restaurant options, you can attract and retain a loyal customer base. Regularly assess and adapt your strategies to stay competitive in the dynamic food delivery market.

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