Food Delivery App: What You Need to Know In 2021

Food Delivery App: What You Need to Know  In 2021

In the modern world, everybody values time more than ever. With the Covid-19 pandemic, all offline activities have run into the online mode. It is not a secret that people will always choose what is convenient to save their time and energy in any circumstances. Thus, the online order delivery is key here.

Food delivery app: benefits and feasibility

Since online food delivery is in high demand due to social distancing, its revenue is ready to reach $306,808M in 2021. Also, according to Statista, it is expected to show a revenue growth of 16.6% in 2022. Therefore, if you’re thinking about developing a food delivery application, you’ve chosen the right time.

You might think that delivery apps will not be on the market forever; however, as provided by Datassentials, 59 percent of food delivery customers said they would continue using delivery apps after the pandemic ends. So the main reasons for you to consider delivery app development are as follows:

  • Revenue in the Online Food Delivery segment is projected to reach US$306,808M in 2021.
  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 10.01%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$449,292M by 2025.
  • The number of users is expected to amount to 2,897.1M users by 2025.
  • By 2030, the food delivery industry is expected to reach the amount of $300 billion.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and  Public Health, the global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer behaviors regarding the use of online delivery modes instead of offline restaurant attendance. Such an increase in market size and customer base provide much room for food apps with unique concepts and services.

Food delivery app development 

A successful food delivery app will require hiring developers and starting the app development process. It can sound difficult for a non-technical person, but there is nothing to fear with the professional mobile app development company by your side. Consider the most important steps you shall take to build a custom delivery application.

Analyze and research the market and target niche 

Defining your target audience for a successful delivery app has to be a well-calculated task. Whether you are planning to start grocery delivery or a mobile food ordering business, you should accurately know and understand your target audience. You need to have a clear idea of who you are planning to develop the delivery app for. This will help you create the main vision of your app and identify your place in the delivery market – in other words, your main niche.

In-depth knowledge of the market location and size, competition, specific target audience, and possible blockers will improve an opportunity to create a unique and persistent product.

Choose business model

Developing food delivery apps requires not only planning your development but also defining the business model of your future startup. For online food delivery, consider these three options:

  1. Include your own transport vehicles. It is an extensive model to build, which requires not only more investments but also higher responsibility.
  2. Taxi service or external couriers. With this option, your delivery app becomes a connecting chain between three agents: clients, drivers, and restaurants.
  3. Foodservice transport. In this case, you have just to connect clients with the restaurants. This model offers less control over the process and minimal involvement.

Design the unique interface

A unique selling proposition is something that will highlight your food delivery app among digital products of the competitors. It is not the best idea to develop a clone of an already existing delivery app. Users won’t see any difference or value in your app proposition in that case. 

While designing the application structure and creating its visual representation, you need to think about how to distinguish your product on the app market. Thus, you should pay attention to your UI/UX design (user interface and user experience).

Choose your app functionality

It might seem that one has to mainly focus on restaurant guests while building a food delivery app. It is crucial to know that there is not just a single app for a client; in fact, there are 3 food ordering apps with different functionality to make the food delivery process seamless.

Customer-facing App

Customer app is the one that will be installed by your customers on the mobile phone, computer, tablet, etc. This app should be easy to navigate and help users to evaluate different restaurants and offers. Here is the process of delivery ordering by a client:

  • The customer signs in or registers the profile with a delivery address;
  • The customer browses menu on the food delivery app;
  • The customer selects the preferred food and places an order;
  • The customer makes the final payment once the order is confirmed;
  • The customer tracks the delivery, time, and location of the courier;
  • The customer receives the order and reviews the food and service afterwards;

Restaurant App or Admin Interface

With the help of the admin panel, a restaurant owner controls and manages the delivery orders, confirms them, and sets the timer (optional). The process on the admin’s side is the following:

  • The restaurant lists the food and menu along with the prices and pictures on the food delivery app;
  • The restaurant receives an order and confirms or rejects it;
  • The restaurant allocates the staff to prepare the order;
  • The restaurant reviews nearby delivery couriers and assigns the food to delivery while its preparation;
  • The restaurant can check the history of completed deliveries to the client;
  • The restaurant pays the courier and manages the operations to confirm that the food is ready.

Courier App

The delivery person manages the pick-up and drop-off of orders with this app, checks the locations, calculates the delivery time, and receives feedback. The process for the courier is as follows:

  • The courier registers a profile on the app;
  • The courier receives an order, accepts or rejects it based on his availability;
  • The courier may view the details of delivery orders;
  • The courier navigates the map, and the app will show suggestions to deliver the order to an actual location using shorter directions to save time for a client;
  • The courier delivers the order and receives tips (optional);
  • The courier marks the order as complete and may get a grade as well as tips from the client in the food delivery application.

These three elements mentioned above work together to ensure that every participant in the order accesses detailed information about the delivery. Thus, customers place and pay for their orders, restaurants take more orders while effectively managing food preparations, and couriers get easy access to all the information they need to fulfill deliveries.

Actual development

After your app requirements are settled, it’s time for the actual development. It is recommended to find an experienced food delivery app development company to help you out with this step. Consider the main stages of any app development:


Based on your requirements, the team builds user flow and creates application screens. Here, the team focuses on the most critical features that MVP cannot be shipped without during food delivery app development. We do not spend time and money on developing features that don’t convey the main value of the application. Thus, with the main feature set, the product launch may take less time. 

UI/UX design

UX/UI design is one of the first steps in food delivery app development. And it is a highly dominant thing that you cannot neglect. User-friendly design and smooth navigation are the key factors to catch the customer’s eye. That is what users expect nowadays, so your app also has to meet their needs. 


This is the process when developers put everything together and build the actual product. At this stage, your ideas will start forming a shape of their own. After you decide on a UI/UX design, the application development company can start working on creating the frontend and backend of your application. They also need testing and quality assurance services to ensure that there are no bugs or errors in the application.

Launch and feedback

Completing the food delivery app development is the beginning of your product journey. Once it is tested properly by the QA team, you are free to let the app win its first followers. The market is competitive, so your app has to effectively respond to users’ needs. Gaining client feedback is essential to stay on top of the game. Having reviewed the feedback, you are now ready to proceed with further improvements and upgrades. 

Food delivery app: Key features 

We cannot start the food delivery app development without knowing which features are to be implemented. Choosing these features may appear as a challenge since only a few should be selected at the beginning. That is why it is worth distinguishing the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. 

Must-have features:

  • Registration
  • Search
  • Profile management
  • Order placement
  • Order status
  • Payments
  • Push notifications
  • Admin panel (for restaurants)

Nice-to-have features:

  • Ratings and reviews
  • Favorites and saved orders
  • Coupon codes 
  • Estimated delivery time
  • Loyalty programs/Special offers
  • Social network integration
  • GPS tracking
  • In-app chat

Let’s examine in more detail the feature list expected by customers the most.


The customers want to search and compare different restaurants, offers, and cuisines. They should be able to search by location, cuisine, price, ratings, reviews, and restaurant names.


Ordering food must be easy. The flow should enable customers to add and remove items from the cart. They should also be able to cancel or reorder.


The customers should be allowed to mark and save their favorite dishes and eateries so that they don’t have to search for their favorite food each time opening the application.

Real-time tracking

Customers should be able to track the order using GPS navigation. GPS gives the client more knowledge about their order and helps to reduce anxiety from unexpected door knocks. 


Customers often want to save money with discounts. Thus, the fastest way to encourage users to spend money and gain a loyal customer base is to create a space with special offers. Besides, it is listed in the research that customers prefer to use online delivery due to the lower price tag.

In-app chat

Customers might have some issues or disputes that they need to discuss with the delivery personnel. Here, in-app chat may be a great and simple way to contact a support team for details.

Payment details

When it comes to creating the food delivery application, you will want it to be easy to use, but it is also important to make payments in a simple, fast, and secure way. To do so, you may integrate payment gateways like cards, e-wallets, net banking, or COD (cash on delivery) as some options to pay the delivery bills.

Also, there are 3 additional features that clients will like:

Schedule delivery

The customers can schedule delivery at their convenience. They may order their dinner to be delivered at 8:00 pm while they are still in the office at 4 pm.


This feature frees the client from the delivery fee. Customers can place an order online and then pick up the food on their own.


With this feature, a customer can order online, skip the waiting lines and delivery fees to eat at the restaurant. You are basically making orders at home so that everything is already served to your table when you come to the restaurant.

Food delivery app development cost 

The cost depends on how advanced your app will be. The first thing is the extent of functionality. A straightforward platform with a few tools will definitely be cheaper. However, if you want your app to provide a wide range of functions, the price of its development will increase. Another factor is the choice of mobile platform: iOS or Android. Furthermore, the design can also influence the total cost of an app. Complex design ideas will lead to a higher price. Besides, hiring a skilled developer for a moderate compensation is not an easy task. See below the comparison list of hourly price rates of particular specialists in North America, Europe, and Asia.

North America Europe Southeast Asia
Lead Developer $65 – $120 $58 – $88 $24 – $49
Senior Developer $52 – 140 $58 – $76 $35 – $61
Intermediate Developer $65 – $130 $49 – $55 $35 – $59
DevOps $80 – $152 $70 – $94 $35 – $59
Graphic Designer $95 – $140 $41 – $71 $18 – 41
Project Manager $72 – $125 $51 – 76 $24 – 49
Senior QA $60 – $120 $41 – $76 $29 – $59


Knowing average hourly rates can help to calculate the overall budget and choose the app development company that can help you not only create a food delivery app but also save money. 

Case study: Porterfetch

Swagsoft, a leading mobile app development company in Singapore, has experience in the food delivery market since we’ve successfully launched the food delivery application called Porterfetch. Porterfetch is a niche food delivery service that operates only at night. Its late-night food delivery service is a novel business idea as it is the first of its kind in Singapore. 

The app was not easy to build, but with a robust team of avid programmers, passionate designers, and experienced business advisors, the launch of Porterfetch reached the highest standards. 

Final thoughts

The mobile food ordering business is a fast-growing trend, which is not going to take a break in the nearest future. Creating a food delivery app may be a great idea and a financially beneficial startup. The key to success of the whole process lies in finding a reliable team that will help you define the core features, create your application the way you imagine it, and consult you along the whole delivery app journey. Contact us and set out on your best journey in food delivery app development now!