26 June 2023
How to make a food delivery app and design it in 2023
According to Statista, food ordering and delivering segment revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 10.01%, resulting in a projected market volume of $449,292m by 2025. As online food deliveries are in demand due to social distancing, more and more businesses want to be a part of the market.
In this article, we’ll talk about food delivery website development and design, as well as building a food ordering app. We will also share our experience of how to make an app for food delivery and will share some insights into the process.
We worked on a web and mobile order delivery system: Dringet. It was designed for convention halls, concert venues, food trucks, crowded bars, board game cafes, fairgrounds, festivals, and parks. The app allows customers to capture the food and drink orders that you would otherwise lose to long lines.
Core features of a food delivery management system & mobile app
When you make an app for food delivery, it’s important to take into consideration different user roles, who need separate functions:
- Clients, making food orders
- Restaurants, preparing orders
- Couriers, delivering orders
Client application features
- Sign up / Sign-in page. Make sure your registration form isn’t too long, as users don’t want to spend more than 3 minutes filling it in.
- Profile customization. Shipping addresses, past orders, preferences based on order analytics, saved outlets, preferred payment options, and more could all become easily accessed.
- Catalog of eateries with a search bar, filters, and rating.
- Delivery location allows clients to choose the destination by typing in their address or choosing the address on a map.
- Food delivery GPS tracking in real-time to track the food location. Users may simply follow the status and movements of the delivery people once the site has been confirmed.
- Order history to make the same orders in a matter of seconds.
- Payment options with a credit/debit card integration, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, iOS Paypal account, Mastercard, Internet Banking, and Cash On Delivery (COD) options.
- Chat with a courier or customer support to specify delivery instructions or inform about last-minute updates.
- Push notifications and in-app messaging to keep customers updated on where their order is and share promo codes to increase the retention rate.
- Reward/discount, cashback, and loyalty programs to attract new users to a food delivery app.
- Social media integration. Allowing your clients to post photographs and reviews of dishes on social media and the app will help you obtain a lot of organic exposure.
- Ratings and reviews allow customers to rank and evaluate other restaurants on the app based on their listed food.
- Personal favorites make it easier for customers to find their favorite foods, making reordering a snap.
- Administrative panel allows employees to manage orders and assign them to couriers.
- Payment menu helps to generate invoices in the app and send them to customers.
- Ratings and reviews. This is a tried-and-true method for businesses to learn how users react to their products, services, and applications. Any form of feedback or rating is highly beneficial to a company’s understanding of the downsides of their on-demand delivery software.
- Registration form to become a courier.
- Actual order base, where they can book a delivery to do.
- Delivery status of an order. For instance, ready for pick-up at the restaurants, on the way, delivered.
- Order history to see completed orders and payments. All orders should be displayed by default within a 750-meter radius of the courier’s location. In addition to the set delivery time, the client address and the contact information should be included in the list of orders.
- Push notifications and in-app messaging to inform couriers when the order is ready for pick up, connect with customers, and clarify specifics with the administration.
Must-have food delivery website features
For a client
- Easy Registration allows the client to create an account by logging in using different social media credentials.
- Search option by nearby location to search for clients’ preferred restaurant or dish. Restaurants can be filtered based on geo-location to place the order and request delivery.
- Order tracking to see the current status and the location of their orders in real-time.
- Multiple payment options enable clients to make payment flexibility according to their choice of payment gateways.
- Reviews and ratings allow clients to submit a review on the website for the quality of the service and share their experience with the visitors on the website.
For a restaurant
- Push notifications in the case of any critical activity on the website. Management becomes easy when you get regular updates about the status of the order and payments.
- Easy restaurant management. An admin can easily log in and manage all restaurants with a single admin account.
- Analytic report about the daily and monthly sales that helps to keep a check on the food delivery website’s performance.
- Menu management. Restaurants can make items listed on the menu as available or unavailable depending on the availability of the item in the restaurant.
- Payment tracking that supports multiple payment options allows payment customization options.
- The order management feature allows admins to manage multiple orders, all at once, systematically.
For a courier
- Push notifications to view the deliveries being assigned. The delivery staff can accept or reject orders.
- Real-time tracking record allows couriers to get a full view of the delivery route and experience easy navigation to the location of delivery.
- Secure login/logout allows the delivery staff to safely log into their accounts and proceed with accepting or rejecting orders.
Five examples of food delivery apps and design in 2022
When you create a food ordering app or a website, one of the most important things to keep in mind is design. We’ve selected five examples of applications and websites that may become an inspiration for you.
The app makes food ordering extremely easy — a user just needs to enter the location to check if the app is delivering food at their location with no minimum order value restriction. Users can track their food orders every step of the way before they reach their doorstep.
UberEats website and application also allow you to order food from a wide selection of eateries 24/7. The payment is done via credit card, debit card, or Uber account. Users have the facility of tracking their food orders in real-time and are notified about offers and discounts.
With Deliveroo, users can order food by searching the favorite cuisine in the nearby area or applying filters for targeted search and scheduling orders for now or later date. Before making the payment, the offers tab can help users to use promo codes. With a live tracking facility, users get notifications when the rider is on the way for order delivery.
This local food delivery and restaurant takeout app and website has no hidden prices and provides exclusive perks, including free delivery on the first order of more than $15 and access to special features. It helps in attracting the users and keeps them ordering the local food repetitively. The ratings and reviews help users in choosing the right restaurant for food orders.
Foodpanda app helps to deliver groceries and food in a flash to the users’ door. The user-friendly UI allows the users to place customized orders, even ordering from multiple restaurants in the same order for parties or families.
The challenges of food ordering and delivery app development
When you develop a food ordering app, pay attention that it is rather feature-packed and complicated as the process involves multiple user roles. The biggest challenges are:
- Route optimization. Customers want their food to be delivered as quickly as possible. It’s crucial to calculate the best route that will take less time for a runner, taking into consideration the current situation on the road.
- The number of user roles. Each user role has its own scenarios that need to be worked out. It’s also important to see how the scenarios of all three user roles work together.
- High load. Sometimes, there are too many customers, and both vendors and runners can’t physically serve all of them at once. It’s important to think the high-load scenarios through and make sure all customers get exactly what they ordered as fast as possible in the current situation.
While working on Dringet, we came across several further challenges. We needed to ideate and design a food ordering app with a user-friendly interface and accomplish app design and food ordering website design and development in two months. Agente analyzed the architecture of the food ordering app for the target audience and suggested the following solutions based on the market scenario:
- Design wireframes and user experience to speed up order processing.
- Gather the killer features that can be integrated within the app.
- Work on branding and logo design to make the app more recognizable.
Delivery management system tech stack
When you develop an app for food delivery, multiple features need multiple technologies. We’ve prepared a list of essential APIs that can be changed depending on the project:
- Restaurant listing
- FourSquare API
- Grubhub API
- Payment gateway
- Square API
- Find user location
- Core Location Framework
- Google Maps
- Google Places API
- Push notifications
- Amazon SNS
- Urban Airship
- Firebase Cloud Messaging
Examples of technologies for food delivery application development (in reality you can choose any):
- Backend services - Python, Ruby, PHP
- SQL databases - MySQL, PostgreSQL
- NoSQL databases - MongoDB, Cassandra, ElasticSearch, HBase
- Message Broker/Queue - Kafka, RabbitMQ, Amazon Kinesis, Google pub sub, ActiveMQ
- Frontend - Angular, React, Vue and other JS technologies
- Mobile app - Android, iOS, Hybrid app
How to design a food ordering app?
The classic process of food order app design involves three stages: Design discovery, UX design and UI design. We will describe all the stages on the basis of our case, Dringet.
It’s an important stage in a food delivery app design as it allows you to come to a common understanding of the project, reduce risks, gauge the project budget, and receive quick feedback from your clients.
During the discovery phase, our UX/UI specialists determined what the final product will look like. The Agente team always applies design thinking, which is reflected in the process:
- We structure all the ideas properly and formulate the strategy of the actions with temporal and financial benefits in mind.
- We create user personas, user stories, user flows, information architecture, and low-fidelity wireframes.
The following artifacts helped us to define the project’s functionality and prepare for further design stages.
- User personas represented the various user types with their needs, experiences, problems, behaviors, and goals.
- User stories demonstrated how a particular feature would deliver a particular value to the customer, vendor, and runner.
- User flows showed how a user should go from their entry point through a set of steps towards a successful outcome and final action.
- Information architecture gave us a visual representation of the app’s infrastructure, features, and hierarchy.
- A low-fidelity wireframe with a basic layout helped us to focus on the key purpose and functionality of the food delivery application by deliberately excluding specific details like colors, fonts, logos, and exact sizing.
UX design involves wireframing and prototyping. It means creating a layout of an app displaying the interface elements that will appear on each page. Think of it as a design plan.
The essential purpose of this stage was to provide a clear visual understanding of the app’s usability on multiple devices. This way, our designers and developers could make necessary adjustments and reviews before the creative phase began.
Source: Dringet - Agente case
We accomplished food delivery app UI design by making high-fidelity UI mockups, which are more in-depth iterations of the wireframe outline. A mockup is a static wireframe that includes more stylistic and visual UI details that present a realistic model of what the final page or application will look like.
Our mockup included additional visual details such as:
- Colors, styles, graphics, typography
- Navigation graphics
- Styled buttons and text
- Component spacing
Mockups are needed in order to understand and communicate the look of the final interface, giving stakeholders a chance to preview the design and style choices.
Best practices in designing a food delivery system based on our experience
Source: Dringet - Agente case
If you wonder how to make a food ordering app, pay attention to the following recommendations and best practices to stay competitive in the long run:
- Stay current with market trends. The food delivery industry is heavily reliant on trends. However, there should be a balance between popular features and something specific, so that you don’t make a copy of another app. For example, Dringet is a street food delivery app, which allows customers to order food even from mobile trucks.
- Identify critical app features. A food delivery app features list should have a few basic features that all users expect. Don’t forget to include them along with your unique functionality. For example, users need quick and easy search, order status, real-time courier monitoring, convenient payment methods, customer support, and promo codes.
- Create a reliable project infrastructure. Aggregators and new deliveries with logistics support require a huge effort invested in server-side software. Be ready for a sudden influx of users to the service, as that will affect everything: server performance, network hardware, the application’s ability to handle competing requests on its own, and so on.
- Establish logs for everything. This way you can trace the source of the problem with ease. You will better understand the app’s behavior so that you can diagnose and prevent potential issues.
- Provide the security of a mobile app. Sensitive data (payment and contact details) must be encrypted and stored securely to avoid data leakage and misuse of the app’s business logic.
- Make a clutter-free admin interface. It will help to get more work done in less time. Vendors will be able to process more orders per minute, and faster order processing results in higher customer satisfaction.
- Ensure responsiveness across all devices. It determines how users will accept and experience your application. If the app is buggy, no one will use it continuously. No user will stick around if your app page takes a long time to load.
- Perform color analysis. This specific UI procedure is crucial to make your app appealing at first sight. For example, white is associated with truth and simplicity, violet with quality, red - excitement, green - refreshment.
How much does it cost to design and develop a food delivery app?
The cost of a food delivery app and website development depends on several factors: the number of specialists involved and their rate, as well as the project’s scope.
The essential team for building an application from scratch may include:
- Project manager
- Art director
- Technical lead
- Frontend developer
- Backend developer
- Mobile developers.
To save your budget, we recommend starting with an MVP version. It will help you assess the relevance of the application among the target audience, with a minimum of killer features, simple and intuitive design. The first version of the food delivery app can be developed within two to three months and will cost around $30,000. The estimated cost of a website will start from $10,000.
Source: Dringet - Agente case
During this project, we created a food ordering app and made a delivering website design for Dringet delivery system. The app had three user roles: the customer (the one who buys), the vendor, (the one who produces), and the runner (the one who delivers). Each user role needed individual app features
The customer features included:
- Choose from a menu of food and items and orders from a vendor. The food and items page should have pictures, prices, potential add-ons with prices (cheese, mushrooms, extra shot of espresso etc.), special request free text area, and a subtotal which lists delivery fee.
- Pay with credit card or cash. The app should offer multiple and secure payment options for the finest on-demand delivery experience.
- Create a profile that will save their information such as profile picture, phone number, recent orders, and vendors.
- Order products anonymously or after authorization to see the purchase history.
- Choose to pick up the food items.
- Receive updates on their orders. For example, “Food is issued /ready for pickup, Order out for delivery, Headed to you, Order arrived.”
- Track orders in real time.
- Get support. The app should provide a customer chat support option to contact a runner.
- Tip the runner when the food is delivered.
The vendor features included:
- Register on the website and create a profile that should include their business, the area they are willing to deliver to, and the menu they are willing to serve along with pictures and items, as well as pictures of each runner they have employed.
- Get notifications with a constant alert until they accept a customer’s order.
- Have the ability to accept or deny an order from a customer.
- See the status of all incomplete and complete orders.
- Change the status of an order to say that it is ready for pickup.
- Assign a runner to an order.
- Send one of a set of stock messages to a customer (for example, “out of stock,” “too busy to deliver,” etc.)
- Send out an alert when and where they have stopped (for mobile vendors).
Source: Dringet - Agente case
The runner features included:
- Create a profile with a photo and contact details.
- Have a map view of all customers that with orders that they are assigned to.
- Select one of the customers on the map and be led to the customer by a GPS compass.
- Check a photo of the customer with tracking arrow and distance.
- Pick up an open order from a vendor.
- Have a button to alert the customer about the upcoming order.
- Close out the delivery of an order (status changed to order arrived).
As the online food delivery segment is expected to show a revenue growth of 8.38%, resulting in a projected market volume of $ 474.30 bn by 2026, it’s high time to join the party and develop a food delivery app offering a unique solution. An outsourcing company with extensive expertise and tech stack can be a good-fit solution since it is less costly than an in-house team.
We are sure Agente’s experience with online food ordering and delivering systems design and development will come in handy. Reach out if you have a plan to develop food order delivery platform
Is there a need in building a food ordering app?
COVID-19 created an increased need for food delivery services and the trend to order instead of going to shops continues. According to Statista, the ‘platform-to-consumer’ delivery segment is expected to reach $96.8 million worldwide by 2024, so food ordering website design and development are in high demand.
What features should a food delivery app have?
When you develop a food delivery app, make sure to include these basic features: sign-up/ sign-in, push notifications, delivery location, GPS tracking, order history, payment options, in-app messaging, Reward/discount, cashback, and loyalty programs, ratings and reviews, admin panel, delivery status, order history.
How many specialists do you need to build a food ordering app and website from scratch?
The essential team includes 7 people: a project manager, art director, designer, technical lead, frontend and backend development, and mobile developers.
What are the essential APIs to integrate into a food delivery app?
Essential APIs include restaurant listings, payment gateways, user location finder, and push notifications.
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