With COVID-19 restrictions on dine-in services in restaurants, food delivery systems are the real saviors for customers. Food startups and restaurants are striving to make delivery services more efficient than ever. The attempt is for customers to be able to enjoy the same experience as dining in a restaurant. It has, therefore, made food delivery app development a sought after service.

If you plan to develop your food delivery app and looking for ways to kickstart your project, you have reached your destination. This blog will explore how the food delivery market has grown over the years and its prospects, a compilation of some of the exceptional features of top delivery apps worldwide. After that, we will take a brief look at the types of food delivery apps and the standard APIs used to develop them. By the end of this article, a fair idea of food delivery app development is guaranteed to you.

So, let's get started!

Facts about online food delivery you should not miss!

With the ever-increasing number of smartphone users, the food delivery business has reached new heights. While that holds, finding a spot among the top competitors is no easy feat. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world functions, and adapting to the new methods is another challenge that the Food and Beverages industry faces.

Whether you are a restaurant owner developing an exclusive food delivery system or an aspiring online food delivery startup, these facts and studies will help better understand the online food delivery trends.

  • The global food delivery market is predicted to reach $154.34 billion in 2023 at a growth rate of 11.51%.
  • According to a survey undertaken by Payments Canada in May 2020, it was found that around 26% of Canadians were using food delivery apps like UberEats and Instacart more often than before COVID-19. It was also observed that 29% of Canadians are tipping more during the pandemic.
  • A study by Vividata showed that 1 in 5 Canadians has used food delivery services in September 2020 and spent an average of $32 on every order.
  • In their recent trends report published by SkipTheDishes and DoorDash, it was seen that customers are opting for more and more local restaurants in an attempt to support them during the pandemic. According to data collected by Skip, 81% of customers have ordered from local restaurants they have never been to in person.
  • DoorDash reported that 73% of people attempted to order from the local restaurants more than before. What's more, around 80% of Canadians have plans to support local restaurants in 2021.
  • A survey by DoorDash also shows that about 70% of Canadians want to experience different cuisines and foods in the next year, with 66% planning to include healthier diets.

Now that we have seen the trends of online food delivery systems, let's understand the top features of the world's best food delivery apps. 

Top Features Of Top Online Food Ordering Systems 

Your customers are well-acquainted with the services and benefits provided by your competitors. As a restaurant or a food startup developing a food delivery app, you need to provide them with better features and services to achieve customer loyalty. 

"So, how to pick the right features?" you may ask. Fret not.

Here is a list of top food delivery brands and their exceptional features that have attracted customers from all over the world- 

Postmates is a delivery system that partners with restaurants, retailers, and grocery stores.

  • 24/7 food delivery services in 4200+ cities in the US
  • Unlimited Membership program for free delivery on orders above $12
  • Postmates Pickup allows customers to pick their orders from restaurants without queues. 
  • Postmates Party is a new feature that updates the nearby trending places every 5 minutes with no delivery charges on orders.
  • List of brands exclusively delivered by Postmates

Grubhub is a delivery app in the US that provides 24/7 food and alcohol deliveries.

  • Delivers food from local and curbside spots in the city
  • Grubhub+ is a membership program at $9.99 per month and offers perks like free delivery, quick checkout, and bonus points
  • Special student discounts on delivery

Deliveroo is one of the best food delivery services in the UK.

  • Free delivery for 14 days for new customers over orders of £15
  • Schedule orders 24 hours before delivery
  • Deliveroo Editions shows startups and local restaurants that helps them reach more customers

Slice is a 24/7 pizza delivery platform that connects customers with pizzerias in their cities in the US.

  • Includes local and family-run pizzerias along with pizza giants
  • Customers can order customized pizzas
  • Reorder feature available with 1-tap

Tim Hortons is a fast-food brand with a restaurant chain in over 14 countries around the world.

  • Offer food delivery, pickup, and drive-thru with their mobile app
  • Tims Rewards for exclusive deals and free coffee and other food items
  • Reordering and customizing orders available with one tap

Here is an infographic that shows the standard services offered by the top 3 Candian food delivery appsSkipTheDishes, DoorDash and UberEats.

Features of Food Delivery App

Understanding the main elements of a Food Delivery App

While developing a food delivery system, the first step is choosing the right architecture for the app. There are two standard models for food delivery apps- 

- the aggregator model, which serves as a platform to connect restaurants with customers. With this model, users can access menus, customer ratings, and reviews before placing their orders. These orders are then forwarded to the respective restaurants by the app. Delivering the orders to the customers is then carried out by the restaurants.

- online ordering system with logistical support provides end-to-end services. This model is a good fit for both startups and restaurant owners planning to launch food delivery apps. For example, UberEats and Tim Hortons both use this architecture to serve their customers.

A food delivery app with logistical support has three versions for its specific users - 

#1 Customer version 

The first step for all customers using your app is creating an account. To ensure quick and easy customer registration, adding all the possible channels is essential. For example, creating accounts with login information from social media like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A comprehensive list of restaurants to choose from is the next important feature. For instance, UberEats has categorized restaurants based on the cuisines and foods served by the restaurants. Most importantly, UberEats has made this information readily available for the customer on a single page. This method is surely useful for retaining customer attention.

A secure payment gateway is the next significant feature. For a seamless experience, your app should include adequate payment options like credit cards, debit cards, netbanking, mobile wallets, Paypal, Apple/Google Pay, and COD. In addition to this, promo codes and discount offers should be easily applied during checkout.

Adding live chat support has many benefits for customer engagement. If queries are instantly resolved and refunds are initiated as per requirements, it helps build long-term customer relationships. Also essential is to provide more offers and discounts while starting out to help your users identify your app as a strong competitor.

#2 Partner Restaurant version 

One of the main aspects of a partner restaurant app is allowing restaurant owners to update the platform's information. An admin panel is vital for your partner restaurants to view orders, payment details, and order history in a single format. This panel also includes adding special items on the menu, discounts and offers, working hours, contact details of the restaurant, customer reviews and photos, and more. Additionally, restaurants can also alter the menu and availability of items from time to time.

Another essential function of this version is the display of the status of orders. The information related to order confirmation, cancellations, and alterations to the orders, specific cooking requests, pickup time, and average delivery time should be made visible to the restaurants. 

#3 Delivery Personnel version  

Delivery version of Food Delivery App

Similar to the customer version, setting up an account is a primary feature of this version. With information obtained from the social media platforms, delivery personnel can add necessary contact details. 

After that, the next feature you must add is the option to accept or reject the orders. This feature gives the delivery personnel flexibility to choose their working hours. For instance, SkipTheDishes offers a weekly scheduling and payment option for its couriers to provide them with the liberty to plan their work schedules. Additionally, this feature includes notifications about the orders, pickups, and delivery for the delivery personnel.

In-app navigation is the most crucial feature of this version of a food delivery app. This addition ensures that the personnel makes deliveries in-time, which is an essential factor for your credibility as a food delivery app. 

Essential APIs for food delivery apps

Now that we have seen the primary features of a food delivery app let's move on to the implementation part. With APIs (Application Programming Interface), you can integrate the finest and best third-party services into your app without developing it on your own. 

Here is a list of APIs that are vital for a food delivery app development- 

1. Access restaurant database with Zomato API

This API will connect your app with restaurants and categorize them by their names, locations, and cuisines served. In addition to this, it will also provide you with customer reviews and ratings. Zomato Foodie Index is a feature that shows users the best places in the city to dine-in. The company provides instant and free access to information on restaurants and search APIs with the availability of up to 1000 calls per day.

2. Provide additional information on restaurants with Google Places API

This API provides information on places categorized as establishments, points of interest, and geographic locations using HTTP requests. Utilizing location details from the users, it accordingly suggests areas from the detailed data from Google. Moreover, photos and related ratings and reviews of restaurants and other eateries are also available for the users. To use this valid API key, you will require an account on the Google Cloud Platform.

3. Offer customer support with Freshchat API

Live chat support is an essential feature for your customers to address their concerns regarding ordering and delivery. This javascript-based API uses data from internal systems to provide automated replies. You will require a token authentication to integrate it into your app.

4. Enable ease of navigation with Mapbox API 

Your delivery personnel needs real-time navigation instructions to reach delivery locations. With this API, Maps and Navigation is offered in the app. It also provides access to custom maps for your app. It is an open-source API and free for use by developers to integrate into the app. Up to 25,000 monthly users require no costs for its access.

5. Show delivery time with Google Matrix API

Displaying your customers with the estimated delivery time is essential for the app. The API provides travel distance from one location to another. Working in sync with Google Places API and Google Maps API, it displays recommended routes for faster navigation. For pricing and other billing issues, you can check it out here. 

Additionally, you can also embed OneSignal API to use push notifications in your app, Facebook API to integrate chat messenger, and TomTom API for updates on traffic, maps, and directions. 

Cost of food delivery app development

Food delivery app development has various factors like designing, market research and analysis, quality testing, scaling, and more involved. It is, therefore, almost a challenge to put a number on it. That said, we are always looking forward to buildings apps that can rule the markets and reach customers.

Therefore, we recommend you to share your ideas with us. Our team of developers will work closely with your team and deploy a quality app for your organization. For more details on our services, you can also chat with us here.