How to Create a Food Delivery App Like GrubHub or UberEats

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Planning to create a food delivery app for your restaurant business but don’t know how to start? Our company has successful examples of on-demand apps launched in the USA — and we want to share our experience with you!

In this post, you will find a detailed food delivery app development guide. We will study the cases of GrubHub and UberEats, look at how they work, and estimate general prices.

GrubHub and UberEats success stories

Creating a food delivery app to improve your business is a good idea, especially given the success of popular services.

GrubHub was one of the first online food delivery services in the world. The favourite customers’ features are as follows:

  • Appeared early and had no alternatives
  • Works with most restaurants in the city
  • Offers coupons for some restaurants
  • Users can rate restaurants to let future diners know whether they are worth visiting
  • Shows the average price of the dishes at the restaurants
  • Estimates delivery time based on your location
GrubHub Success Story

UberEats appeared on the market a bit late, but Uber helped promote it, as some links in Uber took the users to UberEats. The reasons for its popularity are as follows:

  • No minimum order amount
  • Free Food setting – once in a while they deliver a meal for free
  • Huge existing global network of drivers
  • Works with the most popular restaurants
  • Makes food from popular places available at home
  • Suggests what and where to eat based on your preferences and location
  • Users can order food in advance
  • Users can order food while they are walking, sitting at home, or working in the office
  • Users are reminded to use the app via push notifications
UberEats Success Story

To meet the needs of all parties, both services have three versions: the customer’s, the courier’s, and the restaurant’s.

The main features for the customer are registering, logging in, account editing, linking a card, searching for a restaurant, adding dishes to the cart, confirming the order, making a secure payment, setting drop location, tracking in real time, and rating the service.

The main features for the courier include registering, logging in, account editing, searching for available orders, updating their status, and building a route automatically.

The crucial features for the restaurant are registering, setting general information about the restaurant, creating the menu, editing dishes, viewing the list of available orders, updating order status, and receiving payments.

How to create a food delivery app

Creating three different apps is complicated. If you want them to be profitable and make your service recognizable, turn to experienced developers. They will devise the whole development process and make it efficient.

Your basic team should include only essential members:

  • Back-end developer
  • 2–4 developers
  • UI/UX designer
  • Q&A engineer
  • Project manager

Here are the key steps to app development:

Research

At this point, you should find your rivals, study the target audience and analyze popular food for delivery in your region. Make sure you offer a unique service.

Design

This is a three-part step. The first part is sketching—meaning, creating a visual concept of your app. It shouldn’t present a real app in detail but instead contain only main features and basic structure.

The second part is wireframing—meaning, creating a mockup. Some designers use Photoshop, but you can choose from other special programs, such as Balsamiq, Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma. Through these programs you can not only create a visual representation of your app but also demonstrate some basic functionality.

Design

The third part is making a prototype that should show how the app will work. The buttons should lead the user to the proper screens and cause the right actions.

Development

The development step consists of two parts: front end and back end.

The front end is what the users see on their screens. Android apps are usually written in Java, whereas those for iOS use Swift or Objective-C. If you choose to develop a cross-platform app, you can use React Native.

When the plan is ready, it’s time to develop the back end, which includes servers, databases, and APIs. The top programming languages for the back end are Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, and JavaScript. To store all their information, GrubHub and UberEats use Cassandra, Riak, and NoSQL databases. To build an API, they used Amazon Web Services and Google API.

Testing

Proper testing at every step of development will save you time, money, and users. The competition is tough, if the customer doesn’t like something, he/she will find a better app. So, before launch, conduct alpha-testing by testing team and developers—and don’t forget about beta testing. Ask a couple of restaurants to collaborate and let real people find the holes and disadvantages that your team didn’t notice.

Deployment

Deployment is all the actions to make an app available for users. Upload it on the App Store and Google Play. Google Play is much more loyal. The App Store’s policy is strict, as it always checks and approves the app before launch. This review usually takes a week or more.

Post-release support

The release is not an end-point of your app’s life cycle. After appearing in app markets, try to keep it up-to-date. Listen to your audience, add new features, and improve the design. Keep the app compatible with the new versions of operating systems. Even if there is nothing new to add, refactor the code.

Improvement

Serge Denisov

Serge Denisov

Serge is a food delivery service founder from LA. His team created an app for couriers which provides restaurants with drivers.
Five years ago, they started with one restaurant, two drivers, and 15 orders a day; today, they work with 150 restaurants, eight aggregators, and more than 100 drivers. Every month they fulfill about 10000 orders.

Denisov gave some advice on how to improve such an app:

  • Don’t try to put everything on one screen. This will make your app inconvenient, better make every feature on its own screen.
  • Think about what will prove the delivery. You can ask customers to put a signature on the deliverer’s mobile phone. Your developers can make this feature themselves or use some ready-made technologies.
  • Make the route building automatic. Online maps will make your app convenient for the couriers.
  • Offer your clients a choice of drinks, sauces, or desserts before they confirm the order. This will increase the average bill.
  • Offer more options for payments.
  • Deliver faster than your competitors.
  • Don’t wait for restaurants to start asking you to deliver their meals. Approach them.
  • Try to offer smaller service fees to restaurants.
Gourmet Runner App

Gourmet Runner App

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

Initially, it’s better to build a minimum viable product that contains only the most important features. Our business analyst calculated the approximate cost of an MVP project, but total prices may be higher depending on added features.

Customer’s MVP

FeatureiOSAndroid
Back-end$7670$7670
Front-end$20490$15690
Design$2500$2500
Project Management$5150$5150
Quality Assurance$7700$7700
Total$43510$38710

Courier’s MVP

FeatureiOSAndroid
Back-end$13500$13500
Front-end$5835$6300
Design$2000$2000
Project Management$2575$2575
Quality Assurance$5125$5125
Total$29035$29500

Restaurant’s MVP

FeaturePrice
Back-end$5700
Front-end$4740
Project Management$1044
Quality Assurance$2088
Total$13572

How does GrubHub make money?

GrubHub generates revenue in three ways.

Commission

GrubHub charges a commission for every order. The percentage ranges from 5% to 15% of the cost of the order, and the average commission is 13.5%.

Advertising fee

Promotion by GrubHub is a great opportunity for restaurants to attract more consumers. Such restaurants pay a higher commission and appear at the top of the rank for a limited time.

Delivery fee

The delivery fee is 20%–40% of the order that customers pay to GrubHub. This fee guarantees the quality of service and delivery right to your doorstep. This money goes to the couriers, and GrubHub gets a small part of it.

How does UberEats make money?

UberEats has three sources of income:

Commission

Restaurants pay 15%–40% of every order to UberEats. The size of the commission depends on the state of the market.

Promotion fee

Restaurants pay extra commission to UberEats to get more orders. The partnership includes special discounts, features, and advertisements.

Delivery fee

UberEats charges the customers for the delivery. They pay a fee for orders that cost less than $10, a location dependent delivery fee and a service fee.

Build your food delivery app with us

Hope that we have covered all the aspects of creating a food delivery app. Ready to open a food delivery service? Contact us today at info@vironit.com.

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