A Complete Guide on How to Develop an App like Zomato or Food Delivery Apps?

Apparently, the online food delivery applications are considered as the game changers in the service sector. The comforts of ordering food online from your home through an application and having it delivered to your doorstep is undoubtedly an innovative idea that is accepted by the market wholeheartedly. On-demand food delivery giants like Doordash, Postmates, GrubHub, and UberEats are already capitalizing on this demand which can be exploited wisely with a good investment and right adoption of technology.

Here we will dig deeper and try to understand the development aspect of such an application. If you want to explore the economic aspect of food delivery application, then you may read –What is the secret of success of Zomato- An economic point of view!

Business Model of food delivery applications

The first step towards the development of a food delivery app should be the complete knowledge of the business model. So let us try to understand different elements of the business model of food delivery applications. 

Key Partners

  • Restaurants: All the major restaurants and food giants of a particular city should partner up with the application for getting listed.
  • Delivery Personnel: The delivery boys, picked from the local population. They collect the food from restaurants and deliver it at the destination.

Key Activities

  • Taking online orders: This is the primary function of the application. Through the application, the orders are collected, and order details are transferred to respective restaurants.
  • Hiring Delivery Persons: The persons who collect food from restaurants and deliver it to the destinations are needed to be hired from the locality who qualify the preset criteria.
  • Managing logistics: Keeping a regular check to ensure that the food is collected and delivered on time.
  • Creating and Managing the technical infrastructure: This is one of the most crucial phases, here you are required to develop such an application that can facilitate different activities smoothly.
  • Processing Transactions: After receiving the payment for the order, it should be distributed with the restaurant and the delivery personnel.

Key Resources

  • Technology Platform: The application or software is apparently the biggest resource which provides the technical platform to operate.
  • Restaurant Partnerships: The partnerships with the maximum number of restaurants increase the popularity and acceptability of the application.
  • Delivery Personnel: The human resources, mostly temporary workmen, are a real asset to the business.

Cost Structure

  • Technical setup and running costs: The investment made in application development and its initial operating costs.
  • Salaries to permanent employees: Mostly comprises the technical and management team who are permanent employees for the business.
  • Payments to delivery persons and fuel expenditure: The delivery personnel are mostly temporary workmen paid in the form of commission and an additional amount for fuel expenditure.

Value Proposition

For Customers

  • Place orders: The customers can simply place orders online, saving physical effort and time.
  • Browse Menus: The available food items and the price list of all restaurants are included in the application.
  • 24/7 Support: An official team under the leadership of top management will function to clear queries, handle grievances of customers if any.
  • Order Tracking: The users can track the status of their orders and estimated time of arrival.

For Restaurants

  • Customer base: The restaurants will have an extended customer base who order food, without necessarily visiting the restaurant.
  • Online Platform: Instead of having its own delivery system, listing on a popular application is a better option for restaurants.
  • Commissions: The restaurants do receive commissions for the delivery of the food if it was ordered through the application.

For Delivery Persons

  • Earnings: The delivery personnel will be paid a good amount considering his/her hours on duty.
  • Tips: Delivery guys will also earn direct tips from the ones who placed orders upon delivery.

Customer Relationship

Social media: The customer can get regular updates and even interact through social media platforms.


  • Website: The official website of the application can be accessed through any device, and orders can be placed by using it.
  • Android Application: It is available on the play store and can be used to track restaurants and place orders.
  • iOS Application: The application for iOS users, available on Appstore.

Revenue Streams

  • Commissions: The commission from each and every order placed through the application is the major source of income.
  • Marketing: Promoting restaurants on the application, their offers or discounts for which payment has been made by the restaurant.

Customer Segments

  • Cooking: Cooking can be a hectic affair, and people who do not want to cook forms a major base in the customer segment.
  • Eat from outside: Cravings for the delicious food from restaurants sometimes beats homely food.
  • Doorstep deliveries: people who are too tired or lazy to go out opt for doorstep deliveries order through the application.


  • Delivery guys: There are a lot of restaurants who do not
  • even have a delivery guy who cannot address online deliveries.
  • Online orders: The restaurants who have never attempted accepting online orders single-handedly.
  • Promotion: The restaurants get free promotion when they are a part of the application.

Food delivery mobile app- A complete guide 

Now let us discuss the different interfaces of the food delivery app.

User Panel

The user panel is designed for any ordinary user of the application who can download the app from the app store or play store and would be able to place the orders after registration. Here you will find-

  • Login: The user can create an account through any social media platform or through a mobile number or via Mail ID and proceed for login.
  • Homepage: A simple and detailed list of all the available restaurants in town with their ratings is available here.
  • Location: The user needs to enter his/her address and especially Pincode to highlight all the available restaurants in the user’s area.
  • Search:  A search bar is provided at the top of the screen. It is used to type and search for restaurants or foods.
  • Refined search tab: This search tab will help with filters and sorting features to shortlist the food varieties easily.
  • Menu: The menus of all the available restaurants with the price of each and every available food item.
  • Delivery Tracking: After placing orders, the updates can be tracked through the application.
  • Pickup location: In the case of doorstep delivery, the full address needs to be given and landmark.
  • Contact: Once the order is placed, the user can contact the delivery person himself.
  • Cart: The user can shortlist and move the food items to a cart which are considered before checkout.
  • Offers and Discounts: The section featuring all new offers and discounts available, mostly on the home screen.
  • Payment: The payment for orders accepted through all recognised portals upon confirmation of the order.
  • Past Order: The application keeps track of the orders placed by the user.
  • Reviews: Detailed ratings and reviews of the users on various restaurants.

The Restaurant Panel

This panel is designed for the restaurants, food stall owners or anyone else who will is willing to collaborate with the app as a food supplier, here you will find-

  • Dashboard: After the registration and login process, in the dashboard, they can view the pending orders, unaccepted orders, the orders completed along with their details and ratings of the food by the user.
  • Order Confirmation: The restaurant should make sure that it has enough resources to process the delivery on time. If it is even slightly in doubt, the restaurant can cancel the order placed by the user. It will save the application from creating a completely negative impression in the eyes of the user and resulting in negative feedback.
  • Restaurant Account: Every restaurant is allotted with a page of its own in the application. It is up to the restaurant, how to make use of this feature. From adding pictures of the restaurant, logo, pictures and updates on special foods, offers and discounts from their part, estimated delivery time, food suggestions to the price and working hours, everything essential at one place.
  • Payment: The total earnings of the restaurant through the application is listed with detailed breaks every night. The statistics of the breakup are shown, along with the bills which prove the transaction. From here, the earnings can be transferred to the restaurant’s bank account or wallet.

Delivery boy Panel

This panel is designed for workers; who pick up the orders from restaurants and delivers them. This panel includes-

  • Login: With a unique ID and other credentials, the employee has to create an account and login to the application.
  • Request for taking order: On the basis of the location of the employee, the orders are assigned. Apparently, to ensure faster delivery, the order will be assigned to the delivery boy who is nearby the restaurant. The delivery guy can accept or reject the order request, and upon rejection, it will be passed to the next nearby delivery person. The details of the delivery guy, including his name, address and mobile number are visible to the restaurants with his approval.
  • Notifications: Regular notifications are sent to the delivery person’s device for assigning an order, completing delivery of an order and the processes in between.
  • Order delivery: From the acceptance of the order and till the delivery, every update is sent to the users, and they are even contacted personally in order to confirm location and acceptance.
  • Cash on delivery: If the order is made without prepayment of cash, then the delivery person has to collect the cash from the user. They need to check and verify and submit it to the administration at the end of the day.
  • Order History: The delivery person can look into the list of previous orders completed by him or her. It automatically keeps a track on the record and performance of the delivery person.
  • Call or Chat: Once the delivery person is assigned, both the user can contact him or vice versa. It helps in making deliveries on time.
  • Wallet or other modes of payment: The delivery personnel are paid either through a payment portal of the application, which is a wallet from which the delivery person can withdraw the amount anytime. Otherwise, the amount is transferred to his or her bank account on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Navigation: To ensure the order is delivered on time, the delivery person is given access to view the address, location of delivery of his next drop. He can use the help of Google maps to reach the destination on time.
  • Payment withdrawal: If the delivery person is paid through the wallet, a unique platform for delivery personnel, then the balance in the wallet can be directly withdrawn through the bank account.
  • Transaction details: The details of the withdrawals made, the current account balance etc. are kept by the wallet which can be accessed by the delivery person.
  • GPS tracking: To get the exact location of the nearby delivery boy GPS is used. It is one of the highly applicated features of such applications.

Some Advanced features which can be added to the application

Apart from these regular features, some attractive and technically advanced features can be added to the application. With the help of proper data analytics, the application will be able to solve the problem of calculating the most accurate estimated time of delivery, taking the preparation time, distance, previous deliveries of the rider, traffic patterns etc. It gives the application a competitive edge and a unique interface that attracts a lot of users. Some highly recommended advanced features are-

  • Real-time tracking of location: It does sound complicated, but in reality, it is one of the most advantageous additions to the on-demand food delivery applications. The users can enable this feature to track the rider, real-time through the application. The restaurants and the administration can also track the rider and notify the users if there are chances of late or early delivery than the estimated time of arrival. It also helps the users of the application in finding the best restaurants near their location by just checking the application. They can even adjust the radius meter to extend their search options.
  • Queue algorithm built software: This feature will help the administration in assigning the nearest delivery boys to pick up the order from the nearby restaurants. In case the delivery boy rejects to pick up the order, the next delivery person who is nearest to the restaurant is assigned with the pickup task. It thereby creates a queueing algorithm, where the next nearest delivery person is automatically assigned with the food pickup and delivery task. It saves a lot of time and errors when a delivery guy rejects the proposal to pick up the order.
  • Real-time data analytics: This is a highly useful tool for the administration as it provides insights into the earnings, deliveries completed, average earnings from each delivery, financial projections etc. It provides real-time data that is quick and effective and enables the administration to take the necessary decisions without wasting time.
  • Payment Gateway: The application should make sure that it has well functioned, dependable and widely used payment gateways. Apart from collecting payments through cash on delivery, it should ensure that the users are feeling comfortable in making payments through other kinds of payment gateways too.
  • News and Articles on Homepage: The application can make an attempt to attract the food lovers by featuring articles, blog content, other related information and updates on the food-related content.
  • Coupons and Discounts: A reward system for loyal customers of the application can be organised. It helps in the retention of valuable customers, and it’ll attract new ones too.
  • Scheduled order and delivery: The users can pre-order any food, to be delivered at a particular time. It is because not every food item is available in the restaurants, all-time so scheduled order and delivery features will definitely be useful for the customers.
  • Booking tables in restaurants: Since the administration has an ongoing partnership with the restaurants of the locality, it can be diversified into pre-booking of tables in restaurants.

Other than these, one can include some advance features by using some advanced technologies like-

  • Expanding the range of accessible devices to latest ones like a Smartwatch.
  • Social media is a platform to share and access to share what the user is ordering through attractive templates will be another good addition.
  • Widgets for the lock screen makes it easier to track the order, get updates without even opening the application.
  • Apart from restaurants, options to order food on the basis of the timing of the day. Users are provided with the feature of ordering breakfast, lunch, dinner and other snack items on the basis of the timing of the day.

Required Technology

To include all the above-mentioned features in the application you need the sound technology, so let’s take a close look at most important ones-

  • For payment assistance applications and software like PayPal, Stripe, other Net Banking and Digital wallets can be used.
  • Data analytics and projections for the application can be carried out by Mix panel or Google Analytics.
  • Google, Azure or AWS can be used to enable cloud storage and service.
  • Cloud can be primarily used for storing backup followed by Amazon S3 bucket.
  • Google maps for Android and Mapkit for iOS devices would be perfect for a real-time tracking function.
  • Google location can also be used for GPS services and in case of iOS devices, Core location framework.
  • Foursquare’s API can be used to filter nearby restaurants according to range and distance.
  • For registration and login, from Facebook to any social media platforms can be used.
  • Amazon cloud storage would be a perfect solution for storage concerns.

Required team structure

You must have two different teams viz-

The developers’ team: The application needs three types of developers on board. The UX/UI developers create a smooth interface for the application, Android and iOS developers carry it forward to respective devices, and finally the backend developers.

The communication and Management team: The whole process will be led by a project manager who will be responsible for all the actions. A delivery manager and a team to manage the Q&A department for the application.

How much does it cost to develop food delivery applications?

It largely depends on the complexity of the application and normal food application development costs around $10,000 to $15,000, while a highly complex one may get to more than $40,000.

Indian developers are comparatively cheap and affordable who perform at $10 to $80 per hour. On average, it may take more than 600 hours to complete the development process of the application. The development of an iOS application costs less than an android one due to the costs of running tests. I hope now you get complete information about how to develop an app like zomato or food delivery apps. If you are eager to know what marketing strategies are adopted by Albatross Media for the promotion of such applications, then you may read our next article.

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