How to create a food delivery app for your restaurant


Start your own delivery app has become popular among restaurant owners. But why build your own restaurant food delivery app with Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash on the market? Let’s know everything about food delivery app development.

The number one reason is that with a third-party food ordering app the commission can be as high as 25-30% (with Uber Eats). DoorDash charges 10-25%, while Grubhub charges 5-15%. This is why many restaurants choose to create a food delivery app and build their own delivery team rather than paying a third party.

The number two reason is the absence of third-party delivery options. Even if the restaurant owner is ready to work with big players like Uber Eats, they may not provide services in the area.

Reason number three is that third-party delivery companies are often overwhelmed with orders, causing delays. As a result, customers may become dissatisfied and restaurants may begin to lose regular customers.

To satisfy customers, keep up with the competition, improve delivery speed and ensure customer loyalty, restaurant owners have decided to develop their own food delivery services. Check out the stats below to see how fast online delivery is becoming one of the growing forces in the restaurant industry.

The best restaurant delivery app for you

These are three options for restaurants that offer delivery and want to do so via a mobile app.

Branded mobile application

A restaurant can develop its own branded mobile application. A restaurant ordering app generally includes delivery and pick-up/drop-off options.

There are three main reasons for creating a branded food delivery app for restaurants:

  1. High demand. According to GloriaFood, 86% of US consumers use delivery services at least once a month. Online ordering of taxis, car rentals and hotel reservations are much less prevalent.
  2. Wide customer base. Your potential customers are anyone with a cell phone and a taste for pizza, wings, burgers, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, etc.
  3. More income. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, orders placed through a restaurant’s mobile ordering system are on average $4 more than those placed in restaurants.
  4. With an independent platform, restaurants can save 15% to 30% of the commission that food ordering and delivery companies charge.

On the one hand, by outsourcing delivery operations to an in-house team, you have more control over the quality of the food delivered and the speed of delivery.

On the other hand, developing a food delivery app requires investment and technical expertise. We are here to help you with the technical part. We are here to help you with the technical part. We discussed the costs of building a restaurant application in the previous article.

Examples of branded applications with the possibility of delivery

Jimmy John’s, a popular sandwich chain, has its own delivery team to provide the best customer service.

Jimmy John’s pays attention not only to the quality of food but also to the speed of delivery, which is why they deliver by bike. It is generally not as fast as by car, but it reduces delivery times when traffic is heavy, making delivery times more predictable. If orders do not arrive within 40 minutes, customers are advised to call the restaurant. Late orders come with free stuff – or even free stuff.

The delivery fee varies depending on the customer’s location and is included in the total price.

Domino’s also has its own online restaurant delivery service, and customers can use Domino’s mobile app to order.

The Domino’s chain allowed customers to watch the pizza delivery process for some time. It now also allows customers to track their deliveries using GPS. The tracker shows the small car moving on the map until it reaches the customer’s house.

Domino’s is also looking to use self-driving delivery vehicles. In 2017, Domino’s worked with Ford to test fundamental customer interactions with the service. Now they use technology startup Nuro for automated driving. Domino’s customers in Houston can now place orders and wait for the fully autonomous electric vehicle to arrive.

Third-party platform

Another option is for the restaurant to partner with a third-party delivery company.

There are three main reasons to choose a third-party delivery platform:

  1. The convenience of logistics outsourcing
  2. Access to potentially more customers and increased sales
  3. Lower costs as there is no need to set up and maintain a delivery team

When considering a third-party platform, keep in mind that there are two food delivery business models. One of them is the aggregator model. When you work with an aggregator, they connect customers to your restaurant. Customers place orders through the aggregator platform and restaurants view and fulfill those orders. Delivery is not handled by the aggregator.

Food delivery app features for customers

Once you’ve decided to create a food delivery app, your next step is to decide on the features it should have. A customer-facing delivery service application or interface should offer the following basic features:

Registration page: a simple, effective and attractive registration page is important to gain customer loyalty. Your registration page should allow the user to create a new account with a login/password or, for added convenience, register through a third-party service such as Facebook or Google.

Profile/Account Page: Once a customer has created a new account in the online ordering system, they should be able to access their profile. This profile may include saved payment options for easy access, order history the ability to reorder, and the ability to save favorite restaurants/menu items.

Restaurant search/locator: the restaurant locator in list or map format shows which restaurants customers can order from using the app. Some sort of search function (by distance, time, or cuisine) is necessary to help users filter choices. Details about each restaurant, such as its location, menu (ideally with pictures), prices, special offers or promotions, and comments or user reviews should be readily available.

Ordering: once the customer has compared restaurants and made a choice, they should be able to easily and quickly place their order through the online ordering system. Customers should be able to add or remove items from their orders as needed, and an order summary should be presented before payment is completed so they can make last-minute changes. The ability to specify a delivery time (as soon as possible or at a specific time) can be a great additional feature.

Payment processing: being able to pay for your order through online ordering software is ideal. Payment processing should be fast and secure, and your app should allow multiple payment options (coupons, credit cards, cash on delivery, PayPal, Apple Pay/Android Pay, etc.).

A basic food delivery app should include all these features. Other useful features include:

Real-time Notifications or Tracking: Keeping customers informed of their order status (placed, in progress, en route) through real-time notifications or tracking is a great add-on feature.

Social Media Integration: Allowing users to link their social media accounts and share photos of their food is an easy way to build loyalty while increasing exposure for both your restaurant and your app.

Loyalty or rewards program: offering users rewards (either through the app or through a specific restaurant) is another great way to increase loyalty. For example, offering free delivery on every fifth order will encourage users to return to your app or order from the same location. Including additional discounts, membership options, and referral programs can encourage users to continue using your app. You can even entice users to get their friends to join by rewarding them for their loyalty as brand ambassadors.

The goal of a food delivery app is to attract new users and retain old ones. It is important that users can easily compare offers from different restaurants, place orders, pay and receive food. Providing additional features or rewards is an easy way to build loyalty to a particular app, service or restaurant.

Food delivery app features

A restaurant-focused app or interface should include the following features:

Registration page: this page should allow restaurants to create accounts that include their business details (name, address, hours of operation, etc.).

Content management features: provides a simple interface that allows restaurants to manage their menus, including images, prices, ingredients (especially for people with allergies/food intolerances), promotions and any other important information about what they offer. This page should allow for easy editing so that restaurants can update their information as needed.

Order Management/Tracking: Restaurant staff should be able to see incoming orders and update order statuses. Tracking where orders are in the preparation process is important. Real-time updates for canceled orders, completed orders and orders to be delivered are also an important part of this feature.

Cross-interface communication capabilities: the ability to update both the courier/delivery person and the customer on order status is essential for both aggregators and new types of delivery applications. Communication across interfaces consists of notifying the customer or courier that the order is ready for pickup or is on its way.

The goal of this application is to efficiently transfer order information from the customer to the restaurant. Restaurants should be able to manage orders in a way that matches their preparation process, and deliveries should be made either by the restaurant itself or by a courier or delivery driver from within the app.

Start developing your own restaurant

With the rapid growth of tablet and smartphone usage globally, developing a mobile ordering app is a great local business strategy.

If you are thinking of developing a food delivery app, be sure to consider every aspect of it and take into account the needs of customers. If you’re not sure where to start or need advice and resources when it comes to an on-demand app development company, read more about our expertise in building software solutions for restaurant owners and view our loyalty app development case study.

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