Food Delivery App: How Much Does It Cost?

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App like Zomato, Swiggy, Uber Eats - MediaOne Marketing

Are you looking to get into the food delivery or transportation industry with an app like Zomato, Swiggy, or Uber Eats? Well, it’s no walk in the park, and your wallet may start to feel a little light too.

Whether you’re in the food business or looking to partner with a ridesharing company, developing an app like Zomato, Swiggy, or Uber Eats requires careful planning, technical know-how, and, of course, money.

Remember, you’re competing against the already established giants in this industry, so it’s only natural that you’ll want to go a little extra with the development process.

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Top Features in Zomato, Swiggy, and Uber Eats Apps

What features should you consider? Well, the Zomato, Swiggy, and Uber Eats apps provide an excellent model for what you should include in your own app:

  • Geolocation: This feature allows users to find restaurants/drivers near them and helps make the ordering process easier.
  • Real-Time Updates: This feature allows users to monitor their orders in real-time, such as tracking the driver’s location when they’re on the way to pick up an order or seeing how long it will take for a restaurant to prepare their dish.
  • Ratings & Reviews: Users can post reviews about restaurants/drivers, providing valuable feedback that can help other users in the future.
  • Easy Re-ordering: All the apps mentioned above allow users to easily re-order items they’ve purchased before without having to go through the hassle of searching for them again.
  • Push Notifications: Push notifications are a great way to keep users updated on their orders and any promotions or discounts the app may offer.
  • Customer Support: You need a dedicated customer support team to help sort out any queries or issues that users may encounter.
  • Social Media Integration: This feature allows users to easily share their orders on social media and follow restaurants/drivers for updates.
  • Restaurant/driver profiles: Profiles are an important feature that allows users to learn more about the restaurant/driver they’re ordering from.
  • Ordering Food in Advance: This feature allows users to schedule food orders to be delivered later.
  • Appropriate Filters: Filters make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for on the app. It allows them to sort out menu items based on their requirements, such as price range, cuisine, and more.

How Many Apps Do You Need?

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Food delivery apps operate in a trio:

  • The Customer App: This app allows customers to order food from restaurants/drivers.
  • The Restaurant App: This app allows restaurant owners to manage their business, such as accepting/declining orders and managing staff/inventory.
  • The Driver App: This app allows drivers to accept orders, track their location and receive payments.

You’ll also need an admin panel to oversee everything and manage your backend operations.

The Food Delivery and Restaurant Management Business Model:

Food delivery apps like Zomato, Swiggy, and Uber Eats follow a business model where restaurants partner with the app to accept customers’ orders. The driver is then dispatched to pick up the food and deliver it to the customer’s doorstep.

It bridges the gap between customers, restaurants, and drivers. Customers get access to various food options at the tap of a button, while restaurants benefit from increased visibility and sales. On the other hand, drivers earn money by delivering orders to customers.

How Many Pages Should the App Have?

The number of pages can vary depending on the complexity of the app. Generally speaking, you should consider adding at least 10-15 pages for each section (customer, restaurant, and driver apps). That includes things like the home page, login page, payment page, order page, and more.

What Technologies Do You Need To Develop the App?

When developing an app like Zomato, Swiggy, or Uber Eats, you’ll need a range of technologies — both frontend and backend. 

You’ll need HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for frontend development. Or a UI framework such as Bootstrap, Tailwind, or Material-UI.

For the backend development, you’ll need a web framework like Node.js and a database such as MongoDB or PostgreSQL. You may also need to use an API service like Twilio for messaging services, Stripe for payments, Google Maps for tracking driver locations, Mailgun for emails, etc.

  • Grubhub API or FourSquareAPI for restaurant listing
  • PayPay, Stripe, Braintree, and Square APIs for payments
  • AWS, Google Cloud Product, and Azure for Cloud
  • Technology stack: html5, angular js, iOS and Android, Flutter, React Js, and CSS3
  • Backend (Website and Mobile Apps): Node js, PHP, net core, MySQL, MongoDb, Postgress
  • Back-end development: Node.js
  • Programming languages: Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS
  • Google Maps and Mapkit to find directions
  • SMS Service: Twilio
  • Mailing Service: Amazon SES
  • Google Analytics for analytics
  • Facebook SDK login for user registration
  • Core location framework and Google places API for finding user location
  • Amazon Cloud Storage for Storage

What Are the Main Features?

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App like Zomato, Swiggy, Uber Eats

The main features of a food delivery app like Zomato or Swiggy include: 

  • Restaurant/driver profiles 
  • Ordering food in advance 
  • Appropriate filters 
  • Secure payment gateway integration 
  • Push notifications 
  • Real-time tracking of orders 
  • Ratings and reviews 
  • Promo codes 
  • Incentive system for drivers

These are just some features you should consider adding to your app. And depending on your specific needs, you may want to add more or fewer features.

Components of the App

As we said, there are four main components of the app – customer app, restaurant app, driver app, and admin panel.

The customer and restaurant apps have similar features like profile setup, order tracking, and payments. The main difference is that the restaurant app must manage staff/inventory and accept/decline orders.

The driver app allows drivers to track their locations, add orders to their queue, accept/decline orders, and collect payments.

Finally, the admin panel is used by the business owner or admin staff to manage customer and restaurant accounts, view analytics, add offers/discounts, monitor driver performance, and more.

The Customer App

The customer app is the most visible component of the food delivery app. It needs to be intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing. Some key features to consider include: 

  • User registration/login 
  • Restaurant search 
  • Appropriate filters 
  • Menu selection 
  • Real-time tracking of orders 
  • Secure payment gateway integration 
  • Promo codes & discounts 
  • Ratings and reviews  

The Restaurant App

Restaurant apps usually have similar features to customer apps but also need to manage staff/inventory and accept/decline orders. Some key features to consider include: 

  • Restaurant registration/login  
  • Order management (accepting or declining orders) 
  • Inventory Management 
  • Real-time tracking of orders 
  • Secure Payment gateway integration 
  • Offer & Discounts  

The Driver/Delivery App

Driver apps are essential to ensure the food is delivered on time. Some key features to consider include: 

  • Driver registration/login  
  • Order accepting & declining 
  • Map location tracking 
  • Payment collection 
  • Incentives for drivers
  • Delivery history
  • E-sign page
  • Call to customers

The Admin Panel

As the name suggests, the admin panel manages every aspect of the food delivery app. It’s important to ensure that the panel can be used efficiently and easily. Some key features to consider include: 

  • User & restaurant account management 
  • Analytics/reporting 
  • Offers & Discounts 
  • Driver performance tracking 
  • Payment gateway integration

Key Factors that Determine the Cost of  Building a Food Delivery App

How much you’ll spend to build a food delivery app depends on your requirements, the development team you hire, and the number of features you want to add. Other key factors include: 

  • App Size: By app size, we mean the number of screens, categories, and features. The larger the app is, the more time it will take to develop and the more it will cost you.
  • Development Platform: You’ll have to decide whether to create a native app (iOS and Android) or a cross-platform app. Native apps are more expensive but offer better performance, while cross-platform apps are cheaper and faster to develop. 
  • App Design: App development doesn’t begin and end with coding. You also need to consider the design of the app. Before you even think about coding, make sure you have a solid design. 

Draw the app’s wireframe, pick the right colours, create its mockup, prototype, and more. All of these steps add to the overall cost of the app development process. 

  • Third-Party Integrations: Third-party integrations can add many features to your app and make it more attractive to users. They also come with their costs, so bear that in mind when budgeting for your app.
  • Maintenance: Launching the app is only the beginning. To ensure it runs smoothly and efficiently, you should be prepared to pay for its maintenance and upkeep. Have a budget set aside to cover technical problems, bug fixes, and other issues.
  • The App Development Team: How much you pay for app development also depends on the team you hire. Choosing a top-tier app development agency will cost you more than hiring a team of freelancers or a small agency. 

Types of Food Delivery Apps You Can  Build

Not all food delivery apps have the same business model. Depending on your needs, you can create different types of food delivery apps: 

  • Restaurant Apps: These apps allow customers to order food from a restaurant’s menu. They usually don’t include delivery services, but some restaurants may offer in-house delivery. 
  • Delivery Apps: These are the most common type of app and typically offer delivery services for restaurants and other food businesses. The app acts as a bridge between the customer, restaurant, and driver. 
  • Grocery Apps: These apps allow customers to order groceries from local stores and have them delivered straight to their doorstep. 
  • Meal Prep Apps: These apps provide meal plans that can be cooked at home with the help of pre-portioned ingredients. 
  • Food Truck Apps: These apps enable customers to find and order food from nearby food trucks. 
  • Meal Subscription Apps: These apps offer weekly meal subscriptions for customers looking for a convenient way to eat healthily. The customer can select the meals for a week, and the app will deliver them to their doorstep. 
  • On-Demand Apps: These apps allow customers to order food from any business, not just restaurants. These apps can also order groceries, prepared meals, and other items. 

Monetization Strategy For UberEats Like App 

It doesn’t matter how excellent your app is. If there’s no scope for making a profit, then there’s no point in building the app in the first place.

Here are a few strategies you can use to monetize your food delivery app: 

  • Delivery Fee: You can charge a fee for every order the customer places. That’s usually a flat rate and can vary depending on the distance, time of day, etc.
  • Commission: Most apps take a commission from each order placed on their platform. This way, you can make a profit without charging the customers directly. 
  • Premium Features: You can offer premium features to your users and charge them for access. These features could include priority delivery or discounts from partner restaurants, etc. 
  • Advertising: If your food delivery app has a large user base, you can allow other businesses to promote their products on your app. Restaurants that aren’t part of your delivery network can also use this option to get more customers. 

These are just a few ways to monetize your food delivery app. Experiment with different options to find out which one works best for you. 

So, how much does it cost to develop a food delivery app such as Zomato, Swiggy, or Uber Eats? 

How Much Does it Cost to Develop An App like Zomato, Swiggy, Uber Eats

How much you spend on your app depends on several factors, such as the app’s complexity, the platform you choose, and the development team you hire. Generally speaking, developing an app like UberEats can cost anywhere from $20Kto $100K depending on these and other factors.

Also, how much you spend on your app depend on where the development team you’re hiring is from. For example,  development teams in the US, UK, or Australia will cost more than those in India, South America, or Eastern Europe. 

  • In Europe and America: $120 to $250
  • Central Europe: $60 to $80 per hour
  • India: $10 to $80 per hour
  • Ukraine: $30 to $60 per hour

Unless you’re working with an in-house team of developers or an agency that offers fixed prices for projects, the cost of developing a food delivery app like UberEats is highly variable. 

You should perhaps consider creating an MVP app with simple features and UX design if you’re operating on a tight budget. 

Here’s a simple breakdown of the costs of developing a simple food distribution app. 

Basic Features Hours
Features List Backend Development Hours Frontend Development Hours
Authorization 15 33
Account Editing 9 13
Push Notification 13 28
iOS/Android Specific adjustments
Total Hours 27 89
Cost Approximate $500 $1,500

This is the simplest it can go. You can hire a freelance developer to set up a basic app for your food delivery service for as little as $2000. The app won’t have advanced features, just enough for restaurants to sign up and drivers to pick up and deliver orders.

For more advanced features, the production cost for a simple app will start at $20,000 and can go up to $100,000 or more. Additionally, the cost of app maintenance and updates could vary depending on the complexity of your app.

Here’s a simple cost breakdown, assuming the developer charges an hourly rate of $40. 

Basic Features Hours
List of Features Backend Development Hours Frontend Development Hours
Onboarding Tutorial 12
Account Editing 2 7
Geo Locations 36 58
Food Listing 3 12
Dish Description 20 55
Cart and Management 16 28
Location Drop for Delivery 6 42
Order Tracking in Realtime 32 32
Payment Gateways 14 44
Customer Support 8 30
iOS/Android Adjustments 36
The Total Number of Hours 137 356
Approximated Cost $5,500 $14,300

Also, don’t forget to consider other expenses such as hosting, app store fees, marketing costs, and more.

Time to Build a Food Delivery App

It should take developers 2 to 4 months to build a basic version of an UberEats-like app. It could take longer if you want more features or custom UI/UX. 

Here’s the estimated number of hours it can take to build each app component:

Basic Features

  • Home Screen Design & Development: 14 hours
  • Restaurant Listings & Search: 21 hours
  • Menu with Shopping Cart: 35 hours 
  • Order Confirmation & Tracking: 16 hours 
  • Payment Gateway Integration: 8 hours 
  • Customer Support: 10 hours 
  • Analytics & Engagement: 16 hours 
  • Total Hours: 110 hours

The Number of Hours It Takes to Build an Advanced Food Delivery App

Customer  App     500-700 hours
Driver App     500-700 hrs
Restaurant App     500-700 hrs
Admin Panel     300-400 hrs
Idea Validation     40+ hours
Prototyping     60 hours
Documentation     60 hours
UI/UX Design     130-190 hours
Backend     300+ hours
Testing & QA     60-120 hours

Now, to calculate the estimated cost of developing an UberEats-like app for each platform, you would multiply the hours by the hourly rate of your development team. 

For example, if you’re hiring a development team from India, charging a rate of $30/hour, then the cost of developing an UberEats-like app for Android and iOS would be roughly 2200 x $30 = $66 000. 

If you’re hiring US developers, the cost would be much higher at $100/hour: 2200 x $100 = $220 000. 

So, as you can see, the costs of developing a food delivery app like UberEats can range from around $20K to over a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the features, platform, and development team you choose.

Cheaper Alternatives to Developing a Food Delivery App

If you’re operating on an extremely tight budget, then the best alternative to developing your own food delivery app is to use a white-label solution. 

White-label solutions are ready-made platforms that can be customized and branded for your specific needs. They typically require no programming knowledge or development costs and can be set up in a matter of hours. 

However, they come with limitations, such as limited features or customization options. So make sure to thoroughly research your options before making a decision. 

So, how much do white-label solutions cost? The prices can range from around $10/month to over a hundred dollars per month, depending on the features included.

How to Make a Food Delivery App on a Budget

Top 10 Best Food Delivery App London List | 2021 Edition

If you’re working on a tight budget, then the best way to reduce the cost of developing your app is to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version with just the basic features. That will allow you to launch your app at a lower price. 

You may also want to look for development teams in countries with lower hourly rates. For example, development teams in India, South America, or Eastern Europe may be able to complete your project at a fraction of the cost.

How to Build the App: Step By Step

#1. Research & Planning

Do detailed research into the existing food delivery apps and figure out what features you need in your app.

#2. Draw a User Flow Diagram

Create a flow chart of how users will interact with the app. That will help you plan your features and determine what screens need to be created. 

#3. Design the App Interface 

Work with an experienced UI/UX designer to create a visually appealing, user-friendly interface for your app. 

#4. Prototype & Test the App

Use a prototyping tool or create an interactive prototype to test the user interface. That will help you determine how users interact with your app before starting development work. 

#5. Develop the Backend 

Work with experienced developers to build a secure, reliable server-side architecture for your app. 

#6. Develop the App

Create the app using the programming language of your choice. That could be either Swift for iOS, Java for Android, or React Native for both platforms. 

#7. Test & Debug 

Test the app to ensure it’s working correctly and fix any potential bugs. 

#8. Launch & Monitor 

Launch the app and monitor its performance. Be sure to update it with new features and bug fixes.

In Conclusion

Developing a food delivery app like UberEats can be expensive, ranging from around $20K to over a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the features, platform, and development team you choose. 

If you’re working with a tight budget, you may consider creating an MVP version of your app or using a white-label solution.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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