Have you always wanted to build a food ordering app like Zomato, Swiggy, or Foodpanda? But, you consistently get succumbed to a vicious circle of questions like:

How to develop an app from scratch? What is the cost involved in building an app? Should you hire a company that specializes in app development? And even if you create an online food ordering app, how to make it live for the people to use and install it on their Android and iOS devices?

If you are struggling to find answers to any of the questions we shot above, you have reached the right place.

In this definitive guide, we would walk you through the exact roadmap of how to start and end a project related to creating a food ordering app from scratch.

We will also cover how as an enthusiastic entrepreneur, it might become another revenue generation source for you. The key is to first begin with selected geographies, conquer the hyper-local food markets and then gradually spread the business scope beyond it.

You should be certain of picking the right set of USPs and determine a value proposition that fits your business mission and vision the best. Selecting the right set of target audience is key and once you gain control over a smaller share of the market, you can start expanding.

In addition to that, it will also focus on the financial aspects of setting up a homemade food ordering chain. Things like- what’s the cost involved, how it will benefit you in growing your food ordering business, how to get vendors on board with a commission model to start with, and more.

So let’s begin! 

First up, let’s look at a piece of concrete evidence and determine if creating a food ordering app is even going to be a good choice for you or not. 

According to Statista, revenue in the Online Food Ordering Industry amounts to US$ 122,739m in 2020, and the revenue is anticipated to witness an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) of 7.5%, occurring in a market volume of US$ 164,002m by 2024.

As per the stats, the market share of the people ordering food online is on the rise with each passing day. Also, amid the pandemic, the intensity has soared and people prefer to get fresh and hygienic food delivered right at their doorsteps. That’s a clear and obvious indication for you to go for a mobile app without any second thoughts. 

Creating a robust food-ordering app of your own will help you become a part of the market majority and will churn out profits for you simultaneously as well.

Opportunities & Threats Of Operating A Food Ordering App 

There is a certain responsibility and perks you would be accountable and entitled for when you operate a food ordering app. Here are a few common opportunities and threats to keep you excited as well as alarmed before the app goes live:-


1. COVID-19

Among a lot of industries getting affected adversely by the pandemic, the food ordering industry is among those for whom it has been a blessing in disguise. The pandemic has left people terrified to step out of their homes. The online mode of food ordering has temporarily shunned down the offline food takeaways and is currently at pause. However, some businesses are continuing to flourish.

2. Instills Trust

Instead of delivering from a third-party vendor, people feel safe when they use your exclusive app to rely on every time they order food online.

3. Wider Reach

When you choose to have a dedicated app for your business, you take a step forward to connect with your audience at a personal level. Customized ads, responses, and food options are just a few ways to keep them committed to your mobile app. 


1. Late Delivery

Delivery delays aren’t something new and we know how frustrating it gets for the customers at times. Online deliveries are a concern when the order does not reach the customers promptly. It can affect your app review as well as raise questions about the quality of services that aren’t good for the business especially when you are starting.

2. Increased Prices  

We all know that an additional value is attached to the online food orders we choose to place which we can avail on a cheaper rate if we buy the same item offline. However, there are certain marketing gimmicks to try when you are new in the game of the online food ordering business. You can opt for coupons, first order free, discounts as and when you gradually grow and want people to be fond of you.

Roadmap To Build A Food Ordering App

Step-1 Market Research

Before you deep dive to build an extensive and elaborative mobile application, it’s important to know the market first. It includes researching the key players who are also your competitors, customers and geographies you should be targeting, and also staying ahead with the latest technology with the features that make your food ordering app up-to-date. 

Step-2 Decide Food Ordering Model

There are two primary models to get your food delivered- order and deliver mode and order only mode. To decide which one fits the best with your business spread, you must ask yourself these questions. 

 > Do you want to accept and manage orders or only want to manage and deliver the orders?

 > Do you require logistics support or you will be better off even without it?

 > How do you want to charge the customers for delivery?

Once you have a solid knowledge of how you want your business model to work, take your pick and customize the app accordingly. 

Step-3 Decide The Features You Want To Incorporate In Your Food Ordering App

Now that you are certain of the market to target and the mode of deliveries to follow, it’s time you actually dive into structuring how your app is going to be perceived by the users. 

Here is a list of some of the must-have features a good food ordering app must consist of:- 

i) Registration Page For Users and Vendors

Login Page For Food Ordering AppThere can be either one or two sets of potential users of your application. First, the customers who avail the services and second, the vendors who deliver you the services. There should be a clear option for the end-users to choose and select the option that resonates with them the best.

ii) Uncomplicated On-boarding Page

Onboarding On Food Ordering AppYour registration page should always be chaos-free and should not bother the users with too many fill-in-the-blanks. Try to stick to minimalism and only ask for basic information like email ID, password, and phone numbers. Also, there should always be quick options to integrate the same with either an existing Facebook or a Google Account.

Vendor Onboarding

Once a user registers themselves as an active user of your app, it’s time for them to set up their profile pages. Again, the key is to finish the set-up in as few clicks as possible. Wrap it up by asking for a profile picture, current location, delivery address, and finally the payment details or method they wish to use.  

iii) Search Field

Dish Search Field

Now that they are inside your app, they would love to scroll and see what options you have got. Drop a clear search field for your users to start typing and catch hold of nearby restaurants, popular food outlets, and trendy cafes as per their current location. You can also choose to reflect certain offers associated with a particular place right beneath their descriptions.  

iv) Seamless Option For Placing Order

ORDER HISTORY Placing orderOrdering food online is definitely an impulsive decision, so an enticing CTA button that forces a customer to place an order every time they skim through the list can work in your favour. But that is a process that takes time, so before they hit “Place Order”, they make hundreds of gazillion changes to their orders.

Make sure it’s a seamless journey for them while they do so. They may add and remove food items multiple times and even change restaurants, however, it should never become a frustrating process for your users whatsoever. Any action taken by them to tweak their orders and ultimately place it shouldn’t take more than three clicks.

This phase is where the food ordering cycle might break and no revenue generation happens, so to dodge that, your UX should be top-notch. 

v) Payment Methods

Payment Options On Food Ordering App

When a customer is finally ready to order food online and make the payment, it’s crucial the user feels secured and can get through the payment gateway in the most convenient manner possible. The steps also need to be swift and seamless without any hiccups or lags. 

While the customer should not at any time feel they do not have access to their preferred mode of payment, so it’s a good idea to provide them all the possible options like paying through e-wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay as well as card transactions and COD. 

vi) Order Tracking Capabilities


Flexibility to track orders is a feature people like to have installed on their devices. Once the user enables Location API which is offered by CoreLocation and Google, for iOS and Android, respectively, both the parties can use their current location to determine the approximate time to reach the order at the destination.

vii) Push Notifications

Not every customer is going to sit glued to your app to track their deliveries in real-time. However, it’s still essential they are notified when their order gets placed, is on the way, or when it gets delivered. 

 In addition to this, push notifications like discounts, offers, and simple ads also can be popped up on their devices once they enable the option to get such messages every time there is an activity on your app. 

viii) Feedback & Reviews

Rating Food Ordering AppYou have done your part, now it’s time to wait for the results! This is going to happen with an impactful feedback mechanism. Positive feedback and 5-star ratings would help more users to catch a  hold of your food ordering app and use it. 

To make that happen you need to politely ask your users to do so. After the successful delivery of their order, ask how the service was, was the food of good quality, how was their overall experience, etc. People love to put up a good review when they are genuinely happy with the services of a new app in the market. 

But the same is true for an un-delightful experience as well. So you need to be prepared for a mix of reviews and feedback you get for your services.

ix) Order History Details


People love to keep track of their orders and wish to repeat the same food items they ordered from a particular restaurant or a particular place. In such situations, order histories help them to do so without any hassle that also enhances the user experience.

x) Discounts & Rewards

Want to attract more customers and don’t want to say goodbye to the existing ones? Offering your users discounts and rewards is a great tactic to do so, that truly works! Who does not love to get discounts and a few bucks off on the original price?

xi) Sponsored/Paid Listings

You can give special preferences to the restaurants who always want to be listed on the top of your rating chart via paid sponsorships.

Step-4 Determine Which Technology Stack You Are Going To Base Your Project On

If you want to ensure a seamless user experience similar to that of Uber Eats or Zomato, choosing the right technology and framework will make a huge impact. Even though there are certain platforms to choose from, it’s important to pick the right sets of tools to align them with your food ordering business needs. 

 Here are a few of the best options to consider and assist you in creating a power-packed mobile application:-

1. Best Mobile App Development Languages


– Swift

– Kotlin

– JavaScript 

– Python

2. Best Backend Development Tools

– Node.js

– Ruby on Rails

– Meteor

– Django

3. Best Frontend Development Tools

– React.js

– Angular

– Vue.js

– Ionic 2

4. Best Libraries and Frameworks

– Facebook SDK

– Google Maps

– Google Directions

– Stripe payments

– Firebase 

The Overall Development Cost To Build A Rich Food Ordering App

When you choose to develop an app from scratch, you need a team of highly specialized technocrats to create a rich and robust online mobile application for you

The team broadly consists of a bunch of software engineers, front-end/back-end developers, project managers, iOS/android developers, quality analysts as well as specialized UI/UX designers to bring exactly what you happen to have in mind. 

All of this comes with a cost in addition to external services like creating a customer app, courier app, admin panel integration, etc.

How To Make Your App Live On Play Store and App Store?

For Play Stores, you are required to pay a one-time fee of $25 post which you can upload your application to Google Play Store for your target audience to use. 

Similarly, for the App Store, an amount of $99 is charged to publish your application and make it live for the audience to install your application.

Who To Rely On For Your App Development Requirements?

Choose a company that understands your exact website and mobile app development requirements, can effectively choose the right kind of app that would fit perfectly into your business and ultimately produce it with the most user-friendly approach. 

At Quokka Labs, we treat your projects like ours and would be more than happy to take ownership and responsibility on your behalf.

You won’t regret trusting a company that got recognized as one of the Top Web & Mobile App Development Companies in India by Clutch and Good firms.

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