How Much Does It Cost to Make a Food Delivery App?

by Polina S. & JoinSoft Team
by Polina S. & JoinSoft Team
Technical writer
04 Jan 2021
Reading Time: 13 minutes

Statista estimated online food delivery revenue to hit 136,431 million USD in 2020 with a staggering compound annual sales growth rate of 7.5% for 2020-2024. Such projections will have yielded 182,327 million USD of market share by 2024.


Or even better, Business Wire (BW) has even more optimistic forecasts for the industry. The source reports a hike from 107.44 billion USD in 2019 to 111.32 billion USD in 2020 adding 3.61% annually.


Although BW admits a relative slowdown in sales due to the ongoing pandemic, its long-term forecast is the market growth to 154.34 billion USD in 2023 with the compound annual sales growth rate of 11.5%.


In the US alone, food delivery has seen a tremendous surge with a 204% 5-year increase:




The numbers are impressive, aren’t they? OK, we know what you’re thinking. Why not hop on and ride the wave of food delivery hype?

In our article today we will explore the cost of developing a food delivery app, talk about its components, and figure out what it takes to create such a platform. So, how much does it cost to make a food delivery app? Let’s find out.



Online Food Delivery App Structure


Before we dive deep into online food delivery app cost and explore it in detail, let us first have a look at its components and see what structural items are an absolute must.


Generally, you will need to work on four modules, which all together in sync make a perfect food delivery application either for Android or iPhone.


  • Customers module offers users a choice of local restaurants and cafes around their city;
  • Restaurant module shows the eateries users place their orders in, passes them to the kitchen, and makes them ready for delivery;
  • Courier module alerts delivery agents about upcoming trips, notifies them when the food is ready for dispatch, and shows contacts of a customer;
  • Admin module: business owners and their squad can orchestrate the app operations using tools in the admin panel including who to add to their network or ban.


Each of these modules is unique and has features exclusive to every user category. The budget for creating each of the components all together will constitute the total cost of the food delivery app.



Cost of Developing an Application for a Client


This is where an order lands first. Thus, you’d better think of an appealing user interface and present all the offers in the best light.


Yes, you read that right. Here, a UX researcher and designer will have to sweat the most. Easy search is extremely important since you do not want to confuse customers and push them to go for your competitor’s app.


Different keywords, zip codes, dish names, or restaurants are the search options to plan for. Last but not least, quick checkout with a few payment options is mandatory, too.


Basically, these are the features to be considered when estimating the cost of developing on-demand food delivery apps on the client-side:


Registration and profile creation

At this stage, potential customers want to see a sleek and easy registration form including social login. No one wants to do extra work nowadays and create yet another profile on the Internet from scratch. Thus, encourage users to sign up with a few clicks.


Registration and profile creation



Restaurant or cafe search

This part offers users a chance to search for a place to order food from quickly. Do not forget about functionality to ease up the search, e.g., GPS (in case a user is in a hurry). Remember: they are hungry. You don’t want them to turn hangry, right?


Order page and payment

Once a customer decides on his next bite, he will finalize the order and pay for it. The simple truth is, he is in a hurry to finally eat. Therefore, app checkout is the focal point. That’s the place where you cannot afford things going wrong.


Order tracking

Usually, waiting is no fun. Let users see where their food is and monitor the courier’s journey in real-time. Quite simply, you can add location tracking with either Google Location API for Android or Location Framework for iOS pretty easily.


Status notification system

With this feature, you keep users informed about their upcoming delivery, so they know if the order is accepted, dispatched, where in the city it currently is, and the estimated time for it to end up on his table.


Rating and feedback

Positive reviews help build loyalty and bring more users on board. So leaving a review should be another feature to consider when you are planning the cost to build a food delivery app. Happy clients mean more biz, let’s not forget.


Time & money: approx. 1150 hours & 59,000 USD



Cost of Developing an App for a Restaurant


For a restaurant component, an app will have to do the following:


Registration and profile creation

This page allows restaurant management or employees to keep an eye on upcoming orders and plan the cooking ahead.


Adding menu

Undoubtedly, eateries need to modify the choice of dishes they have and let users know what is available for grabs at the moment. Once you’ve got it taped, think of seasonal menu options that a restaurant needs to add or delete with no stress.


Order management

Cooks need to know what they will be preparing for incoming orders and joggle them so that they manage to make food on time. With this feature, restaurant employees can accept customers’ orders and change their status when the dish is ready.


Order management



Promo, discounts, and coupons

Either on a holiday or special occasion, let users celebrate it by offering discounts and promotion codes to build loyalty and a larger audience for your app. Think about it in another way: discounts can serve as additional perks users are likely to appreciate. Who does not like free stuff?


Rating and feedback

You may wonder why business owners monitor user ratings and feedback. In such a way, you give them an opportunity and plenty of room for improvement – you want only reliable high-caliber partners if you evaluate food ordering app development cost.


Time & money: approx. 180 hours & 9,000 USD



Cost of Developing an App for a Courier


Remember: these guys are constantly on the go. They do not have time to spend on figuring out how a complex app works. Smooth and simple, couriers expect a tool to make their busy working days hassle-free. Thus, this module should include:


Registration and profile creation

Each courier will have his own page to log in from and plan their work for the day.


Order details

It’s essential for a courier to have all the required information at hand about the meals for delivery. Make sure they can see the delivery address, specific items to pick up from a resto, and how much time they have left. Beyond that, a courier needs to have an option to choose orders so that he can fit another one in the queue.


Order details



Map navigation

The task is to help a courier easily cruise a city and show the fastest ways to get to the necessary destinations.


Order status change

To plan his trips better, a courier will have to keep his finger on the pulse and track the status change of the orders. He has no time to waste.


Order history

Storing all finished orders is important, too. So couriers can build their stats and increase customer and vendors’ loyalty.


Time & money: approx. 900 hours & 45,000 USD



Cost of Developing an Admin Panel


An administrator’s panel is the mission control center for the whole application. It has all the crucial tools for managing app operations.


Log in

Build a login screen with admin credentials to allow for secure and easy app management.


Restaurant management

This part lets admins add a variety of cafes and other places customers can order food from. Furthermore, they can delete those restaurants that did not meet either their or users’ expectations. This way, admins retain users’ trust and discourage them from using another app.


Restaurant management



Advanced analytical tools

Building up historical data is very important to make data-driven decisions. This way, it’s easy to see what makes users tick, how to improve their experience, and discover what your competitors have that you lag behind.


Payment management

Having such a feature assists admins with pricing so they can modify delivery fees and, for instance, the due payment from restaurants. In addition, admins can reward top-performing clients for bringing more business by offering special rates.


Coupons and special offers management

Both cafes and customers alike, users love benefits. Offering discounts is a great way to reward devoted users and boost sales even more. Once users are hooked with a great app, they’re likely to bring their friends and family and suggest the service to their network.


Time & money: 250 hours & 12,000 USD.



Food Delivery App Development Cost: Summary Table


To finalize food delivery app development cost, it’s necessary to wrap up the estimates, make sure the numbers add up and fit into your budget.


Of course, the final cost of building a food delivery app depends on the feature set you select and the business process webs. Undoubtedly, the more features you expect the app to have, the more cash you’ll require to make it.


The following calculations are our estimates for a minimum viable product, an app that has basic functionality:


Summary Table


Before you proceed with any development efforts, it makes sense to conduct thorough market research.


Knowing who your competitors are will help you plan ahead and come up with a better design and functionality to be a step ahead.


Perhaps, you’d like to make a niche product and concentrate solely on vegan food and offer plant-based meals through your app.



Our Take on Food Delivery Apps and Why It’s Worth It


We believe that entering the niche of food delivery is a great idea for your startup or business expansion.


Gradually, the world is moving online due to the current situation. More and more people get used to the comfort of having freshly-cooked nutritious meals and beverages delivered to their doorstep in no time.


Notably, the numbers of active food delivery app users grow exponentially in major markets globally. For instance, in the US alone, the industry has been to add 6 billion users by the end of the current year, which is an impressive 14% year-on-year surge.

Our Take



Market Watch reports that the COVID-19 has more than doubled food-delivery apps’ revenues. The country’s top-tier food delivery apps show an extraordinary sales spike taking into account social restrictions and lockdowns.


The covid-19 delivery boom


It seems like it’s prime time for the food delivery industry and its players.





If you want to create an app that will take your business to new heights, it’s essential to account for all the necessary components and pay attention to market trends.


Usually, it’s easier to find a reliable contractor who will take all the technical burden off your shoulders and suggest what’s better for your particular operations.


With years of experience in software development, we at JoinSoft will be glad to have a word with you and discuss your ideas to see what solutions we can offer to streamline your business.


Drop us a line to discuss the next steps to start food delivery app development.



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