Successful Food Delivery App Like UberEats: A Definitive Guide

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Do you run a food business and use an on-demand delivery app similar to UberEats? If not, then you might get benched amid the current COVID-19 surge. In China alone, more than 30 percent of the respondents ordered more from food delivery apps during the pandemic. And this tendency is going on worldwide as well.

As the Digital Market Outlook data suggests, the revenue of the eServices Online Food Delivery segment worldwide is projected to reach 96,864.4 million U.S. dollars in 2024. Just in time for online food startups to flourish, isn’t it?

So if you want a piece of this cake, then it’s an opportune moment to ride the wave and invest in food ordering apps like UberEats. However, building a food delivery app from scratch is no mean feat, since the development guzzles up quite a big chunk of time and finances. Besides, you won’t get away with a single app for all parties. Thus, you need one application for users, another for couriers, and an admin panel for restaurants.

If our words incite panic, then you’ll definitely benefit from our guide that will share an UberEats economic model and an insightful tutorial on how to make an application like UberEats.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.


The UberEats Success Story

Being among the most popular apps, UberEats is a food delivery service owned by the largest ride-share company. Its app is a multi-sided marketplace linking a driver, a restaurant owner, and a user with the company’s platform at the center. This application serves as both a restaurant aggregator and a delivery agent. Therefore, it uses a standard food delivery model and takes over order delivery.

Additionally, the on-demand solution offers other functionality, providing an unmatched ease-of-use. Among the major differentiators of these apps are the following features:

  • Customized restaurant recommendations
  • Advanced search filters
  • Order tracking 
  • Personalized delivery details

Now that we’ve got through the basics, let’s move on to UberEats monetization strategies.


How does UberEats make money?

UberEats obtains profit from three different revenue streams, including:

  • Delivery Fees. The fee is divided into three parts: pickup fee, delivery fee, and distance fee (per mile). Some years ago UberEats charged a flat rate of $4.99 delivery fee. Today, the fee total varies, based on locations, distances, and availability of drivers. 
  • Recurring Revenue Share from Restaurant Partners. The platform takes a cut of 15% to 40% on every order.
  • Marketing and Advertising Fee. UberEats helps its restaurant partners reach a wider audience by promoting them via the app search.

Now, you have more information about the business model implemented by the niche giant. Let’s go over the development process of an on-demand application.


Building a Food Delivery Application: A Comprehensive Guide

If you want to set up your undertaking for success, it’s not enough to copy-paste other successful experiences and functionality. Therefore, we have curated five main steps that will help you to build a best-in-class on-demand food solution that will eclipse your nearest competitors.


Step 1. Keep tabs on the raging trends in the industry

To stay on top of things, you have to keep abreast of the popular food delivery tendencies. The ever-evolving technologies constantly generate new delivery channels, including the following:


Social Networks

Let’s take a page out of Domino’s marketing book. Domino’s may have had its ups and downs, but one thing that nobody can take away from them is the company’s social media positioning. Thus, among their brilliant case studies is the one where Domino’s has utilized social media for making orders. The company has made it possible to order through Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa, and Twitter which helped them epitomize convenience and hop on the digital innovative train.


Virtual assistant

Chatbots are all the rage right now, with 80% of businesses using them, including the food industry. This technology lets consumers dictate orders via mobile devices while on the go. 

Among companies that have leveraged this technology are:

  • Domino’s pizza (yes, again). Domino’s is holding the court there with its Dom chatbot. The hands-free technology allows customers to order food via social network messengers. 
  • Grubhub is another example of forward-looking company. Its Alexa chatbot helps users save time by reordering meals for delivery or takeout in seconds.
  • Just Eat has also followed suit by integrating a virtual assistant into their system as well. The company tried its hand at delivering chatbots that assist in reordering a previous meal using nothing but your voice.


In the last decade, there’s been a surge of popularity in hand-help devices that have quickly made it to our daily necessities. Thus, by 2022, Wear OS and Android are foreseen to fuel more than 35 million smartwatches worldwide, while another 34 million smartwatches are expected to run Apple’s watchOS. The food industry hasn’t been left behind as well. Already in 2015, Domino’s launched an ordering app for smartwatches, thus designing a modern restaurant experience for customers’ wrists.

So this was a quick low-down on the popular trends in the catering industry that you can use as an inspiration for your future app. Now let’s go over from business ideas to technicalities.


Step 2. Choose a delivery business model

As a second step, you need to pick a food delivery business model that meets your unique needs. Overall, there are two main models present in the market. Let’s have a closer look at each of them. They are: 

The Order Only Model The Order & Delivery Model
Examples Grubhub

JustEat, etc.



Zomato, etc.

The main idea This model does not include any issues regarding food delivery. As an owner, you can request set commission fees from the restaurants  This food delivery model includes restaurants, customers, and delivery.
Profit As a monetization model, these platforms tend to charge a lowish fee of 10-15%. A higher commission of 25-30% plus a delivery fee. You can also charge a fixed rate delivery fee or claim commission based on the distance
Disadvantages This business model is known for a highly competitive landscape. Also, you’ll have to rely on the restaurants’ own couriers. You have to invest in courier training. Also, it is challenging to manage all the resources, which may forestall scaling.
Advantages This food delivery business model frees you from delivery and cooking issues. Once your services get a high rating, your name will work for you, thus bringing you profit.

Step 3. Do the market research

Customer insights are key to setting up any application for success. A defined target audience will help you fine-tune your product to customer’s needs. You can either aim for a specific preference, like dairy-free vegetarians, or a general audience, like sushi enthusiasts.

To have a better understanding of your focus group, make sure to go over the following points:

  • What are the social characteristics of the intended users?
  • What hobbies/interests do they have?
  • What weak points can your product latch?
  • What kind of emotions does your product evoke?
  • What are your main differentiators?

These questions will help you obtain a thorough understanding of your main objectives or at least point you in the right direction.


Step 4. Pick the must-have functionality for your UberEats-inspired product

Among the essential features of apps for food delivery are the following:

  • Sign-up and user profile. This is a core feature for winning over customer loyalty. Consider using social login for ease of use. 
  • Restaurant or food search. To filter through the search, users can select options by meal, restaurant, and other categories. Make sure to include high-quality pictures of dishes, the cooking process, and a commentary.
  • Making orders. After customers have chosen the meal, they add it to their shopping cart. 
  • Order checkout. This app section should feature all ordered items and the amount for payment.
  • Multiple payment options. When a customer is done with an order, they can proceed with making payments. Clearly, payment processing should be secure, fast, and offer multiple payment options.
  • Push notifications. Customers can get updates about their order status. 
  • Live food tracking. This feature can give you a leg up in the competition. You can enable this functionality by using location-based frameworks and APIs depending on the platform. 
  • Reviews and ratings. This is a win-win feature for both the owner and the customers. Users can get their opinion seen and heard, while business owners can identify issues with products or get a product innovation idea.


Step 5. Choose an ideal tech stack for your Food Delivery App

There are no identical on-demand applications since their functionality originates from unique business needs. However, there are some essential technologies that are omnipresent in every app in this niche. Among such universal solutions are restaurant listing, payment gateway, user location, and push notifications technologies.


A Custom Food Delivery App: The Costs

Your development costs will be based on the features you are looking to integrate into your on-demand food delivery mobile app and the resources to get your app transformed from its idea stage to the launch phase. You can get an accurate estimate only after the Inception phase.

In general, a development team needs from 50 hours to build a UI/UX design and from 65 hours to power the application’s back-end. The development stage itself may require around 240 hours to get your application on both Android and iOS.

The food delivery business has a long path to growing. It means that it’s just about time to kick off your journey and build a food delivery app aimed to leave a mark. We now hope that you can choose what way to follow from the right business model to a perfect set of must-have features. Just don’t forget to hire a professional app development team.

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