How to Build a Food Delivery App like UberEats

Food delivery is something most of us can’t leave without. The pandemic and safety regulations made applications like UberEats even more popular. Now, to taste their favorite meal, restaurant guests place an order and wait for a courier to deliver it.  

Moreover, food orders are the only way for restaurants to earn money, while dine-ins are prohibited in numerous countries, including the U.S. 

Even though Uber Eats popularity, many restaurant owners criticize the platform for unfair service commissions that reduce restaurants’ already small profit margin. 

For that reason, savoy restaurant owners are considering developing their food delivery marketplaces like UberEats. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, lead them. 

Suppose you are one of the brave and optimistic food tech entrepreneurs and considering developing an app like Grubhub or UberEats. In this case, you need to know UberEat’s business model and simple steps to build such an app or even better. Let’s see how food delivery marketplaces similar to UberEats operate and how much it will cost you to make a food delivery aggregator. 

UberEats Business Model

The UberEats app is both a restaurant aggregator and a delivery agent that performs two different ways:

  • UberEats uses a traditional food delivery model, listing partners-restaurants in a single app.
  • UberEats also handles order delivery using its own logistics network to deliver orders from restaurants that don’t have a delivery option. 

The most notable features of this food delivery application include:

  • Recommendations
  • Advanced search
  • Order tracking 
  • Delivery details 

Now, let us take a look at UberEats monetization strategies.

How does UberEats make money? 

The company applies three monetization strategies:

  • Delivery Fee from $2 to $8 per order depending on the distance between customers and restaurants
  • Service Fees from 15% to 40% fee for each order received via UberEats. 
  • Promotion -when partner restaurants pay for ranking first in the search, which increases their visibility to customers. 
Uber Eats business model canvas

How to make a food delivery application: 5 steps to follow

To develop apps like UberEats and make it popular among users, you need something more than copying its features. To help you surpass UberEats, we suggest applying the following steps:

Step 1. Track Food Delivery Industry Trends

You need to be aware of the new delivery channels and other trends:

Social Networks

To make your project unique in the selected niche, consider integrating ordering via social media accounts functionality. 

The first company that used this ordering option was Domino’s Pizza, which offered customers orders via Twitter accounts. App users “tweeted” a pizza emoji to the Domino’s Pizza Twitter account to place an order. 


social media food delivery

[Source: Domino’s Pizza]

Before ordering at Domino’s Pizza vis Twitter, users need: 

  • Create a “pizza profile” and list a favorite pizza
  • Fill in the “default orders” section on Domino’s Pizza website
  • Link a pizza profile with a Twitter account

Virtual assistant

Chabot allows placing orders via messengers and requests food by a single word:

Domino’s pizza has developed Dom, a chatbot that allows placing orders on Twitter and Facebook messengers and learn about special offers.

Grubhub has integrated its system with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, allowing customers to reorder any of their last three purchases.

Just Eat has decided to keep up with the current trends and integrate Alexa into its ordering system. Thanks to new Amazon hardware, Echo Show, Just Eat can place orders by voice and check the courier’s location.


Food delivery companies widely use wearable devices: 

Domino’s was a pioneer who launched a food ordering app for Android watches which simplifies ordering.

smart watch dominos pizza food ordering

[Image source: Domino’s Pizza]

OrderUp introduced its latest app for the Apple Watch. OrderUp customers can place orders, track delivery statuses, and see when the courier will arrive.


Step 2. Choose Food Delivery Model

Now, you need to select a food delivery model among two business models that will suit you the best: 


Order-Only Model


Order and Delivery Model



  • Eat24
  • JustEat
  • Deliveroo
  • Doordash
  • UberEats


Companies only manage orders.

Food startups are responsible for both managing orders and delivery. In some cases, such businesses cooperate with courier services.


Order-only businesses charge restaurants 10 – 30% of order value.

The business model includes a commission from restaurants (25-30%) and the delivery fee. You can set a flat-rate delivery fee or charge a fee based on customer and restaurant distance, as UberEats does.



This business model has a low barrier for entry. Thus, this niche is quite crowded with competitors.

You need to hire and train carriers, etc. The increased amount of management works may impact business scaling.



By using this business model, you don’t have to worry about cooking and delivery.

Once such a food delivery is in place, you will develop a company and receive a profit.

food ordering sources

[Statistics for on-delivery services income by Statista]

Step 3. Research target market 

To develop an excellent food delivery app, you need to know the target audience. Once you understand who will use the food delivery app, it is easy to build an app that ideally meets target audiences’ needs. 

The target audience could be narrow, such as gluten-free raw vegans, or broad, like pizza lovers. 

To draw a clear picture of the target audience, use demographic criteria and create a target customer profile by clarifying the following info:

  • Social characteristics, including income, gender, nationality, and age
  • What potential customer problem may your project solve?
  • What feeling will your application provoke from customers?
  • Why should customers use the platform rather than competitors? 

By clarifying all of these points, you will have a good idea of the target customers. 


Step 4. Choose the main features of UberEats-like food delivery services

When developing a mobile app like Uber for food delivery, consider the following features: 

Login allows login to the app using email or social networks profile. 

Search allows searching by meal, filters, as well as food category. This section should include pictures of dishes, the process, and a description of the meal.

Order placing allows adding meals to the cart. 

Order checkout includes all selected dishes and the order total. 

Payment allows users to pay for the order via the built-in payment gateway. Our advice is to integrate several payment systems, such as PayPal, Stripe, MangoPay. We applied this strategy to custom marketplace development. You can find the complete case study on the link. 

Notifications inform users about the order status via push notifications and SMS.

Order tracking shows real-time order tracking using the CoreLocation framework for iOS apps and Google Location API for Android apps. Besides, Mapkits and Google Maps will help couriers to find the best route to the customer’s location.

User Reviews allows app users to share their experience and rate restaurants. 

food-delivery-apps in app stores

Step 5. Select the Technology Stack of Food Delivery App Development 

Depending on the business model of a food delivery startup, you might need different technologies. Still, we have gathered an essential tech stack for Uber-like apps in the table below:

Restaurant listing

  • Grubhub API
  • FourSquare API

Payment gateway

  • Square API
  • Braintree
  • Stripe
  • PayPal

Find user location

  • Core Location Framework
  • Google Places API
  • Google Maps

Push notifications

  • Amazon SNS
  • Urban Airship
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging



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

The mobile app’s cost consists of many elements, including the number of platforms, feature list, the number of integrations, etc. 

The mobile development team will create a detailed app estimation only after the discovery (inception) phase. 

What does this mean? 

The discovery (inception) phase is the first step you and the development team take to build a solid foundation for app development. This stage includes several components, such as:

The product discovery phase can help you with:

  • Defining the scope of work 
  • Developing the project roadmap 
  • Setting a realistic MVP budget 
  • Planning resources
  • Testing the app MVP with a target audience 
  • Developing a solid investment pitch

So, how much will the food delivery app cost?  

We need 50+ hours to create UI/UX design, 66+ hours to build the app’s back-end, while the development stage may take 120+ hours per platform. 

To make your app like UberEats stand out, keep an eye on current food ordering industry trends, and don’t forget to give your customers added value that your competitors don’t have.

For a food delivery app, you can apply either an Order-Only or Order and Delivery Model. With the app MVP, you can gather insights from the target audience and add other features during the second development stage. 

Our Successful Story

CASE STUDY: Alfredo Ibiza On-demand Food Delivery App

Alfred Ibiza is an on-demand delivery mobile app that connects restaurants, stores, couriers, and customers in Ibiza. The app allows customers to order from restaurants, pharmacies, and supermarkets, listed on the platform. The APP Solutions got to work!


We managed to develop the Alfred Ibiza platform within just three months, at a total project cost of $70,000, 50-60% cheaper than the average development cost of a food delivery app.

The platform includes an app for customers, couriers, an admin panel for restaurants with only necessary functions. Besides this, we also developed a marketing landing page to promote the Alfred Ibiza platform.

Our tech stack

  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • React Native
  • Stripe

Team composition

  • 1 Back-end Node.js developer
  • 1 React.js developer
  • 2 React Native developers
  • 1 Quality Assurance manager
  • 1 product owner

What our clients say 

Related articles: 

AI in the logistics industry 

How to develop Uber for trucking 

How to create an application like Uber 

HYPR taxi app development case study 

How to Make Your Mobile App Stand Out

Mobile applications are a hot commodity these days. The technology is in a perpetual improvement loop and it seems like nothing is static anymore. New functions, new gear, new design, new combinations of ideas — all “neat, neat, neat.”

However, the more things change — the more they stay the same. The gimmick may vary, but the essence is always the same old same old.

No matter how hard some companies try to differentiate themselves and their products — there are general conventions every application is bound to follow.

The trick is that while all of these conventions are obvious — it is still necessary to point them out. 

Because some people tend to have the ambition to reinvent the wheel for some reason (which is extremely counter-productive and non-cost-effective practice.)

These conventions are not rooted in hard science concepts or marketing pitches — they are based on common sense regarding the use of tools of any kind. You can’t go against human nature.

Here are the top nine tips to take into consideration while making mobile applications.

Make your app actually useful for your users

It is not a big deal to make an application. However, it is a big deal to make an application that will be useful in any comprehensive way and ultimately profitable for the developer. Some folks keep ignoring the latter part while pretending that banging head against the wall someday will come to fruition.

Check out our article: “How to Create an App like TikTok

To make your app USEful, think of your USErs.

In order to create an actually successful application, you need to keep a target audience in mind. Think about their needs and preferences. That is the starting point. With that thing locked down, you have half the job done.

Create use cases to explore what the target audience needs and wants from an application. Count on a wide variety of factors that affect their behavior. Look at the competitors — find a way to differentiate yourself and engage the audience with what you have to offer.

Secure lightning-fast learnability (aka teach your users how to use your app)

This one is hard to pull off. When we are developing an app, we see and talk through ideas so many times that it all seems simple and obvious. Yet, it’s not always the case. 

Imagine yourself a user. You have just downloaded an app. It is the thing you need. You start it up and you have no idea what is going on. While you understand the concept and you are really into it — you can’t really get a grasp on it. What are you going to do next? Delete that app and look for another one, i.e. bad news.

The first and foremost thing you need to think about when developing an application is how fast it could be mastered by the user. That is the key to the loyalty of the users. If it is easy to follow — it will be used a lot. If the learning curve is blown out of proportion — too long or too complicated, chances are the application will not be used a lot by its target audience and soon enough they will move on to something handier.

Onboarding Tutorial


There two solutions for this issue. One is providing the user with handy cues – so-called onboarding experience. The other is through audience insights — you need to know how much your user can take in one bite beforehand. It may be discovered through dry-run MVP or in close-quarter test runs or simply by looking at the competition.

Supreme usability saves (aka your app might be useful, but how easy is it to use?)

Another issue connected with learnability is the overall usability of an application. There is no point in making an app that is near-impossible to use without excessive frowning. The design scheme for your application must be goal-driven.

This can be achieved through building extensive user stories with various personas and scenarios so that you will have the complete picture of the user experience in mind while refining particular elements.

You also need to understand the context of use — how and why an application is used by the user and what should be prioritized for better performance.


Finally, you need to secure a reasonable response time for every function and proper feedback. Every action should be signified as such. For example, if the sequence is done it is noted through sound, image, or text. If there is some information that can be lost upon quitting the program — there must be a notification with a warning. The list may go on, but you get the idea 🙂

The main thing to keep in mind: know the purpose of your app and don’t try to squeeze all features you can think of inside the app. There is a reason why dishwashers cannot be freezers at the same time.

Adaptability above all (or think various screen sizes and devices)

The next thing you need to think about is the flexibility of design. There is no set “end all be all” standard for mobile phones. There are hundreds of various specifications on the market. All of them have a different set of features, display screens, and resolutions, some have a button while others don’t.

Because of that — you need to make the interface of your application adaptable to variations. Sometimes it means keeping the feature set to a bare minimum, other times it allows to add some more. Sometimes you can delegate functions to external buttons, in other cases you need to make it a part of the interface. Font size must be readable all the time with the function of manual adjustment.

Aside from that, the entire interface scheme should be adapting both to portrait and landscape configurations of the screen.

Also, — it is reasonable to include a variation of an app for left-handed people. While it may seem superfluous in a big scheme of things — at least it is a nice inclusive gesture.

Minimize action sequences (aka how many times people should click to reach the goal?)

There is something inherently wicked about an application that requires sophisticated dance routines for your fingers in order to perform basic actions. While it may be fun for those who like such things — the majority of users will be simply annoyed and will probably move on to another similar application.

The fewer actions it takes to do something — the better. That is the law. It is fair to say that it is Judge Dredd kind of law — beyond discussion.

Always look for a simpler way to do something. That is the key to making an application attractive to the target audience.

“Making every page or screen self-evident is like having good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better.” (Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think)

Side note: minimizing action sequences doesn’t mean you should put all possible banners and buttons on your home screen. It means simplifying the general user journey, but it’s never good to take it to the extreme 🙂

Allow feedback (listen to your users)

Feedback is the most effective way of polishing an application. It deals with real people and thus offers real results.

Usually, it goes both ways — you tell the users what is going on with an application and in return, you get some friendly suggestions on what is good and what can be improved.

For some reason, many developers are scared of suggestions from actual users. Nevertheless, it is a viable option that must be used for your benefit. Even bad feedback can be used to make your app better.

Introduce new features (gradually)

The gradual expansion of an application is a reasonable way of marketing your application. You start with an initial set of features that is completely fine and satisfies the majority of the target audience. But you can offer more time.

Not only that strengthens the engagement with the application – but it also is a sign of the good use of users’ feedback.

Monitor battery use (aka keep those phones alive)

One of the most challenging issues that exist in mobile application development is optimizing the use of battery resources. It is one of the things that plagues the majority of mobile applications – over time they simply drain the battery like hungry vampires from Transylvania. That is one of the reasons why users are moving away from some applications in favor of more reasonable alternatives.

How to deal with it? Through trial and error. In order to reduce battery consumption – you need to go through every functional element of an application and set performance restraints on them according to priorities. It hurts overall performance so there must be a balance.  

(By the way, we’ve developed an app for Android phones that takes care of exactly this problem – saving the user’s battery. Check out the Emberlow case study.)

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Make your app safe (be nice in handling user data)

Security is a sensitive issue at the moment. The majority of applications require users to share some sensitive data in order to operate properly. So it seems reasonable to keep that sensitive data out of reach of some treacherous individuals.

In order to do that you need to secure consistent monitoring and updates. Usually, the back-end team can work it out. It may be a routine update performed on a schedule or it may be a reaction to the current security emergencies.

Another issue comes with the disclosure of the purpose for collecting the information. Keeping users in the know why are asking their data is important in building trust.

Check out the top security issues for Android and iOS phones according to WhiteHat.


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