In 2020, the online food delivery industry generated over $9 billion in revenue. And while that growth was explosive, it wasn’t unsustainable. Similar to online shopping, online delivery is going to continue increasing in popularity and as a result of this, many businesses are looking into developing and deploying their own food delivery applications.
And while there are talented app development agencies that can take care of the entire development process for you, it’s still a good idea to have a basic understanding of the different types of apps there are, what features you’d like, and what the most popular food delivery applications of 2021 look like.
And that’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this article, starting with…
Types of Food Delivery Applications
In 2021, food delivery applications are usually one of the following types:
The biggest food delivery applications today belong to this category. Aggregator apps help numerous food businesses sell and deliver their food as a third-party service. Examples of aggregator apps include UberEats, Zomato, GrubHub, etc.
Despite a few aggregator apps taking the majority of the market share, there is still a lot of potential for this model, especially in more niche markets.
Branded food delivery apps belong to a single company that wants to keep the entire delivery/logistics chain in-house. Domino’s Pizza is one of the most well-known examples of a branded app.
Branded apps also make more business sense if deliveries are a huge part of your total revenue and/or you have multiple franchises that can make use of the same delivery application. In these cases, aggregator apps become less appealing due to the third-party fees involved. The only downside here is that the burden of delivery logistics falls directly on the business (both the management and cost).
The third model is the hybrid model – keeping the best of both aggregators and branded apps to cancel out the disadvantages of each. Hybrid apps are similar to branded apps in almost every way except that the delivery logistics aren’t done in-house. Instead, it outsources deliveries to aggregator services, like UberEats or GrubHub for lower delivery charges and a wider delivery network. A great example of hybrid apps is Panera Bread.
That said, a few smaller disadvantages still exist, such as increased technical complexity in integration. Your hybrid app needs to have a stable connection with the aggregator/third-party service to ensure orders aren’t misplaced or delayed.
The Most Important Food Delivery App Features
Specific features will depend on the type of our application, your target audience, and your own business model but the following five app features are universal and should be carefully considered when deploying a food delivery app.
Secure Payments Processing
Secure payments is perhaps the most important part of any food delivery app, both from a functional and a legal perspective. In addition to protecting your company and your customer’s data, reliable payment gateway integration ensures faster purchases. It’s also a very good idea to offer multiple payment options.
A profile or accounts page is an underrated feature that enhances the customer experience by significantly improving account management. With a profile page, customers can take a look at previous orders, reorder, manage their addresses, change user preferences, and more.
Real-time Geo Tracking
Almost every single food delivery app has integrated real-time geo tracking since it adds another layer of interaction with the customer as well as give assurance to the customer that their order is on the way. It also reduces the need to call to inquire.
A loyalty program can boost customer retention and increase customer lifetime value with minimal effort, especially when a loyalty/rewards program is automated within the delivery application. Companies can either gamify their rewards program or set up various milestones that unlock additional perks/coupons as incentives to order more.
The search feature is once again, a life-saver of a feature, especially in aggregator apps that have pages upon pages of different dishes and menus. That said, we do recommend having a search filter on branded apps as well as it can help customers save time.
7 Great Examples of Food Delivery Applications
The following 7 apps are great examples of what creates a successful food delivery application.
#1 Uber Eats
Uber Eats, owned by Uber, is a food delivery service from your favorite transportation service provider. With a flat rate of $4.99 in the US, it gives plenty of options within a distance-based parameter search.
Customers get access to cuisines from all over the world and the food options are virtually unlimited. Above all, UberEats’ provides fast customer service and comprehensive order tracking including information about the driver of your meal, where they are, and precisely what they are delivering, all pinpointed on a live map.
UberEats is available in a whopping 45 countries covering over 6,000 cities, making it the world’s biggest food delivery service. The application is available on all Android & iOS devices.
Very similar to UberEats in nature, GrubHub provides food delivery and take-out options from over 50,000 restaurants in 1100 cities.
With cuisines from around the world, GrubHub provides quite extensive diversity. To order, select the desired cuisine, and it will list all the restaurants filtered to that cuisine. You can also view the menu’s prices, additional items & much more so, once a meal is selected, tap to order, and depending on your selected restaurant, a delivery fee may be additionally charged. Likewise, The application is available on iOS & Android.
An online restaurant search application created back in 2008. Since then Zomato has become one of the most prominent players in online restaurant delivery services.
Being available in 25 countries, Zomato has one of the largest reputations. True to its roots, the Zomato platform isn’t just a service to order food but also acts as a reviewing platform and a social media communication center all-in-one. For example, it could help you find reviews on particular meals, restaurants, and services along with surveys, upcoming news on branches, and much more. Zomato is a must on anyone’s smart device.
Zomato is available on all devices, accessed via web browser and the dedicated iOS & Android applications.
The London-based food delivery service has swept Europe by its feet. Deliveroo is the most popular food service application in Europe and with clear reasons why. It allows consumers to order food from restaurants that don’t have any fees or setup costs to the restaurant itself. What this means is customers who order with Deliveroo don’t pay additional delivery fees.
The quality-built application & after-hours customer service is world-class, making Deliveroo one of the best food service applications. You can download the application on both iOS & Android devices.
#5 Dominos Pizza
It’s football night, everyone has gathered around, but no one brought the food. For years, people have been solving this potential disaster with the Domino’s Pizza application. The application is known for its quick access & ordering methods compared to calling a branch allowing a pizza to be delivered within 30 minutes to the destination intended.
Using the application also has other perks like free in-app coupons for those who use it. In addition, paying is also simplified with options to pay online via card, online wallet, or cash on delivery.
DoorDash is an application exclusive for the Canadian and American markets providing an established food delivery service. It currently services 300 cities within Canada & the United States. People know DoorDash for its high-quality food and focus on timely deliveries & customer satisfaction. Also, DoorDash recently has added in the Delight functionality of their application, allowing grading a restaurant for food quality and restaurant popularity due to service. This application is available on Android & iOS.
FoodPanda is very similar to both DoorDash & Uber Eats regarding its food delivery services. It holds all your favorite food destinations and cuisines in one easy-to-use application similarly.
You get your food order with a quick tap of a button, and the best part, for those who aren’t tech-savvy, step-by-step instructions & guidance is provided on how to order your favorite meals.
Quick orders, exclusive deals, discounts, vouchers, coupons, and other giveaways are the main hook for customers to use it. The delivery service is found on both iOS & Android and services 14 countries in both Asia & Eastern Europe.
To sum up, conventional styles of ordering food are nearing an end, with smart food delivery service applications taking over. Online food servicing is the way of the future. Above all, it allows thousands of restaurants to connect to consumers with a simple-to-use interface. With the touch of a button, you can view thousands of cuisines and meals. The value of these applications is proven by their market revenue and it’s no secret that they are going to stay.
That said, this also indicates that a more competitive landscape is emerging that calls for higher quality applications built for scalability and resilience. If you’re a start-up planning to launch your aggregator app or a local restaurant that wants to reach more patrons, get in touch with Big Kitty Labs today for a free consultation for your food delivery application.
Big Kitty Labs is one of the leading software development companies in Columbus Ohio that has been developing applications, websites, and software for over 10 years. Contact us for free discovery and consultation on your next project!