With the Coronavirus unleashing new mutations every year, dining out is still not a feasible option for many people. Instead of going out and risking getting infected, the majority of the population prefers to sit inside the comfort of their homes and order delicious meals using a food delivery application like Uber Eats. As of 2022, Uber Eats is among the most popular food delivery platforms. It controls nearly 29 percent of the global food delivery market along with other industry leaders like GrubHub and DoorDash.
All these platforms have rewarded people with the ability to enjoy delicious meals without flocking into crowded restaurants. Due to an increased reliance on such applications, the on-demand food delivery market has become one of the highly booming industries and many business owners/investors are eager to get a piece of the pie.
However, anyone planning to step into this market has one single question – how much does it cost to develop a food delivery app like Uber Eats or GrubHub. The truth is the overall development cost to build a full-scale food delivery platform depends on an array of factors and can range anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000+. In this guide, we are going to break down the development cost of a food delivery platform like Uber Eats so that you can plan your budget accordingly.
Understanding UberEats’ Business Model and the Market Revenue
Uber Eats was practically a venture that was started by the parent company – Uber – in 2014. During its trial period, the company only offered food delivery services within Santa Monica, California. However, as soon as it started acquiring more customers, the company launched its services in other parts of the USA and several other countries as well. As of today, Uber Eats is successfully operating across 45 countries and more than 6,000 cities. The company generated a revenue of 4.8 billion US dollars in 2020 and witnessed a revenue increase of 152 percent from 2019.
Like Uber Eats, several other food delivery platforms are contributing to the growth of the on-demand food delivery market. As per a Statista report, the worldwide food delivery market generated a revenue of 293,638 million dollars in 2021, which is further projected to reach 447,496 million dollars by 2025, showing an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.67%.
These promising figures are the reason why many investors are planning to invest in this exponentially growing market. To do this, they require a food delivery mobile app development company that could build a feature-rich food delivery app like Uber Eats or GrubHub.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Food Delivery App?
Now that we have clarified why the food delivery app market is on every investor’s radar, let’s circle back to our original topic, i.e., how much would it cost to build an app as Uber Eats. As we mentioned earlier, different factors, ranging from the features you want to integrate to the development partner you hire, can affect the overall food delivery mobile app development cost.
So, to plan a budget for your food delivery solution, it would be important to understand these factors beforehand. To keep things simpler, we have compiled a complete list of these factors so that you can easily devise an estimated budget for food delivery app development.
Food Delivery Business Model
The business model that you choose for your food delivery app has a great impact on the development cost. In general, food delivery apps can be divided into two different categories, i.e.,
1. Food Aggregators
In a Food Aggregator business model, the delivery platform acts as an intermediary between the consumer and multiple restaurants. Different restaurant owners can add their listings on the platform and upload a menu to help customers order the desired cuisines.
As soon as a customer places the order, the server processes the transaction, automatically deducts the commission, and transfers the pending amount to the particular restaurant. In the aggregator model, the app is also responsible for assigning the delivery agent to a particular order.
In the majority of the cases, the aggregator business is also responsible for hiring delivery agents. Zomato, an Indian food aggregator startup, for instance, hires delivery staff on its own. Here’s a quick breakdown of the overall working of a food aggregator business model.
It’s worth understanding that the majority of business owners hire food delivery app development companies to build aggregator applications. The reason being the aggregator model makes the entire online food delivery a hassle-free experience for both customers and restaurant owners. Some of the most popular food aggregators businesses include Uber Eats, GrubHub, and JustEat.
Building a food aggregator solution is slightly more expensive as you have to build three separate applications for customers, restaurants, and delivery agents respectively. And, since such platforms require more features, the time-to-market is comparatively higher, which further escalates the overall development price.
Ideally, it can cost somewhere between $50,000 to $100,000 to build a food aggregator app like Uber Eats and GrubHub.
2. Dedicated Delivery Platforms
These types of delivery platforms are designed for a particular restaurant. For example, Dominos has its own cross-platform delivery solution that allows customers to locate nearby Dominos outlets and order their favorite Dominos pizzas. In this delivery model, the restaurant is responsible for developing the app, promoting it among the masses, and managing it after development.
It’s also responsible for hiring delivery agents and managing their payouts. This type of business model is an ideal option for restaurants that already have multiple chains across the country and have the required capital to invest in a mobile app. Even though the cost to develop a dedicated delivery platform is less than an aggregator platform, small restaurants might still find it a bit expensive.
|Business Model||Development Price|
|Dedicated Delivery Platforms||$20,000-$70,000|
App Development Partner
When it comes to building a food delivery platform, you can either hire remote developers or look for an in-house development team. Now, deciding between in-house vs outsourced development can get a bit tricky as both these development approaches have their own advantages and drawbacks. In terms of cost, outsourcing food delivery app development to a third party is a more affordable option than hiring and managing a team of in-house developers.
Why? Because the development rates vary in different countries due to their economical differences. Here’s a quick comparison between the hourly development rates offered by developers in different countries.
As you can see the hourly development rates in the USA range between $120-$170 per hour. On the other hand, you can get the same services in countries like India and South America at a relatively lower development rate ($20-$30 per hour). So, it’s no secret that affordability is the biggest reason why many business owners choose to hire a dedicated food delivery app development company from countries like India and South America.
Such countries have an unlimited talent pool and their services are available at pocket-friendly prices. If you also run a startup/small business and affordability is your primary objective, it would be better to hire an offshore food delivery app development company.
However, hiring a tech partner for your startup won’t be a piece of cake as you’ll have to interview multiple prospects to find the right team for your food delivery app. If you don’t have any prior experience working with a development team, it would be better to work with an outside consultant to compare different prospects and make the right decision accordingly.
Here’s a quick comparison between the development prices of an in-house development team and an offshore food delivery app development company.
|Development Partner||Development Cost|
|In-house team (in the USA)||$80,000-$100,000+|
|Hiring Remote Developers||$20,000-$50,000|
Native vs Cross-Platform App Development
Another factor that can influence the app development cost for your food delivery app is the development approach you choose. Since your target market will be a mix of both iOS and Android users, it would be crucial to launch an application for both platforms. To do this, you can either choose the native development approach or Hire Flutter Developers to build a cross-platform application.
For readers who don’t know, a native application is designed to work on a single platform whereas a cross-platform application can work across multiple platforms. In native app development, separate codebases are required to build applications for different platforms. On the other hand, cross-platform app development works around the idea of code reusability, which means the same codebase could be used for multiple platforms.
A native mobile application is typically better suited for a tech-savvy audience due to its better performance. However, this high-performance comes at an expensive cost. Since native apps don’t support code reusability, you would have to hire separate development teams to build applications for both platforms.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with cross-platform mobile app development. A single development team can deploy the application on both platforms and deliver a user-centric mobile application more rapidly. Ideally, you can save around 30-40% if you choose to launch a cross-platform food delivery application.
|Development Approach||Development Cost|
|Native App Development||$30,000-$80,000|
|Cross-Platform App Development||$10,000-$50,000|
Features of Good Food Delivery Platform
Among all the factors influencing the food delivery app development cost, the features that you want to integrate have the highest impact on the final price. Based on the features, your food delivery application can cost anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000. Now, each food delivery business has a specific target market and that’s why the features may vary in every situation. However, a few prerequisite features are common in every food delivery solution to provide the basic functionality to the end-users.
To help you understand more precisely, we have compiled a list of all the essential features of a food delivery application and their respective development cost according to the Indian and American development rates. This comparison will help you understand whether to work with your local developers or work with an offshore food delivery app development company.
|Feature||Time||Freelance Developers – $30/hour||Development Companies – $50/hour||Development Cost (USA) – $120/hour|
|Registration/Profile Creation||20 hours||$600||$1000||$2400|
|User Login||6 hours||$180||$300||$720|
|Social Media Login||10 hours||$300||$5000||$1200|
|Login Through Phone Number||25 hours||$750||$1250||$3000|
|Profile Management||20 hours||$600||$1000||$2400|
|Geolocation Support||30 hours||$900||$1500||$3600|
|Google Maps API Integration||40 hours||$1200||$2000||$4800|
|Real-time Route Optimization||25 hours||$750||$1250||$3000|
|Real-time Location Updates||30 hours||$900||$1500||$3600|
|Payment Gateway Integration||70 hours||$2100||$3500||$8400|
|Order Management||25 hours||$750||$1250||$3000|
|Menu Management (For Restaurants)||30 hours||$900||$1500||$3600|
|Inventory Management (For Restaurants)||20 hours||$600||$1000||$2400|
|Reviews and Feedback||15 hours||$450||$750||$1800|
|In-App Chat Support||40 hours||$1200||$2000||$4800|
|Push Notifications||40 hours||$1200||$2000||$4800|
|Messaging Support||40 hours||$1200||$2000||$4800|
|Route Calculation (Driver’s App)||30 hours||$900||$1500||$3600|
|Payouts/Commission Management (Driver’s App)||35 hours||$1050||$1750||$4200|
|Rewards and Discounts||20 hours||$600||$1000||$2400|
|Admin Panel||100 hours||$3000||$5000||$12000|
|Analytics Integration||5 hours||$150||$250||$600|
The above table might have given you a basic idea about how much it would cost to develop a food delivery app like Uber Eats. We would like to point out that these are only basic features that are common in all food delivery solutions. So, this price may escalate based on the features you plan on integrating into your app. It’s also worth understanding that these aren’t the final development rates as each development team has different hourly rates.
In addition to this, other phases of the development cycle can also escalate the development cost of your food delivery application.
|Development Phase||Hours||Freelance Developers – $30/hour||Development Companies – $50/hour||Development Cost (USA) – $120/hour|
|UX/UI Design||50 hours||$1500||$2500||$6000|
The online food delivery industry is growing at an exponential rate and this is the right time for any investor to put their capital in this booming market. Whether you run a restaurant or simply want to start a food aggregator business like Uber Eats, launching a food delivery application will allow you to provide your services to a wider audience. As far as the development cost is concerned, we hope that this guide clarifies all your queries and helps you devise an estimated budget for your food delivery mobile application. In case you still have any queries, contact our food delivery mobile app developers and they’ll help you plan a budget that caters to your business requirements.