How to make an app like DoorDash? Cost, Features, and more

calender May 22, 2023
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Ravi Ranjan

Flutter & Android Developer | Agile Leader

Creating a food delivery app like DoorDash and UberEats presents a direct route to enduring success and substantial revenue for any business, provided it is executed effectively. You’ve landed in the right place to discover how to achieve this feat. The food delivery app sector is experiencing a growth rate that matches or even surpasses the global population expansion. Projections indicate that the online food delivery market’s value will soar to $1.45 trillion by 2027, a significant jump from $0.72 trillion in 2021. Joining such a thriving market is a strategic move for businesses in this sector.

To embark on app development in the on-demand food delivery market, it’s essential to comprehend the factors contributing to the success of platforms like Uber Eats and DoorDash. Identifying innovative elements to distinguish your food delivery app from the competition is crucial.

While seeking guidance from a food delivery app development company is the optimal approach in navigating a competitive market, they will likely endorse and integrate the steps outlined below for a successful food delivery app development journey.

What is DoorDash?

DoorDash, Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that operates an online food ordering and food delivery platform. It trades under the symbol DASH. With a 56% market share, DoorDash is the largest food delivery company in the United States. It also has a 60% market share in the convenience delivery category. 

Users can order food from local restaurants through the DoorDash app or website, and Dashers (delivery drivers) fulfill the orders by delivering the food to customers’ doorsteps. DoorDash is one of the leading players in the food delivery industry, connecting restaurants and customers for convenient meal delivery services.

How to Make an App like DoorDash?

To create a food delivery app, it is imperative to consistently and comprehensively assess each aspect, including project and business requirements, development strategies, design standards, the expertise of developers, and budget considerations. This particular evaluation is crucial to guarantee a profitable outcome for the business upon the completion of the project.

Here are the 10 steps to develop a food delivery app similar to DoorDash:

I. Conduct Market Research and Analysis

II. Select a Food Delivery Model

III. Decide on a Monetization Model

IV. Choose a Mobile App Development Company

V. Identify Essential Features

VI. Estimate Development Costs

VII. Determine the Technology Stack

VIII. Efficiently Manage App Development

IX. Conduct Thorough Application Testing

X. Provide Post-launch Support and Maintenance

I. Conduct Market Research and Analysis

Thoroughly investigate the current and projected status of the food delivery market, examining competitors such as UberEats and DoorDash and the target user demographic. Evaluate the utility of your project by comprehensively understanding the step-by-step functionality of DoorDash, aiming to develop a strategy with a competitive edge. DoorDash is anticipated to hold a substantial 59% share of the food delivery market in the US by March 2022, making it a crucial source of inspiration. Make an effort to exceed its success to ensure the viability of your app in the market.

The ultimate goal of your project should encompass both organizational and financial growth. If your research reveals alternative opportunities within the food delivery industry, consider adjusting your approach to app development accordingly.

For instance, Statista predicts that the number of food delivery app users in the USA could surge to 53.9 million by 2023. Insights like these provide valuable industry context, aiding in determining an appropriate development approach, whether for a local or international food delivery app.

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II. Select a Food Delivery Model

There are distinct models that food delivery apps typically follow to facilitate their food ordering and delivery services:

a. Order-Only Model:

This model involves creating food ordering apps tailored for businesses that solely handle order placements. Once an order is received, it is then forwarded to the respective restaurants. The delivery aspect is managed by the restaurants themselves.

b. Order-and-Delivery Model:

This comprehensive model encompasses an app designed for a business that oversees both food ordering and delivery on behalf of restaurants. Customers simply place their orders, and the restaurants focus simply on preparing the food for delivery. The platform takes care of the entire delivery process.

c. Restaurant-Specific Model:

Customized for restaurant owners, this model allows businesses with their own establishments to develop a food ordering and delivery app. The app can be personalized to align with the specific services and brand image of the restaurant, providing a unique platform for customer interactions.

Examine your business and market dynamics, project specifications, and budgetary requirements to determine the most suitable food ordering and delivery model for your enterprise.

III. Decide on a Monetization Model

To ensure your food delivery application starts generating revenue early in its deployment, it is crucial to strategize and integrate effective monetization models.

Monetization Approaches for Food Delivery Apps:-

a. Commission Structure

b. Advertising Revenue

c. Surge Pricing Mechanism

d. Subscription Models

a. Commission Structure

Delivery Charge: Opt for a suitable delivery fee, taking into account the distance between restaurants and delivery destinations. Consider maintaining a modest fee in the initial six months post-deployment to attract and build a substantial user base.

Service Fee: Implement a service fee for restaurants utilizing your app for order placements and deliveries. Post the initial phase, consider keeping this fee at a competitive level to position your app favorably alongside industry giants like DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub.

Introduce additional commission fees that are deemed fair and fitting once your application attains significant success in the market.

b. Advertising Revenue

Offer promotional tools to restaurants within your app, allowing them to showcase and elevate their visibility. Charging a reasonable fee for such promotional features can be a productive method. However, it’s essential to note that the effectiveness of this model depends on having a sizable and engaged user base.

c. Surge Pricing Mechanism

Select suitable fees for customers and restaurants during high-demand periods (peak hours) or adverse weather conditions when offering delivery services.

d. Subscription Models

Introduce premium subscriptions with perks such as free delivery and unlimited discounts. Offer a one-month free trial to showcase the advantages and attract users.

If your business extends services like pick-up and delivery for various items, ensure to add fitting revenue models for those services too.

IV. Choose a Mobile App Development Company

In choosing a mobile app development company for your food delivery business, you have three options:

a. Hire an in-house development team

b. Hire freelancers

c. Outsource to onshore/nearshore and offshore developers

a. Hire an in-house development team

If you opt for an in-house team, you’ll need to hire experts such as Android/iOS developers, backend developers, UI/UX designers, and QA engineers. This approach demands a high budget, an efficient hiring process, and a strong management strategy. It may not be practical if you’re developing just one app for the food delivery segment.

b. Hire freelancers

Freelancers are suitable for quickly developing a basic food delivery app (MVP) in a few months. However, they come with risks like management challenges, potential delays, and uncertainties about trustworthiness, as you’ll be sharing significant business information with them. If you’re aiming for a quick and cost-effective MVP to test your idea, freelancers might be a possible option.

c. Outsourcing to onshore/nearshore and offshore developers

Currently, outsourcing is widely recommended for software development. However, hiring onshore or nearshore developers from countries like the US and the UK is similar to having an in-house team and can be costly. For businesses on a tight development budget, the best choice is to outsource to offshore developers from countries like India and Ukraine. Developers from these countries offer cost-effective solutions, ensuring your on-demand food delivery meets industry standards, is completed on time, and stays within budget.

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V. Identify Essential Features

When developing an app like DoorDash, prioritize essential features to create a straightforward and memorable user experience. This minimalistic approach allows you to test the app efficiently without investing excessive time and money in feature development.

Core Features of a Food Delivery App

a. Customer App Features

Building a user-friendly and feature-driven customer app is crucial since it will generate most of the revenue for your business.

Sign up and Log in

Customers can make their profiles by registering with an email, mobile number, or social media profile.

Search & Filter

Users can benefit from this by quickly finding restaurants they want with search and filter options.

Place and Track the Order

Being able to track the orders they place puts customers at ease about the status of their applications, improving the overall food ordering and delivery experience.

Payment Gateways

Include multiple payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, bank and credit cards, and COD in your app to simplify and accelerate all payments.

Chatbot and Customer Care

Chatbots solve all basic queries of customers about their orders, profiles, and payments, while customer executives solve issues requiring expert attention and assistance.

Reviews & Ratings

Users can rate and provide their reviews according to their experience with the food and packing. It can help other users choose the right restaurants and avoid the bad-quality ones.

b. Restaurant App Features

The restaurant app must have a highly user-friendly application to accept, reject, and confirm the received orders faster.

Accept and Reject Orders

Restaurants can easily accept and reject orders with this feature.

Manage the Menu

Restaurants can add, remove, and modify the items in their menu with this feature.

Track Payments

This feature enables payment tracking for received and pending payments.

Reply to a Review

A restaurant can share its reply on a positive or a negative review to build a better relationship with the users and create a responsive brand image.

Track Delivery Executive

Restaurants can keep track of the delivery executive until they deliver the order.

Admin Support & Assistance

Restaurants can talk to the app admin about customer issues, payments, service fee policies, and delivery fee changes.

Push Notifications

This feature notifies users about new orders, pending and received payments, personal customer requests, delayed delivery agents, and delivered orders.

Enable Discounts Offers & Rewards

Restaurants can provide discounts and rewards for any food order customers make from their restaurants. Such order rewards/offers draw customers toward a restaurant.

c. Features for Delivery Agent App

The delivery executive will need an app to accept new order pick-ups and deliveries.

Create a Profile

The delivery executive can create a profile with details like phone number, email address, and driving license.

Accept/Reject the Order

Delivery executives can use this feature to accept or reject orders.

Order Information

Delivery executives can check all order-related information like food items, directions for address by customers, the address, and the estimated delivery time.

Chat and Call

Delivery executives can chat and call customers to deal with any problem with delivery and reaching the address.

Push Notifications

This feature will notify delivery executives about new or nearby orders or if they receive a tip.

d. Features for the Admin Portal

The admin portal will be necessary to manage all operations on your food delivery app and ensure everything is running as intended.

Manage Restaurants

The app owner/admin can manage new restaurants and evaluate them for approval and rejection. Providing a featured tag and paid advertising tools to restaurants will also be possible with this feature.

Manage Delivery Executives

Admin can oversee payments, delivery agent registration/verification, and evaluate their performance to see if you need to remove or reward any of them.

Payment Gateway Management

The admin can deal with issues regarding payment gateways and add new or remove old ones when necessary.

Analytics

The admin can use this feature to review the app usage, user behavior, and user interface/experience.

Include these essential features in the different portals of your food delivery application. Adjust the number and complexity of features based on your project and budget requirements.

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VI. Estimate Development Costs

The cost of developing a food delivery app depends on your business/project needs, the features you want, the design standards, and the developers’ location. To determine the exact costs for your project, carefully analyze these factors.Below you can check out an average cost estimation for food delivery app development:

Cost to Develop Food Delivery Apps like DoorDash

TypeMVPAdvanced
Customer Application$20,000 to $25,000$75,000 to 120,000
Restaurant Application$20,000 to $25,000$70,000 to 95,000
Delivery Agent App$15,000 to $25,000$50,000 to $80,000
Admin Portal$15,000 to $20,000$24,000 to $30,000
Total$70,000 to $95,000$219,000 to $325,000

Costs can vary depending on how and where you hire developers. Here’s an average cost estimation:

Food Delivery App Development Cost Based on Location

LocationMVPAdvanced
US$75,000 to 120,000$180,000 to 300,000
Europe$70,000 to $100,000$160,000 to 250,000
Ukraine$55,000 to $68,000$120,000 to $150,000
India$25,000 to $40,000$80,000 to 100,000

Keep in mind that the costs for your food delivery app project may change based on your budget and project needs.

Confused about different development costs? Get a proper estimation now!

VII. Determine the Technology Stack

For any on-demand food delivery app, you need a technology stack that enables you to create a high-performing app. This app should handle usage by numerous users while delivering a convenient and memorable experience for them.

Tech Stack for Food Delivery Apps Like DoorDash

DevelopmentTechnology
Mobile App DevelopmentKotlin, Java, Python, Swift, & Objective-C
Web App DevelopmentAngular JS/React & Node.js
Backend DevelopmentPHP
DatabasesMySQL, PostgreSQL, & MongoDB
Payment GatewaysApple Pay, Stripe, Paypal, & Braintree
Restaurant ListingsFourSquare API & GrubHub API
Core Location FrameworksGoogle Place API & Google Maps

The number of tech stacks your project requires can vary based on your needs, standards, developers, and goals.

VIII. Efficiently Manage App Development

Choosing an effective development approach, such as Agile, is essential, as even skilled developers, thorough market research, effort, and financial investment may not lead to success without it.

a. Agile Development

Agile development uses a constant approach, breaking your project into smaller parts for incremental deliveries, unlike the one final delivery in Waterfall. Opting for Agile lets you continuously review and enhance every aspect of your food delivery app project, ensuring a high-quality product without functionality errors, bugs, or design issues upon completion.

b. Prioritize App Design

As a food delivery business, the success of your solutions depends on user-friendly elements. Ensure your UI/UX designer is accomplished at creating visually appealing interfaces and delivering a highly convenient user experience. This approach ensures user retention and enhanced revenue for your food delivery app.

Equally important is improving team morale, encouraging better collaboration, and monitor the development process without micromanaging. This strategy contributes to achieving the business goals of your food delivery project.

IX. Conduct Thorough Application Testing

Testing your on-demand delivery app is crucial to ensure it functions as intended and provides a positive experience for users. This process helps identify errors, bugs, security vulnerabilities, and design issues that could result in a lower-quality app. Given the competitive landscape with giants like Uber Eats and GrubHub, striving for perfection is essential to stand out.

a. Manual Testing

In manual testing, QA engineers directly evaluate the application’s functionality, user interface design, and ease of use from the perspective of target users.

b. User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

UAT, an essential step in manual testing, involves the application’s target users in the testing process. This is crucial as the user base in the food delivery market is projected to reach 1513 million by 2026, compared to 971 million in 2021. Meeting the needs of this expanding user base requires direct input from various user groups, making UAT a critical stage in application testing. Testing with target users ensures that design and functionality standards align with their perspectives, helping determine if the app is ready for deployment or needs further improvement.

c. Automated Testing

Automated testing involves QA engineers setting up a system for application testing. The programmed system then tests various elements of your food delivery app as predetermined by QA specialists. Automated testing is faster and more effective than manual testing, eliminating the possibility of human errors.

d. Security Testing

Conducting security testing on your food delivery application through test automation is the most effective way to detect vulnerabilities leading to security threats such as data theft, leaks, hacking, malware, and other attacks.

Industry experts recommend a combination of manual and automated testing to ensure better quality and value in applications. While human involvement in manual testing allows for a nuanced evaluation of the user experience, the accuracy and effectiveness of test automation address issues sometimes overlooked by human testers, ensuring better security for your food delivery app.

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X. Provide Post-launch Support and Maintenance

Planning post-launch support and maintenance for your food delivery app is crucial. After deployment, users will provide feedback and report any issues or bugs that may emerge. Post-launch support enables you to address user feedback, enhance the app, and promptly resolve any errors or bugs. Responding quickly to user concerns makes your platform more reliable, providing a better overall experience for users of your food delivery app.

Need maintenance for your app? Talk to us!

Conclusion

The simplest way to oversee the development of an app like DoorDash is by hiring a team that can handle all aspects of your project. This approach saves you from the hassle of individually seeking experts or extensive market research.

An all-in-one solution team can handle everything from research and planning to development, testing, launching, marketing strategy, and post-deployment support and maintenance.

Consider outsourcing to offshore developers to secure a self-managed team, ensuring a smooth delivery app development project that provides lasting revenue and business growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of app is DoorDash?

Food Delivery Platform
DoorDash, Inc. is a San Francisco company known for its online food ordering and delivery platform. It is traded under the symbol DASH and holds the top spot as the largest food delivery company in the United States, with a 56% market share.

How much does it cost to make an app like Doordash?

The average cost to build a standard app like DoorDash ranges from $70,000 to $95,000 and can go from $219,000 to $325,000 for an advanced version.

What are the main parts of apps like Doordash?

The crucial aspects of a food delivery app like DoorDash are business models, a simple and interactive application interface, and a convenient user experience.

Is Grubhub or Doordash better?

By March 2022, DoorDash had 59% of the food delivery market share in the United States, while GrubHub had only 14%.

How does DoorDash software work?

The app will provide updates as the restaurant prepares the order, and the driver goes to pick it up and deliver it to your door. Once delivered, the DoorDash driver will send a picture through the app of where the order was left and then you can enjoy your meal.

What is the DoorDash algorithm?

 The DoorDash app uses a built-in algorithm that considers the number of active Dashers in the area, the distance to delivery, and the estimated time for food delivery. The delivery area can vary, being large one day and smaller the next.

Who pays for DoorDash?

When ordering from DoorDash, customers pay for their food and local taxes, along with a delivery fee, an optional tip for the Dasher, and a service fee. The service fee is a transparent way of separating existing fees that were previously included in menu prices and providing more clarity on how orders are priced.

How long does it take to create a delivery app?

Building a food delivery app would take from 4 to 6 months at the most, and 8 to 1 year for a highly advanced food delivery app with multiple innovative features and a unique User interface and UX design.

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