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

calender May 22, 2023
user_icon AiloitteAdmin

Building an app like DoorDash and UberEats is a direct path to lasting success and considerable revenue for any business if they do it right. Fortunately, you have come to the right place to learn how you can make that happen. The food delivery app market is probably the only thing growing as fast or faster than the global population. The online food delivery market value is estimated to reach $1.45 trillion by 2027, compared to $0.72 trillion in 2021. Becoming a part of such a market is the best direction for businesses in the same sector.

Building an app in the on-demand food delivery market requires you to understand the reasons behind the success of apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. It is crucial to figure out the new and unique elements you can add to your food-delivery app, making it stand out from the competition.

Although consulting a food delivery app development company is the best way to approach a competitive market, they will also recommend and incorporate the steps mentioned below to carry out the food delivery app development successfully.

How to Make an App like DoorDash?

To make a food delivery app, you must conduct thorough and frequent evaluations of every element, such as the project/business requirements, development approach, design standards, developers, and budget to ensure the outcome proves lucrative for the business after project completion.

10 Steps to Build a Food Delivery App Like DoorDash

  1. Research and Analyze the Market
  2. Choose a Food Delivery Model
  3. Choose a Monetization Model
  4. Choose a Mobile App Development Company
  5. Choose the Essential Features
  6. Estimate the Development Cost
  7. Determine Technology Stack
  8. Manage App Development Effectively
  9. Test the Application
  10. Post-launch Support and Maintenance

Research and Analyze the Market

Research the current and estimated state of the food delivery market, competitors (UberEats and DoorDash), and the target users thoroughly to determine the feasibility of your project. Understand how Doordash works step-by-step to figure out a better strategy with a competitive advantage. DoorDash will make up 59% of the food delivery market share in the US by March 2022, so you must take inspiration from it and do better to ensure your app can succeed in the market.

Your project must lead to an outcome promising both organization and financial growth. If your research of the food delivery industry indicates another, you may have to consider another approach to food delivery app development.

For example, a Statista prediction indicates that the number of food delivery app users in the USA could reach 53.9 million by 2023. Information such as this provides industry insight to help you determine the type of development approach that would be suitable, whether you are building a local or international food delivery app.

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Choose a Food Delivery Model

Every food delivery app has a model that it follows to provide its food ordering and delivery services.

Order-Only Model

In this model, you create food ordering apps for businesses that only receive orders and send them to restaurants. The restaurants handle the delivery to customers.

Order-and-Delivery Model

It includes an app for a business that manages food ordering and delivery for restaurants. All customers must do is place the order, and all the restaurants must do is prepare the food for delivery. The platform takes care of the rest.

Restaurant-Specific Model

This model is for restaurant owners. If you have a restaurant business, you can make a food ordering and delivery app and personalize it according to the services and brand image of the restaurant.

Analyze your business/market, project, and budget requirements to see which food order and delivery model would prove most beneficial for your business.

Choose a Monetization Model

You must plan and incorporate effective monetization/revenue models in your food delivery application to ensure it can begin generating revenue from the early days of deployment.

Food Delivery App Monetization Models

  1. Commission Fee
  2. Advertising Fees
  3. Surge Pricing
  4. Subscriptions
Monetization of Food Delivery App

Commission Fee

Delivery Fee: Choose an appropriate delivery fee estimated according to the distance between the restaurants and delivery addresses. Best to keep it low in the first six months after deployment to build a decent user base.

Service Fee: Charge a service fee to restaurants for app ordering and delivery services. Keep that low afterward, so restaurants may consider your new app among giants like DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub.

Incorporate other commission fees that you deem appropriate and fair once your application has notable success in the market.

Advertising Fees

Provide advertising tools to restaurants to promote themselves in your app and get featured. You can charge a fair amount of money for such a promotion. You need a decent or substantial user base for this model to work.

Surge Pricing

Choose an appropriate charge fee for customers and restaurants when there is a surge of orders (peak hours) or when you provide delivery services during bad weather conditions.


You can include subscriptions to premium accounts with benefits like free delivery or unlimited discount offers. Use a one-month free strategy to introduce the benefits of such a subscription and get users hooked.

If your business has additional services like pick-up and delivery for all types of items, do add appropriate revenue models for those as well.

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Choose a Mobile App Development Company

To get straight to the point, you have three options when choosing a mobile app development company for your food delivery business. You can-

  1. Hire an in-house development team
  2. Hire freelancers
  3. Outsource to onshore/nearshore and offshore developers

Inhouse development team

In an in-house team, you have to hire every expert you need, like Android/iOS developers, backend developers, UI/UX designers, and QA engineers. It will require a high budget, an effective hiring process, and a management strategy to make it all work. Not a practical option if you have only one app development for the food delivery segment.


Freelancers are best for building an MVP food delivery app within a few months. They can be risky as they are not easy to manage, delay delivery, and may or may not be trustworthy since you will share much of your business information with freelancers. If you need a quick MVP delivery app to see if the idea works, freelancers may be the financially beneficial option.


For software development, outsourcing is currently the widely recommended approach by most industry experts. However, outsourcing to onshore and nearshore developers from countries like the US and the UK is essentially the same as hiring an in-house team. Developers from such countries are overly expensive for their solutions and not a practical option for businesses that must be careful with their development budget.

The best option for such businesses is to outsource to offshore developers from countries like India and Ukraine. Developers from these countries provide self-managed teams and reliable development solutions at much lower and affordable rates, ensuring that your on-demand food delivery meets industry standards and is ready within time and under budget.

Choose the Essential Features

Every DoorDash-like app development includes features that make the user experience convenient and memorable for target users. Focus on the core features to build food delivery apps that provide a simple and minimalistic user experience. It will enable you to test your app without spending too much time and money on feature development.

Core Features of a Food Delivery App

Food Delivery App Core Features

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

These are some core features you must add to the various portals of your food delivery application. Add more, less, or advanced features according to your project and budget requirements.

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Estimate the Development Cost

Food delivery app development cost entirely depends on your business/project requirements, the type and number of features, UI/UX design standards, and the location of the developers. To know the exact costs for your food delivery app project, you must analyze all these factors carefully.

Below you can check out an average cost estimation for food delivery app development:

Cost to Develop Food Delivery Apps like DoorDash

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

The cost can also differ based on how and where you hire developers from, and below you can find the average cost estimation of that:

Food Delivery App Development Cost Based on Location

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

Remember that the costs for your food delivery app project may vary depending on your budget and project requirements.

Determine Technology Stack

Every on-demand food delivery app needs a technology stack that allows you to build a high-performance app capable of withstanding the usage by many users while providing a convenient and memorable user experience for them.

Tech Stack for Food Delivery Apps Like DoorDash

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

Your project may need more or fewer tech stacks based on your requirements, standards, developers, and goals.

Manage App Development Effectively

All the skilled developers, market research, effort, and money will not amount to anything if you choose a superior development approach like Agile.

Agile Development

Agile development includes an iterative approach that can break your project into smaller parts to focus on incremental deliveries rather than one final one like Waterfall. Choosing Agile allows you to review and improve every little aspect of your food delivery app project during development, ensuring a quality product with no functionality errors, bugs, or design issues after completion.

Focus on App Design

Being a food delivery business, the quality of your solutions depends on the user-friendly elements it can provide to users. You must ensure your UI/UX designer is up to the task and can create a visually appealing UI interface design and a highly convenient user experience. It will ensure user retention and better revenue for your food delivery app.

More importantly, you must improve team morale, ensure better collaboration, and monitor the development process without micromanagement. It will help you achieve the business goals of your food delivery project.

Test the Application

On-demand delivery app testing is a stage that will help you determine whether your app can function as intended and provide a good experience for the target user.

It will help you find any errors, bugs, security vulnerabilities, and design issues that could lead to a low-quality app. You cannot risk this since your app will need to be close to perfect to survive giants like Uber Eats and GrubHub.

Manual Testing

In manual testing, QA engineers and testing directly test the application by evaluating its functionality, user interface design, and ease of use from the perspective of target users.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

User acceptance testing is a necessary step in manual testing as it includes the target users of an application in the testing process. Why? An estimation backed by top research experts indicates that the number of users in the food delivery market segment will reach 1513 million by 2026 compared to 971 million in 2021.

Meeting the needs of such an increasing user base would require direct inputs from the various groups in that user base. That is why UAT is another crucial stage in application testing.

Using target users in testing helps you ensure the required design and functionality standards directly from the perspective/POV of target users, making it easy to determine whether your app is ready for deployment or needs further improvement.

Automated Testing

Automated testing also includes QA engineers but only to set up a system for application testing. The programmed system then tests the various elements of your food delivery app as predetermined by the QA specialists. Automated testing is faster than manual testing and more effective as it removes the possibility of human errors.

Security Testing

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

Industry experts recommend manual and automated consecutively to ensure better quality and value in applications. While the involvement of humans in manual testing allows you to evaluate the user experience better, the accuracy and effectiveness of test automation deal with any issues overlooked by human testers and ensure better security in your food delivery app.

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Post-launch Support and Maintenance

Planning post-launch support and maintenance for your food delivery app is integral in any app development project. Once you deploy your app, the users will share their feedback and experience after using it, or it may start having some errors/bugs that you could not have identified before.

Post-launch support and maintenance help incorporate such user feedback to improve your app further and deal with any bugs/errors that may arise. The faster you can respond to application issues/user complaints, the more reliable your platform will seem to users and the better the user experience they can have in your food delivery app.


The most straightforward way to manage development for an app like DoorDash is by hiring a team capable of delivering one-stop solutions for your project. It will save you from the drawback and trouble of looking for every expert individually or researching the market thoroughly.

An all-in-one-solution team can manage research, planning, development, testing, launch marketing strategy, and provide post-deployment support and maintenance.

Outsource to offshore developers to get a self-managed team such as that and ensure your delivery app development project goes smoothly, providing a lucrative outcome with lasting revenue and business growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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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