A Detailed Guide on Food Delivery Mobile App Development - Cost, Time & Features

  • Mobile App Developement
food delivery app development in new york
John Parker
by John Parker Dec 23, 2022

The online food delivery market will reach $52.2 billion by 2027 (Statista). It is not surprising as most businesses have embraced mobile apps as the future of delivery. With the mindset shift post-pandemic, these numbers are bound to increase as more businesses will take the app route to increase conversions and encourage retention.

The landscape is full of opportunities and untapped potential. For example, you can offer better discounts to acquire new customers as a quick-service restaurant. The participating restaurants can reduce the overall delivery costs with food delivery solutions. 

It is the right time to proceed if you plan on building a food delivery mobile application for your business. You should mitigate the risks and overcome the challenges to enhance the delivery of solutions. 

In this article, we will take you through the total timeline and cost for food delivery application development. We will also walk you through the top steps to build a food delivery application. 

Time Taken to Build the Food Delivery Mobile App

The minimum time taken to build a food delivery mobile app is eight weeks.

Note: Several factors can impact the timelines. The maximum time a mobile application development company will take to build the food delivery app solution is 36 weeks. 

4 Factors that Impact the Food Delivery App Development Time

The app development timeline is shortened or increased based on these factors. 

factors that impact the food delivery app development time

#1 Concept to Full-fledged Idea

When the designers visualize what you are visualizing, they can develop the application better. However, if your half-cooked concept is still in the working stage, you might need help getting it through. 
That’s why your project brief and idea proposal document should be clear. This can impact the development time. If the proposal document doesn’t include important aspects for the developer, you can delay the initial development.

#2 The Complexity of the Project

When you include too many features in your mobile application, it can add to the complexity. This can reflect in the increased timeline as well.

For example, each feature you incorporate in a mobile application will take a certain period. For example, you will take a few hours to incorporate the sign-in feature into your mobile application. Implementing the feature that helps detect the user’s location might take about two weeks. 

If the feature is slightly complex such as AI-driven algorithms, your developer will take a few more weeks to months to develop it. 

#3 The Requirement Specification

This can lead to defining your mobile app development timelines. If you work on the requirement specification doc carefully, you will notice that this can help the developer plan better and specify the timelines.

For example, if you plan to include a non-relational database, this can take more time than MySQL implementation. Similarly, integrating with certain APIs can take more time compared to others.

That’s why it is important to choose the APIs, database, and another tech stack-related information for better timeline management. 

For example, integrating chat application APIs can take 80 hours. This way, the development team can write down the hours and create timelines. 

 #4 The Right Team

If you don’t have the right team with the expertise you need, you may not be able to accomplish the timeline or the work within the said period.

Your timelines also depend on the type of team you choose and what they offer to your mobile application project. 

If you don’t hire a suitable team, you can increase your costs and the overall timeline. It is very crucial to choose your team right from the start.

A Glimpse into Food Delivery Mobile App Development Stages and the Timelines

Here is a glimpse into the different development stages. We will take you through the timelines and activities for each stage.

food delivery app development infographic for stages and the timelines

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Food Delivery Mobile App?

The app development costs $10k for a food delivery mobile application.

Let’s take a look at the individual costs for the different food delivery apps.

App Categories Pricing
Customer App Starts at  $10k
Restaurant App Starts at $13k
Admin App Starts at $16k

Top 6 Factors that Impact the Total Cost of Food Delivery App Development

factors that impact the total cost of app development

1. The Total Apps:

As with the on-demand cab app, you need separate apps for the delivery driver side, the customer side, and the admin. The rider, who is responsible for the delivery, will need certain aspects of the application. Similarly, you will need an app for the customer and the restaurant. The admin will control the resources. Each app will cost a certain specific amount, depending on the features. As a result, it will define the total cost of development.

2. Engagement Model:

How do you plan to partner with your mobile app development company? Do you wish to hire in-house resources to boost app development? Do you want to outsource the entire development? In the case of outsourcing, do you plan to go with an offshore or nearshore model? These aspects will define the total cost of development.

3. Developer Experience:

The team’s experience comes at a cost. You will need to pay more if you hire a highly experienced team. However, if you choose a freelancer with minimum experience, you might need to pay a little less. The cost of hiring a developer, and eventually the development cost, depends on the experience and portfolio of the development team.

4. App Complexity:

If you are planning an advanced mobile application for the food delivery business, you need to pay more. However, a simple MVP will cost less. Similarly, a high-end and highly complex app would cost you as you need highly experienced developers and niche tools.

5. Features in the Application:

The total features in the application and the complexity involved in developing each one can add to the cost and timeline of the app development. If you add fewer features, the cost would be in sync with a simple application. 

6. Tech Stack and Approach:

If you are planning an iOS native mobile app development, it can cost you more than a cross-platform app. An off-the-shelf development is cheaper compared to a customer mobile app development.

The 5-Step Guide to Building a Food Delivery Application

Following a step-by-step process for food delivery app Development can enhance the outcomes and build an experiential application. 

step to build a food delivery app

Step#1: Define the Business Model

You should define the business model for the food delivery application. There are a few models to choose from

  1. The order-only model: This is more like an aggregator model such as Grubhub, which allows restaurants to expand their reach and user base.
  2. The order+delivery model: This is more like the Zomato model, where the aggregator will help with managing the orders and delivery.
  3. Cloud restaurant model: These restaurants only support online orders

Step#2: Determining the Revenue Model

It is important to identify the revenue model for your business. How do you aim to earn money from your food delivery application? Would it be commissioned from restaurants? You could offer deals that can get more customers to order food from your application, thus increasing the usage. You could also add surge pricing that can help you earn during peak traffic hours. 

If you offer the mobile application as white labeling software, you might get a chance to earn extra revenue.

Step#3: Incorporate the Latest Trends

Pack up some incredible trends that can make your mobile application usable and user-friendly. Design the app to incorporate these new trends. For example, you can include a chatbot to make your support interactive and user-friendly. Similarly, giving deals based on location can take the user experience to another level. You will need to identify the trends that matter and incorporate them into the application. 

Step#4: Identify the Features

Determine the features you wish to include in your food delivery application. You must divide the features into different app categories for the best outcomes. 

App Category Features
  • Geolocation tracking
  • List of restaurants
  • Food cart
  • Payment modes
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Scheduling 
  • Push Notifications
  • Dashboard for all the information
  • Registration and profile management
  • Customer management
  • In-app payments
  • Order management
  • Fleet management
  • Order management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Order management
  • Accounts and management
  • Dashboard
  • Profile management
  • Accept/reject the order
  • Order alerts
  • Customer support
Delivery Person
  • Registration
  • Order management
  • Online support
  • Order management
  • Status update

Step#5: Define the Tech Stack 

This is the last step in building the food delivery application for your business. Identify the app development approach you plan to take and the tech stack you wish to implement for the app development.

You will need to choose the tech stack for the payment gateways, user location, and direction finding. Make sure you choose the technology for the DevOps, analytics, and push notifications. It is important to choose whether you take the native app development or cross-platform app approach for the app development. 

3 Secret Ingredients of a Successful Food Delivery Application

If you want to make the food delivery application successful the first time, you should implement the secret sauces. 

1. Design User-friendly Interface

The first step is to make booking a food order and getting it to the customer’s home easy and hassle-free. Things should be easy if the user wants to order food or the delivery person wants to view their orders. This will make the overall process easy. 

2. Know your Competition

It is very important to follow the steps your competition takes closely. You should know what your competition is doing, what is working for them, and how they are faring to understand the gaps. This will help build a successful application. You will know what features your app requires to get the edge. 

3. Start Small and Scale Gradually

If you start your application for the entire city or state, you might not get the conversions needed. It would be a lot of cost and no profits. You might want to start with one location, see how it goes, and then scale your application gradually. With every location added to the system, you will find more reach, engagement, and conversions. 


It takes 3-9 months to release a fully-developed, high-quality food delivery mobile application. You should follow the right plan and a suitable strategy and implement winning features to build a successful solution. 

Partnering with the right offshore development company can help accelerate the release while keeping up with the quality. New York Mobile Tech is an expert mobile app development company in New York with an impressive food delivery solution portfolio.

We have delivered successful applications in this niche with our understanding of the market and the latest trends. Connect with our team to check the feasibility of your idea and strategize the development.