2020 has been a year of intense growth for the food delivery market. Analysts predict that in 2021 this sector will almost double (by 47%), and the catering market will shrink by 21.3%. During the pandemic, users developed a habit of using delivery services, and restaurateurs were able to take advantage of the situation and introduce online delivery into their business strategy. According to some reports, 74.7% of restaurants offered food delivery to their customers in September 2020 – a 29.91% increase over the same period in 2019.

It may seem that the market is already filled with large companies, but you always have the opportunity to create something unique. This article tells you how to design and create a delivery platform, and, most importantly, where to start.

Photo by Yu hosoi on Unsplash

Conduct analytics

Before developing, you need to conduct analytics and find answers to the following questions:

What format will you work in?

You can deliver food from your establishment or work with partners, collecting orders at your base. In any case, you will need to build a system of work with personnel and ensure high-quality delivery for users.

How will you work with clients?

Think in advance how you will take orders, resolve organizational issues and disputable situations.

Who will deliver the food?

You can hire your own team of couriers or use third-party services.

The business model and functionality of the future application will depend on the answers. Perhaps, in the end, you will need to create several products at once: applications for customers, administrators and couriers.

Understand: Who is your target audience?

Study how old your potential users are, what level of income they have, where and by whom they work, what they are hobbies about, what kind of lifestyle they lead and what dishes they prefer. The most desirable audience is millennials aged 25-30: they are more willing to use new products and order food more often.

Make a rough portrait of your audience and think over functionality that will fully satisfy its needs.

How will you be different?

Once you enter the market, you will find yourself in the same space with large and well-known players – they have more resources and influence, but this does not mean that small businesses cannot succeed. Think about what unique you will offer your audience. This can be free grocery delivery, a large selection of goods – from drinks to household appliances, 24-hour service or donations to charity with every purchase.

What should the application be like?

For people to stay with you for a long time and advise friends, the application must be clear and convenient. Here are some parameters to apply:

Fast and simple interface

Ideally, the user should place an order in a couple of steps, so make the interface intuitive and functional. Don’t force people to open pages several times to figure out how they work.

Nice visual

Even if your application is as convenient as possible, inharmonious colors and poor quality photos can scare a person off – no one wants to injure the retina and their sense of beauty with a bad picture.

Secure payment

Protect users’ privacy and show that every transaction goes smoothly.

Loyalty system

Give personal discounts and promotional codes for loyalty, offer special offers in case of mistakes and give the opportunity to earn points.

Reviews and ratings

Before choosing a dish, it is important for us that the order does not disappoint us, so sorting the establishments and food by rating will definitely simplify the choice.

Real Time Order Tracking

The ability to see where the courier is located will give you another advantage – it will help you plan the time and receive your order on time.

Convenient filters

Another way to make life easier for customers is to add the ability to choose dishes by location, cuisine, cooking method and ingredients.

Push notifications

Tell people about the status of their orders, promotions, discounts and updates. This will prevent the user from forgetting about you and missing out on the opportunity to profitably order food.

Clear content

Try to use literate and readable text and images that make the information easier to understand.

If multi-regional delivery is expected, this is a reason to think about implementing user location determination. Such a function will help to show him available places for ordering, current prices, menus and contact information.

Delivery Club asks to allow the application to access location data, and Dostaevsky asks users to specify the city on their own.

Think over the structure of the interface

In delivery projects, applications may be needed immediately for customers, couriers and administrators. Each of these blocks should be clear and user-friendly.


  • Registration function via mail, phone number or social networks.
  • A selection of establishments and suppliers available in the user’s area of ​​residence.
  • Fast order payment using PayPal, Apple / Google Pay, etc.
  • Track order status, delivery time and courier location.
  • Communication with the restaurant and the courier in a separate chat.
  • Ability to save restaurants, cafes and favorite dishes in favorites.


  • Content Management: Publish menus, company information and photos.
  • Launch of promotions and promotional codes.
  • Tracking orders and informing customers about the status.
  • Search for a courier for delivery and the ability to track its location.
  • Direct chat with users.


  • Registration page to subscribe to your application.
  • Book orders online and view details.
  • Chat to communicate with restaurants and customers.
  • View delivery history for a specific customer.

The main stages of work

Creation of technical specifications and drawing up of a contract

The TOR usually indicates the purpose of the project and requirements for it, use cases, approximate sketches of screens and platform requirements. And the contract specifies specific dates, terms, cost, conditions and a list of work performed by each member of the team.


A map of user paths is developed, flowcharts and approximate screen designs are drawn up. The prototype allows you to test the functionality at an early stage and, if necessary, quickly make changes.


UX / UI designers think over the appearance and color scheme of pages taking into account the features of the functionality and requirements of the iOS and Android platforms.


At this point, the developers write the code to make the application work and look as planned.


During development, the application is checked for errors and failures, as well as for stability on different devices.

Launch and technical support

After the final tests, the application is published on the platforms, but the work on it does not end there. The development team will need help to optimize, add new features, and update the application.

AppCraft studio provides comprehensive technical support for applications and information maintenance of profiles in the App Store and Google Play for 12 months.

How much would it cost to develop such an application?

The cost of the application is always individual. For example, the price of a delivery application for a cafe or restaurant, when a separate application for couriers is not required, is from 2.5 million rubles.

For an aggregator format like Yandex.Food and Delivery Club – from 3.5 million, since you will need an application for users on two platforms, an application for couriers on two platforms, an advanced admin panel and back-end development.

Particular cases of integration, for example, with 1C, Bitrix, the implementation of the bonus system, its complexity, etc., have a significant impact on the cost.

What makes up the total cost of the application, described in detail in this article

The market and audience needs can change quickly. If you want to launch a product and not spend a budget on features that you are not entirely sure of profitability, consider developing a Minimum Application Version (MVP). It will be faster and cheaper to develop all the functions and will provide an opportunity to improve an already working application gradually, relying on user behavior.

We in the AppCraft team have been engaged in the development of client and own projects for 9 years and we understand that the correct assessment of resources and constant testing will allow you to correctly distribute finances and successfully monetize the project. We will be happy to share our experience with you and help you develop a quality product!