How do you develop a Food Delivery App like Postmates & DoorDash?

Partner Post - Octal IT Solution Technology Outsourcing Simplified

Posted: June 12, 2018

The digital era we are living in presently has made time come around as the most precious asset. This is the reason that we see enterprises and individuals work constantly to find ways for better optimization of their schedules and any of the idle of wasted slots that are certain to arise are efficiently eliminated.  

Now the ever gaining prominence of on-demand delivery services is quite renowned owing to its ability to help app users get any product delivered at their doorsteps in least possible time. It works like some magic wand, or it seems like that. There are a number of delivery service mobile app making logistics of goods a lot convenient and also extends its potential effectively. 

You must already be aware of the fame enjoyed by food delivery mobile apps which keep on getting popular with each passing day. After all, people have lest inclination to give away their precious time to do grocery shopping or to cook. They just don’t want to waste it doing everyday boring chores. That’s why the food delivery apps are much loved by a growing amount of urban residents who prefer to not wait long and want to binge on their desired meal in just an hour time. So, let’s take a closer look at few of the famed on-demand delivery apps, such as Postmates, DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEat, which are quite popular among the people.

Market Overview

In case of local food delivery mobile app, it can either choose to offer customized dishes or any of the items from the menu list of food ventures. Like there is Postmates for instance, which enable its users to pick any of the item from the listed restaurants’ menu and then it delivers the order.

Postmates manage the order delivery from the restaurants and it functions in 14 cities all around United States. As soon as the order is placed by the user in mobile app, a local courier boy will visit the restaurant and then the product will be delivered by him to user. Hence, the order is carried out by the contract workers. Upon receiving the order, the nearby food establishments are notified and they can accept the orders accordingly.  

Interestingly, in the initial stage, Postmates was unsure about the goods to deliver, hence the company had also signed up with furniture establishments and also delivered various other products. However, the realization came at the later stage that it was food delivery that got the highest demand, hence today Postmates delivery app solely focuses on this kind of delivery.

Service provided by Postmates is of two types: the client app, from where orders are executed, and the Fleet courier app, which is downloaded on the mobile devices of contract workers.

The other types of renowned food delivery platforms


In case of Doordash, it handles the work of providing local delivery within 45 minutes. Currently, Doordash services are offered in Silicon Valley, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles.


Well, among the many big names in the league, Uber has also proved its mettle in the local food delivery services. Among the various food delivery options launched by Uber, one is lunch takeout service UberEATS. Now the key idea behind UberFresh was delivering fast food from the local food ventures in around 10 minutes or less.

The UberEATS meals are delivered by Uber Taxi drivers who deliver the order for a flat $3 fee, no matter how many meals have been ordered by the customers. The app users simply need to define the delivery location and wait at curbside for Uber cab. Presently, its services are being offered in various parts of Westside & West Hollywood areas.

Features of Food Delivery Mobile App (Postmates for example)

It won’t be wrong to say that the principles of Postmates delivery are pretty simple as well as convenient for each of the side engaged with its functioning, be it customer, vendor, or the delivery guy. The customer receives real-time information regarding order proceedings, dispatch, time, route and progress. The operational scheme of Postmates is better than the standard alternatives owing to its ability to create opportunities for most convenient and fastest delivery.

Postmates enjoy the status of being useful and convenient, and are admired for being modern and user-friendly mobile app. So, look for the features, similar to this app:

  • App Design

Same as with Postmates, the on-demand food delivery app’s design should be such that it can transfer users to this desired result, i.e. Food ordering. Thus, upon logging-in, a list of all nearby food joints should be displayed to users, so they can scroll to pick what they like and order it.

Once the design part is taken care of, it’s time to move to the backend.

  • API & Server

The app must display relevant menus to the users beside bring able to control the proceedings of ordering & delivery. This is where the business logic of service is located.

API facilitates easy scaling of food delivery service, in case the app owner wish adding support for another platform or keen on expanding services to new cities. In fact, public API the third-party app developers can embed order functions into their service, same as Postmates delivery is doing.

  • Map Integration

This certainly is the most crucial feature noting the food needs to be picked from a particular food establishment and then delivered to a specific location.

Google Maps or the OpenStreet Maps can be used for locating users’ devices. Besides, add this functionality to track the orders in real-time, so the users know where their order is and its updates. 

  • Database of Restaurants and Menus

This happens to be the easiest part to implement for the app development team, with their being just one difficulty of data harvesting. Here is the data that will be needed

  • List of food joints & restaurants along with descriptions
  • Names of dishes or meals along with the prices
  • Images of all dishes present in the menu 

Now the first requirement in the list can be met from Google, though for menu & meal photos, you need contacting restaurants and collect them from there. Also, price changes need to be monitored frequent to make necessary changes in the database.

  • In-App Payment System

This feature enables users to make payment for the orders directly from the food delivery app itself. Postmates and DoorDash offer just one payment mode – Credit Card; however other modes can be added as well, such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Android Pay, PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, etc.

So, this was the list of features, though various other functions can also added as the app go on to expand, even the core features will further advance. 

Estimating the cost to develop an app like Postmates

If you intend to create an app like Postmates, it is best to start with market research in the area where to desire to launch it as this ascertains the need of the app. Try contacting vendors not having their own delivery service and collaborate with them. Start with extensive market research, which will be followed by writing down functional specifications. Next, get a reliable development team on board so that you can actually begin with the development process. Beginning with an MVP would be the best move as then you can enter the market within shortest possible time and at the lowest budget possible. 

So ideally, an On-demand delivery app’s MVP contains a courier app and customer app.

These are the main features that a courier app will have:

  • Reply to order delivery requests (Accept/Decline)
  • Update the status (Pickup/Delivery)
  • Delivery history

The customer panel has more features:

  • Registration
  • Order tracking
  • Cost calculator
  • Payment processing
  • Location services
  • Push notifications
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Order history

Food Delivery Mobile App Timeline & Development Cost

 Development cost of a mobile application like Uber eats OR Postmats depends on many facts such as 

  • Custom features & Functionalities
  • Third Party API Integration
  • App Development Partner
  • App Development Timeline
  • Team Hiring Modal (Dedicated, Time & Material )
  • App Development Platforms (Web, iOS, Android, Cross-Platform)

Most of the app development companies across the world charge their clients on the per hour basis and this charge vary in different demography.

For instance:

  • In United States – $100 -$200, 
  • In European Countries- $50 to $150
  • In South Asia (India, Philippines etc) – $20 to $50

Clearly if you getting your mobile app developed in south Asian countries like India, Development cost will definitely ease you.

On-demand Food delivery is one of the arenas that is constantly growing and if you wish to venture into the sector, it is advised to find the right mobile app development team as only with right skill set, mindset and approach you can succeed in making a mark in this industry.

If you would like to discuss more about On-demand food app development, our mobile app development experts at Octal IT Solution are ready to help you. You can reach them at the following email.