How to build an uber Eats like food delivery app
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How to build an uber Eats like food delivery app

8 min
Jul 14 2020
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Uber Eats is one of the most popular apps with good ratings. Food delivery becomes more and more popular as people use it almost every day. It’s not surprising: food delivery becomes cheaper and cheaper for customers. Today many restaurant business owners think about having such an app to achieve a new level. According to Business Insider’s data,mobile delivery services are growing very fast and will be worth over $38 billion at the end of 2020. In this article we’ll help you develop an application similar to Uber Eats so you can become part of this industry’s success.
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It’s quite obvious that people want comfort and prefer convenient things and services. This is related to everything in our lives: from music, video games and movies to such basic things as food. Convenience is the most important reason for the boom of food delivery applications like Uber Eats, Glovo and Deliveroo.
A little example. When was the last time you ordered the movie in a rental video store? A long time ago, we think. Logically, you prefer Netflix or Hulu, modern streaming services much more convenient than video stores. But the same could happen to your food business. You should accept transformations and don’t ignore changes in the market. So, let’s find out how to build your mobile app.

The key details in building a mobile app for food delivery

At first, we propose you get into details of building a mobile delivery application. The food delivery application consists of three main elements: client-side, restaurant side and courier side. Below we’ll describe each of them.

The client-side details:

  • Functionality for registration via email or third-party services like Facebook or Google accounts.
  • An option that helps to choose the restaurant from the list of nearest eateries.
  • The ability to make fast orders from the menu.
  • Fast and efficient payment system. The best way is to add as many paying options as possible (Google and Apple Pay, credit cards, PayPal, etc).
  • Functionality that helps track orders, time of delivery and courier location.
  • Ability to save restaurants, positions from menu and orders for further usage.
  • Chat with the restaurant and courier to check order details, location and ask questions about delivery.

Details for the restaurant side:

  • Sign up page for restaurants. This page helps the restaurant to join your applications. IT should contain a menu, contacts, working hours, locations and other important information about the eatery.
  • A content management system that will help restaurants to post their own information.
  • Ability to add promo codes and special propositions for the clients.
  • An order tracking system that will show restaurants the incoming orders and all the necessary details from customers.
  • An option that will show order status to both restaurant and client, e.g. new, for delivery, canceled, completed.
  • Ability to look for the nearest courier and track his/her location during the delivery.
  • Ability to communicate with both courier and client.

The courier side options:

  • The registration page will help couriers to join your application.
  • Order management page for real-time booking deliveries. This page should contain all the necessary information about order (restaurant location, delivery address, order size, etc).
  • Ability to estimate time for the order delivery in the application.
  • Chat with the restaurant and client where the courier can ask questions and send information about the delivery process.
  • History of the orders and ability to track and record orders for a current client.
You might already understand that all three parts work together and make the food delivery app convenient for all the sides. Integration Uber Eats API to your application makes the ordering process much faster for clients. As a result, restaurants and couriers have more orders. And all sides of the process have detailed information at every step from order creation to the delivery.

How to build a food delivery app step by step?

The average price of building such an app is $25,000 per project, thus not many eateries can afford their own applications. Especially when we talk about small local restaurants. But should you forget the idea about the app in this case?
Definitely not. Small businesses also can provide similar services to Uber Eats without big spending. This is possible because of APIs. You can use API to increase the speed of the development process and reduce costs. Developers can use APIs like “blocks” for building an application similar to Uber Eats. Of course, you should be ready to spend some time optimizing but still, this is a very efficient way.
The next question is “What services to choose?”. Fortunately, there are a lot of APIs from big companies, so let’s see what they can offer.

Google Places API

This service will help you to find different locations, information about these locations, the ability to register a new place and other useful options. It works via HTTP requests. If you want to start using Google Places, you should have a billing account on Google Cloud Platform and a valid key.
Google Places API uses Pay-As-You-Go pricing and now it costs from $2 to $14 for every 1000 queries. The maximum number of queries is 100,000 per day. Also, they have special propositions for small and medium-sized companies. According to it, you shouldn’t pay if you don’t exceed the monthly limit. Thus, you can start without a budget and start to pay during the company’s growth.

Foursquare API

This a set of tools for communication with Foursquare – application for social networking with personalized recommendations about different places. Foursquare API will cost you from $599 for small and medium-sized companies. If you are a new user, you should create an account at the Foursquare website to start using the service and send queries to the API. It can be too much for a small company but if your target audience uses Foursquare the investment will pay off.

Uber Eats API

This might be the easiest way to start using the mobile delivery app. You can integrate Uber Eats API directly with your POS (Point of Sale) system, which will make order management simpler. Also, Uber Eats has its own couriers, so you can delegate this process and won’t look for couriers by yourself.
There is one important moment. Uber Eats API uses a revenue-sharing model with vendors and the price can be from 15% to 40% per order. But still, Uber Eats is very popular and can bring you lots of clients. Thus, such an approach can be worthy if you receive a lot of orders.

GrubHub API

This API contains data of more than 115 thousand restaurants in the US and provides semi-open access to vendors. You’ll have information about addresses, menu and working hours.
GrubHub API has the revenue-sharing model as the Uber Eats. You’ll pay from 10% to 30% per order. As you see, the fee is lower but it’s important to notice that GrubHub doesn’t offer logistic services and couriers.

MapBox API: MapBox Navigation API And MapBox Geocoding API

This is a web service that gives access to the tools for MapBox – the online-service provides custom maps for such popular applications as Foursquare, Lonely Planet, Facebook, Financial Times, The Weather Channel and Snapchat.
MapBox API is an open-source tool but you should pay for using the platform on which MapBox is run. The API itself won’t cost you a penny up to 25 thousand active users if you’re a single developer. For the business, it costs $4 per user up to 125 thousand active users.

Google Matrix API

This API helps developers to determine the distance between two points. It works together with Google Maps that gives recommendations for the road.
The pricing depends on the level of activity. But you’ll have free credit for the $200 per month. This plan will cover the whole needs of small companies.

Freshchat API

Freshchchat is a service from Freshworks – the company provides Software-as-a-Service solutions for interaction with clients. This API will help you add a live chat to your website via JavaScript code.
Live chats help convert users to paying clients. Freshchat APY has a 21-day free trial period, so you can start working without a budget. Also, the starting account is free up to 10 thousand users and 10 team members. The price of a premium account starts from $15 per month billed yearly.

Onesignal API

This toolset will help you send push-notifications to subscribed users. You can send updates, news and other important information.
The application has a free version with limited functions (up to 30,000 users). In other cases, it costs $99 per month. But for the majority of small companies, a free plan will be enough.

Waze Navigational API

This is a good alternative to Google Places and Matrix API. Waze Navigational API provides access to the Waze toolkit – a mobile app for cars that gives accurate instructions based on the current road state provided by users.
Waze is a perfect variant if your couriers use cars. If not, you probably should try a different application.

TomTom’s NavApp and MapLibrary APIs

This is a web-based toolkit for developers that can be used for adding and customizing mapping features. Maps from TomTom API have a raster graphics format, thus they have a better quality of images than Google Maps, Uber Eats API and MapBox.
If you have less than 2,500 queries per day, you can use TomTom API for free. But users should buy credits with a price of $25 for 50 thousand transactions.

Final thoughts

The business of mobile food delivery application is definitely growing. Internet and mobile technologies are growing too, thus popularity of food delivery apps will become higher and higher. If you have a restaurant business it’s hard to ignore this trend and you should think about starting to use this way of interacting with clients. Also, you should pay attention to details and take into account the needs of all the sides of the process.
If you’re not sure how you can start the development of your own application, you always can discuss this question with experts and professionals in mobile development.
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