Building an Online Food Ordering App: 15 Essential Features

by Ashok S. Digital Strategist

Summary: If you are an organization looking to invest in building an online food delivery app, this is high time. But how do you build a food delivery app development solution that stands out? What features must you include in the app that stands out and performs well in this hyper-competitive industry? Read this blog to find out more. 

Before diving into the features necessary to build an online ordering app, let's take a quick look at the statistics for food delivery apps:

Market Statistics of Food Delivery App

Here are the statistics of building a food delivery app:

  • The eServices online food delivery sector can generate $22,898.2 million in sales in 2023.

  • The revenue generated from online food delivery apps is expected to grow at an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 8.90%, resulting in a projected market volume of $96.50 billion by 2027.

  • Recent growth in the Internet food industry has created several opportunities for businesses offering meal delivery. Revenue for this sector is expected to increase globally at a rate of 7.5%, or to US$182,327M.

  • At least once a week, 60% of American customers order delivery or takeaway.

  • Since 2014, dine-in visitation has decreased by 30%, while online food ordering has surged.

  • The number of daily downloads for on-demand delivery apps like Instarcart and Walmart Grocery, Shipt, and Target has increased by 218% and 160%, respectively.

These stats represent that the demand for food delivery apps is high and is expected to grow tremendously. But what features should an online food ordering app have? 

15 must-have features of an online food ordering app

1.Push Notifications

Nowadays, most people like to buy meals online. Thus it's typical to have many food delivery apps on your smartphone. The most excellent strategy to increase exposure and keep you one step ahead of your rivals is to send push alerts. It aids in maintaining customer relationships for firms. These messages assist in disseminating various information, including offers, discounts, location-based orders, etc.

You should also ensure that your on-demand food ordering app's alerts provide customers with something of value in addition to being purely promotional. Aim to handle push notifications so that they significantly aid in expanding your business app. Inform prospective clients regularly about discounts, exclusive deals, and loyalty programs. In this manner, you can grab consumer attention and increase engagement. 

2. Discount/Rewards, Cashback, and Loyalty Programs

Discounts and special offers work best for attracting additional users to your food delivery service. The most excellent way to attract clients is to provide fantastic discounts regularly. According to the research, 25% of users use food-ordering apps to earn loyalty points, while 40% use them for hunting for deals and rewards.

To gain brand loyalty, attracting potential consumers is more essential than increasing brand recognition. Large organizations thus give their loyalty points more consideration. For instance, when Starbucks introduced loyalty programs, their sales increased by 80%.

3. Real-Time GPS Tracking

One of the critical elements of food delivery applications that allow users to track their food in real time is real-time GPS tracking. GPS is designed to work and provide two-way monitoring. Recognizing the user's location makes it easier to deliver meals. Users may also follow the delivery team's progress and movement once the region has been verified.

For the greatest user experience, the top meal delivery applications employ real-time GPS tracking. For this functionality, Google Maps, MapKit, and Waze's Navigation are a few top-notch APIs. Uber, for instance, utilizes Google Maps across all of its platforms.

4. Easy Payment Options

From the viewpoint of a business owner, payments are essential to every enterprise. Despite being at the last stage in the order placement process, clients often cancel their orders if they face a minor inconvenience, and some even choose not to try again. Therefore, a client must have all available payment methods in the on-demand food ordering app development to make the payment process extremely efficient and straightforward.

You may integrate any payment gateway or mobile wallet service offered in the market, including Cash On Delivery (COD) options, Google Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, iOS Wallet, Stripe, and Credit/Debit Cards. From a similar page, you may also promote promotional or discount codes.

5. Social Media Integration

Without question, social media has made significant contributions to internet marketing during the past few years. It is one of those straightforward perspectives that help customers make better selections. Thanks to social media integration, customers may quickly share pictures or videos of their favorite meals with friends and family. Additionally, it would increase your online meal ordering app's visibility on social media and increase your ability to draw in frequent users.

Social media may be used most effectively by customers. Businesses may link social media to loyalty/discount programs to entice current customers to refer new customers and earn points and prizes. It attracts potential clients while luring a one-time client to become a regular.

6. Reviews & Ratings

Since consumers are the ones who ultimately purchase goods or services, every business values them. Therefore, it's crucial to understand whether or not an on-demand service satisfies their expectations. A review and rating option is required for any online meal delivery service. Your consumers would benefit from being able to evaluate and review different restaurants based on the listed food on the app.

Reviews and ratings are a tried-and-true method for companies to understand how users feel about their apps. If your app has positive reviews, many users will likely choose to visit it. Therefore, implementing a feedback portal would benefit your company by allowing you to quickly and easily learn what changes must be made in your application for a better consumer experience.

7. Easy Order Placement

Because placing a purchase online is simple and quick, most individuals choose to do so. However, it is only feasible if you have created a user-friendly meal delivery app. Therefore, an excellent user interface (UI) design is essential for on-demand food delivery apps. A user interface is a crucial app component allowing consumers to interact and place service orders.

Users should be able to explore and find the information they require efficiently. The user experience will suffer if the UI takes a while to load. It is regarded as a crucial app element due to its development. It must load all the elements rapidly for a fantastic user experience with improved app engagement and conversion rates.

8. Order scheduling and pickup

When a person is at work, their wife calls to ask whether they may get Chinese for supper. Unfortunately, eating out is not an option due to the crowded conditions of all the eateries. So they open a meal delivery app and browse the menu until they find Chinese food. After looking through their phone and speaking to their wife, they order Kung Pao Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Hunan Shrimp.

Everything is set, but they want to wait to place their order since it will go cold. What should I do right now?

For such circumstances, the order scheduling and pickup tool are helpful. They may use it to book the order at a convenient time and pick it up on their way home from work. Doing so may assure efficiency while saving some time.

9. QR Codes

Online meal ordering applications may find QR codes to be valuable features. They enable various consumer activities, such as swiftly ordering their preferred dish from the menu and processing payments. Additionally, they may share their referral code on social media or with others by scanning these QR codes.

Grubhub, a well-known app for ordering and delivering food, employs QR codes to enable speedy payment for orders.

10. Geofencing

The fact that their order is delivered late and the food becomes cold before it arrives at their doorstep is one of the most frequent problems customers have with online meal delivery applications.

The geofencing technology resolves this issue by estimating the projected delivery time and guaranteeing that fresh food reaches consumers' doorsteps. In addition, with geofencing, you may inform clients if there is a lot of activity at the restaurant and you cannot fulfill their order right now. By doing so, you'll be able to manage their expectations and prevent offending them properly.

11. Search Filters

Customers only want to spend some days looking for food, especially when starving. It would help if you thus incorporated intelligent search criteria to make it simple for users to choose the appropriate restaurant and place their order.

You may give search filters in your on-demand food delivery app, such as delivery time, meal type, preferences, location, distance, and ratings. You may also research food preferences to further assist people in finding the meal they choose.

Remember to provide users with a variety of choices. People enjoy having a wide range of options to choose from. The target market of Grubhub and Uber Eats may choose from various dishes without searching elsewhere for a satisfying dinner.

12. Order History

Let's say you received a delicious pizza from Scarr's. You wish to place another order for the same pizza a few weeks later. How would you respond? Use the food app to look up the restaurant's name. Yes, but what if you misplace the name of it? In the day-to-day craziness, we all do. The order history function is particularly effective because of this. Customers may go through their prior orders and reorder their favorites. They are no longer required to recollect the names of eateries and foods they cannot pronounce.

13. In-app Messages

While an app is active, the notifications on users' displays are known as in-app messages. The goal is to provide context-relevant, tailored information.

When communication between restaurants and consumers becomes crucial, the in-app messaging option is advantageous. Customers may, for instance, ask the administration to clarify specific details or notify a restaurant that they accidentally delivered the wrong order.

Additionally, the in-app chat function fills a communication gap between diners, eateries, and delivery personnel. The eatery maintains the order's progress and ensures that consumers receive their orders on schedule. The consumer can SMS an update if the order is running behind schedule. Similarly, delivery personnel can send a text message to confirm the address or update their status.

14. Favorites (restaurants/dishes)

Customers also avoid constantly hunting for their favorite restaurants and terms using online meal ordering applications. Instead, they want an intelligent feature that eliminates this bother and guarantees they put all their orders from one location. 

Customers may indicate their preferred foods and establishments by adding a feature. These market eateries will always be visible in your feed, making them simple to reach. Both GrubHub and UberEats make use of this function.

15. Contactless delivery

Following the COVID epidemic, customers are wary of being touched by others and frequently experience anxiety about contracting an infection. Consequently, many of them increasingly choose a contactless meal ordering process.

As a result, some well-known online programs for ordering food, like Doordash and Pizza Hut, have begun to provide contactless delivery options. By requiring that the delivery worker knocks or rings the customer's doorbell and then moves back six feet, they avoid immediate contact. As a result, customers may protect their safety this way while taking advantage of the most incredible meals delivered right to their houses.


The features above are a must-have in your app to enhance the user experience, regardless of whether you're a restaurant owner looking to increase revenue, client loyalty, and retention rate or an entrepreneur investing in your next big online food ordering service project.

However, a meal delivery app's success is independent of its features. It must also make ordering more accessible and provide excellent customer service. 

To ensure your idea for a food app is a success, you may speak with a food delivery mobile app development company. We've been creating successful meal delivery applications for a number of years. Reach out now!

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About Ashok S. Advanced   Digital Strategist

130 connections, 9 recommendations, 462 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 27th, 2017, From Chandigarh, India.

Created on Jul 20th 2023 05:35. Viewed 95 times.


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