How To Create The Best Online SaaS-based Food Delivery App?

10 min readSep 30, 2022


Create a SaaS-based food delivery app

People nowadays prefer to have goods and services delivered right to their door. Online delivery saves time and is hassle-free. Thus, it is no surprise that the food delivery sector has experienced growth over the past few years. The growing trend of web-based food delivery apps across the globe backs up the popularity of online food purchases. The online survey by Real Research reveals that about 75% of the respondents have a food delivery app on their mobile phones.

According to recent statistics, 60% of Americans place at least one weekly food order online. In 2020, the pandemic offered the food delivery industry a push, and as a result, the industry began to experience unprecedented growth. The global online food delivery market anticipates increasing at a CAGR of 10.8% from 2022–2028.

Thus, the online food delivery industry is catching the eye of more investors. Hence, start-ups are keen to start this business, understanding the sector’s hidden potential. Now, let us see the various web-based food delivery apps you can develop.

What are the different types of web-based food ordering apps you can develop?

Order Only Model (Platform-to-Customer)

It is one of the best models for newbies in the field. It is the first generation restaurant service model.

Order only model

Working model:

  • Several restaurants and eateries register on the web-based app that the application owner provides.
  • The restaurant owners can showcase their brands to a large audience.
  • The web-based app lets customers view the menu and order food from these restaurants.
  • A restaurant sends a confirmation message to the customer when it receives an order.
  • The delivery agent delivers the order to the customer’s doorstep.
  • The application owner charges a flat commission when a restaurant receives an order through the app.
  • The customer will receive the mobile number of the delivery boy to contact about any issues.


  • Hassle-free business for the application owner as the restaurant deals with food preparation and delivery services.
  • The owners can go for minimum capital investment at the beginning phase.


  • The options of food are limited as restaurants list them.
  • The application owner holds no control over the quality of the food or service.


Delivery Service Aggregators (Order & Delivery Model)

The model is the same as before, but the platform handles logistics. These service methods are popular among restaurants and cafes as they prefer to avoid the hassles of delivery.

Order and delivery model

Working model:

  • Restaurants register on the online platform that the application owner provides.
  • The customers can check the menu of the restaurants and order the food as per their choice.
  • Once the restaurant receives the order, it sends a notification to the customer.
  • When the order is ready for delivery, the restaurant notifies the delivery agent nearest to the restaurant.
  • The customers will have to pay a delivery fee. The fee depends on the distance between the restaurant and the drop-off location.
  • Customers can leave messages to the delivery agent, like don’t ring the doorbell, leave the order outside the door, etc.


  • The application owner can charge a flat commission for each order from the restaurant.
  • The platform owner can also set a certain amount as a delivery fee from the customers.
  • The app owner can ensure a delivery service to its users by providing appropriate training to the delivery team.


  • The platform owner must ensure that the customers experience an on-time delivery service.
  • The delivery team should be well-trained to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
  • The app owner should manage the web-based app’s features and logistics, making this system more challenging than the order-only model.


Integrated (Full Stack) Business Model

The service provider or the company is responsible for this model’s end-to-end food delivery activities. The service provider controls all the phases, from preparing the food to delivering the order.

Integrated business model

Working model:

  • The admin will receive the orders from the customers.
  • The platform owner has to prepare the food in their place or partner with a chef.
  • The company should have its fleet service.
  • The company gives each driver a set of orders to deliver to the customer’s doorsteps.


  • No need to rely on a third party.
  • The company can have the entire profit, as there is no commission involvement.


  • High operational costs.
  • Serve multiple deliveries on time.


Subscription-based Online Ordering Model

It is one of the famous online ordering systems. A restaurant will be able to build its own ordering system. The SaaS-based platform will help customers to accept unlimited, commission-free orders.

Subscription-based food ordering model

Working model:

  • Restaurants can receive information about orders through the interface of the online platform.
  • Customers can download the web-based app to order food items.
  • Restaurants can receive the data of their customers and can retarget them to improve their business.


  • Restaurants do not have to pay commissions.
  • More return on investment.
  • An easy check-out option will be available.
  • No involvement of third party-delivery apps

Example: ChowNow

What are the essential features of an online food delivery app?

Let’s look at the main characteristics that a web-based food delivery app should have to become the best delivery app:

User/Customer Features

  1. Easy Access: The customers must be able to sign up or log in to their accounts quickly. Allowing a customer to register using credentials of different social media accounts makes the process less time-consuming and hassle-free.
  2. Search Menu: The web and mobile app must have a search function that lets users look up nearby restaurants and menu items.
  3. Cart Feature: The customers should be able to add food items from more than one shop. Instead of placing the order many times, the cart feature should make it easier for them to check out all at once.
  4. Payment Option: You must integrate your web-based app with a secure payment platform that can support multiple payment gateways. It would be more helpful if you could provide the provision for online payment, as people prefer digital transactions nowadays.
  5. Tracking The Order: You have to integrate the web-based app with Google Maps functionality so that the buyers can know the real-time status of their orders.
  6. Reviews & Ratings: The customers must be able to express their opinion about the service and share their experiences through feedback on the website.

Restaurant Features

  1. Login Feature: The restaurant owners must be able to log in effortlessly to ensure a speedy service.
  2. Menu Management: Restaurants must be able to make menu items available or unavailable depending on the item’s availability.
  3. Push Notifications: Restaurant owners must be able to communicate with their audience. The push notification option helps restaurants to make any special announcements.
  4. Checking Feedback: The restaurant or cafe owners must be able to check the ratings and feedback left by the customers for their food and service. It will help in making improvements in their business strategies.

Admin Features

  1. Admin Log-in: The admin must be able to access the admin panel easily.
  2. Efficient Restaurant Management: With a single admin account, the admin must be able to log in and control all restaurants quickly.
  3. Order Management: The web and the mobile app must have an order management feature. It will help the admin in the effective management of multiple orders.
  4. Payment Management: The admin must be able to set and track the transactions. The admin must be able to customize the payment options depending on the type of business.
  5. Application Management: The admin should have overall control over the app and ensure there are no errors in the system. It will ensure the delivery of a smooth service for customers and restaurants.
  6. Discounts & Offers: The app must have an option for the admin to set any discounts or rewards to grab customers’ attention.
  7. Technical Assistance: There should be a provision to seek technical help on the admin panel. It helps the admin correct any software-related issues.

Delivery Features

  1. Registration: The delivery person must register their details effortlessly through the app.
  2. Order Management: The delivery agent must be able to see the details of the orders received. It helps the person to understand the packages they have to deliver.
  3. Status Update: The delivery person must be able to update the status in the app once he delivers the order.

The Development Team Required To Build A Food Ordering App

  • Front-end Developer: Front-end developers work on the visible elements of a food ordering app. They are responsible for implementing interactive features for users to engage.
  • Back-end Developer: A back-end developer concentrates on server-side development. They write code that forms the backbone of your platform and makes it the best delivery app.
  • UI/UX Designer: UX designers ensure that the platform can deliver a smooth user experience. The UI designers take care of the appearance of visuals and the overall screen.
  • Business Analyst: The business analyst interprets the business processes, products, services, and software by data analysis and suggests areas for improvement or change. It will help your business to attain its goals fast.
  • Project Manager: A project manager oversees whether a project is progressing per the schedule and staying within the planned budget.
  • DevOps Engineer: A DevOps engineer has to collaborate with the development and operations teams to implement the automation tools and release the codes for your web-based food delivery app.
  • Quality Assurance: A QA Engineer discovers and fixes the bugs on your food ordering platform before it launches.

What Is The Tech Stack For An Online Food Ordering System?

You now have a clear idea about all the features you want to integrate into the web-based app. Next, let us dive into some of the technical aspects. The tech stack below will help you develop your own food ordering system.

Front-End Technologies:

Back-End Technologies:

For Other Applications:

Factors to Keep In Mind While Developing a Food Delivery App

  • A Seamless Experience: Including features like smooth scrolling, better UX design, and easy clickable options can make the customer’s experience more delightful while trying to place a food order online.
  • Understand Your Audience: When you launch a new food delivery app, test it on a smaller scale. Understand the choices of a small audience by targeting a small area in the beginning. Make enhancements to your food delivery app accordingly. Then slowly scale it when your business starts flourishing.
  • Technical Part Of The App: Always be careful while choosing the technology to build your food delivery platform. The tech stack you plan to implement for your MVP must be able to fulfill your requirements and be affordable. It has a significant impact on the final food delivery app development cost. Approach the technical part of your app with a good vision. It contributes to 70% of the application’s success.

Advantages Of A SaaS-based Food Delivery Platform

  • The restaurants do not have to pay a transaction for every order.
  • Do not require a huge upfront investment.
  • Automatic software updates are possible, and subscribers do not have to worry about platform maintenance.
  • Restaurants can pay monthly or yearly for using the application.
  • Order processing time is less due to the centralized POS system.
  • One can know the status of an order through real-time tracking.
  • Using an app or a web-based administration panel, restaurants may quickly manage their menus and dishes.
  • The online food delivery app will be available on iOS apps, android apps, and websites.
  • All the data will be backed-up and stored in the cloud.

Cost To Build An Online Food Ordering System

Subscribers can subscribe to monthly or yearly subscription plans from a SaaS-based food ordering system. Our pricing model is flexible and cost-effective. The food delivery app development cost of developing the platform mostly depends on the features and functionality you plan to implement.

However, developing a basic food delivery app might cost you between US$ 10–25k. And it might start at US$ 50K to develop software with more sophisticated features and functionalities.

You need to search and hire a good app development company. They must be able to assist you in finding and implementing proper technology into your food delivery app at an affordable cost.

Grubly - an online food ordering app

The engineers at RaftLabs, know how to conceptualize and design a custom food delivery app. Following the agile development process, we have already created an online food ordering platform, Grubly. To learn more about the app, click here.


Many entrepreneurs and companies nowadays seek a custom and unique solution to create SaaS-based food delivery software. RaftLabs can help you launch an excellent food ordering platform in the market as we have a wealth of expertise in developing similar applications.

We evaluate the market trends to determine the ideal methods to allocate resources before developing a food delivery app for your company. Our team is enthusiastic about providing quick, creative solutions for our customers. So if you are interested in creating a food delivery app, contact us for a free technical consultation.

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