Remote services gained the highest popularity with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. People considered it to be both safe and convenient to get all they need being delivered right to the door. For the food industry, this became especially actual. Just consider that the number of consumers preferring food delivery services reached 821 million in 2021. The number is huge, isn’t it? So the demand for websites where customers can order food from their loved restaurants or cafes increased subsequently.
Besides the COVID pandemic, there are some more reasons why people choose to get ready-made meals instead of cooking them.
- This is quite convenient as lots of websites and applications offer these services to apply right with the smartphone.
- Instead of cooking, individuals choose to spend their time doing something of more importance to them.
- An overall cost of a restaurant dish is not much higher than the time and money expenses people experience when they cook meals on their own.
So you can see that food delivery websites are a prospective niche in business you can choose when starting your entrepreneur career. In fact, all you need for it is to create a convenient, informative, and user-friendly tool to get orders for food from restaurants.
Market Analysis: Are Food Ordering Websites In Demand?
What perspectives does the food delivery market have? Statistics forecast that in 2023, this niche may gain $154 billion. The reason is simple, The number of people who choose to get their everyday meals delivered increases as lots of them do not want to spend time on cooking choosing more profitable or at least important routines.
The growth of this market niche is overwhelming. In 4 years, it increased by $47 billion. The following numbers can persuade you this is only the beginning!
- Up to 2025, the revenue of the food delivery industry is forecast to reach $449,000,000.
- Customers using food delivery services in 4 cases from 5 use it no less than twice a week.
- Over 40% of people who were surveyed would rather order food delivered rather than cook their own meals.
- During the 2020 pandemic, the volume of food delivery orders increased 3 times.
- A third of all restaurants continue to provide home delivery services even after the easing of quarantine restrictions.
- At the same time, more than half of those surveyed prefer to order food at home rather than go to a restaurant.
What makes food delivery a promising business direction? First of all, it is the spread of virtual payments, the need for fast service, and saving time, which today is considered one of the most valuable resources. In addition, food ordering sites allow customers to compare the offers and prices of different catering establishments, which expands the possibilities and gives the customer more freedom of choice. Not surprisingly, many modern people would prefer to choose their dinner on the site, rather than heading to the nearest restaurant.
Starting With Business Model Selection
The very start of the creation of your successful food ordering website is choosing the business model it will adhere to. What it could be?
- Website with ordering function only. This model is quite simple and convenient. In this case, the website becomes an intermediary linking directly the client and a certain restaurant. The website works as an aggregator of offers from various local restaurants, and when ordering, the client directly interacts with the management of the institution, and not with consultants on the site. With this model, you earn per restaurant revenue for every customer who orders food through your website. On average, the commission ranges from 7% to 15%. With minimal investment in the development and promotion of the site, this allows you to recoup the project quickly enough.
- Website with order and delivery function. This is convenient for both customers and restaurants. Not all catering establishments have a delivery department in their structure, do not want to invest in a car fleet, or do not see prospects in this. At the same time, customer demand for delivery remains high. With this model, your website can become a convenient tool both for customers who order their favorite food, and for the restaurant, which as a result can arrange delivery without the cost of maintaining their own couriers. A prime example of such a service is UberEats.
- A fully functional online restaurant. This format is often used by international restaurant chains. This is a website that provides a complete chain of functions from taking orders for food, preparing it, and then delivering it to the customer. Of course, such a model is good if you already have an existing restaurant business and want to scale it into online ordering. Or if you plan to integrate with a certain restaurant and your site will become its structural unit or partner to provide online orders.
All these models are used today by various businesses. Let’s take a brief look at how they are implemented in popular food ordering/delivery services working online.
Taking Examples of Popular Services in Food Delivery
Competitors’ analyses are always an important part of the start. So let’s do this for food delivery websites’ niche.
- UberEats is one of the business sharks in the industry. This is a division of the famous taxi aggregator operating all over the world. Today, this service works with more than 600,000 restaurants and occupies almost a third of the entire food delivery market.
- Postmates is an equally popular service that operates in the US and Mexico City. Thanks to a wide range of options available to customers, the company accepts orders and delivers not only dishes from restaurants and fast-food chains, but also products from supermarkets, bakeries, gifts, and flowers. In general, this is an example of a successful business focused on all the needs of the client.
- DoorDash also operates in the US and is considered the largest such service in the New World. It reaches over 4,000 cities across the North American continent and has a list of 340,000 restaurant partners.
- FoodPanda is a European analogue of previous services. It operates in 40 countries and also supplies not only food from catering establishments, but also groceries from stores. The advantages of this service are in the transparent contact of customers directly with couriers.
What Features Your Food Ordering Website Should Have
After taking bright examples from the competitors and deciding on the business model, it’s time to consider the main parts and functions your food delivery/ordering website may have. In general, services like that always work on several sides:
- Communication with customers.
- Interaction with restaurants.
- Dealing with couriers.
Besides, you shouldn’t forget about its admin panel that allows you to manage all the processes.
Now let’s take a look at each side of the working process of a food delivery site.
On the Client’s Side
The user interface of any food ordering website is quite complex. It combines many features that are needed to successfully receive orders from customers.
- Registration of users. For the convenience of work, customers will need to register on the site and enter their contact details, and personal information. In a well-designed website, it is also possible to save the order history in the customer profile, and have discounts and promotions for regular users of the service.
- User profile. After registration, it is important to provide a convenient and informative profile for the client, which will clearly and logically indicate information for the delivery service, contact information. Also, the profile must be editable, because the client may need delivery to a different address.
- List of restaurants and their menus. Stylish design, informative menu with prices and hot deals, integrated API for easy search of restaurants by their location – all this is a must for a good food ordering site.
- Filters and search. The client does not have to scroll through the entire list of restaurants to find what he needs. Therefore, it is important to consider a filter system, for example, by average check, type of cuisine, offers of specific dishes, or other parameters.
- Payment system. Paying for orders directly on your site is an important feature. You can use various payment methods, and integrate several payment systems to give the client the choice and comfort of paying for orders.
- Order tracking. This is a mandatory function today, because it is important for the client to know at what stage their order is. A hungry customer is unlikely to want to wait a long time, and order control makes it possible to navigate and plan their time.
- Reviews. The presence of reviews on the site for each restaurant increases the information content. We need to develop a convenient system to receive feedback from customers about the quality of food, service, and delivery speed.
To calculate how much time website development will take on the client’s side, look at the table below.
On the HoReCa’s Side
From the side of restaurants, it is very important to integrate the following features into the functionality of the site. First of all, this is a search by location, so that the client can find a restaurant nearby and order food in it. To do this, you can use popular types of APIs, for example, GoogleMaps. Also, for convenience, restaurants should be able to add information about their establishment, for example, opening hours, promotions, menu novelties. And, of course, the site should have the ability for restaurants to interact with couriers, distributing orders among free couriers.
In general, the table for developing the functionality of the site from the side of restaurants is as follows:
On the Delivery Service’s Side
Dealing with couriers also requires from the website several functions integrated. They may use the following features to ensure a smooth and efficient customer and restaurant experience:
- Register your own profile, which will include contact information, personal data of the courier, type of vehicle and other important information.
- Have access to orders and receive notifications when an order arrives for delivery.
- Use the internal chat to interact with restaurants and other couriers.
- Have an application to constantly access the ordering system and manage your orders in real-time during delivery.
Besides, you should also consider that you need an admin panel to manage all the workflow on the website. For this, you may need to plan your budget for the following timelines and functions.
Main Things You Should Consider for a Successful Food Ordering Website Creation
Besides calculating the time you need to get a full-fledged website for food ordering/delivery, do not forget to consider several features you should adhere to.
- Originality. Using ready-made on-shelve solutions is easier and no need to say cheaper but they won’t bring you clients. Users love uniqueness so it is necessary to decide whether to apply for the ready-made site or to get a custom solution.
- Audience. You cannot reach all the people around the world. So it will be necessary to depict your potential customers’ portraits. What location do you want to outreach with your website’s services? What customers you are interested in? Maybe, they are working pros, yuppies, or students?
- UX/UI design is a must! It is the user experience that underlies your success. Therefore, do not skimp on the development of the UX/UI design of the site, make it as interesting and convenient as possible.
- SEO and advertising are important. No one will know about you if you do not tell about your project yourself. SEO is essential for your website to be easily found by search engines and appear in the search results for users who are looking for food delivery nearby. Advertising will provide an opportunity to attract users from other sites, social networks, external communication channels.
- Don’t stop at one source of income. Make sure that your site receives income not only in the form of commissions from restaurants but also, for example, from integrated advertising. It’s a good idea to start selling gift certificates for food delivery from partner restaurants on your site.
- The web version of the site is not enough! 86% of users use mobile devices to order.
So pay attention to developing a mobile version of the site.
Now is the time to calculate how much it will cost to develop your food delivery website.
Take as a basis the standard rate of developers from Central Europe – $50 per hour.
Above, we have already calculated the approximate time spent on the development of various site functionalities. They average 1,616 hours. We multiply non-rates and get the approximate development cost of $80,800. Impressive, isn’t it? Please note that for a team from the US or Australia, the cost of development will double, since local specialists work for a rate of at least $100 per hour.
To reduce the cost of launching such a project, you can take advantage of the offers of web developers from Eastern Europe. Their rates are currently around $35-$40, which means that the cost of the project will be $64,640.
A Guideline for Food Delivery Website Creation
To wrap up our article, let’s go through the step-by-step guide to developing a food delivery website.
- Select a development team and schedule an initial interview. This is the acquaintance stage at which you can reveal your idea and receive feedback from the team in response, develop a sketch and concept of the site.
- Audit and research. Analysis of the project, search for its weaknesses, risk assessment – all this is an important stage.
- UX/UI design. We have already stopped at an important stage and it follows immediately after the audit.
- Direct site development.
- QA – site testing will allow you to avoid bad customer experience, and as a result, reputation deterioration.
- Site release. Entering the market and starting a promotional campaign will allow you to launch the project.
- Support and maintenance. The site will require qualified assistance, and it is better if you discuss with the team the possibility of providing support services at the development stage.
Developing a food delivery website is a promising business idea. The need for such services does not fall, because during the pandemic people have appreciated the comfort and benefits of using such a service. Therefore, feel free to take this idea into service and start by creating a website according to our guidelines.