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If food-ordering apps were considered a fad during pre-COVID days, today, they have become a near mandate. Having food delivered at home has become a quick, hassle-free, and most importantly, safe means of eating one’s favorite food. In fact research indicates that the post-pandemic world has seen a marked increase in people choosing takeaway, and online ordering, over restaurant dining.
The State of the Restaurant Industry report, compiled by the National Restaurant Association, has showcased some very interesting facts. The report points out that 68% of those polled pre-pandemic showed a marked preference for takeout. On a similar note, 53% of the individual felt that takeout and online ordering are a crucial part of their lifestyle.
Food ordering and delivery apps have become increasingly common over the years. In fact, GrubHub claims to have over 31 million active users as of December, 2020. With similar apps like UberEats, Deliveroo and DoorDash, occupying near-permanent space in phones across northern America, restaurants too have begun turning to creating their own on-demand food ordering apps.
It should be noted that the US online food ordering market hit $26.5 billion in 2020, and is expected to zoom past $40 billion by 2025. In a show of even greater potential, China’s market for online food delivery is expected to close in on nearly $100 billion by 2025.
It is common knowledge that restaurant aggregator and food delivery platforms have a hefty per-order charge which eats into the restaurant’s profits, no pun intended. These charges can range anywhere between 15-40% depending on the platform used and the order placed. As a result, a number of family-owned, and chain restaurants have started their own food ordering and delivery applications. This was further strengthened by the State of the Restaurant Industry report’s finding – 64% of those polled preferred to order directly from their favourite restaurants, as opposed to a third-party service.
This has led to a rapidly crowding digital marketplace for on-demand food ordering applications, however. This fact raises a number of questions as to the kind of features such an app should have in order to meet customer expectation, and maybe even exceed it. At Third Rock Techkno, we feel that any on-demand food delivery app needs to cover all the three aspects of the service.
Table of Content
- Intuitive UI & Memorable UX
- On-demand food ordering app For Customers
- On-demand food ordering app For Restaurant(s)
- On-demand food ordering app For Logistics
- In Conclusion
Customer | Logistics | Restaurant
One option is to create three separate applications for each of the above aspects. The other, more conventional, option is to have a single app with separate logins for the customers, restaurants, and delivery teams. At this juncture it is important to understand how much information you need to share between each stakeholder. Based on this, you will be able to increase or decrease the interaction between the three.
Before we delve any deeper into the different features of each aspect, let’s first understand the role a strong UI and UX plays in the making of an on-demand food delivery app.
Intuitive UI & Memorable UX
‘The first impression is the last impression’ is an adage that is right up there on the pile of well-worn cliches. With on-demand food ordering apps, this adage, has more than a grain of truth. If a robust code is the body of your app, the UI, or user interface, is its attire. Having an easy user interface allows for your users to easily navigate through the app.
Take the example of the UberEats UI, it is easy, intuitive to boot, and allows for an incredible ease of access to all relevant information. Research states that 50% of users who do not have a good experience with the UI of an app the first time do not return to it again. This figure rises to 80% for customers who have had 2 bad experiences with an app’s UI.
This makes it more important than ever for an on-demand food delivery app to have a very intuitive UI. The user interface includes every screen your stakeholders will land on. Identifying the way that each interface best interacts and shares information with the users, is crucial for the app’s success.
Responsiveness of the application is an absolute must when it comes to creating an on-demand food delivery application. Better load times leads to better functionality, and by extension, positive reviews for the brand. Another aspect to keep in mind is easy navigation. Keep essential information for your customers in easy reach, make sure that they always have a way to find what they are looking for. Once again, all of this is largely influenced by the quantum of information to be shared among the three stakeholders.
On-demand food ordering app For Customers
With an increased influx of food ordering apps in global markets, customers are regularly being exposed to newer functionalities and features. This makes it more important than ever to ensure that you are not missing out on familiar features for the users. On-demand food ordering apps for customers require certain staple features. The charm, however, lies in how they interact with the user on the screen.
The first step to commence the brand’s relationship with the customer is to set up a new account. This is crucial to ensure the loyalty of a new customer. This would usually involve creating a login ID and a password, or even use a social media page or Google ID, for creating a new account.
The profile is essentially a repository of information for the user. This could include past orders, preferences based on order analytics, delivery addresses, saved outlets, payment options and much more. Easy access to this information is the biggest appeal of the profile to the customer.
This allows a user to identify preferred food outlets and dishes. The idea with a favourites mark is to simplify the customer’s access to their favourite food items making reordering a breeze.
Downloading a restaurant aggregator/ordering app gives you the freedom to seek out the restaurants you desire. An app for a single restaurant or chain, needs more. Such apps should give users filters to search according to delivery times, distance, or even menu preferences depending on locations.
Making the process of placing an order easy is prima facie for a food delivery app. It is no longer enough to simply have the option to add or remove items. Advanced ordering features including the option for easy reordering, and being able to view an order summary are near mandate. A feature to allow customers to schedule orders, like UberEats, could be an interesting add-on. It is important to have a clear cancellation policy, with options, available to avoid negativity from customers. It would even be a good idea to allow for a pick-up option when placing orders. UberEats latest feature, dine-in, allows you to place an order, pay, and eat at the restaurant without waiting in lines and paying additional delivery fees.
Another common feature among food delivery apps is tracking one’s order. It requires a customized, or a paid tool to be added to the app. It helps customers can track their order right from the moment it is placed, to it being delivered to their homes.
One of the most important parts of the process, it is important to allow your customers different payment modes. Be it card, cash on delivery, or through PayPal and similar apps, it is important to allow customers options. This should, however, come with the possibility of changing their chosen mode of payment whenever they want.
Loyalty Program & Discounts
One of the most attractive features of any app for a customer is getting more discounts than they could on-site. You can make great strides in customer retention by encouraging loyalty programs offering discounts to regular users. Many apps use the coupon format to allow users to gather discount points and save more money.
Integrate With Social
Having your users share images and reviews of dishes they have eaten on social can help achieve substantial organic promotion. It is a great way to receive feedback, and gives your social team a ton of content to work with.
If used rashly they could hurt the brand badly, when used well they are a great customer retention tool. Push notifications can include specials of the day, weekly discounts or even just a personalized hello to the user.
On-demand food ordering app For Restaurant(s)
It is important for an on-demand food delivery app to ensure restaurants are getting great value from using it. An on-demand food ordering app for a restaurant, or an aggregator, needs certain functionalities to make the order lifecycle easier.
Efficient Content Management System
It is important to have ease of changing essential content pieces across the app. Changes in menu or images, floating new offers, or other edits required for the app’s content, should be possible.
Order Management System
Ensuring that your restaurant(s) are regularly updated with new orders is crucial for a quick turnaround time on the order. It also helps provide alerts to your customers in real time about the status of their orders.
For efficient order delivery, having your restaurant(s) communicate seamlessly with your shipping personnel is crucial. From identifying the right order numbers, to tracking the order from pick-up to delivery, this functionality needs to cover the entire process. More importantly, it should allow you to access all records depending on restaurants, date, time etc. for detailed analytics.
On-demand food ordering app For Logistics
This portion of the app needs to focus on ensuring smooth deliveries of the food prepared at the restaurants. If you are creating an on-demand food ordering app, for logistics you will need to have these essential features.
Registration & Profile
It is important to make the process of signing up delivery personnel easy, yet have a complete profile. It should have clear authentication guidelines, backed with strong password protection. This profile should regularly update the couriers as to their efficacy, and even provide incentives for the same.
Communication Across Interfaces
This functionality allows delivery personnel to communicate with both, the restaurants and the customer, when required. This helps in relaying important information about the orders in real time.
Status Update & Pick Ups
It is important that the delivery personnel be notified of new orders and prepared orders immediately. In some cases push notifications are also employed to alert the personnel as to the order status. Different status updates should be pushed across as soon as possible, like order accepted, rejected, placed, prepared, or more. It is also important to allow personnel to filter through the orders available depending upon time, location etc. and also allow seamless booking of deliveries.
Loyalty Program & Ratings
Allow delivery personnel to earn more through referrals, or on getting exceptional ratings from customers. This will not only increase brand loyalty, but also make each of your delivery personnel a spokesman for your brand.
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Creating the perfect on-demand food ordering app can seem like a tall ask considering the already crowded marketplace. A marketplace, however, that continues to grow. With people intent on having more options to choose from, food ordering apps are seeing serious growth globally. The projected value for global food delivery apps, according to Business of Apps, is around $100 billion globally. This valuation is anticipated to near $250 billion globally by 2025. A market that is growing by the mouthful.
In such a rapidly growing market, merely creating an app is not enough. It is just as crucial to have a set of features that not only help your brand stand out, but also provide unparalleled functionality. To achieve this goal, you need to have a team of seasoned professionals on your side. With 10+ years of industry experience and 150+ projects under our belt, Third Rock Techkno is capable of executing forward thinking user functionalities. Reach out to us to learn more about our mobile app development services.