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Case Studies: Timeline of Food Delivery App Development

The Food Delivery App Development industry is at the forefront of the app-based startup ecosystem. It has garnered a massive following after the success of the concept of food delivery apps. Read this blog to learn about insights and new innovative trends shaping this industry for the better tomorrow.


The five-year period from 2011-2015 has forever changed the food delivery industry's workflow and business standards. With increased smartphone penetration, food delivery startups got more attention than ever. By the end of this era, app-based doorstep delivery had broken cultural differences among different regions worldwide. It started a new wave of delivery app development. Let’s start with a brief glimpse into the past and move forward to the present.

Timeline of Food Delivery App Development Industry

The online food delivery industry is as old as the internet. It has introduced many innovations related to the ordering process, last-mile deliveries, and revenue streams that have also been instrumental in the growth of app development.


Interestingly, many startups like Webvan, Kozmo, and HomeGrocer have started delivering food via internet communications. However, this era is long known for its dotcom boom and subsequent crash.


In the early years of the 21st century, there was a different market for online delivery businesses. Venture capitalists were skeptical about investing in any business related to the Internet. However, entrepreneurs still added new business ideas to their portfolios. By the late 2000s, major pizza chains started doing 20-30% of their business online, and the rise of mobile application development became faster. Grubhub was founded in this era.


Many major food delivery companies found great popularity as Uber made ride-hailing the new standard of taxi booking. People wanted the same app solution to get food deliveries, eventually carving the future of food delivery businesses to take the road of app development.

Many food delivery companies started to receive more attention, resulting in the popularity of Caviar and Instacart. Soon, mobile-app-based orders took over phone-based orders regarding the number of orders made daily.


The online food delivery market reached US$35 billion globally during this era. Major highlights include using robotics, drones, and VR to maximize the user experience. For the rest of the world, food delivery experiences rapid growth in China, followed by India, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Proliferation Of Food Delivery Apps

One of the biggest factors differentiating an average food delivery company from a better one is convenience. Earlier, industry leaders understood it very well and put the customers at the center of the delivery process. Putting user-centric features first and then the workflow led to the proliferation of new food delivery apps. 

Top-known investors and business leaders heavily invested in creating and rolling out food delivery apps that relied on convenience. As such apps become more widely accepted, restaurants do the same to maintain competitiveness.

Emergence of Third-Party Delivery

Not long ago, food delivery was a very niche commodity, limited to massive companies with abundant resources or small businesses that made super-localized deliveries. Companies like Thumbtack, DoorDash, and GrubHub have blown up the delivery space by introducing third-party deliveries as a convenient alternative.

From a business perspective, your third-party delivery business supports restaurants, hotel chains, and other dine-in places and connects them directly to the customers. The trend is not stopping; more third-party delivery companies are entering the market, offering ‘by the minute” deliveries and much lesser commission percentages.

Trends Emerging In The Food Delivery App Development Industry 

In recent years, a huge growth in businesses providing everything from food to groceries has led to numbers in sales, revenues, and valuation. That is why it is hardly surprising that businesses always look for new ways of doing things. Moreover, if you are planning to enter the food delivery app market, learn about these trends for your next move.

Automated Delivery

Delivery from the pick-up to the drop-off location is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the supply chain. Companies such as Amazon are already rolling out drones to make their way into the food industry. Moreover, using driverless vehicles is also a viable solution to create an error-free delivery environment.

Eco-Friendly Food Delivery

Sustainability and eco-friendliness improve a company's reputation in the eyes of its consumers. In the case of food delivery services, low or zero-emission vehicles like electric cars or bicycles create a low carbon footprint. In other words, food items labeled as environmentally friendly create more value among consumers. Business owners can easily tap into this growing trend by offering a more sustainable option in their delivery apps.

Cloud Kitchens

Cloud Kitchens, called Ghost or Dark Kitchens, is a new concept born to tackle the growing consumer demands. Essentially, a cloud kitchen takes orders from a food delivery app like a restaurant. However, it primarily works by sending those orders directly to the delivery guys. It doesn’t offer a dine-in experience as well. As long as a place is in demand among consumers, it will continue to generate sales despite having no premises for its customers.

Advanced Payment Options

Advanced payment options enable customers to pay for their food orders using various payment methods. By providing more payment options, your app enhances the user experience, boosts retention, and lowers the risk of fraud and charges. Moreover, in-app wallet payment is a new integration in the customer's list of choices. Wallet payments are known to be the quickest payment among all the other choices. As your customer has already transferred a fixed amount into the wallet, the wallet makes the payment much easier.

Critical Insights Into The Food Delivery App Development

If you are starting your food delivery business, consider that more than half of food delivery service users are Gen Zs or Millennials. Nearly 20% of your customers dine out 4+ times per week. Their primary reasons for doing so revolve around satisfying a craving, treating themselves, and trying new things. Moreover, 25% consider online shopping enjoyable and place convenience as the top factor in ordering.

Apart from the convenience factor, the app's design creates a better repertoire coupled with a minimalistic layout and simple workflow. That is why most UI/UX designers are known to have a complete blueprint ready before starting the actual work on the app itself. However, you don’t have to worry about blueprints, designs, or hiring people for your food delivery app development process.

Today, entrepreneurs are looking for experienced white-label firms that send out free, ready-made food delivery app demos for thorough testing. They are known to have all the features you can find in a top food delivery app.


The smartphone app development business has spanned across all major industries, giving a new meaning to ‘on-demand.’ Its true potential lies in the connectivity and transparency of different parties to deliver a self-sufficient model of a constant supply and demand of services. Above all, the power ultimately goes to the common man, the robust pillar for food delivery apps to thrive in the competitive market.

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