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The Future Insights: Key Benefits of Online Meal Delivery Services

Lilya Khimchenko

CMO

While eating out is still popular among people of all ages and walks of life, people go to restaurants for experience, not particularly food. In fact, most food facility managers are no strangers to seeing walk-in customers order nothing but coffee or water.  A fair share of food managers gets to actually sell food via delivery apps. When today’s customers are hungry, they will not go and look for a place to eat — instead, they would choose to get a meal straight to the doorstep. 

“Food business managers that fail to offer online food delivery services, are missing out on orders, customer engagement, and revenue. Let’s explore the benefits of mobile food delivery apps, their must-have features, and take a look at the industry’s most prominent products.”

Table of Contents:

Online Meal Delivery Services Advantages

These days, more people are treating time as a valuable and irreplaceable commodity. People’s focus on productivity and time management has given rise and fueled the growth of the food delivery market. A modern-day customer is willing to pay extra for meal delivery rather than go to a supermarket. The world’s most proactive tech and alimentary companies are taking advantage of everyone’s efficiency-obsession by massively launching mobile meal delivery apps. Here are the benefits that these businesses reap in the long run:

1. Facilitate the delivery process

By creating delivery apps, business owners increase the odds of successful customer acquisition. To place a delivery, people will no longer need to look for phone numbers to call or struggle with not being able to monitor the status of deliveries.  Technology makes integrating feedback and tracking tools much easier. Thanks to mobile food delivery apps, a customer can track the delivery process in real time, contact the venue manager, and see the reviews about the place. 

2. Improves order management

Phone and on-site orders often come with errors since there’s no way to double-check the list of ordered specials. Other factors — like the speech patterns of a client — enter into play and complicate the understanding of the order.  In-app delivery orders, on the other hand, are stored and can be accessed anytime. In case of an error, a customer can modify an order and avoid miscommunication with a delivery manager. 

3. Increases transparency

Online delivery apps are a win-win move for companies and customers alike. Business managers, on the one hand, will be able to connect advanced analytics tools to the app to keep tabs on customer satisfaction, buying habits, and other useful data.  Customers, on the other hand, can get real-time visibility of the meal preparation and delivery process, get access to community forums to find out more about the venue, and see how many courses of each meal are available. 

4. Reduced delivery delays

Documentation mistakes like address misspells and others, as well as the lack of connection with the end customer, are to blame for the majority of delivery delays.  The route from the venue to the customer’s place or office can get convoluted — delivery managers will be able to work more efficiently if they can reach out to a customer for directions anytime. Advanced mobile food delivery systems have a built-in GPS integration that helps staff members change locations effortlessly. 

5. Offer deeper insight into customer relations

Delivery apps offer businesses new ways to capture and process customer feedback. An app user can be encouraged to leave a review in exchange for a special offer. Business managers will get to benefit from additional user data — geolocation access, the time of the day people are the most eager to place orders, the devices recurrent users use, and so on.  All of these insights help get a glimpse into visitors’ personalities and preferences, increase the efficiency of advertising and marketing campaigns, and are more unbiased than a phone or an on-site review. 

6. Reduce telephone order risks

Delivery apps offer food chain managers more security. For instance, the venue can charge app users for order cancellation if delivery has already been prepared. Also, restaurants can charge customers upfront to reduce food spoilage.  Phone food orders offer delivery managers no way to ensure that a person on the other side means no harm. Delivery apps, on the other hand, require users to fill in profiles, checking their decency and responsibility. 

Must-have Meal Delivery Service Features

As the online food delivery market is developing rapidly, user expectations tend to grow and take shape. A few years ago, an app visitor wouldn’t know exactly what features to expect. Now, when people download delivery tools, they come with a feature set in mind. An app’s functionality has to include:

  • Sign-up. A user should be able to create a permanent profile where their lists of favorite courses, delivery logs, address, and payment information will be stored. By allowing app visitors to create profiles, companies get access to more data and create a lasting bond with each user. 

  • Order placement. Make sure a user can add and remove courses from the cart, edit the number of ordered dishes, as well as the delivery location. If an app supports advance orders, make sure a user can select the date and change it. A food delivery app should have the order history tab, with the status of every past delivery (complete, canceled, etc.). 

  • Payment gateways. The app should offer customers various payment options — including the most common built-in gateways (Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, American Express, and others) as well as a way to pay a delivery manager directly in cash. Be sure to warn app users about any payment processing fees. 

  • Delivery time estimation. Offering flexible time estimates gives customers more confidence in successful delivery, reduces the number of company calls, and delivery complaints. 

  • Order tracking. Finally, be sure to make the most out of all the transparency food delivery tools can offer by implementing an order tracking system. This way, both the company managers and end-users can keep tabs on how much time it takes to process and deliver an order. The former will be able to plan their time based on the insights provided by the app, while the latter can evaluate employee performance and detect logistic and administrative red flags. 

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Top Online Food Delivery Tools

Before designing a food delivery app, take a look at dozens of launched software products to draw feature and interface inspiration from the best projects out there. To help food business owners conceptualize and lay out their future delivery apps, we created a list of the most promising tools in the industry:

1. UberEats

This app allows users to order meals from affiliated restaurants — the company claims to have hundreds of partners worldwide. Once you’ve added all the courses to the cart, the app will check the order out and charge the meal cost from the user’s credit card. 

There are names and profile pictures attached to all driver profiles. Other than that, the app supports real-time delivery tracking. 

Features:

  • A community forum where users can share meals and crowdsource orders;

  • Real-time meal tracking;

  • In-app payment gateways;

  • Order-ahead support;

  • Voice-driven interface: VoiceOver and TalkBack features. 

2. Domino’s 

Domino’s mobile app made ordering your favorite combos times easier with a mobile app. While the interface can come across as outdated, the tool has the features you need to get a pizza straight to your doorstep. 

After a user installs the app, they will have to enter the postcode and download the menu to the hard drive. Other than browsing the standard selection, the app visitors can create a custom pizza and have it delivered to a home or office space. 

Features:

  • AR-enabled ‘Pizza Chef’ feature;

  • Android and Apple Pay support;

  • Quick order;

  • Live Pizza tracker — delivery status monitoring;

  • Save favorite dishes in the list of ‘Favorites’. 

3. Grubhub

GrubHub is one of the most popular food delivery apps in the United States. It has a broad food selection — offering everything from Chinese to Italian. Sensitive diets are supported as well — users can order vegan, low fat, low carb, and organic meals via the app. 

Features:

  • Meal pre order for up to 120 hours in advance;

  • Map-based restaurant view;

  • Real-time delivery tracking;

  • Easy-to-access order history;

  • Perks tab with the latest food discounts. 

4. JustEat

An app like JustEat is not too expensive to develop since there aren’t any sophisticated features. The mobile platform sticks to a basic order workflow — a user needs to create an account, enter the postcode, and choose a place on the list of 15,000 affiliated restaurants. You can change and access your order on the go. 

Features:

  • Explore nearby restaurants;

  • Real-time order tracking via push notifications;

  • Online payment gateway;

  • Share menus on social media;

  • Wide range of coupon deals. 

5. OLO

OLO is a mobile app that helps connect restaurant managers and customers by promoting venues and offering food delivery services. As for now, the platform only supports multi-unit restaurants, with 10+ locations. 

OLO’s estimated yearly revenue amounts to over $500 million annually. The platform currently partners with over 10,000 restaurants worldwide. 

Features:

  • Delivery tracking;

  • Admin dashboard for restaurant managers;

  • Wide range of built-in payment gateways;

  • Integrations that allow users to connect the apps of their venues to OLO;

  • ‘Popular orders’ tab that introduces users to hit orders. 

Final thoughts

Food delivery apps are a smart way to connect with busy working people, college students, and other demographic groups that don’t have enough time to visit the venue as walk-in customers. Thanks to mobile delivery tools, users can trace all deliveries transparently, every step of the way. 

Depending on the range of features your company wants to add to a food delivery app, the development costs may vary. A team of professional developers will be able to calculate your application budget so that the company doesn’t overpay. 

To build a high-performing food delivery app, consider onboarding with Arounda agency. We design flexible software products for startups and SMEs. Your app will be accessible across all mobile platforms, have a responsive design, and be constantly monitored by the development team. 

Take a look at our work to see the beautiful projects we helped build from the ground up. To create a next-generation food delivery app for your company, contact us — a project manager will get in touch with you right away!

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