Guide on Food Delivery App Business Model for Restaurants

Food Delivery App Business Model

The meal delivery business is projected to reach $137 billion in sales. Using food delivery apps to get groceries and other meals has become a daily necessity. Therefore, now is the ideal time for business owners to set foot in this market and start their own food delivery business with a good food delivery app business model.

However, before starting your food delivery business, you must understand significant things that help you succeed in this industry. You should know about the top food delivery business model, its pros, cons, and some other things that effectively impact the success of your business. 

Therefore, for your help, we have gathered some information about various business models of food delivery apps that will help you make an informed decision for your business. 

Stats on the Food Delivery Business Model

Below are some vital stats on the food delivery apps business model.

Types of Food Delivery App Business Model

The food delivery business model has different types. We discuss the most popular ones that dominate the online food ordering and delivery market.

1. Order Only Model

Customers connect to the local restaurants in this food delivery business model. It performs exceptionally well for the initial generation of on-demand meal delivery services.

With this business model for food delivery, the online ordering platform connects customers to local restaurants. This model also makes it easy for customers to place orders, and the restaurants deliver orders easily.

These platforms typically charge restaurants a commission fee of 7 to 15 percent for each successful order placed through their platform. 

Just Eat, UberEats, and Delivery Hero are a few big names that have adopted this model in the food delivery industry. You can also use the UberEats business model for your business by analyzing it in detail and making sure it aligns with your business requirements.

No need to face any issues related to food delivery Limited menu items
Highly scalable Charge a fixed delivery fee
Increased visibility High commission fees
No upfront costs

Challenges of Order Only Model and How to Overcome Them

Here are some challenges associated with an order-only model and potential ways to overcome them:

Customer Dissatisfaction

Customers expect their orders to be fulfilled promptly and accurately. If an order-only model fails to deliver on these expectations, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction and negative reviews, damaging the reputation of the business. 

Solution: To overcome this, it is important to establish efficient processes for order processing, fulfillment, and delivery.

Lack of Visibility

An order-only model may lack transparency and visibility into the order fulfillment process. This can make it difficult to provide accurate order status updates to customers or address their queries effectively. 

Solution: By implementing order tracking systems and establishing clear communication channels with customers, businesses can enhance visibility and improve customer satisfaction.

2. Order and Delivery Model

The order and delivery model is another type of food delivery business model. In this model, the restaurants are not concerned with the delivery. The logistics company or a third-party courier service handles all the delivery processes.

The delivery service provider works with food delivery platforms to provide food faster. The courier decides on order delivery costs. Well-known food delivery companies like DoorDash and Zomato use this business model for food delivery. 

Customization of servicesLimited restaurant choices
More chance to earn more commissionFor setting up your team, invest time and money
Control over the entire delivery processHigh operational costs
There is no need to invest in the delivery fleetDelivery time constraints 

Challenges of Order and Delivery Model and How to Overcome Them

Below are some common challenges of the order and delivery model and some best ways to overcome them:

Inventory Management

Efficiently managing inventory is crucial to ensure that products or services are available for timely delivery. Challenges may include inaccurate inventory tracking, stockouts, and overstocking. 

Solution: Implementing an automated inventory management system, using real-time data, and establishing strong supplier relationships can help overcome these challenges.


As businesses grow, scaling the order and delivery model can be challenging. It involves expanding operations, managing increased order volumes, and maintaining service quality. 

Solution: Implementing scalable technologies and investing in additional resources can support the scalability of the order and delivery model.

3. Fully Integrated Model

This best online food delivery model for food delivery service is the most flexible. In this business model, the restaurant owner is responsible for everything from meal preparation to delivering the food to the customers.

This integrated food delivery model serves a specific area, and meal delivery startups frequently work with chefs.

Complete control over the processHigh initial investment 
Flexibility in servicesLimited restaurant variety
Brand consistencyOperational complexity
Cost savings Market entry barriers

Challenges of Fully Integrated Model and How to Overcome Them

The main challenge associated with a fully integrated model is high logistics operational costs. One way to overcome this challenge is to increase the density of orders to be able to make multiple deliveries at a time. This way you can at least lower logistics expenses.

4. Meal Kit Delivery Model

This model is also known as the restaurant-to-consumer model. This fast food delivery business model is profitable. In this model, the restaurants deliver premium quality ingredients to their customers. This on-demand delivery approach lets customers choose vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. In this model, multiple restaurants can’t operate. Food businesses usually adopt the meal kit model.

Suppose the businesses want to opt for the meal kit delivery model. In that case, they will hire a team of chefs to create innovative recipes, a staff to distribute the meal kits, and suppliers to provide quality ingredients.

Time-saving More expensive
ConvenienceCooking skills required
Reduced food wasteMarket competition 
Don’t rely on a third-party food delivery platform

Challenges of Meal Kit Delivery Model and How to Overcome Them

The quality standard is the main challenge of the meal kit delivery model. To resolve this problem, you should partner with established businesses that deliver fresh, high-quality ingredients in the right quantity, at the right time.   

Factors to Consider for Choosing the Best Food Delivery App Business Model

A successful food ordering and delivery business follows a specific food delivery revenue model and business model. However, when several business models of food delivery apps are available, sometimes it is challenging to choose the right one. Therefore, we have compiled some tips to help you make the right decision.

Factors to Consider for Choosing the Best Food Delivery App Business Model

Understand Your Needs: You have to identify your business needs and goals and then choose the delivery service business model according to them. You also know your financial capacity. Otherwise, it becomes a huge problem.

Do Research: Before starting an online food delivery business, invest some time in a market analysis. Conduct thorough market research and understand the latest food delivery trends and your target audience. 

Competitor Analysis: Study existing food delivery apps in your target market. Analyze their business models, strengths, weaknesses, and customer feedback to identify opportunities for differentiation.

Scalability: Choose a model that allows for scalability. Your business should be able to grow and adapt to increased demand, expanding to new locations or offering additional services.

Differentiation: Identify a unique value proposition differentiating your food delivery app from competitors. It could be special features, exclusive partnerships, or a focus on sustainability.

Cost: Evaluate the expenses associated with selecting the business model. Consider factors such as app development, server costs, software updates, and ongoing technical support. Also, determine the commission or fee structure charged to restaurants or customers. 

Customer Experience: Providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for customers is crucial for the success of a food delivery app. Make sure that the business model you select can help you provide the best experience to your customers. 

How Does an Online Food Delivery Application Work?

Below are some steps that help you better understand how the online food delivery app works.

SignUp: After downloading the app, the user must sign up if their account has not been created.

Create a Profile: When users sign in, they add more details about themselves, such as name, email, address, contact number, etc. The user also adds their bank details (but it is optional in some food delivery apps).

Search Restaurant: After logging in, the user searches restaurants and browse menus of different cuisines.   

Order Placement: Make it easy for the user to order the food once they’ve chosen what they want. Let them change the order by adding or removing food items before they confirm the address and choose a payment method.

Order Confirmed: When the user places the order, they receive a notification email. The order details are sent to the restaurant, and the restaurant starts working on the order. 

Receive the Order: When the order is ready, the rider receives it from the restaurant and delivers it to the address mentioned. After receiving the order, the user gives feedback to the rider and restaurant according to their overall experience.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who uses food delivery apps the most?

Adults mostly use the food delivery apps with lower incomes ($0-$9k). While just the third-highest income ($150–175,000) also uses food apps. 

  1. What food delivery app costs the most?

UberEats is the most expensive food delivery app that costs 104.2% more than buying directly.

  1. What is the concept of online food delivery?

Online food delivery is buying food online from different restaurants and delivering the food to the doorstep. The process of online food delivery is simple and consists of some steps such as:

  • Customers browse the restaurant
  • Check the menu items
  • Choosing an item
  • Choose the delivery option
  • Make a payment
  • Order confirmed
  • The restaurant prepares the order
  • The rider delivers the order
  1. What is the aim of an online food ordering system?  

The main aim of an online food ordering system is to provide a platform that simplifies the ordering process for customers and restaurants. With an online food ordering system, restaurants can manage their operations seamlessly, and customers order food online without hassle. 

  1. How much does it cost to develop a food delivery app?

The developing cost of the food delivery app depends on various factors, such as:

  • Complexity
  • Features
  • Platform
  • Development method and more

 6. Are food delivery apps profitable?

Yes, creating food delivery apps for your business is profitable and helps you generate revenue. 

7. How much does it cost to develop a meal kit delivery app? 

For meal kit delivery app development, the average cost ranges between $15,000 to $60,000. Design, platform, tech stack, features, time required, and development team are the factors that influence the cost.


The food delivery app business model has proven to be a recipe for success. It creates a win-win situation for restaurants, customers, and the platforms. The on demand online food delivery business model will be essential for food delivery apps to stay ahead of the curve and satisfy the ever-changing tastes of consumers.

You need to select a model that allows you to cover your expenses and generate profits. If you’re new to meal delivery, start with an order-only model, then add another model when you get ready to handle more restaurants. Every business model we’ve discussed needs route planning and optimization software to help delivery partners locate the shortest route.

You can also use the online food delivery business model canvas tool to analyze and plan the various components of a business model. Choose the right business model and make the customers engage to reach success. 

Now you have all the information but still need help, book a free demo with food app development company in USA. Discuss your requirements, and we help you select the suitable online food ordering business model.

About the author

Hudaibia Khalid is the creative force behind the blog—a maestro of words and ideas. Her distinctive style not only imparts wisdom but also leaves an indelible mark, transforming each post into a captivating journey through her unique perspective on the world.

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