eCommerce App Development

How much does it cost to develop an app like DoorDash?

How to develop an on-demand delivery app like doordash?

In operation since 2013, Doordash was built upon the simple mission of enabling every merchant to deliver. During a conversation with a macaron store owner, the founders of Doordash hit upon a 'Eureka' moment. The owner mentioned the on-demand delivery issues that she was facing, a recurring pain point in most of the conversations that they had with over 200 business owners. Due to a lack of drivers to deliver the orders, business owners had to manage the delivery themselves leading to many inconveniences and inconsistency of service for the merchants and their customers.

And that's how Palo Alto Delivery, the prototype of Doordash, was born. Doordash has been delivering happiness with multiple dashes of convenience since then.

How to Make an App Like Doordash?


Let us have a look at the different steps involved in making a food delivery business like DoorDash.

#1 Choose a business model

Order only business model

This is a business model suitable for those that are just beginning their business journey. The application owner connects users to several restaurants and eateries. Using the app, multiple restaurants can register and offer food delivery services to customers.

Deliveries are handled by either the restaurant's delivery fleet, or any third-party provider hired to deliver meals for the restaurant. No logistics are handled by the app's owner.

In addition to requiring minimal capital, this business model does not require the owner to deal with any hassles associated with preparing or delivering food.

Delivery business model

This model is similar to the order-only model but it also takes care of the logistics part. Customers place their orders through the app and the app owner delivers the food.  Since restaurants do not need to manage their fleet service, this is a highly viable business model. Moreover, they will have access to the company's existing customer base.  To deliver the food, the app owner typically contracts with multiple individual courier service providers.

Full-stack business model

It refers to a business model in which a single provider manages the entire food supply chain. From the moment the food is prepared till it is delivered to the customer's doorstep, everything is done by a single party. The business model is often chosen by popular restaurants who wish to offer their loyal customers a more convenient service. By giving customers access to their restaurants from the comfort of their own homes, they can further boost their sales.

Some business entrepreneurs also hire cloud kitchens to prepare meals. As part of this business model, they deliver food under their banner to the customer. Restaurants like these will not provide dine-in service, but instead will only take orders on the platform and deliver the food to customers.

What is DoorDash's business model?

DoorDash is an app that provides logistics services. This is an effective solution for connecting people with the finest cuisines in their cities. They not only empower local businesses but also create jobs, thereby expanding employment options.

How Does DoorDash App Work?

Placing an order on the app

Users can select from a large selection of restaurants. They can view the bestselling dishes based on what other users order. Users are also provided with recommendations based on their order history.

Making payment

Once the user has added their choice to the cart, they can proceed to the payment section where they can pay for the service using multiple payment options available on the app.


Once the order is ready for pickup, an available dasher picks up the order and delivers it to the location of the customer. The customer can track their order in real-time.


The dasher works with the intend to provide efficient and satisfactory delivery. The customer also has the option to tip the dasher based on delivery satisfaction.

#2 Planning the development of a food delivery business

DoorDash includes the following elements:

  • Website
  • Admin section
  • Restaurant partner section
  • Dasher section


A website has the following functions:

  • Websites attract visitors through search engine optimization and other methods of advertising.
  • Customers can order on their laptops or desktops, which is much more convenient than selecting food on a small screen.
  • Informing users about changes to the service and providing practical tips.

Admin section

Users may experience some or the other technical issues and sometimes there can also be order or delivery related issues like refund generation, etc. Through the admin panel, all these issues, notifications, user support, and business statistics are handled as well as communication with users.

Restaurant partner section

A restaurant owner can perform the following actions through the app:

  • Add photos of dishes with descriptions and portion information
  • Manage the pricing information of their products
  • Add or update information about promotions
  • Receive real-time order notifications
  • Accept or reject orders
  • View reports and analytics

Dashers (Courier partner) section

It includes the following features:

  • View the active orders
  • Accept or reject a delivery request
  • In-app communication with the restaurant partner or customer
  • Navigation facility to find the best route
  • Reporting

User section

It has the following features:

  • Add products to the cart and checkout
  • Multiple payment options
  • Provide feedback and rating about the delivery experience or the restaurant
  • Faster login through social accounts
  • Navigation for real-time tracking of order location

#3 App development costs for building a food delivery app

App development costs for building a food delivery app

Choose the right developers and designers who can fully implement your idea. During your app development, you can discuss each stage with the developers and designers. There are several designs to choose from for different user roles based on the type of business model (aggregator, logistics, cloud kitchen).

Software development stages of a food delivery app

  • Concept development – Ideation, discussion, etc.
  • Prototype. Develop functional models of the application's screens
  • Design concept. Determining colour schemes and main elements
  • UI UX. Develop the front end of the app.
  • Programming. All project functions must be coded and implemented.
  • Integrating several features such as maps integration, payment gateway integration, instant messaging service, social media integration, etc.
  • App testing
Calculation of App Development: Cost
----------- -----------
UI/UX design $1000 – $2000
Front-end and Back-end development $1500 – $2500
Technical documentation $1000 – $1500
MVP testing $2000 – $4000
Polishing and bug fixing $1000 – $2000
----------- -----------

It is wise to not go beyond the already established patterns of the user's visual perception and similar applications when designing a food delivery app. The goal here is to be as eye-catching and unique as you can and stand out from the crowd, but following this methodology, it is crucial to think about how the end-user will react to this. If we assume an hourly charge of approximately $80 to $150 then the total cost to develop such an app could approximately amount to $20.000 to $40,000.

#4 How do food delivery apps like Doordash make money?

DoorDash must show a decent return on investment in order to be successful in the market. This is the only way investors will fund such ventures. DoorDash generates revenue in a number of ways. Let’s talk about these different methods of revenue generation.

1. Business commissions

DoorDash gives businesses the ability to reach their target audience without having to put in extra work. With it, any user can place an order from their favourite eatery, irrespective of whether the restaurant offers delivery.

This service is provided for a fee by DoorDash, which is typically 20%.

2. Delivery Fee

Delivery agents, known as dashers, are employed by DoorDash to deliver orders that customers place. Dashers receive payments from DoorDash for their delivery services. They can also get tips from customers based on their performance.

3. Advertising

With DoorDash Advertising, businesses can take advantage of the latest marketing methods and reach more consumers. In addition to being an important part of DoorDash's revenue generation, the service also gives businesses a way to leverage the massive reach of DoorDash.


The pandemic and many other factors have changed people’s perceptions about many things, including the usage of delivery applications to order food to their homes. Change in people's attitudes coupled with advancements in technology that enables businesses to provide personalized and highly efficient services to customers, you may not find a better time to start your food delivery business.


How to make a food delivery app that will be popular?

  • Speedy and efficient delivery
  • Wide variety of choices
  • Deliver to areas with not much options nearby
  • Great customer service

What are some of the most popular food delivery apps like Doordash?

Some of the leading players in the food delivery industry are: Uber Delivery, Grubhub, Delivery Hero, Just Eat Takeaway, etc.

Does Doordash support website orders?

Yes, Doordash allows its users to place orders via their website so that users can place orders whether they are in their office or at home.

Can I create an app like Doordash?

Yes, you can. If you a great business idea that you would like to see developed get in touch with us. We will help you build an app like Doordash to enhance and grow your business.