How to Start Online Food Business – Business Model & Feature Insights

How to Start Online Food Business – Business Model & Feature Insights


What’s better than a delicious dish that you don’t have to cook yourself and comes at a reasonable price? Online food delivery platforms deliver delicacies prepared by local restaurants to customers at their doorsteps in some of the major cities. FATbit analysts took notice of such unique web-driven businesses and decided to unearth what it takes to build such platforms. Read on for the business model and features.

Detailed Business Model

Online food delivery platforms like GrubHub, UberEats, Deliveroo, Zomato, Talabat, and Just Eat allow people to order food prepared by local restaurants of the city at a reasonable price. These restaurants have large menus, while some of them specialize in particular dishes, which keeps users engaged to the particular platform.

Online Food Ordering Flow

This business model helps restaurants expand their reach and allows customers to order food as well as customize their order on the basis of price, discounts, location, reviews and more. Users are also provided with the option track order status and stay updated.

Let us take a look at some of the salient features of online food delivery ventures.

Salient Features

  • Food is prepared by partner restaurants.
  • Contracted workforce to deliver the ordered food.
  • Altering menu options to keep the foodies hooked.
  • Allowing the user to browse the upcoming menu options along with the current day menu.
  • Option to track order progress.
  • The user can search for their favorite restaurant based on location, discount offers, ratings, and cuisines.
  • Users can choose from multiple payment options like credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and cash on delivery.
  • Review sharing feature regarding the delivery person, food and the restaurant.
  • Notifications related to new offers and coupons can be received by the user on their registered mobile number.

Appealing Homepage

Online food delivery platforms should carry master UX/UI to engage more viewers. The homepage needs to be perfectly designed with a subtle approach. The overall design of the homepage should be neat and throw light on the most important aspects of the website. As interactive homepage designs help to increase the entire business’s value and enhance UX of the website.

Value propositions

  • The food delivery business model delivers value proposition for all, including the restaurants, app users and delivery persons.

    For users:
    • 24*7 customer services
    • Customers can browse menus of multiple restaurants and order food online while saving their time and money
    • Customers can track the present status of the ordered food

    For restaurants:

    • Food delivery business model provides an extended customer base to the restaurants
    • The ease of managing the orders with software installed on the system
    • Availability of a delivery person from the registered food delivery business to deliver the ordered food at the customer’s doorstep
    • The commission is charged from restaurants only for the orders received

    For delivery persons:

    • Handsome salary
    • Good tips from customers

Main 3 stakeholders

The entire model of such businesses usually revolves around 3 main groups of stakeholders:


  • They can choose a meal from the menu and order it.
  • Users pay online for the order.
  • Users have the provision to rate and review the ordered food items.
  • The ability to schedule orders in advance is also available.


  • Restaurants create their menus.
  • They maintain food quality and get recognition.

Delivery Persons

  • Having part-time delivery persons who deliver meals to clients.

How does the Online Food Delivery Platform work?

  • Partner restaurants prepare food.
  • Restaurants are listed on the online platform along with their menus and detailed information about the food.
  • Users order food items and pay online.
  • Ordered food is then delivered to the specific users by delivery persons.

Revenue generation

Such platforms sell food items to users through its online platform or mobile app. The business model of these platforms might appear to be simple but it involves a lot of technical and investment aspects.

The owners of such a profitable food business generate revenue from regular operational activities like:

  • The commission received.
  • Subscription charges from the restaurants and hotels registered under the online food ordering app
  • Ads by restaurants on the platform via sponsored listings

Sign Up

To place an order, sign up is necessary. The signup process needs to be straightforward and simple. It should not include a lot of tricky questions that divert the user’s mind. Social media signup and login options can be used for quick registrations. Leading online food ordering and delivery platforms have perfected their registration process. So, your clone should get it right too.

A socially connected eCommerce platform helps to build a connected and active user base. These socially driven ecommerce marketplace completely redefine shopping experience and make consumers buy more.

User Profile

A user profile page must include basic features like:

  • Search functionality
  • Edit profile
  • Social sharing buttons
  • Credit check
  • Past and frequently ordered food items

Manage Address Book

Popular food delivery platforms empower users to manage his own address, edit it, add new addresses, and update them anytime. There must also be the provision to leave a message of how to contact for delivery.

Featured Dishes

Such platforms offer a wide deck of food options to its users. Foodies get access to all the featured dishes along with the cost. This quickens decision making and generates more meal orders for the stores. Again, something that a food ordering clone cannot miss.

Order Placement Process

When the user selects a particular dish, he must be provided complete details about the dish, its ingredients, the preparation process along with its price and user reviews. The order placement process should be smooth and quick. In case you are thinking to build a website with a readymade online food ordering solution, then, pay special attention to this process. Reviews are highly important for such websites. Don’t forget to confirm sturdy review management functionality for your online food ordering app.

Checkout functionality

After user has placed an order, the final checkout process involves some critical steps.

  • With delivery window, one can choose the best time to make the delivery along with the quantity of dish he wants to order.
  • Mention the address where one wants to receive the order. Delivery instruction is a fascinating feature that allows the user to mention how he wants to receive the order.
  • An efficient payment method with all the necessary billing information is crucial and should run smoothly.

Order Summary

A brief order summary listing all the details along with the total price which includes the tax, delivery cost and the actual cost of dish makes it easy for the user to proceed. Some of the sites also permit the user to add a gift card or promo code if he wants.

Powerful filters

Food discovery is crucial for every food-centered online venture. Development teams smartly add meal search functionality with powerful filters that help in refining results as per common food habits. This helps visitors in quickly finding the food that they are interested in. Online food ordering and delivery is one of the hottest industries right now and has gained popularity as the most profitable food business. That’s why platforms like Munchery, Zesty, and Sprig are flourishing.

Recommendations from experts

An online meal delivery platform confronts many challenges and issues in their business operations. For any platform to be successful, the emerging problems must be handled with the best possible approach.

Chat support: Imagine you are looking for a particular dish but cannot find it. Or you want to learn if your favorite restaurant offers food items through that particular platform. These questions can be easily answered with Chat or Help functionality. In the absence of this feature, new visitors might find themselves struggling for answers.

There are several benefits of live chats for customer services as well as business. Businesses should not hesitate to install live chats if want to win over consumers in this digital landscape.

Smart restaurant pages: While foodies love to experiment, they like to know how good their food and food joints are. So adding smart restaurant intros along with social media buttons and previous experience can make a better impression on customers.

App and responsive advantage: Pick a responsive food ordering and delivery platform so that you can generate traffic from desktops as well as mobile devices. If you want more engagement and have funds, then, invest in a mobile app as well. 

What future holds for a food delivery portal?

For the past few years, the online food industry has seen rapid growth and it will continue to evolve at a fast rate. According to NASSCOM, the evolving trends in food industry will make it grow by 30% every year from 2017 to 2022. 

Humans can never stop craving for food, and so this industry can never go on a decline. This is why the usage of mobile apps for ordering food will continue to increase, as these have eliminated the need to visit a food outlet to dine. Mobile apps provide the convenience of ordering food at any time and ensure quick delivery too. Therefore, consumers are likely to become more dependent on online food ordering and delivery in the near future. 

With the ever-changing technology and trends in food industry, companies will need to evolve and innovate continuously, whether it is in terms of adopting a drone delivery method or using 3D food images.  

If you want to start online food business and don’t know where to begin, or you are facing difficulty in understanding the food delivery business model, our FATbit experts are here to help you. Get in touch!

Your online food ordering website is just a click away

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