It is not uncommon for businesses to get confused about mobile websites and mobile apps. Many consider there are no significant differences between the two. For example, if you have a responsive website already for your restaurant you may just think you no longer need to go for a separate food ordering mobile app. But you are wrong. You actually require both of them. Let us explain why.

A responsive website is a must

These days, without a website a business literally amounts to nothing. Web identity of business actually became the real business identity. But when most people browse the web and enquiry about products and services on the mobile screen, you need to build your website responsively. Responsive design allows your website to fit into any screen with the optimum user experience. Until 2016, 63% of the global population was mobile phone users and by the end of 2019, there will be more than 5 billion mobile users. Unarguably, the vast majority of this mobile using population are also smartphone users.

Naturally, when it comes to search ranking they are preferred or given priority by Google. So, if you want to reach a larger audience and spread your business, having a responsive or mobile-optimised website is a must. With latest technologies such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are now offering a more app-like user experience, responsive websites have become invincible tools for online branding and brand positioning.

Let us have a look at the key reasons why your food ordering business needs a responsive website.

● A mobile website or responsive website makes your business reachable and available all the time while users do not need to download an app.
● A responsive website can be accessed across multiple device screens.
● While for an app to remain discoverable in app stores is very challenging a website can easily grab search ranks by driving SEO.
● A responsive website fetches your business consistent Google ranking and robust brand positioning.
● Building a responsive website doesn't require any additional cost as it has become the norm for web developers to build websites with the mobile-optimised design.
● Faster loading speed and easy access to website features and functions are key strengths of responsive website design.
● For a food ordering app to offer real-time tracking feature, responsive and mobile-optimised web design works great.

Why food ordering businesses should choose dedicated mobile app?

In spite of all the benefits of responsive and mobile-optimised websites for food ordering businesses, the importance of a dedicated mobile app can't be refuted. A mobile-friendly website doesn't offer a comprehensive solution to all requirements typical to a business like this. A vast majority of users spend most of their time on the native apps. This is why having both a responsive website and native mobile apps are important for any online food ordering business to function.

A native mobile app is particularly important to drive regular traction and engagement with your loyal users. Mobile apps also can deliver all the features and functionalities in a well-organised manner to ensure easy accessibility. Remaining available all the time on your device screen a native food ordering app just helps customers to use the service more and often for satisfying their needs. An app also makes a bigger and better brand statement besides offering more frequency of orders and customer footfall.

Let us have a look at some of the key benefits of having a native app for your food ordering business.

● Creating loyal customers and driving loyalty become easier with the native app remaining available on the device screen.
● You can constantly remain in touch with your customers through push notification messages. This will allow providing better service and making promotions as and when needed.
● A food ordering app can help customers rate and rank your service better and create a positive impression easily about the business.
● You can ensure a far better user experience through real-time tracking, chat messaging and in-app communication.
● You can gain a competitive lead over other food ordering businesses with a great native mobile app with the superb user experience.

How much does it cost to make food delivery app?

As the lifestyle of people is becoming ultra-mobile, food delivery and restaurant apps are continuously getting popular. Just when you are getting ready for a working day, the breakfast is delivered at your doorstep and just when you are finished with the breakfast platter, the cab deliver is waiting to pick you up from the gate. Just mobile apps do it all. It gives you a complete and sophisticated lifestyle with everything delivered at your doorstep just when you need it.

Apart from contributing to the fast-paced and upmarket lifestyle, the food delivery apps are also making us truly international and cosmopolitan in taste and food habits. Keeping tune with this trend, a lot of developers are willing to take a lucrative share of this booming business. Obviously, when looking for an ideal restaurant app they just cannot look any further than Swiggy or Zomato.

Do these apps involve too big a development cost? Are they really beyond the capacity of small startups? What is the opportunity of a startup with a food delivery app? Without evaluating all these aspects, the ambition to launch a successful food app like Swiggy or Zomato is like the proverbial ‘building castle in the air’.

The business opportunity with a restaurant app

As per the research findings of Netscribes Research, the market for online food delivery is supposed to grow at a rate of 34-36% per year between 2015 to 2020. Another report from RedSeer estimates that the online food delivery market in India experienced a growth of 150 % in the year 2016 alone. These statistics clearly indicate the huge market potential of online food delivery apps or restaurant apps. Let us see some of the specific reasons to aspire for a restaurant app.

● These apps offer an avenue to boost sales of food from restaurants and food chains.
● These apps help customers building a certain dependence and relation with restaurants and this enhances customer loyalty and scopes for r repeat order.
● The restaurants and food chains can always target and retarget customers by promotions offered through the notifications of the app.
● It helps food chains, restaurants and food delivery networks to build their brand image with satisfactory service and quality foodstuff.
● It creates a win-win situation for customers, restaurants, third-party food apps and the delivery people with the increased promotion of sales and earning.

The cost factors to build an app like Zomato or Swiggy

So, when you are convinced of the business potential and earning opportunities with apps like Zomato or Swiggy, it is time to Get acquainted with the practical challenges along the way. The development cost is the first consideration. Let us explain the key cost factors for building restaurant apps like Zomato or Swiggy.

The App Platform (Android, iOS or Windows)

Do you want to launch a cross-platform app across all mobile platforms or just want to start with one platform and then launch the same app on another platform? Obviously, the cost of Zomato app for iOS is different from that of Android or Windows. If you are planning to go all out and do not want to compromise on the initial cost of development, it is always advisable to go for cross-platform app development.

App Design

For a food delivery app, the design is crucial for ensuring ease of use and to showcase the restaurants and food delicacies with proper look and feel. A customer is more likely to order a food that looks mouth-watering than a food that looks dull.

App Functions

Every different type of app boasts of some specific and customer savvy features. For food apps also there are some unique features like restaurant table booking, food browsing, ordering and home delivery, customisation options for orders, restaurant reviews, food reviews, GPS and real-time location tracking, etc. It is always advisable to go for a minimum viable range of features for a food app and gradually make value additions with demand and increase of orders.

App developers

The cost of hiring developers largely vary depending on the mobile platform, developer country, development experience and skills. The average cost of a developer in the US is around $107,000 / year while the average developer cost in India stands at merely $18000/ year.

Final cost estimate

Considering all the above-mentioned factors the development cost of a food delivery app or restaurant app like Zomato or Swiggy in India will vary from $8500 to $11,000.


From all the above descriptions and explanations it is quite obvious that a food ordering business neither can do away with a mobile or responsive website nor it can do without a native mobile app. While the responsive website allows the business to position its brand and services, the native mobile app actually boosts loyalty through frequent orders and engagement. For your food ordering business to experience Continuous and steady growth both play an important role.

Author's Bio: 

Gargi Patel is the CEO of Quick SEO Help, that helps to startups and enterprises marketing solution. He loves technology, especially mobile technology. He’s an avid blogger and writes on mobile app develoment trends.