If you’re reading this post, you might be in the process of launching your very own food tech startup, and considering building a Flutter food delivery app.
The timing couldn’t have been better. The online food delivery market is booming now, expected to generate a global revenue of $0.91 trillion by 2023 and skyrocket to almost $1.5 trillion by 2027.
But let’s delve into why Flutter is the go-to framework for this type of application.
Why Flutter is a good match for food delivery apps
Flutter is a modern, cross-platform programming framework, which allows developers to create mobile and web applications with native-like performance. The technology has been adopted by major companies such as Google, Alibaba, and BMW. Grab also uses it to power their super-app, which provides users with online food delivery among other things.
At Surf, we have been building on Flutter since 2019. We have created 25 different apps spanning from banking to food tech, including for companies such as KFC and Burger King.
What’s more, we don’t just build on Flutter, but also contribute to its codebase, having submitted over 30 packages. As a result of all this work, we’ve collected a great deal of knowledge and would like to share the many benefits that come with using Flutter in this article.
Flutter and its strengths
So what, exactly, makes Flutter such a great choice for a food delivery tech startup?
Single codebase for multiple platforms
Flutter’s “write once, deploy everywhere” approach allows for the development of Android, iOS, desktop, and web apps from a single codebase. Which means that you can reach users no matter what device they’re ordering food from.
Food delivery apps are rarely minimalistic. They often use maps and lots of fluid transitions and animations. This creates a friendly user experience, but it’s also taxing on resources. Thankfully, Flutter is highly performant making sure that your app stays responsive no matter how advanced your design or business requirements are.
Working with Flutter, developers have the capability to construct adaptive components and UI kits that can be reused on all platforms. Tools like automated testing help speed up development, ensuring go-to-market time for your food delivery product is as short as possible.
Flutter apps are also highly scalable. Read how we used this framework to create an in-house HR solution for an enterprise.
Why your businesses needs an app for online orders and food delivery
Here are 3 reasons why your business will benefit from a food delivery app:
1. A mobile app is an opportunity to reach a wide — and growing — audience. Our post-pandemic food habits have changed inadvertently and people now order in a lot more frequently than before. Statistics show that 60% of all restaurant revenue is now generated via online ordering, and a whopping 60% of that comes from mobile apps.
2. Push notifications are an effective conversion tool — they tend to have higher opt-in and click-through rates than email. Uber Eats uses them well: they remind customers who haven’t completed their orders and give away freebies to stop people from churning.
3. A mobile app can help you increase retention with a loyalty program. For example, when we helped a large retailer to implement a loyalty program, the number of loyal customers increased by 79%. Read the full case study here.
Key features of a food delivery app
A food delivery app makes it easy to get your meals and groceries with just a few taps on your phone or tablet. Marketplaces like Uber Eats and Wolt bring various food brands under one roof. But now, brand-specific apps are also gaining traction.
In fact, recent studies show that people prefer to order directly from these apps in order to support local businesses.
Whether it’s a branded app or a marketplace, customers have come to expect certain features:
- Real-time order tracking
- A home page with recommendations
- Convenient search and filtering across categories and menus
- Convenient payment options
The functions above are enough to build a feature complete MVP. However, the competition in the food delivery industry is fierce and the user experience is essential for success. What’s more, you’ll also likely have to implement a complex backend management system for your application to keep track of orders and inventory.
Taking all this into account, here are 3 more features that can make your food delivery app stand out from the rest:
- Geofencing to optimize delivery based on courier and client locations
- A discount or cashback system to drive retention
- Flexible backend management system
Let’s quickly touch on that last point.
When we were developing a food tech app for our Client, they requested that we design and implement a system that would talk to their backend, allowing them to quickly iterate on product and advertising hypotheses.
We created a flexible-logic system, so each component of the app could be instantly customized from the Client’s existing admin panel. This way, our Client had the option to adjust their menu items and homepage layout on the fly. This gave them the ability to experiment with different meal combinations and homepage designs to determine a combination with the highest conversion rate.
As a food tech startup, it may be just as important to develop an app for couriers or restaurant order management. At Surf, we have extensive experience building these kinds of applications.
Learn how we helped KFC to migrate away from Excel spreadsheets and paper-based records with a Digital Successful Routine (DSR) app. Or find out how we boosted deliveries for an online bookstore by 20% through a courier app with optimized route planning.
In conclusion, if you’re working on a food tech startup project, then Flutter can be the perfect choice for your mobile app development needs.