Last Updated: May 17, 2024


Rohit Rawat


DoorDash has undeniably transformed the food delivery industry. Its success is emblematic of a booming market fueled by consumers craving convenience. The pandemic accelerated this trend, with people seeking safe ways to enjoy restaurant meals at home. This sustained growth makes the sector highly attractive to entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Building on that momentum, this blog dives deep into the inner workings of successful food delivery apps like Doordash. We'll dissect their unique features, target audiences, and revenue models to equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to create your own food delivery app in this thriving space.

Whether you envision a niche service catering to specific cuisines or a hyper-local focus on a particular neighborhood, this breakdown will help you to identify your competitive edge in this industry.

Why Consider Creating an App Like DoorDash?

While a formidable competitor, DoorDash's dominance leaves room for innovation and niche disruption. Here's why entrepreneurs are eager to enter the fray:

Finding Untapped Niches

DoorDash, despite its reach, has gaps. Opportunities exist in:

  • Specialty Cuisines: Apps focusing on vegan, gluten-free, or specific ethnic cuisines can cater to underserved markets.
  • Smaller Geographic Areas: Hyperlocal delivery services in smaller towns or specific neighborhoods offer a more personalized approach.

Unique Features & Models

Differentiation is key:

  • Subscription Models: Flat-fee subscriptions in exchange for reduced or waived delivery fees appeal to frequent users.
  • Community-Driven: Some apps foster community by enabling group orders from the same restaurant, lowering delivery costs for individuals.
  • Eco-Conscious Delivery: Bicycles or electric vehicles appeal to environmentally-minded customers.

Improving the Experience

Addressing customer pain points can win market share:

  • Lower Fees: Finding models to balance profitability with more attractive pricing for both restaurants and customers
  • Expanded Service Areas: Reaching customers in less densely populated regions many major apps neglect.

Creating an app like Doordash offers an immense opportunity to create a brand users resonate with. We’ll now discuss popular apps like Doordash that will give you the inspiration and the idea to create your own app.

Grubhub: One of the Top Apps Like Doordash

Apple App Store4.7/54.2M
Google Play Store4.5/510M+843K

Founded in 2004, Grubhub has become synonymous with convenient online food delivery. Being one of the earliest entrants into the space, they've built a strong brand reputation for reliability. Additionally, they are known for offering an expansive restaurant selection, further solidifying their position in the market.

Initially, Grubhub concentrated on linking hungry customers with the ability to order from takeout menus online. Over time, Grubhub has incorporated features like real-time delivery tracking into its platform. Additionally, it has introduced subscription-based loyalty programs, enhancing the overall user experience and responding to evolving market demands.

Through strategic acquisitions and expansion into new markets, Grubhub remains a dominant force in the food delivery industry.

Unique Selling Proposition

  • Perks Program: Grubhub Plus  is their flagship subscription model. For a monthly fee, members enjoy unlimited free delivery on orders over a certain amount from participating restaurants. This model directly targets frequent users, rewarding them with savings while simultaneously encouraging even more orders to maximize the value of their subscription. By eliminating individual delivery fees, it encourages customers to order more frequently, which ultimately benefits Grubhub's financial performance. This approach reduces friction in the ordering process and can lead to increased revenue for the platform.
  • Wide Restaurant Selection: Grubhub takes pride in its extensive network of restaurant partners, which surpasses that of many competitors. This strength is especially notable in major urban areas, where the platform offers a diverse range of dining options to users. This gives customers unparalleled choice when browsing their options.  It appeals to adventurous eaters who value variety, as well as those with specific dietary needs who might struggle to find suitable restaurants on apps with a more limited selection.

Target Market

  • Frequent Users: Grubhub Plus shines brightest for those who rely on food delivery several times a week. The unlimited free delivery on qualifying orders quickly offsets the subscription cost for users. This makes it a smart choice for individuals who value convenience and have transitioned from cooking at home to relying on delivery services for meals.
  • Urban Foodies: In major metropolitan areas where Grubhub has a strong presence,  the sheer breadth of their restaurant partnerships is a major draw. This appeals to adventurous diners who crave variety and enjoy trying new cuisines. They value having an abundance of options right at their fingertips, making this feature highly attractive to them. For those seeking unique local hotspots or the ability to easily sample cuisines from around the world, Grubhub's extensive selection can be highly appealing.

Fee Structure

  • Delivery Fees: Like DoorDash and other competitors, Grubhub's delivery fees fluctuate based on a customer's location and the distance from the chosen restaurant.  These fees are generally in line with industry standards, making them a significant, but often unpredictable, portion of the overall cost to the consumer.
  • Restaurant Commissions: Grubhub stands out with its tiered commission structure for restaurants.  Restaurants can opt for varying levels of visibility within the app.  A higher commission rate potentially translates into preferential listings, search result placement, and promotions within the platform.  This flexible model can be attractive to restaurants seeking more control over their marketing spend within the app.
  • Grubhub Plus: The Grubhub Plus subscription is a cornerstone of their revenue model. For a monthly fee, users receive unlimited free delivery on orders over a minimum amount from participating restaurants.  This incentivizes repeat usage and can make financial sense for customers who rely on food delivery services multiple times per week.

Innovative Features

  • Donation Feature: Grubhub's "Donate the Change" initiative empowers customers to effortlessly support charitable causes. By allowing them to round up their order total and donate the difference, Grubhub fosters a sense of giving back tied to the convenience of food delivery. This resonates strongly with socially conscious users and enhances Grubhub's brand image.
  • Order Tracking: Grubhub provides a detailed real-time view of a customer's order status after it's placed.  They can track their driver's location on a map, see estimated arrival times, and receive updates at each step (order received by the restaurant, food prep in progress, driver en route). This transparency and emphasis on real-time information reduces anxiety about order delays and offers customers a heightened sense of control over the process.

Uber Eats: A Pioneer in the Apps Like Doordash Category

Apple App Store4.8/58M
Google Play Store4.3/5100M+5.37M

Uber Eats emerged in 2014 as an expansion of Uber's core ride-hailing service. Capitalizing on its vast network of drivers, Uber Eats quickly made its mark in the food delivery market. The app leverages the familiar Uber interface and offers customers a diverse selection of restaurants, often extending beyond traditional food delivery to include grocery stores and other retailers. 

Seamless integration with the main Uber app and the potential for speedy deliveries, particularly in areas where Uber rides are prevalent, contribute to its continued popularity in the competitive food delivery landscape.

Unique Selling Proposition

  • Leveraging Existing Network: As an extension of Uber's core ride-hailing business, Uber Eats enjoys a significant advantage – access to a massive network of drivers already on the road.  This translates to greater driver availability in areas where Uber is widely used, potentially leading to faster pickup and delivery times. The ability to easily transition between ride-hailing and food delivery offers flexibility to drivers, which could further boost Uber Eats' reach.
  • Beyond Restaurants: While Uber Eats boasts a massive selection of restaurant partners, they differentiate themselves by extending their delivery service to other types of retailers.  Customers can order groceries, convenience store items, or even flowers through the Uber Eats platform in select locations.  This wider array of delivery options grants Uber Eats a broader appeal compared to apps focused solely on prepared food, making it a more comprehensive solution for customers seeking on-demand delivery.

Target Market

  • Uber Users:  Uber Eats enjoys built-in brand recognition and a ready-made customer base among existing Uber ride-hailing users. The familiarity of the app interface, integrated payment methods, and the potential for cross-promotions (discounts on rides bundled with food orders)  lower the barrier to adoption of Uber Eats.
  • Busy Urbanites: Individuals residing in densely populated cities where Uber has a strong presence are prime targets for Uber Eats. The promise of leveraging the existing network of drivers often translates into faster delivery times compared to competitors. This appeals to those with busy schedules or who value immediate gratification when ordering food.

Fee Structure

  • Delivery Fees: Uber Eats' delivery fees are generally in line with DoorDash and other major competitors, though they can vary slightly depending on the specific location and distance from the restaurant. Factors like traffic conditions and time of day can also influence the final delivery cost.
  • "Eats Pass": This subscription program, much like Grubhub Plus, aims to retain frequent users by offering reduced or waived delivery fees on eligible orders.  For customers who order delivery several times a week, the cost of the Eats Pass subscription can offset a significant portion of their delivery expenses.
  • Driver Pay: Uber Eats determines driver compensation using a complex algorithm taking into account distance, estimated delivery time, and current demand. During periods of extremely high demand ("surges"), drivers can earn more per delivery as an incentive to work.  However, this dynamic model can also lead to less predictable earnings compared to the more traditional fee systems some competitors use.

Innovative Features

  • Group Ordering: Uber Eats stands apart with its seamless group ordering function.  This allows multiple people to add items to a shared cart from the same restaurant.  This feature is ideal for coordinating office lunches, meals with roommates, or group gatherings.  It simplifies the logistics of everyone ordering separately, and can potentially reduce the total delivery fees for each individual.
  • Cravings & Recommendations: Uber Eats leverages machine learning to enhance the user experience. The app utilizes an individual's order history and browsing patterns to provide personalized restaurant suggestions. It also highlights dishes that match their preferences and showcases trending or popular items, enhancing the user experience. This takes the guesswork out of deciding what to order and helps users discover new favorites or hidden gems among the platform's extensive selection.

Postmates: Why It Stands Out in the App Like Doordash Category

Apple App Store4.8/52M
Google Play Store4.3/510M+218K

Founded in 2011, Postmates carved out a distinct niche in the on-demand delivery market. Its core value proposition lies in its "anything, anytime" model. Postmates stands out by offering food delivery from a wide variety of restaurants. Additionally, it differentiates itself by enabling users to order groceries, everyday essentials, and goods from local shops, providing a comprehensive delivery experience.

Postmates positions itself as the answer to those moments when you need something delivered quickly and conveniently,  regardless of whether it's a restaurant meal or a forgotten charger.

Unique Selling Proposition

  • "Anything, Anytime" Delivery: Postmates positions itself as the ultimate on-demand delivery service. While food delivery is a significant portion of their business, their core appeal lies in their partnership with a vast network of stores.  Customers can get groceries, alcohol, medications, pet supplies, or even shop from local boutiques without leaving the house. This positions Postmates as a solution for a much wider range of needs than its restaurant-focused competitors.
  • Unlimited Program: Postmates Unlimited reinforces this diverse model. Their subscription service often unlocks free delivery on orders above a certain amount from a broad swathe of merchants. It might include additional perks like discounts or exclusive promotions. This subscription is ideal for individuals who prioritize the convenience of on-demand delivery for a variety of items. It is especially beneficial for those who place such orders frequently enough to offset the subscription cost with their savings.

Target Market

  • Convenience Seekers: Postmates caters to individuals seeking the ultimate convenience of a single app for their diverse needs.  Whether it's craving takeout from a favorite spot or unexpectedly running out of a household essential, Postmates provides a convenient solution. Additionally, it allows users to explore new local boutiques without leaving the comfort of their homes, adding to its appeal. Those who put a premium on saving time and effort are prime candidates for the service.
  • Urban Dwellers: Postmates thrives in densely populated areas boasting a wide and diverse selection of stores and restaurants. Their "anything" delivery model is most practical and impactful in bustling cities where customers have numerous options within a reasonable delivery radius. Urban environments often impose greater time constraints on residents. This strengthens the appeal of on-demand delivery services for a wide range of items, from groceries to clothing.

Fee Structure

  • Delivery Fees: Postmates employs a dynamic pricing model where the delivery fee fluctuates due to factors like distance, time of day (higher demand periods may have surge pricing), and the size of the order. Their reputation stems from the fact these delivery fees can sometimes be higher when compared to competitors focused solely on restaurant delivery, especially for smaller orders.
  • Postmates Unlimited: This subscription program is a key factor in making Postmates financially attractive to frequent users.  For a monthly or annual fee, members get free delivery on most orders above a certain amount, and often receive additional perks like exclusive offers or discounts.  The focus on a wide variety of goods makes Postmates Unlimited appealing to those who rely on the service for more than just meals.
  • Merchant Commissions: Unlike some platforms with a flat commission rate, Postmates may have varying commission structures depending on the type of business they partner with.  This is important for restaurants and stores to consider, as it impacts their profit margins when selling through the platform.

Innovative Features

  • Party Mode: Postmates understands that sometimes ordering on-demand isn't a solo endeavor. Their Party Mode feature simplifies placing large or complex orders from multiple stores in a single delivery.  It enables easy cost-sharing among friends, coworkers, or roommates. This eliminates the hassle of splitting payments afterwards,  streamlining the process of group orders.
  • Robot Delivery: Postmates pushes the boundaries of innovation by partnering with Serve Robotics for autonomous sidewalk delivery in select locations. These small, friendly-looking robots bring a futuristic touch to deliveries. While currently limited in geographic scope, this initiative suggests Postmates' commitment to exploring cutting-edge technology to enhance the delivery experience.

Related Blog: Apps Like Cash App

Gofer App: How Narola Infotech Built an App Like Doordash

Gofer is a food delivery app that prioritizes convenience and flexibility for users. This app, similar to Doordash, enables customers to place orders and track deliveries in real-time. Additionally, users can access discounts and manage payments seamlessly within a single interface. Gofer stands out with its capability to include local shops not yet featured on the platform. Additionally, it offers the convenience of ordering from multiple restaurants at once, guaranteeing a personalized and efficient food delivery experience.

Business Needs

  • Custom Order Request Management: Develop a system to accommodate multi-restaurant orders, accurately tracking items and delivery logistics for each individual vendor involved.
  • Vendor & Driver Payment Allocation: Implement a backend solution (CMS panel) that automatically calculates and disburses payments to restaurants and drivers based on complex variables within a single order.
  • Optimized User Experience: Prioritize a seamless and visually appealing interface, balancing the unique requirements of this model with intuitive navigation for the end-user.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Ensure the app functions optimally on both iOS and Android devices to maximize its potential reach in the mobile market.

Proposed Solutions

  • Client Collaboration: We resolved technical challenges through close collaboration with the client, ensuring a clear understanding of their evolving feature requirements.
  • End-to-End Testing:  We conducted rigorous mock real-time testing from the user, supplier, and driver perspectives to guarantee a seamless experience across all roles.
  • Scalable Database Design:  We developed a robust CMS database to accommodate new restaurants and drivers regularly. This system supports essential data management tasks, including secure storage of personal information and the ability to add/delete records effortlessly.

Project Summary

We successfully designed, developed, and deployed the Gofer food delivery app. Our key achievement was implementing the unique multi-restaurant ordering feature, which we rigorously tested to ensure a flawless experience. We developed a robust database that seamlessly integrates with various store systems. It efficiently manages recurring orders and accurately calculates payments, handling the complexities involved with ease.Suppliers maintain full control over their accounts. Gofer's user-friendly interface and reliable performance have garnered excellent user feedback, and we're incredibly proud of the product we've built.

Related blog - Apps like Airbnb

Build an App Like Doordash

Build an App Like Doordash With Narola Infotech

Gofer is just one of the many apps that we have built. At Narola Infotech, we understand the complexities involved in creating a successful food delivery app. Our team's extensive experience in this sector positions us to guide you through every stage of development. We'll assist you in defining your target audience and standing out in a crowded market. Additionally, we'll help implement the key features necessary for your app's success.

We excel in strategic planning, ensuring your app caters to the right audience. Our technical expertise guarantees the seamless development of customer apps, driver apps, restaurant portals, and robust backend systems. We specialize in crafting intuitive user experiences, optimizing logistics for efficient deliveries, and advising on monetization strategies to maximize profitability.

Narola Infotech's commitment extends beyond the initial ecommerce consulting and ecommerce development. We offer ongoing support to help you maintain and update your app for security and optimal performance. We'll provide data analytics to gain valuable operational insights and assist in planning for scalable growth as your venture succeeds.

Ready to disrupt the food delivery market? Contact us today for a free consultation. Let's collaborate to transform your vision into a thriving and one of the best apps like Doordash.

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