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How Much Does it Really Cost to Build A Food Delivery App Like Swiggy, Zomato, or UberEats in India?

India’s love for food delivery apps is undeniable, with a plethora of options catering to diverse tastes and preferences. If you’re inspired to launch your own app and compete in this thriving space, understanding the development costs is a crucial first step.

Market Overview: Top Players in the Indian Food Delivery Market

As of June 2024, the Indian food delivery market is dominated by two major players: Swiggy and Zomato, which together hold a significant 70% market share. These giants have established themselves through aggressive marketing, extensive restaurant partnerships, and a wide range of features and benefits.

Uber Eats and Foodpanda also hold a significant portion of the market, leveraging their global brand recognition and unique features. Other apps, while smaller in comparison, have carved out their own niches by focusing on specific cuisines, dietary preferences, or geographic areas.

The remaining 10% of the market share is occupied by smaller players, including those that focus on specific cuisines (Behrouz Biryani), dietary preferences (Ovenstory Pizza), or geographic areas (Foodpanda).

Indian food delivery apps market share – 2024

The Cost of Building a Food Delivery App in India: A Breakdown

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, the cost of developing a food delivery app in India can range from ₹5 lakhs to ₹1 crore (or more!). This wide range is due to four main factors:

  1. App complexity and features
  2. Technology Stack 
  3. Development Team
  4. Development Timeline

1. App Complexity and Features

This is the biggest cost driver. Let’s break down the features into tiers:

Must-Have Features

These are the essential functionalities your app needs to provide a basic food delivery experience.

  • User Management: Seamless registration and profile creation with options for both mobile number and email verification, as well as social media logins, are essential for user convenience and data collection.
    • For Aggregator Apps: If your app will feature multiple restaurants (like Swiggy or Zomato), comprehensive listings with detailed menus, high-quality photos, ratings, and robust search filters (by cuisine, location, price, etc.) are key to attracting users and helping them find what they crave.
    • For Single Restaurant or Chain Apps: If your app is for a single restaurant or chain, the focus will shift to presenting a well-designed and easy-to-navigate menu with clear descriptions, enticing images, and potentially customization options.

      You can learn more about building a dedicated app for your restaurant chain or cloud kitchen in our guide: “How to Build A Cloud Kitchen App: A Beginner’s Guide.”
  • Ordering: A smooth and intuitive ordering process, customization options (like add-ons and special instructions) are crucial for a positive user experience.
  • Payment Gateway Integration: Integration with multiple secure payment gateways is essential for flexibility and user convenience. Popular options in India include UPI, mobile wallets (e.g., Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe), credit/debit cards, and cash on delivery (COD).
  • Tracking: Real-time order tracking with accurate GPS-enabled maps for both customers and drivers ensures transparency and builds trust.
  • Notifications: Push notifications for order confirmations, status updates, and promotional offers keep users engaged and informed.

Competitive Features

 These features can differentiate your app and enhance the user experience.

  • Live Chat: In-app chat for instant customer support helps resolve issues quickly and efficiently. While building a custom chat solution is possible, most companies opt for integrating third-party live chat platforms, saving development time and resources. Popular third-party live chat platforms used in India include Freshchat, Zendesk Chat, Intercom,, and Zoho SalesIQ.
  • Loyalty Programs: Rewards, discounts, and referral bonuses incentivize repeat business and build a loyal customer base.
  • Table Reservations: Integration for dine-in reservations caters to users who prefer to eat out.
  • Hyperlocal Delivery: Partnering with existing hyperlocal delivery services like Dunzo, Wefast, or Shadowfax can be a strategic move. These platforms already have a network of delivery partners familiar with navigating specific neighborhoods and localities.

Advanced Features

 These are the “wow” factors that can set your app apart and attract a premium segment of users.

  • AI-Powered Recommendations: Personalized dish recommendations based on user preferences and order history enhance the user experience and drive sales.
  • Voice Search: Hands-free ordering using voice commands adds convenience and accessibility.
  • Gamification: Badges, rewards, and challenges create a fun and engaging experience, encouraging users to return to your app.
  • Subscription Plans: Premium memberships with exclusive benefits (e.g., free delivery, discounts) can generate recurring revenue. For insights on subscription models, check out our blog post on “Building a Meal Subscription App: Essential Features and Tech Stack“.
  • Advanced Analytics: In-depth reporting for restaurants and administrators helps optimize operations and marketing efforts.

2. Technology Stack

The choice of technology can impact both the cost and performance of your app. Common choices for food delivery apps include:

Front-end (User Interface)

  • Native: Swift/Objective-C for iOS, Java/Kotlin for Android –  Native development offers the best performance, smooth user experience, and full access to device-specific features. However, it requires separate development efforts for each platform, increasing costs and development time.
  • Cross-Platform: React Native, Flutter –  Cross-platform frameworks allow you to write code once and deploy it on both iOS and Android, reducing development costs and time to market. However, they might have limitations in performance, especially for complex UI elements or animations, and might not have access to all native device features.
  • Hybrid Approach: Some companies adopt a hybrid approach, starting with a cross-platform framework for the initial launch (to get the app to market faster) and then gradually transitioning critical components to native code as the app matures and resources allow. This can help balance cost efficiency with performance and user experience goals.

Back-end (Server-side)

  • Node.js: Fast, scalable, and event-driven JavaScript runtime ideal for real-time applications.
  • Python: Versatile, easy-to-learn language with powerful frameworks like Django and Flask for rapid development.
  • Ruby on Rails: Convention-over-configuration framework known for its productivity and developer-friendly environment.


  • Traditional Relational Databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL) are ideal for structured data with clear relationships, such as customer profiles and order history. 
  • NoSQL databases (MongoDB) offer more flexibility for handling unstructured or rapidly changing data, like menus and real-time updates, with a serverless option that can simplify scaling and reduce operational overhead.

Cloud Services

  • Major Providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure are industry leaders, offering a comprehensive suite of services and robust infrastructure for scaling your app.
  • Developer-Friendly Platforms: Heroku and Render are known for their ease of use and streamlined deployment processes, making them a good fit for smaller projects or teams with limited DevOps experience.
  • Other Options: DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr provide affordable cloud hosting solutions with varying levels of managed services.


Google Maps API, Mapbox – Essential for real-time location tracking of drivers and accurate delivery estimates.

Payment Gateways

Integrating with a reliable and secure payment gateway is crucial for any food delivery app. In India, popular choices include:

  • Razorpay: Developer-friendly, wide range of payment options, competitive pricing.
  • Paytm: Widely used platform, familiar to Indian users, various payment methods.
  • Cashfree: Quick settlements, robust security, supports various payment methods.
  • PayU: Comprehensive suite of payment solutions, supports various methods, recurring billing, fraud detection.

Bulk SMS

Bulk SMS services are used for sending order confirmations, updates, promotional messages, and OTPs (one-time passwords) to users. Leading providers in India include:

  • Twilio: Scalable, reliable global cloud communications platform with SMS, voice, and video APIs.
  • Msg91: Leading Indian SMS service provider with competitive pricing and reliable delivery.
  • Kaleyra: Global cloud communications company offering SMS, voice, and email for marketing and support.

WhatsApp Business Integration

Integrating with WhatsApp Business API allows you to communicate with customers directly through WhatsApp, offering real-time support, order updates, and promotional messages. Some providers that facilitate WhatsApp Business integration in India include:

  • Gupshup: Conversational messaging platform offering WhatsApp Business API integration, chatbots, and automation.
  • Karix: Global cloud communications company with seamless WhatsApp Business API integration and features like message templates.
  • Zoko: Platform for managing customer interactions on WhatsApp, with automated responses, order tracking, and payment reminders.

What tech stack powers Swiggy and Zomato?

Ever wondered what’s under the hood of your favorite food delivery apps? The tech giants in the Indian market, Swiggy, Zomato, and Uber Eats, have built sophisticated systems that handle millions of orders daily. Let’s peek behind the curtain and explore the key technologies they employ:

  • Swiggy: Python reigns supreme in Swiggy’s backend, with the Django framework providing a solid foundation. React drives the web interface, while PostgreSQL stores the vast amounts of data generated by users and restaurants. To keep things running smoothly, Swiggy relies on AWS for cloud services, Nginx for web server optimization, and Redis for caching.
  • Zomato: A powerhouse of its own, Zomato utilizes Java and Kotlin for backend and Android development, respectively. They’ve embraced Swift for their iOS app. Multiple databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Cassandra manage their vast data stores, while big data frameworks like Hadoop and Spark help them glean insights for a more personalized user experience. Real-time data streaming is handled by Kafka, and Elasticsearch powers their lightning-fast search functionality.
  • Uber Eats: This global giant employs a diverse tech stack, including Node.js, React Native, Python, and Go for back-end and app development. They leverage a combination of MySQL, PostgreSQL, Cassandra, and Riak to handle their massive database needs.
Tech Stacks of Swiggy, Zomato & Uber Eats

3. Development Team

The size and expertise of your development team will directly impact the cost and timeline of your project. Here are your options:

  • Freelancers: Hiring freelancers is a cost-effective option, especially for smaller projects or specific tasks. However, managing multiple freelancers can be challenging and may require additional project management overhead.
  • Local Agencies: Indian app development agencies, like Wolfpack, offer a wide range of services, from design and development to testing and deployment. They can provide a dedicated team with specialized expertise, ensuring a streamlined and efficient development process. Additionally, agencies often bring project management experience to the table, ensuring timely delivery and effective communication.
  • In-House Team: Building an in-house team gives you the most control over the development process, but it requires a larger upfront investment in hiring, training, and infrastructure. This option is typically better suited for established companies with the resources to support a dedicated team.

4. Development Timeline

The development timeline for a food delivery app can vary significantly depending on the scope and complexity of the project. While a basic MVP (Minimum Viable Product) can be developed in a few weeks, building a full-featured app with all the bells and whistles can take several months.

At Wolfpack, we understand the importance of a fast time-to-market. We offer a streamlined development process that allows us to build and launch the first phase of your food delivery app in just 8 weeks. This initial version includes all the essential features, allowing you to start acquiring users and generating revenue while we continue to work on adding more advanced functionalities.

How Much Does it Really Cost to Build A Food Delivery App Like Swiggy, Zomato, or UberEats in India?

A basic app with essential features may cost anywhere from ₹5 lakhs to ₹15 lakhs and typically takes 2-3 months to develop. If you’re looking to add more advanced features, a mid-range app can range from ₹15 lakhs to ₹40 lakhs, with a development timeline of 4-6 months. For a high-end app with all the bells and whistles, you can expect to invest upwards of ₹40 lakhs, potentially exceeding ₹1 crore, and the development process can take anywhere from 6-12 months or more.

It’s important to note: These are rough estimates, and the actual cost will depend on the specific features you choose, the complexity of the design, the technology stack, and the rates of your chosen development team

Ongoing Costs for Maintenance and Marketing

Remember, the initial development cost is just the beginning. There are ongoing expenses to consider:

  • Maintenance: Budget for 15-20% of the initial development cost annually to cover updates, bug fixes, and new feature additions.
  • Marketing & Acquisition: Attracting users and restaurants requires investment in digital marketing, promotions, and potentially traditional advertising.

Tips for Cost Optimization

  1. Start with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product): Focus on the core features to launch quickly and gather user feedback.
  2. Consider White-Label Solutions: Companies like Jungleworks, RestroApp, and Yelo offer customizable white-label solutions that can be more cost-effective than building from scratch.
  3. Prioritize Features Wisely: Don’t overcomplicate your app at the start. Focus on the features that provide the most value to your users

Next Steps

To get a precise estimate for your app, reach out to experienced app development agencies or freelancers in India. They can evaluate your unique requirements, provide a detailed breakdown of costs, and guide you through the development process. Remember, building a successful food delivery app is more than just the app itself. Consider marketing, operations, customer support, and other associated costs as you plan your venture.

Partner with Wolfpack to Bring Your Food Delivery App Vision to Life

Ready to embark on your food delivery app journey? Don’t navigate the complex world of app development alone. Partner with Wolfpack, a leading app development agency in India, to bring your vision to life.

At Wolfpack, we specialize in creating high-quality, user-friendly food delivery apps tailored to your specific needs and budget. Our experienced team will guide you through every step of the process, from conceptualization and design to development, testing, launch, and ongoing maintenance.

Contact Wolfpack today for a free consultation and a personalized quote!