How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

What to do if you want a food delivery from a restaurant without having such kind of service? Someone will have to go there anyway to order and bring everything you need. And what to do if there’s nobody to do that? And that’s where Postmates comes to the rescue, a popular food order app: user simply opens it, chooses some of the available restaurants and food he/she wants, and then receives it from the company’s courier. Let’s see, how to create a food delivery app, similar to Postmates.

How does Postmates work?

Postmates is a service that works with on-demand the order is made online using the application, and carried out offline by contract workers. After receiving the order, nearby carriers are notified and can accept it.

Interesting part here is that at the beginning Postmates was not sure what kind of goods to deliver, so the company has signed up with the furniture stores, also delivering a lot of other products. However, over time it became clear that the food delivery was on higher demand, so the Postmates delivery mobile app has focused precisely on this type of delivery.

Postmates service includes two types of apps: the client Postmates app, from which the orders are carried out, and the Fleet courier app, which is installed at the smartphones of contract workers. In this article we will consider, how to create a food delivery Postmates-like app to select and order food.

Postmates required application components

To develop a food delivery app, you'll need:

  1. App design
  2. API and server
  3. Map and geolocation
  4. Set of restaurants and menus
  5. Payment system

Let's take a closer look at those requirements.

1. App design

The design of a delivery service app, similar to Postmates, should transfer users to the desired result: food order. Therefore, after logging in, they see a list of popular restaurants, which you can scroll through to choose something you like:

How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

Other key screens for the food delivery app:

  1. Screen with the restaurant menu
  2. Order screen
  3. Order payment screen
  4. Order completion screen
  5. Order tracking screen

After preparing a prototype, your mobile development team can start working on its own mobile delivery service application. But you also need a backend.

2. API and server

Your Postmates clone will provide customers with relevant menus and control the processes of ordering and delivery, so it will need a backend. That's where the most of the business logic of the service located, with saving data in the database.

API availability also simplifies scaling for food delivery service in case you want to add support for another platform or run in the new cities. And with a public API you can provide third-party developers to embed order functions into their services, like Postmates delivery service does.

How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

3. Map and geolocation

Since the food is required to pick out a particular point and deliver to a specific location, an important part of Postmates is map. But fear not - it's not necessary to write your own solution from scratch. You can use Google Maps or Open Street Maps (OSM) and just write your own function to locate the device. But still you'll need to add the ability to track orders in real time, so customers will know that their food is on the way.

How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

4. Set of restaurants and menus

This part is easy to implement, the difficulty here lies in the data harvesting. Here's what you need:

  • Information about all the restaurants in the city
  • Titles of meals and their prices
  • Meal pictures

How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

The first version of the restaurant list you can get from Google (see more about this in the article, where we talk about the restaurants search app). As for the menus and photos, you'll have to collect them yourself or with help of restaurants. In addition, you will need to monitor menu price changes to make the appropriate changes in your database. Therefore, for a start it's better to launch food delivery app only in one city, and then expand it.

5. Payment system

Payment systems allow customers to pay for orders directly from the app without paper cash troubles. At the same time, you can immediately pay and tip. If the US Uber provides a lot of methods of payment, the Postmates delivery service and its competitor Doordash offer only one — a credit card. But in your own alternative Postmates you can use other payment methods:

  • PayPal
  • Google Wallet
  • Apple Pay

There are a lot of services for the payment integration. Uber prefers Braintree, and we’ve used Payfirma services for our customer KeepSnap to be integrated the opportunity to make payments by bank cards.

How to develop a Postmates-like delivery service app

Food delivery is one of the areas in which the Uber for X model is operating successfully. Our team is happy to help you to create an app for a food delivery with on-demand principle functionality.

Need MVP development, iOS and Android apps or prototyping? Check out our portfolio and make an order today!

About author

Android Developer
Sasha is a team lead of our mobile development team. He conducts regular meetings for analyzing code and summarizing lessons learned that help to keep high motivation and set clear personal development goals for each of the team members.

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