How to Make an App Like Zomato: Challenges, Features, Tech Stack and Cost

Vladlen Shulepov posted on Jan 13, 2020, edited on Sep 18, 2020
website like Zomato

As of 2020, restaurant aggregators and food delivery services are in great demand. So if you are planning to create an app like Zomato, it has all the chances to succeed.   

But before you start creating one, you may wonder about the key features of your future application, technology stack, time and cost of development, etc. 

At Riseapps, we have a wealth of experience in building apps, including the ones for foodies. So we’ve compiled this brief guide for you to have an insight into developing an app of this particular kind. 

We’ll explore how to make a food application on the example of Zomato – a restaurant aggregator and food delivery service operating in 24 countries. It’s one of the most popular tools of this kind. What makes it unique? How to create a website like Zomato or a Zomato-like app for iOS and Android? Read on. 

Market Overview

First, a little disclaimer. The food and drink application market is extremely versatile. Many types of apps can be featured in this category, e.g.

  • restaurant aggregators 
  • review apps 
  • on-demand delivery apps 
  • savings apps
  • restaurant-specific apps

Besides, it’s all about a region. Often, food applications operate in particular countries only, or some of their services are available in a certain region. E.g. as of January 2020, Zomato food delivery is available in India, UAE and Lebanon only. 

As our blog visitors are from different regions, let’s take a worldwide perspective on the food app market. Here are 3 key points we’d like to highlight: 

  1. ‘Food and drink’ is not the most popular app category in the App store, but it still mounts TOP 8 with a share of 3.4 percent. Arguably, there’s a good chance this number will increase with the rise of technologies. The need for food is universal in man, and foodies will always explore new ways to indulge themselves with their favorite dishes. So if you wonder if it is practical to build such an app, the answer would be a definite yes. Most popular Apple App Store categories in Q4 2019Most popular Apple App Store categories in Q4 2019. Source
  2. Online food delivery apps are the most popular in the Apple store ‘Food and Drink’ category. The delivery mobile application market, being already huge, continues steady growth. Food delivery mobile application market growth (expected)Food delivery mobile application market growth (expected). Source
    However, the popularity of online delivery applications doesn’t mean there’s no reason for creating a restaurant aggregator or review app. As technology evolves, you might have an original idea or exclusive competitive advantage helping your app to skyrocket.   
  3. Talking about Zomato as a food delivery app, its biggest competitors are Swiggy and Uber Eats. However, in other countries where Zomato delivery services don’t operate, other applications are running the show. An example would be Grubhub and DoorDash in the United States and Deliveroo in Europe.  

As a restaurant review app, Zomato has many more rivals. 

Key restaurant reviews app: Zomato competitorsTo wrap it up, before you start building a Zomato-like app, be sure to make thorough market research depending on the country your product will operate in. 

Having determined your niche and knowing your competitive advantage, you’ll have all the chances to reach your target audience. 

Business Side

The obvious advantage of Zomato service for businesses is that the restaurants have exposure to a large online audience. Besides, using different Zomato tools companies can also promote their facility. (We’ll discuss this in “How does Zomato make money” section). 

At the same time, Zomato as a food delivery service currently faces quite a challenge. Many restaurants are discouraged by the steep commissions that the apps of this kind push on them.  They claim that the costs fall on eateries while the applications reap the profit. So this might be an issue for you to address if you are going to develop an app like Zomato. 

Features of the Zomato App and Website

Let’s list the basic features of the Zomato app and website:  

  • Search (for restaurants, cafes, pubs, etc, via filters)
  • Geolocation (find restaurants using current location)
  • Theme-based curated lists (to discover places) 
  • Collections (create and share them with your friends and followers)
  • Dineline (journaling the restaurants you eat at) 
  • In-app table booking (select locations) 
  • Bookmarks reference list of your favorites or places you want to visit with 
  • Language support: English, Czech, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Turkish

There’s another feature that has recently appeared and currently available in Zomato mobile application only. At the end of 2019, Zomato started delivering video content. The platform offers foodies original shows, recipes and more with over 2,000 videos. 

Now, let’s talk about the way of monetization for a Zomato-like app.

How Does Zomato Make Money

Zomato has several ways to monetize its services. We’ll list some of them here, so you can consider whether to utilize them in your application. 

  1. Food delivery fee. As Zomato is not only a restaurant aggregator but also a delivery app, it earns on delivery fees. Moreover, this kind of fee contributes about 70% of total revenue, at least as of last year. But as mentioned, restaurateurs and delivery workers around the world are questioning the small share of the pie they get from robust service providers like Zomato.  
  2. Advertisement. Businesses can put up banners, get exposure on collections they are featured in, and access management dashboards. The merchant widgets are also available. The eateries can showcase their listing pages anywhere on the web, as well as highlight ratings and reviews, take table bookings, and much more.
  3. Zomato programs. Restaurants can pay a fee and become a part of Zomato’s bouquet of offers, e.g Zomato Gold. 

Challenges To Consider Before Entering

Introducing an application to the market is a challenge by itself. But there might be some specific issues you have to address if you build a Zomato-like app. Here are some of them:  

  1. Strong competition.  Zomato, UberEats, Deliveroo and other similar apps have already made an indelible impression. Zomato was among the most downloaded apps worldwide in 2018, as claimed in the App Annie report. The market is dense, but this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a niche. Benchmarking your application can help to understand your competitors’ performance and take the lead on the market.  
  2. Wavering loyalty of businesses. As mentioned, many eateries are frustrated by the small share of the pie they get from robust services like Zomato. So building a food delivery app, your challenge would be to set a reasonable commission, then restaurants won’t rebel against your application.  

Now, let’s look at different aspects of creating a Zomato-like app.

How to Build a Zomato-like App?

Design

Arguably, any mobile or web application needs to be glanceable and attractive, but for a food and drink app, it’s a must. Zomato app design is rich, as high-definition pictures are essential to lure potential customers. So the design cost of your application may be relatively high, but it’s definitely worth it. 

Technology Stack (iOS and Android)

The platform choice for your Zomato-like app depends on the behavior of your target audience. If the dominating platform is either Android or iOS, it’s obvious that you go for the most popular one. But if your target market is divided between iOS and Android, the best solution might be to consider development for both platforms.

Let’s suppose, you’ve opted for cross-platform development using React Native. Then your technology stack for building a Zomato-like mobile app might look like this: 

Technology stack for building a Zomato-like mobile app (cross-platform development)

Framework React + React Native
Language Typescript
Navigation react-navigation
App State redux + redux-saga + redux-persist
Network axios
Internationalization react-native-localize + i18n-js
Image react-native-fast-image
Debug Reactotron

The general scope of work could include:

  • Initial project setup

  • Project architecture setup

  • Localization support

  • Network layer setup

  • In-app navigation routing

  • Git setup

The scope of features will vary for a Zomato-like app depending on its goals and may include:

  • Search by cuisines, dietary, preferences, payment options, rating, open hours

  • Geolocation

  • Live vendor menus (access real-time information)

  • Rating the vendor

  • Live discounting, etc.

Technology Stack (Web)

For those wondering how to make a website like Zomato, we’d like to offer to take a bit deeper dive. Let’s see how to build a Zomato-like app for the web platform. This might be more challenging, but more rewarding. 

For a Zomato-like app, your technology stack may look like this:

Frontend Backend
ReactJS, HTML, CSS Python / Django / Django REST Framework + PostgreSQL

The scope of the backend work will include building API, server-side features, admin panel, etc.

Backend development of a Zomato-like web app

Backend development of a Zomato-like web app 

But of course, this is a broad-brush list, and your developer will have a final say depending on your application requirements.  

Now, let’s look at the price of a Zomato-like app. 

How Much Does it Cost?

If you’d like to build a restaurant aggregator for iOS and Android and web, the scope of work might include: 

  • Frontend (web) development
  • Backend (web) development
  • Design
  • Mobile App Development 
  • Project Management
  • QA and Testing

All that сould cost up to $50,000 if you choose a reliable software development company from Eastern Europe. 

As for the timeframe, it might take 5-6 months to develop a Zomato-like app, depending on the number of team members and their seniority. The longest chain here might be for Frontend development. 

Here’s an approximate timeframe for building an app like Zomato for both – mobile and web platforms: 

Timeframe for building an app like Zomato

Our Cases in Restaurant Reviews App

At Riseapps, we engage ourselves in building various types of products and software. Food applications are not an exception. 

Just a while ago, we worked on a social app for foodies Favocity. It allows you to pull up a list of recommended restaurants close to you in the blink of an eye. 

We rebuilt and upgraded the application, having changed how Favocity looked and given it some new features. The new app has a global map with “saved places” that can be managed using special tools.  

restaurant reviews app

We also created cleaner visuals and added some social media features. Now, users chat, get likes, and publish posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. To learn more, we recommend reading the related article on how to build a social media app. A geolocation feature and map help to find new places to eat. All these features allowed us to boost user engagement in the app. 

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored how to build a Zomato-like app. The development process can be challenging but rewarding. The key is to find your niche, take care of your competitive advantage and find a great team to perform the work. 

If you want a Zomato-like app or want to start a Zomato-like site, Riseapps is here to assist you. We are striving to facilitate our client’s business growth by creating stunning applications. All our experts are middles or seniors, whose expertise allows us to take on the most sophisticated projects and work with the latest technologies. Drop us a line, so we can discuss your idea together! 

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