So, you want to develop an app like Zomato?
Good choice! Everyone loves a good meal and humans won’t give up the habit of eating out anytime soon 😉
Here’s a quick overview of restaurant industry and eating out habits at the US:
Zomato app has hit the sweet spot as it allows users to both to discover cool diners nearby and mingle with other food fans.
The service got started as a minimal viable product, which merely allowed users to discover restaurants listings, view their location and menu items. Later, it grew to the current community-like shape, with location-based dining suggestions, review and rating functionality, gamified foodie accounts, food delivery options and more.
So, when we are talking about building a complete Zomato clone, that actually stands for creating four separate solutions:
- Web service.
- Restaurant finder app.
- On-demand food delivery app.
- Business app, which allows venue owners to manage their presence and listings.
So before you rush into searching for developers, you need to decide which functionality your custom app should have.
Essential Features For a Restaurant Finder Application
Login and Signup. The go-to route here is to offer social media integration options and instantly offer users to import their contacts from Facebook/Google+ (email). After all, Zomato puts a heavy emphasis on the social component. It’s a community of food lovers, not just a place to discover nearby venues.
Additionally, you can offer Instagram integration, which would allow users to instantly share their #foodporn pics along with reviews. New users can also opt for “Sign up later” option to start experiencing the app immediately.
Search Functionality. Zomato has a neatly organized category hierarchy with different search filters available. Users can select and view venues by adjusting the next criteria:
- Sort by: distance/rating/cost/popularity
- Restaurant Offers
- Open now
- Pure Veg.
- Outdoor Seating
- Credit Cards
- Luxury dining
- Desserts and Bakes
Additional filtering ideas may include things like “Occasion”, “Kid/Pet-Friendly”, “Open till late or 24/7” for those craving a bite, not in the most appropriate time ☺
If you want to organize the Main Screen similar to Zomato, consider displaying the following data snippets:
- Trending categories/venues
- Nearby Places Tab (closest venues based on the user’s location and sponsored listings)
- In-App suggestions and popular venues nearby listed in different categories.
- User Feed (all the information from other Zomato fans nearby and your personal feed)
- Collections – curated list of suggested venues, saved places, and suggestions from the following.
- My profile Tab.
Restaurant Listings obviously are the main attraction of them app.
Here’s how the information is organized:
- Header Photo Slider
- Opening Hours
- Bookmark/Check-in Buttons
- Native Calling
- Listing details
- Address + Maps & Directions
- Menu scans
- User photos
- Reviews with a button to submit yours
- Daily opening hours
- Average check/meal cost
If you want to develop a restaurant finder application, you obviously need all that listing data. The majority of listings at Zomato today are maintained and updated by venue owners. Yet, before you reach that level, you still need to automatically supply the essential venue data to your app. The best tools in this case are:
Review Features: Zomato offers various review functionality including top reviews, reviews from your following, like review/comment, tag a friend, view people who’ve liked it and more.
User Profiles: Each registered user has their own personal space to review their timeline of food journey, past reviews, and ratings, followers/following stats. Special badges and in-app accolades are also displayed here. In fact, gamification adds additional depth to this app.
Notification tabs and Settings serve as an app retention tool to keep the engagement levels high and lure users into the app more often.
Photo Sharing: Users can add pictures along with their reviews, plus take advantage of some minimal editing options including crop, layer masks, and brightness adjustments.
Now, if you plan to make a restaurant app like Zomato, you may also want to consider an advanced gamification module.
Zomato has blended in some friendly competition to encourage users to visit more and more places, earn more points and get higher on the “foodie leaderboard”. Each user receives points for each review, photo and like. Everyone are ranked from level 1 to level 13 and the stats are displayed on public leaderboards within a special social network and city.
So, that’s basically how you can make a restaurant guide app. Don’t forget to wrap your features in an attractive UI design, connect everything to an admin panel and make sure your backend works fast and smooth.
So, how much does it cost to develop an app like Zomato?
The development timeline for the outlined features will take approximately 20-25 weeks for the app itself and additional 10-13 weeks to create the web admin panel & backend.
The approximate total price will be $30,000 – $40,000 for an Android or iOS app.
Creating a Web Service like Zomato
Being an app-only product is nice. But growing into a web solution means expanding your customer base.
Zomato, Yelp and a bunch of other restaurant finders also operate as websites. They look pretty similar to the app but can offer either more extensive or the same functionality as an app.
Zomato’s website actually looks rather minimalistic as they focus on building their mobile experience primarily. It does not include any additional features, which are not present in the app – same old user profile, restaurant listings, search/filters, reviews and user profile.
If you are thinking about additional functionality for your app, you may want to consider the following:
- In-app taxi bookings to take peeps straight to their selected venue.
- An expanded foodie diary to allow users create stories and curate content. User generated content will add additional depth to your app.
- A dedicated tab for special deals, coupons, and latest promos.
- Loyalty programs from restaurants and integration with discount cards.
Creating the front-end look of your website and coding the back-end will take additional 30-25 weeks and an extra $25,000 – $30, 000.
Building a Mobile App For Food Delivery Like Zomato Order
If you plan to develop an on-demand delivery app separately or integrate the delivery/payment options to the restaurant guide app, mind the additional challenges and expenses, which include:
- Finding, handling and retaining contractors, which will execute the delivery. For startups, the go-to route, in this case, might be building partnerships with restaurants and transferring these duties on them.
- Investing in great customer support.
- Building a separate rating system for delivery folks.
- Extensively testing the service locally before expanding further.
So, what features should a food delivery app include?
- Restaurants and meals search.
- In-app messaging/calls.
- Making orders and in-app payments.
- Scheduling the delivery.
- Tracking the delivery on the map.
- Rating the experience and providing feedback.
The app development costs will be close to $20,000 – $25, 000 in this case as well.
So, that’s how you can build an app the size of Zomato. The mentioned costs are rough estimates based on the outlined features. Obviously, you may wish to tweak and twist them as you like to create a more unique product.
And if you need an active, experience and easy-going team to implement your idea, call Alty. We love food and we love building attractive mobile apps ☺