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5 ways on how to start an online food delivery business

It looks like this is the perfect time to start an online food delivery business. You are probably looking for ways to make money online now that most businesses are on lockdown. Almost everybody is at home because of the coronavirus (covid-19). It currently makes so much sense to remain at home and limit your movement. One of the things that support limited movement is ordering anything and everything online.

What do you need

  1. Suppliers
  2. An ordering system
  3. A means of delivery
  4. Delivery personnel
  5. Feedback

Practically an online food delivery business looks like this.

  • The buyer orders food.
  • The business gets the food from the restaurant they own or from suppliers(other restaurants).
  • Puts food in a means of transport.
  • The delivery guy takes it to the buyer.
  • The buyer pays for the food on delivery.

In order to get this online food delivery business up and running, there are things that you need to do.

1. Define what you want to deliver

Look at your locality or location and assess what people would need. Here is a list of some of the things people would like delivered to them.

  • Cooked food
  • Fast foods
  • Drinks(Both alcoholic and non alcoholic)
  • Groceries
online food delivery

 2. Identify the suppliers

The suppliers are the people who produce what the customer needs to be delivered to them.

For an online food delivery service, your suppliers are restaurants. For a grocery and toiletries delivery business, the suppliers would probably be supermarkets. For an online gas delivery business, your supplier is the gas wholesalers.

In our case, we are looking at online food delivery. You are identifying as many restaurants so that you know where to get what is ordered. The more the restaurants the better.

 3. Get an ordering system

An ordering system is basically a way for you to get orders. Think of it as a way customers get to know what you are delivering and can be able to actually make an order.

The system could be 

1. A Social media platform (Whatsapp/Facebook/Instagram)

Hypothetically this is how it would work. As the business, put WhatsApp status of what you are delivering eg. Cooked food. Your viewers will make an enquiry through WhatsApp text about what you are ordering and actually make the order(They will ask you to bring food to them)

This however is not scalable. Imagine you get 100 orders per hour.

2. A web/mobile platform

This is a web application or a mobile application where people come to browse for the different types of items on the menu(in the case of an online food delivery business). Here people can order multiple items at the same time and even get an order confirmation on text or email. This is more scalable and can easily handle many people

Remember that the web platform needs to be mobile-friendly.

Gladly, there are already tools that can help get started fast without having to build these platforms from scratch. An example is Jungleworks

online food delivery

You get to concentrate on your core business which is deliveries.

4. Get a means of delivery

Once your customers order, you need a way to get the food, toiletries or even groceries to them. How can you do this? You can use foot soldiers. You can opt to use motorbike riders. If your market is large enough you can use trucks. 

5. Feedback on your online food delivery

You need a way to get feedback on your online food delivery efforts. This could be through reviews or even just comments. Feedback helps your business where it is weak. On the other side it helps you know where to fuel the fire ie. the strengths of your business that you should over-deliver on.

Mobile and web platforms are a good way to aggregate feedback from customers who use your online food delivery business.

How big can this be?

Globally, the current market for online food delivery is worth 83 Billion Euros.  Revenues made by companies in online food delivery makes it look like a worthy business to get into.

Uber eats  – 1.46 billion USD (2018)

Grubhub  – 1.01 billion USD (2018)

Doordash  – 900 million USD

Going into this business, one of the biggest challenges is logistics. Delivering quality and delivering on time. This is easier said than done.

The other challenge is that there are already giants in the business who have the budget to hire the best talent and the brand. Why should customers use you?


Some of the most successful companies have emerged during times of crisis. Maybe your online delivery service is the next billion-dollar company.

You may want to find out how to make sure you don’t get into bad debts while running your delivery business


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