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food delivery mobile apps failing

Why Are Food Delivery Mobile Apps Failing?

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The world today is driven by instant gratification. Everyone wants everything to be quick, easily available, and cost-effective, especially when it comes to online deliveries. Online food delivery is the most embraced domain by customers as well as restaurants. People quite often prefer ordering out and enjoying their meal at home instead of having to dine-out. And food delivery apps provide convenience and choice to order different cuisines from a variety of restaurants. This is quite evident with the revenue of the online food delivery market soaring to $122,739 million in 2020. The revenue may continue to rise to $164,002 million by 2024.

Then, why are food delivery mobile apps failing? 

Due to the lucrative market, many food businesses enter the industry with new business plans, however, very few are able to survive the competition and challenges. Moreover, the traditional business models still have about 80% of the market share wherein orders are placed over the phone, while the remaining 20% is adopting the online food delivery model. There are many contributing factors behind the failure of these food delivery apps, some of which we will be discussing in this blog.

Poor App Design

Why do businesses spend so much time and money on the design of their website and apps? Because that is the first thing their customers see and make an impression in their minds about the brand. The app design should not only be aesthetically beautiful and visually attractive but it should also be less complex and easy to navigate. Food delivery apps that fail to create visually appealing and easy-to-use apps end up failing.

A good app design provides a great user interface and user experience. It is also easy-to-use and navigate, and has good resolution images with buttons placed appropriately. An app with an impressive design receives a higher number of downloads than one with a poor design.

Poor Business Model

A very common factor in the failure of food delivery apps is a poor business model. For instance, a food delivery app in India with the name of Foodpanda had to close down its operations for a while. One of the main reasons being the business model it chose. Other food delivery apps had partnered with various restaurants to deliver all kinds of cuisines. But, Foodpanda chose to network with only 50 restaurants in the pursuit of building their own network. Resulting in users turning away from using the food delivery app as it failed to provide them with a variety of cuisines and options to order from different restaurants. 

Therefore, while choosing a business model, the food delivery business should carefully analyze the market trends and consumer behavior. This would enable the business to get a food delivery app developed that would provide the best features and services to users as per their demands.

Glitches in Back-end

One of the main reasons why food delivery mobile apps are failing is due to the glitches experienced at the back-end. For instance, many times the food delivery app accepts an order. However, the respective restaurants are not notified of the order. This creates confusion, delays, or failures in deliveries which leads to customers switching to other apps to make their orders. 

The solution to this problem lies in hiring a professional food delivery app development company that can develop as well as maintain your app after its launch. The app development company will be able to remove bugs and errors from the app. It will also provide regular updates to facilitate a smooth user experience for customers. 

Lack of Customer-Focus

For the smooth functioning of the food delivery app, it is essential to understand and analyze the needs of your target audience. Offering cuisines to customers that are not of their interest implies there’s something wrong with the marketing strategy. Not focusing on customer needs leads to the failure of the food delivery app.

To become a successful food delivery app, the app should offer choices as per the tastes and interests of customers in a particular locality. Further, the food delivery app should also provide personalized menus based on the previous orders by the users. This feature provides customers the convenience in completing their orders.

Poor Packaging & Food Quality

A leading reason for irate customers is when they receive their food delivery which is either spilled, cold, or missing some items. A customer usually waits 25-30 minutes to receive their order. Experiencing such issues add on to the anger of a hungry customer. The customer not only gives a negative review but also spreads the word within his/her circle before moving on to any other app. 

Other factors that add to the distrust of a customer in a food delivery app are poor food quality or packaging. Sometimes customers are delivered food that is stale or lacks quality in terms of taste and ingredients. To add to their frustration, the customer support provided by the app is not satisfactory.  Similarly, poor packaging leads to spillage or breakage of food items or turns the food cold. Appropriate and attractive packaging should be used by food delivery businesses. It keeps the food at the required temperature and prevents spillage.

Competition From Industry Leaders

Industry leaders such as UberEats, Doordash, GrubHub, and the new food delivery started by Amazon as Amazon Restaurant have taken over a large share of the market. They already have brand visibility and a large marketing budget to capture customers for their new product line or business. Therefore, it’s easy for them to drive away most of the competition easily utilizing there operational and financial resources. This makes it difficult for new entrants or small food delivery businesses to survive in the market. As a result, food delivery apps experience failure.


The list of the reasons for food delivery app failures is endless. However, businesses can combat many of these reasons with appropriate measures and strategies. This post on why are food delivery mobile apps failing makes it evident that a business should have strong strategies for not only capturing customers but also retaining them. The future of the food delivery market seems great and the industry holds immense potential even for the startups. However, the right opportunities need to be grabbed at the right time to sustain in the market and achieve success.

Last modified: 7 Jul 2020