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How to Start Online Food Delivery Business in India

India is a country that has distinct cuisines. People from different parts of India have very different tastes when it comes to food. You will notice several food-related accounts when you go to social media platforms. All these social media accounts result from the rising demand for global cuisines along with Indian ones and home delivery.

Initially, people used to place orders with the nearby restaurants through the phone and have them delivered. However, many restaurants did not adopt this due to the cost incurred during delivery.

Later, food tech start-ups emerged and revolutionized the food delivery game forever. With so many technology-driven innovations, people now prefer to order food online. Fast is now becoming a norm, meaning online food delivery is still growing in India.

If you dream of starting your online food delivery business in India, this might be your chance. We have a few steps to get you started to make the process easier for you.

#1. Assess the Demand in the Market

Since people from different parts of India have different tastes in food, you will need to do some market research

You might be familiar with the most popular dish in a certain part of India, but that is not enough to get you started with your food delivery business without gauging the market. 

You need to know your specific customers, such as working professionals, business people, college students, etc. Some so many people need your service, even people working full time and up to late hours, senior citizens, corporate employees, bachelors living on their own, or even a group of individuals having a meeting and in need of lunch during their break. 

This gives you a wide range to pick from, and the group you decide on them do more research.

You can also decide to serve all of them and increase your profits. If you want to narrow it down, find the most suitable group for you and focus on that. You can create an online survey to get more information from your potential customers. 

You will also need to research the technology level of the area. Online business is still a new thing in some parts of India. Therefore, you must ensure you set up your business in an area where people are used to ordering food online. 

Setting up your online food delivery business in an area where people often don’t buy anything online is not one of the best decisions. Therefore this step is very important when it comes to the success of your business.

#2. Choose Your Niche

Going into business without choosing a niche for your business is like going into it without a plan. It’s like not knowing what you want to sell and to who. 

Having a niche will help you understand your customers better and lead your business to success. Many online businesses are competing to deliver food to the same consumers. How are you going to stand out without a niche?

You must focus on specific types of food, so your customers know what to expect when trying to make an order. That way you will get customers who are interested in such type of food. Imagine a seller who wakes up and decides today; I think I will prepare this and that. I would not be a regular customer because I don’t know if I will get what I crave on a certain day.

For instance, if you are focusing on Mughlai cuisine, you will have to focus on those dishes you soo perfect in, and by doing that, you will give customers a reason to buy from you and not from your competitors. Showcasing your skills in particular foods in which you are an expert can help you stand out and make your business successful.

Choose your niche depending on what you are an expert at regarding Indian dishes or any popular dish worldwide. Watch your business gain a competitive edge in the online food business. After all, everyone loves to buy from an expert, so we all love KFC chicken.

#3. Secure a Financing Option.

When starting a new business, the biggest worry is normally the arrangement of funds and investment in the initial stages. 

I won’t be wrong to say that this is the step that scares most aspiring entrepreneurs. You feel like you will make a mistake and fail or feel that what you have might not be enough to get you started. 

That is why planning is very important when it comes to your business. You need to understand all the areas of your business that require funding be it the kitchen, buying equipment, choosing a delivery method, or building a brand.

However, since you are operating an online food delivery business, you do not need a lot of cash. Food preparation can be done at your house, which means no rent or an employee to pay. 

You can therefore finance your business with your savings, with the help of family members, find a business partner, or take a business loan from a trusted bank. Although loans can be very helpful, we advise you to avoid loans. 

Large amounts of loans that are beyond your capacity may become a burden since the profits take time before they start flowing in. imagine being forced to shut down due to debts or operating your business under the pressure of your lender.

This step is very important, so make sure you have a business plan to make financial planning easier.

#4. Create your Website and a Mobile App

For better delivery, it is important to leverage technology to the maximum. 

You can’t collect your orders through your phone. To grow your food delivery business in India and attain success rapidly, you need to have a website where you list the dishes you offer with attractive images of the dishes for your customers to easily browse through the website and place their orders within a few clicks.

In today’s world, no one wants to make phone calls when they need something, and with the availability of the internet, it’s easier to browse than make a call. 

Your website needs to have a good description of the foods and clear and yummy-looking images, and do not forget to add location finders to make the process faster for your customers.

Including an account creation option for your customers to save details like their addresses and previous orders makes it easier for them when they return to your website. 

You will also need a mobile app for your food delivery business. A mobile application gives you direct access to your customer’s mobile phones, which ensures a higher conversion rate and gives you a chance to market your brand more directly.

#5. Legalize Your Business

The next step would be to obtain all the necessary licenses required to legalize your food delivery business in India. 

Some of these licenses include the FSSAI license, which ensures the safety and quality of food products in India. You will also need a health trade license and any other necessary licenses.

These licenses are necessary security and permissions you need to run a successful online business. Without them, you can get into legal trouble, from which you can take a long time to recover, which can greatly affect your business.

So why get into legal trouble when you can get your business legalized right at the beginning of your business and save yourself and your business? 

You can apply for these licenses online through the FSSAI website or by visiting the Municipal Corporation of your city in India.

#6. Find a Delivery Person

Without a strong delivery network, you cannot offer your customers the best services. You need to work with an experienced and responsible person who can deliver the food to a customer’s doorstep faster so they can enjoy it when it’s smoking hot.

You might be surprised to learn that your business is rated depending on your delivery person’s efficiency. 

Having on board a person you can trust with deliveries is very important. Your delivery person should also deliver food in perfect condition.

No one wants to order food and wait for hours and since your customers are your bosses, satisfying their demand is not an option. In today’s world, you can even partner with food delivery agents who can take care of deliveries. 

That’s why we recommend you work with reliable delivery partners like SARAL since they also provide you with the cheapest rates. No customer wants to order and be charged high amounts on delivery too.

#7. Promote Your Business

Lastly, you will need to market your food delivery business. Without marketing, your efforts to have a successful business will go to waste. No one will discover your business if you do not market it. 

You might have quality products, services, and a user-friendly online ordering experience, but your customers need to know about it so that they can enjoy your amazing products.

You can start a blog on your website where you can write about your foods and, from there, direct your audience to where they place an order using a link.

You will also need to be patient as a small business owner. Your business will not blow up in the first few months. It may take even a year or two before you start seeing profits.

But with proper marketing, you can take your food-to-deliver business to very great heights. An attractive and consistent social media tool can also be used to market your business. 

People are now spending a lot of time on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and Youtube. 

Maintaining an active presence on social media and promoting your business there can greatly impact your business. 


1). How do I start an online food business online?

  • Choose a niche
  • Do market research
  • Prepare a business plan
  • Legalize your business
  • Fund your business
  • Promote your business

2). Can I sell homemade food online in India?

Yes, you can sell homemade food online, but you will need eCommerce business licenses, packaging materials, and logistics to get things running.

3). Which food business is most profitable in India?

The profitability of a certain food business in India will depend on the part of the country since different parts have different tastes when it comes to food. However, below are some ideas:

  • Food truck business
  • Catering service business
  • Homemade meal business
  • Fastfood cafes

4) How much does starting an online food business cost?

An online food delivery business can cost 4 to 7 Lakh Rupees, depending on your business. This will also include your monthly operational costs, materials, and other costs.

5). Is online food business profitable?

Yes, it is. Since the pandemic ordering food online has grown and will continue to grow. This has led many restaurants and fast food businesses to have a strong online presence.

6). What are the benefits of online food delivery?

  • The process is easier
  • Easy to monitor
  • Cheap marketing
  • Better customer data
  • More convenient

7) How much does making a food ordering app cost?

A food ordering app and a website can cost you anything between 3,000,000 to 10,000,000 Lakh rupees in India.

8). Can I use apps to accept online food orders?

Some apps allow customers to order food and sellers to accept orders.

9). Is the Shop Act licenses required to run an online food delivery business?

Yes. the Shop Act License is a must, no matter what kind of business you are operating.

10). Which social media platforms best promote an online food delivery business?

The best social media platforms to promote your food business are Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp since people are always on those platforms now and then.



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