How to Build Your Own a Recipe or Cooking App?

We use smartphones everywhere whether it comes to working space or home. ¬†According to the latest researches number of app downloads will reach almost 353 billion by 2021. People engage with their gadgets to proceed with table reservations, online shopping, tickets purchases, and communication. So, why shouldn’t startups venture into the food industry with cooking app development?

Recipe application development can be the next step in the global mobile takeover. For startups, it may be a great idea from business perspectives considering the experience of some popular cooking applications today. All you need is to do some marketing research as well as now your audience and keep in mind the cost to develop a cooking app.

All these factors will let you come up with an award-winning product that will be a success. Here are some useful tips that will help you to create a recipe app for cooking.


Getting Started

Once you decide to build a cooking application, you need to do some research. This is actually the first step where you are supposed to evaluate all available offers considering all major platforms including iOS and Android.

Before you decide to develop a cooking recipe app for Android or iOS, you need to answer some of the following questions:

  1. Is there a similar product?
  2. What are the pros and cons of its functionality?
  3. Is it worth spending money?
  4. Will it have extra features to exceed users’ expectations?

How to Build Recipe or Cooking AppIf you are able to answer those questions, you can define the scope of your own future product and start thinking of how to build a recipe app of your own. We already have some examples of successful applications like Deliciously Ella’s and Green Kitchen Stories. Both are extremely popular among users today. At the same time, both apps are absolutely different.

It means that you are not supposed to stick to a single strategy. A good idea is to think of several scenarios for your particular product. It is essential to know whom you want to build a cooking app for. Some applications offer advanced services and features like location-based services that provide a list of nearby stores with a selection of products you may need for a particular meal.

Such approach is the best bet whenever you are eager to make a mobile app for meal planning. Location-based services have proved to be successful in spite of the app type. At the same time, you will have a chance to put an ease on your users’ search of the best grocery filtered by prices, location and other parameters.

The main idea is not just to create a menu planner app. Home screen is supposed to encourage users for engaging with a search bar to find new recipes, list their favorite ones and engage with the application as much as possible. Once they are bored with the app, your project is doomed to failure. For this reason, the following parameters are of great importance:

  • Target Audience;
  • Content Quality;
  • Functionality;
  • List of Features;
  • PR and Marketing.

Let’s have a closer look at all the points from the list above.

Decide on Your App Functionality

This is where you may need some assistance delivered by experienced application developers. The easiest way is to build a mobile app with a grocery list. However, if you want to gain success, you will have to implement an extended array of features. They may include:

  • Cooking methods;
  • Grocery store locator;
  • Price filters;
  • Cooking check-list;
  • Ticking off ingredient;
  • Recipe tracking methods, etc.

Another vital step is to keep an eye on the device structure. This is where you will have to define your target audience or potential buyer persona. We have divided them into several categories for you.


Lifestyle Users

Once you need to get the appreciation of your potential users, you need to learn their location behaviors. For example, whether a user is planning to cook dinner for two or five people, your application should offer correct proportions when it comes to recipe. This feature is less complex than it seems. Your app may have a simple 1-step prompt that would ask a user about how many people he or she usually cooks for.

Moreover, different users have different cooking experience. A student can hardly boast great cuisine acknowledgment and requires less complicated recipes. They need some fast ideas that will hardly take them 10-15 minutes. Moreover, they are mainly focused on using cheap ingredients. So, your grocery list should be easily customized by price.

Travel-Based Users

A home versus traveler is another potential category of the target audience for your cooking app. Less time-consuming recipes are the best bet for such people. They rarely cook at home and call for meals that do not require plenty of ingredients. Location-based services will help you to define how much time your potential users spend away from home.

Users Who Eat Out

COOKING APPRestaurant and cafe fans will hardly appreciate a wide selection of recipes. You can offer simple guides to prepare the most delicious and authentic cuisine but fail to conquer their attention. This is where location-based services will come in handy.

The idea is similar to reservation applications that offer a list of venues next to user or in given location. The only difference is that your suggestions will be based on user’s preferences when it comes to meals and ingredients. A good idea is to offer recipes that will let users cook their favorite meals at home.

The key to success is to generate as much information about users’ preferences as possible. You need to find out what type of food they like, what cuisine they prefer, etc. Knowing your buying persona will let you easily add context to your application making it more vital.

Create High-Quality Content

Not only this issue applies to cooking blogs or ebooks, but also to mobile apps. Powerful content is your handy tool to make users come back and engage with your application. The content is about everything.

Make your recipes interesting to read, add mouth-watering photos and let people share and comment. Focus on vital issues like budgets, nutrition, healthy products and more.

Create a Multi-Purpose App

Every app is supposed to solve users’ problems. At least, people expect them to put an ease on some process and daily routine. Not only your product should be time-consuming but also have several modes.

Cooking Mode

The first mode is for users who love cooking. They may include loving wives and mothers who are eager to impress their family and friends with new great meals. You can think of a cooking app for professional chefs who want to explore new cuisines, keep their favorite recipes and experiment with new ingredients.

However, a cooking mode can be more complex for the development process, as it should have more features supported by a bigger portion of high-quality content. It may consist of video guides, tutorials, photo instructions and other useful tips to make the cooking process as fast, easy and entertaining as possible.


Shopping Mode

For shoppers, you need to focus on your app’s functionality and implement location-based services and other tools to find the nearest grocery store with only one click. The geofencing feature is vital for this mode.

Additional features are also necessary. They may include a shopping list, nutrition tracking, price comparison and other functions. Do not forget to provide your users with coupons, discount and sale information, etc. Make sure this data is associated with venues preferred by your potential users.

A shopping mode can also combine some features from a cooking mode. For example, your app can come up with weekly offers of the best matching menu for a particular behavior. Provide recipes and suggestions based on your buyer persona habits and preferences.

Test Your App

If your app has some operation drawbacks and malfunctions, it will never gain success with your potential users. Testing step is vital to ensure its smooth running. Many startups underestimate it because of a limited budget. However, there is a good way out even if you cannot afford QA engineers assistance.

Colleagues, friends, relatives may appear to be good helpers when it comes to testing your application. At least, you can always count on honest feedback and reviews. Develop a beta version first or build an MVP version of your future custom product.

Marketing and PR

Your app will never be a success unless it is spotted by a target audience. You can develop the most powerful and award-winning application with the best design that will be doomed to failure because of poor marketing campaigns and PR strategies.

App promotion is a vital stage to make the product as visible and recognizable as possible. You can use a blog or share the information about your project in social media. App store optimization will increase the level of app visibility in app stores. However, it may require some extra skills or you can hire a professional full-cycle development team that will build an app from scratch for you.

It will be a good idea for:

  • Professional Chefs who want to enhance their cooking skills;
  • Entrepreneurs who want to make cooking apps and collaborate with venues;
  • Foodtech Professionals who want to create a versatile mobile solution for health, food, recipe and generate higher revenues.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Mobile App for Meal Planning?

The cost of cooking app development may differ a lot. It depends on the app type as well as its functionality, type of platform (iOS or Android), features, etc. At the same time, the cost will vary depending on whom you will hire to develop an app or whether you will do it yourself. The work scope is the essential factor that defines total cost.

Roughly, building an MVP version of a regular cooking app will cost you about $15,000-$20,000. The average price is about $50 per hour. A good news is that users expect your shopping list or cooking application to be as simple as possible, which means minimum features and reduced costs compared with a more complex project.


Summing Up

You have learned how to develop a cooking application that will have a success. To sum up, you need to define your buyer persona first. It is the first and foremost stage that will define a future success of the project. Then think of functionality and features you want to add, keep an eye on your users’ behavior and habits to provide the right suggestions.

Focus on providing high-quality content featuring videos and cooking guides to make your app more engaging and entertaining and never underestimate the role of testing stage. Once you are done with your app, promote it using efficient marketing campaigns. You will never benefit from your app if no one would ever find it. A good recipe application will hardly cost you more than $20,000-30,000.

If you already have an idea of an award-winning cooking application but do not know how to bring it to life, our team is ready to help!