Food delivery: Satisfy the expectations of “Right Now” consumers with Google Maps APIs [2022 Update]

Running a food delivery service is as easy as anything, right? Picking up food one place and bringing it to another...I mean, could it be any easier?

I wouldn't be surprised if that’s how most people see the food delivery industry. However, if you’re in the business, you know it’s more complex than that. In a world where a few clicks and swipes of a mobile device will bring consumers what they want, when they want it, no one wants to wait two hours to have their pizza delivered. Consumers care about convenience, and your company’s ability to provide a quick, on-demand delivery service is crucial for its survival. 

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest for food delivery has increased to new heights, demanding great service and quick deliveries. 

Fast, faster, fastest with Google Maps APIs

Technology is setting new standards for consumer expectations. Ironically enough, it often requires technology to meet these expectations too - even when it comes to offline jobs like food delivering.

Delivery services in some of the world’s biggest cities like Bangalore and Delhi promise to deliver your food within 40 minutes. Considering the time it takes to prepare a meal, this leaves drivers with very little time to deliver food in a very big city. 

Meeting this commitment is only possible with reliable location technology. However, solid location technology is a powerful foundation for your delivery service whether you’ve committed to a delivery window or not. Keeping track of all the possibilities location technology offers and figuring out which features you need for your business, isn’t easy, tough. In the following, we give you a short and to the point description of the four most used Google Maps APIs within the delivery industry and what they can do for your business.

Geocode API

While nothing beats a good burger with hot and crispy fries, nothing is more disappointing than a soggy burger with tough fries. Whether you have committed to a delivery window or want to make sure the food is not in transit for too long, you need the Geocode API. With the Geocode API you can make sure that your application only finds and displays nearby burger joints, ensuring both high quality and speed of service.


Google Maps Places API

By using Places Autocomplete your application will automatically fill in the name and/or address of a place as users type, making the experience even smoother. By also adding Places Details to your application you allow consumers to see more detailed information about restaurants, such as ratings, reviews, and price levels. This may seem like “nice to have” information, but it's potentially the feature that could tip the scales in your favor. In fact, more 58% of customers use reviews to help make a restaurant selection at least one quarter of the time, and 36% use reviews to inform their decision half of the time or more. The importance of ratings and reviews depends on your customers, as Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on online reviews than are Gen X and Boomers.

Google Maps Distance Matrix API

Waiting time always seems shorter if you know how long you'll be waiting for. With the Distance Matrix API you can provide hungry customers with an estimated time of arrival (ETA), so they don’t end up hangry before you arrive. Besides improving the user-experience, ETAs also allow you to efficiently utilize your fleet of couriers - it’s a win win situation.

Google Maps Directions API

The Directions API allows couriers to easily find directions to both restaurants and customers. In case you’re wondering why you can’t just use the Google Maps app, the answer is that Google Maps provides different types of data and features than that are available in consumer Maps.


Data is not just data

As a delivery service, you need extremely detailed and fresh data about the world. Google Maps covers 99% of the world and is updated 25 million times a day, providing your couriers with real-time location information. This is vital both when matching drivers and orders and when guiding drivers around the city. 

These are just some of the reasons why Google Maps is the most powerful foundation for your delivery service. If you want to know more about why you should choose Google Maps for your project, read our blog “The 3 Most Important Reasons Why You Should Choose Google Maps” or reach out to one of our experts.

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