Best Food Delivery Apps

When Jane Lally’s husband passed away unexpectedly, his co-workers showered her with Grubhub gift cards. It made a difficult time a little more manageable and also introduced her to the convenience of food delivery.

“It’s addicting, that’s for sure,” she says. The Walker, Michigan, resident likes the Grubhub app for its ease of use, although she now prefers DoorDash.

If you haven’t used a food delivery app before, be aware that it’s different than calling up a restaurant to order takeout. “It’s not like a pizza delivery,” says Kevin Raposo, founder of KnowTechie, a website about technology. “There are some extra steps.”

In addition to creating an account with a food delivery app, you’ll need to put in delivery and payment details. Once the initial setup is complete, ordering can be a relatively quick process, but be aware that apps can tack on variable delivery fees that can quickly add up. If you aren’t sure which app is right for you, here’s a look at the major players.

Uber Eats

Availability: Delivers to more than 6,000 cities in more than 45 countries.

Options: Fast food, chain and local restaurants as well as some gas stations and retail stores.

Membership: Uber One members pay no delivery fee on orders of at least $15 and can receive 10% off eligible orders as well as discounts on ridesharing. Cost is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Uber made a name for itself as a ridesharing app and expanded to offer food delivery with its Uber Eats service. Customers can browse restaurants either online or using the Uber Eats or Uber apps and search for food based on price, deals or dietary restrictions. There is also an option to filter results based on delivery fees, which can be as much as $12.50 or more.

While all food delivery apps are more expensive than ordering directly from a restaurant, Uber Eats has the highest mark-up, according to an analysis from financial technology firm Self Financial. Customers buying a McDonald’s meal from Uber Eats will pay 51.3% more than if they went through the drive-thru themselves, the report found.

Still, Uber Eats is Raposo’s top choice for a food delivery app. He notes that they provide prompt service and are quick to refund money if there are any problems. “I love the tipping feature that’s baked in,” he says. This allows customers to tip in the app, either before or after the delivery is made.

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PostMates

Availability: Delivers to more than 6,000 cities in more than 45 countries

Options: Fast food, chain and local restaurants as well as some gas stations, retail stores and pharmacies.

Membership: PostMates Unlimited members pay no delivery fee on orders of at least $15 and can receive 5% off eligible orders. Cost is $9.99 per month.

If the PostMates website looks familiar, that’s because the company merged with Uber Eats last year. It still operates under its own name, and it has kept PostMates Unlimited as its membership program for free delivery. However, it’s delivery options largely mirror Uber Eats.

Some restaurant delivery fees may be lower on PostMates than on Uber Eats, but PostMates Unlimited does not provide the same discount on eligible orders as Uber One. As with Uber Eats, PostMates shoppers can sort restaurants by cuisine, delivery fees and price.

Grubhub

Availability: Delivers to more than 4,000 U.S. cities.

Options: Fast food, chain and local restaurants as well as some gas stations and grocers.

Membership: GrubHub+ members pay no delivery fee on orders of at least $12 from participating restaurants. Cost is $9.99 per month, but Amazon Prime and some Bank of America customers may be eligible for free membership for a year.

In its analysis, Self Financial found GrubHub had the lowest mark-up of the food delivery apps it compared. However, it was only slightly cheaper than Uber Eats, and Self found users paid a premium of 48.7% to have a McDonald’s meal delivered.

Customers on GrubHub can search for restaurants based on star ratings, delivery time and whether order tracking is enabled. In addition to the star ratings, each restaurant entry includes information on what percentage of customers say their orders were on time and correct and whether the food was good. Delivery fees can be $8.50 or more but are waived in most instance for GrubHub+ members.

Lally says the GrubHub app is easy to use and not as clunky as some other services she has tried. However, restaurant options in her area were somewhat limited, and she eventually left GrubHub when she found a less expensive option.

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DoorDash

Availability: Delivers to more than 7,000 cities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Germany.

Options: Fast food, chain and some local restaurants as well as retailers, grocery stores and gas stations.

Membership: DashPass members pay no delivery fees on restaurant orders of at least $12 and receive a 10% reduction on service fees on eligible orders. Other incentives available for pick-up and grocery orders. Cost is $9.99 per month or $96 per year.

DoorDash is now Lally’s choice of food delivery apps, particularly since she has a DashPass membership which makes her deliveries free. She has run into issues with drinks being forgotten but says the company makes it easy to flag a problem in the app. “They either give you a credit or give you the money back,” she says.

Customers can use DoorDash for more than meals, and the company also delivers from a variety of retailers including pet stores, gas stations, drug stores and supermarkets. Some stores have no delivery fees, although $3 – $4 seems more common for fast food restaurants, and fees upwards of $6 or more may apply to local restaurants.

The DoorDash website and app allows people to search by price, star rating and delivery time. The company also has offers for certain establishments, such as savings off a minimum order or free delivery.

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Caviar

Availability: Delivers mainly to 20 major U.S. metro areas.

Options: Some chain restaurants but the focus is on local establishments.

Membership: DashPass members pay no delivery fees on restaurant orders of at least $12 and receive a 10% reduction on service fees on eligible orders. Cost is $9.99 per month or $96 per year.

Of all the food delivery apps reviewed here, Caviar is available in the fewest markets. According to its website, you’ll find it in approximately 20 metro areas, but there may be some options elsewhere as well.

Another difference is Caviar’s focus on local restaurants. While other food delivery apps have expanded their offerings to include grocery and retail deliveries, Caviar remains a place to buy from independent establishments. That said, some chains like Panera Bread can be found on the app.

DoorDash acquired Caviar in 2019, and although the two services have their own websites and apps, they have similar functionality. Both also use DashPass as their membership program which offers free delivery on orders of at least $12.

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Best Food Delivery Apps originally appeared on usnews.com

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