Fact: Food delivery service apps are the future.
The days of calling in to a restaurant to speak with a rude host are finally over. Whether if it’s constantly being put on hold or having to scream your order through the deafening background noise, ordering food has been and always be a hassle.
Well thankfully, there’s hope, thanks to some amazing on-demand food delivery service apps!
With just a few taps on the screen, we now have access to hundreds or new and delicious restaurants ranging from every cuisine you can think of. And they’re just getting started 🙂
- Best Food Delivery Service Apps
- Why are there so few apps?
- A Few Reminders
- 10 Best Food Delivery Apps for your Small Restaurant or Franchise
- Best Food Delivery Apps
- 7 Underground Online Food Delivery Services In Singapore That Aren’t Fast Food
- Get your food from these underground online food delivery services
- Fast food is in the middle of a delivery revolution, and it’s terrible news for some chains
- A delivery revolution
- 5 Food Delivery Apps That are Worth Your Time and Money
- Uber Eats
- Eat Purely
- At a glance
- Grubhub (iOS/Android)
- Doordash (iOS/Android)
- UberEats (iOS/Android)
- Postmates (iOS/Android)
- Delivery.com (iOS/Android)
- goPuff (iOS/Android)
- ChowNow (iOS)
- The best and worst ‘healthy’ meal delivery plans
- Sakara Life
- Kettlebell Kitchen
Best Food Delivery Service Apps
Here are the best on-demand food delivery apps that you must download and try today:
1. DoorDash (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: $5.99 flat fee.
An on-demand restaurant delivery service that get deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner from your favorite restaurants. Best of all, they even deliver alcoholic beverages from restaurants, stores, and breweries.
Coupon: Get a $0 delivery fee on your first order when you use our link.
2. GrubHub (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: Varies (fee set by each individual restaurant)
Food delivery and restaurant takeout from over 50,000 restaurants in 1,100+ cities. Just choose your desired cuisine and from there you’ll see restaurants and menus from amazing restaurants. Then just with a tap, you can get your food delivered straight to you.
3. Uber Eats (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: $4.99 and up based on distance
A food ordering and delivery service that you can use your Uber account for to get great options from nearby restaurants (chain and local).
Coupon: Use the code eats-uberadambryan to get $5 off.
4. Seamless (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: $6
A simple way to order food for delivery or takeout from thousands of places and menus in your neighborhood. Best of all, you can even get access to discounts and deals on some of your delivery favorites.
5. Postmates (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: $1.99 – $3.99 for Partner Merchants (green check) and $5.99 – $9.99 for all other merchants.
Get food, groceries, and even alcohol delivered to you from over 100,00 retail shops, grocery stores, and restaurants, and more. The coolest part is that they offer Postmates Unlimited which for $9.99 a month, you can get a $0 delivery fee on all orders over $20
6. goPuff (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: $1.95 flat rate
Get snacks, drinks, and ice cream along with thousands of other products delivered fast straight to your doorstep.
7. Delivery.com (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: Varies by restaurant.
Find local favorite and discover new ones with this app and website. And if there’s one thing that separates Delivery.com from the rest, it’s the fact that they delivery food, alcohol, groceries, gifts, and laundry. Yes, laundry. Best of all, you can earn Delivery Points with every purchase and cash them in for free credit and other rewards.
8. Instacart (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: $5.99 delivery fee or $0 (with a $149 annual membership)
Get thousands of groceries and other essential products from stores you already shop at delivered straight to your door via same-day delivery.
9. Munchery (iOS / Android)
Delivery fee: $8.95 membership
Get chilled, chef-crafted meals delivered straight to your door on your schedule. Best of all, these meals are priced so much lower than similar dishes at restaurants. And with every meal purchase, Munchery donates a meal to a person in need. This service is a great combination of both a meal kit delivery service and a food delivery app.
10. Eat 24 (iOS / Android)
Delivery Fee: Varies by restaurant.
Get easy access to thousands of local restaurants and favorites delivered straight to your door. Best of all, they are now powered by GrubHub.
Coupon: Get $10 off your order when you sign up to their newsletter.
Thanks for reading and hopefully you find the best on-demand food deliver service that meets your needs and satisfies your cravings.
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A short time ago, my lovely wife and I were out at an afternoon event with our kids at home with babysitters. We’d set them up with a lunch and some afternoon snacks, but we anticipated being home before dinner and didn’t make plans for them.
We love our main babysitters (they’re a couple) because they used to be our kids’ teachers at preschool. They have a great relationship with our kids and so when the event stretched into dinnertime, we figured it was OK to keep it going.
One hiccup – what about dinner? We weren’t home to google “delivery near me” so we had to improvise.
We ended up just calling our local pizza spot and ordering a few pies to the house. It was an OK solution but I thought there might be a better way.
I’d heard about Ubereats and Grub Hub but never tried it myself. It turns out that it’s far easier than I expected and the premium you pay for service and delivery was a lot more reasonable than I expected (especially with promotions and new customer deals).
If you’ve been looking for the next food delivery app, here are the best ones to get food delivery near you:
Table of Contents
DoorDash was founded in 2013 and is now in 56 markets and more than 600 cities. They are still privately held but valued at over $1.4 billion at their last round of funding in 2018 – so they’re growing and growing quickly.
DoorDash’s new customer promotion is $1 delivery for 30 days – the delivery fee is just $1 for orders over $10 during the first month.
DoorDash has a simple $1.99 delivery fee that is waived for new users. You can also purchase a DashPass for $9.99 a month that lowers delivery and service fees, they even tell you the number of restaurants it covers in the sign-up page (mine was an unimpressive 19 restaurants).
If you want $15 off your first 3 orders over $12, .
Get $7 off your first order from DoorDash
Postmates is more than a food delivery app, it’s a “stuff” delivery app so you can order anything from a meal to booze to groceries.
Like other delivery apps, they have a delivery fee and a service fee. Postmates charges a delivery fee based on their relationship with the restaurant. If they’re a Partner, the fee is $1.99 – $3.99. If they aren’t, it’s $5.99 – $9.99 per order. The service fee is variable and percentage-based based on the price of the items you’re ordering. There is also a “small cart fee” if your order is under $12.
I put in a test order of a Caffè Americano from a local Starbucks, a Partner Merchant, and the fees were:
- Small Cart Fee: $1.99
- Tax & Fees: $0.87 (there are no taxes, so this is 100% their fee
- Delivery: $5.99
Do you want $100 in delivery fee credits? and you get $100 in delivery fee credit. How nice is that?
Get $100 in delivery fee credits from Postmates
UberEats is the food delivery arm of Uber, the popular ride-sharing company. You can order food directly in the Uber app or go online to UberEats to place your order.
When it comes to fees, you pay a delivery fee and a service fee. The delivery fee is a flat rate, $3.49 to $4.99, and the service fee is 15% of your order. There is also a small order fee of $2 if your order is less than $10. If you add more items, the fee is removed once your total exceeds $10.
Order food from UberEats
GrubHub has been in the food delivery business since 2004 and is a publicly traded company under the ticker NYSE:GRUB. They’ve merged or acquired several local brands including Seamless, AllMenus, Eat24, LevelUp, and others. This gives them one of the largest restaurant networks of the bunch.
You can order through the app or online and I find on a computer is the easiest because you have more screen real estate to research your purchase. You can order it for pickup or delivery, ASAP or scheduled for later. Their search filters include coupons, ratings, price, and distance. You can also save your order for the future too, which is very convenient.
Fees and minimums are set by the restaurant. The minimum and fee are listed at the top of the menu so you know exactly what you’re paying in terms of delivery and service fees. Both fees tended to be reasonable. When ordering a $30 meal from a local kabob shop (5mi away), the delivery fee was 49 cents and the service fee was $2.26.
Less than $3 to get food delivered to your house? A steal.
If you want $12 off your first order of $15+, .
Get $12 off your first order from Grubhub
Delivery.com has the least interesting name of the bunch but like Postmates, you can get food, alcohol, groceries, laundry and even gifts delivered. Delivery.com has over 12,000 merchants in 100+ cities but a limited footprint where I live, so I couldn’t do much comparison with the other apps. The only place they have listed is a pizza shop that’s about ten miles away.
There isn’t much information on the fees but it doesn’t appear that Delivery.com charges any kind of service fee. There is a delivery fee that varies greatly from restaurant to restaurant. Some restaurants charge a percentage fee while others charge a flat fee. The fee appears to be charged by the restaurant since there are such big differences and not much conformity.
Why are there so few apps?
If you’re wondering why we didn’t list apps like OrderUp or Eat24 or others, it’s because the industry is experiencing quite a bit of consolidation in recent years. There’s only so much room for food delivery apps and many are being acquired.
The most recent one of note was OrderUp. They were acquired in July 2015 by Groupon but still operated as a food delivery app. In two separate transactions, Grubhub acquired them in July 2017 and October 2018. If you go to Orderup.com, it’ll redirect you to Grubhub:
This is typical in the startup world, especially when they all offer similar services.
A Few Reminders
A restaurant may charge more through a food delivery app. They won’t tell you this and unless you’re a frequent customer, you may not even notice the higher prices. Many restaurants have their menus and prices online and you can always compare.
In one case, I saw that the menu listed 2 egg rolls as $2.60 on DoorDash but just $2.45 on the menu – a premium of 6%. Sometimes it’s less – the same restaurant charges only $1.95 for a small wonton soup whereas their menu listed $2.95 as the price of a small.
There may be surge pricing, during very popular meal times, which entices more drivers onto the road with higher earnings on deliveries. I did most of my research during typically slow periods so I didn’t see any of these. I also live in a suburban area and unlikely to see the demand more densely populated urban areas might experience.
Don’t forget to tip the driver. They don’t get the delivery or service fee.
If you are going to pick it up, you should call the restaurant directly. This helps them save on the service fees the apps are charging them and puts more money into the pocket of your local business owner. It also means you probably pay less if they do increase their prices in the app.
Enjoy the food!
10 Best Food Delivery Apps for your Small Restaurant or Franchise
Food delivery apps have become a strong business model. These apps allow customers to order food online. New apps enable consumers to order take-away food with more speed and efficiency than ever before. For restauranteurs and fast food chains, using food delivery apps brings a myriad of benefits. These include having the ability to handle more orders. The apps also improve ordering accuracy. And they integrate loyalty programs to ensure customers keep returning.
In short, using food delivery apps can help your restaurant, fast food chain or catering business boost sales.
But so many apps exist today. So which ones should restauranteurs use to help maximize ordering efficiency and achieve greater profits?
Best Food Delivery Apps
Take a look at the following 10 best food delivery apps. See how they can boost your income.
Amazon Prime Now Restaurant Delivery
Amazon Prime offers an online delivery service for restaurants and customers wanting takeout meals delivered to their door. Customers order a meal from you through the Prime Now Restaurant Delivery app. Then an Amazon delivery assistant will pick up the meal in an insulated bag and deliver it to your customer within a maximum time limit of one hour.
Simply sign your business up with Seamless, set up your menu and start receiving orders through this popular food delivery app. By streamlining your takeout business with Seamless’s simple restaurant platform, you’ll tap into diners near you and can expect to see order volumes increase by more than 20%.
Set your menu up on the DoorDash app and the food delivery service will send you orders by computer, tablet or fax. The app takes care of your customers and logistics before, during and after delivery, meaning you can get on with doing what you do best, making delicious food.
Eat24 works in partnership with Yelp and is one of the biggest online food ordering services in the United States. Customers simply find your menu on the Eat24 app, place an order through the app or website and then Eat24 send you the order and you deliver it in your normal way.
Beyond Menu is a nationwide food delivery service that will put your restaurant in front of tons of hungry customers. Customers can leave reviews on the Beyond Menu app, which can prove to be effective in helping you gain more customers eager to try out your mouth-watering dishes. Unlike other food delivery apps, Beyond Menu allows customers to make reservations for a sit-down meal, which can give your in-house sales a boost too.
According to GrubHub, you can boost your takeout revenue by up to 30% by using their order and delivery app. The app works by diners making an order for food from your restaurant. GrubHub then sends you the order via their restaurant platform, and a GrubHub driver or your own driver then delivers the order, whichever works best for you.
Uber Eats is a leading food delivery app and is well-known and respected amongst consumers looking for a fast and reliable food delivery service to their door. Simply sign your restaurant up to Uber Eats and when you start receiving orders from customers, an Uber Eats’ driver will arrive at your restaurant, pick up the meal and deliver it quickly and efficiently.
Skip the Dishes
When you use the Skip the Dishes as your food delivery service app, a food courier will come and collect the order and deliver it to the customer’s address. According to Skip the Dishes, when using their services, restaurants typically see a 10 – 25% rise in revenue.
Partner with the Postmates app and have your restaurant delivery and logistic requirements solved. Postmates claims to the nation’s largest on-demand delivery network, bringing restaurants and takeout chains more customers in a matter of minutes. Postmates’ handles every detail of your food delivery requirements, including vetting drivers and ensuring your food is delivered in a fresh and timely manner.
Get your restaurant and its culinary creations in front of a hungry online audience on the Delivery.com app. You’ll then receive orders from Delivery.com, which can deliver meals straight to your satisfied customers.
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7 Underground Online Food Delivery Services In Singapore That Aren’t Fast Food
Get your food from these underground online food delivery services
If you didn’t know, Eatbook’s office is in the industrial estate of Boon Keng, which is a 10-minute walk away from Bendemeer Food Centre and Geylang Bahru Food Centre. But because lunchtime is very precious, I hate spending the bulk of it walking under the hot sun to queue up for food. This is why I am a major fan of food delivery services. Here are 7 underground online food delivery services in Singapore for you to try!
1. Don Play Play
Image credit: @hotcheekylace
Don Play Play is a favourite among my colleagues thanks to their hearty Japanese rice bowls. The menu is slightly thin, with only six items available, but that doesn’t stop me from wondering what to order each time.Truffle Beef Yakiniku Don ($12.80) featuring slices of eight-hour sous vide Australian grain-fed striploin as well as Salmon Mentaiko Don ($12.80) are some of the donburi they have. Jio your friends to dine with you, as a minimum order of 10 bowls is required.
Delivery fee: None
Delivery hours: Tue-Thur 11:30am to 1:30pm
Image credit: Porterfetch’s Facebook page
The worst thing about being a night owl is the hunger pangs that come when most delivery services have ended – I can only settle for McDonald’s or Maggi mee! That was until I found out about Porterfetch, a supper food delivery service that operates from 9pm until 3am. The best part is that they partner with plenty of famous supper joints including Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant, The Skewer Bar, and Tang Tea House!
Delivery fee: From $5
Delivery hours: Daily 9pm to 3am
Tel: 8342 1342
3. Dine Inn
If you’re hankering for some wholesome, home-cooked grub, download Dine Inn. The app is like a food version of Airbnb, bringing meals prepared by passionate home cooks to hungry souls. They have items like Grilled Pork Collar ($10 for two) as well as full on set meals for families who are too busy to prepare a proper dinner. Aside from delivering food, you can also hire these home cooks to come over to your house to whip up a storm for you, or visit their house for a private dining experience!
Check out our full review of Dine Inn!
Delivery fee: $10, no minimum order
Delivery hours: Daily 9am to 10pm
Image credit: Plum’s Facebook page
Unlike typical food delivery services that send your order right to your doorstep, Plum delivers to a specific area at a fixed time. They do this to keep prices low and omit delivery fees. As they are currently targeting the office crowd, pickups are dotted around the CBD and Fusionopolis. The listings aren’t restaurants but dishes from various places instead. You can find items such as Chicken Briyani ($6.90) and Chilli Seafood Hor Fun ($8.90). The menu changes daily, so you won’t be bored.
Delivery fee: None
Pickup hours: Mon-Fri 12pm to 12:30pm
Tel: 6631 2719
Image credit: Halalonclick’s Facebook page
If you have trouble ordering food because you’re not sure if it’s halal, Halalonclick may just be what you’re looking for. The only downside is that they have limited delivery zones and only a handful of partner restaurants, so it won’t cater to everyone in Singapore. Partners include Hjh Maimunah, Aiman Cafe, and Walaku. The latter delivers dishes including Nasi Lemak Kukus Ikan Set ($5) and Pisang Goreng Cheese ($5 for four pieces).
Delivery fee: From $5, minimum spending of $12
Delivery hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Tel: 6908 5001
Image credit: @whyqsg
I could never understand forking out an additional $3 to have hawker grub delivered to my doorstep. But with a delivery fee of only $1.50 and no minimum order, WhyQ makes ordering hawker food to your home logical. Dapao-ing food for you from 23 hawker centres including Fengshan 85 Market, Teban Gardens Food Centre and Chomp Chomp, WhyQ lets you enjoy famous eats without wasting your time queuing. Sadly, delivery locations are not yet islandwide.
Delivery fee: $1.50, no minimum spending
Delivery hours: Dependent on location
Tel: 6914 2673
7. What To Eat
Image credit: What To Eat’s Facebook page
Around since 2013 is What To Eat. Despite their small following – they only have around 3.6k followers on Facebook – they seem to be surviving well in this competitive landscape. I like how their their partners range from chains such as Bali Thai and So Pho, to lesser-known names including Vegefuru and The Lazy Garden. Their winning point is that you can order food from restaurants rather far away; those living in Punggol can order grub from City Square Mall!
Delivery fee: $2.99, minimum order $30
Delivery hours: Daily 11am to 11pm
Tel: 6396 6366
Nifty apps for foodies
Ah, technology, thanks to you, I no longer have to survive on microwavable food on days I’m just too lazy to cook. For more places to get food delivered to you, check out these halal food delivery services! Alternatively, stock up your fridge and get food from these wholesale food factories.
Featured image adapted from Porterfetch’s Facebook post.
Fast food is in the middle of a delivery revolution, and it’s terrible news for some chains
- Chains including Panera, Chipotle, and McDonald’s are making a major push towards delivery.
- Delivery is a boon for restaurants as it increases how much people spend, brings in new customers, and fosters loyalty.
- However, it’s also becoming increasingly expected — putting some chains in an uneasy position.
As restaurants struggle to bring in new customers, chains are turning to delivery to boost sales.
The past week brought an endless stream of delivery news.
Panera revealed it had completed its national delivery roll-out on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Chipotle reported delivery sales had skyrocketed 667% after it struck a deal with DoorDash in late April. GrubHub announced it was taking Jack in the Box delivery nationwide on Thursday, adding a new chain to its portfolio of partnerships that includes Taco Bell and KFC.
As foot traffic flattens, delivery sales have increased by 20% over the last five years, according to industry research firm NPD Group. Chain after chain, from McDonald’s to Moe’s Southwest Grill, has mentioned delivery as a necessary sales driver.
However, delivery is increasingly being seen as less of a way to boost sales, and more as a requirement.
“We do make money with delivery, but a lot of the restaurants that are using third parties, they don’t make that much more,” Panera CEO Blaine Hurst told Business Insider. “What it is, is they don’t believe they have a choice.”
As more restaurant begin delivering, Hurst says, those who don’t are in danger of simply being left behind. That’s especially true for fast-food and fast-casual chains, which tend to rely more strongly on regular customers.
“Consumers go in and out of habits,” Hurst said. “If I decide I want to try delivery and they don’t have delivery as an option, I’m going to try another restaurant.”
Soon enough, the new restaurant that has delivery has become the new habit, and the restaurant that previously had customers’ loyalty is completely forgotten.
A delivery revolution
Panera is doubling down on delivery Panera
In an “over-restauranted” country, American chains need to turn to new channels to grow sales. Delivery provides that, especially as digital ordering goes mainstream.
Applebee’s, for example, managed to grow sales 3.3% in the most recent quarter in the US due primarily to an increase in orders.
“What’s feeding it is the growth of carry-out and delivery, which is up double digits,” Stephen Joyce, the CEO of Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands, said to Business Insider.
Across the industry, most executives report that customers spend more when ordering, especially online. According to Moe’s Southwest Grill president Bruce Schroder, groups are more likely to order delivery or catering at the chain, meaning a larger check size.
Plus, an online ordering system “upsells perfectly,” Joyce says.
Delivery, catering, and carry-out orders also clear up room in restaurants. At Chipotle, “second lines” dedicated to making burritos, bowls, and more for off-premise customers create an opportunity to grow sales without overcrowding in stores.
“One of the first things I uncovered was the second make line,” Chipotle’s recently appointed CEO, Brian Niccol, said this week. “I was just like, this is a huge … capability that we have not been taking full advantage of.”
More generally, the growth of delivery reveals the changing role that restaurants play in the US as Americans’ lives feel increasingly hectic.
“It’s certainly convenience,” Schroder said. “In my early days in the industry, we used to say 70% of America, at 5 o’clock, doesn’t know what they’re going to eat for dinner. I don’t know what the latest statistics are, but I think that’s still prevalent. The busier we are, the more technology makes life more frenetic, you don’t want to cook.”
Basically, Americans are hungry for convenience — but also have an overabundance of options.
It’s getting increasingly difficult for chains to grow sales by bringing in more customers for a traditional, sit-down meal. Chains want to increase the proportion of delivery meals, as well as catering and take-away, because that is one of the only ways to grow sales. That explains why some huge chains, such as Taco Bell, KFC, and McDonald’s, have made such significant moves to expand their delivery services across the US over the last year.
Chains that win on delivery have the chance to drive sales and grow customer loyalty. On the other hand, losing on delivery is no longer an option if a restaurant wants to survive. Delivery is an opportunity — but it’s increasingly less of a choice than a requirement.
When Michelle Gauthier opened Mulberry & Vine, in 2013, so-called fine-casual restaurant chains like Sweetgreen and Dig Inn had not yet blanketed New York City in grain bowls and kale-Caesar salads. Gauthier, who lives in Tribeca, wished that there were somewhere other than the salad bar at Whole Foods to rely on for a quick, healthy meal. She opened Mulberry & Vine’s first location in her neighborhood, followed by two additional branches farther uptown. On a recent day in January, the Tribeca outpost was crowded with young women, and a few men, drinking coconut-infused waters and eating bowls of organic romaine lettuce topped with items like turmeric-lemon cauliflower, charred avocado, and roasted salmon. Brown-paper bags sat in rows next to the cash register, awaiting couriers for delivery. Mulberry & Vine meals are ubiquitous inside the corridors of Goldman Sachs, located a few blocks away; its entrées have appeared on lists of popular orders from Uber Eats, the food-delivery wing of the ride-hailing giant. When the restaurant first opened, it didn’t offer delivery at all. Now delivery orders account for around thirty per cent of its sales.
To an outside observer, Mulberry & Vine looks like a twenty-first-century restaurant success story. In recent years, online platforms like Uber Eats, Seamless, and GrubHub (which merged with Seamless, in 2013) have turned delivery from a small segment of the restaurant industry, dominated by pizza, to a booming new source of sales for food establishments of all stripes. When the average consumer logs in to the Caviar app to order a Mulberry & Vine salad for the office or a grain bowl on the way home from work, she might reasonably assume that her order is benefitting the restaurant’s bottom line. But Gauthier, like many other restaurant owners I’ve spoken to in recent months, paints a more complicated picture. “We know for a fact that as delivery increases, our profitability decreases,” she said. For each order that Mulberry & Vine sends out, between twenty and forty per cent of the revenue goes to third-party platforms and couriers. (Gauthier initially had her own couriers on staff, but, as delivery volumes grew, coördinating them became unmanageable.) Calculating an order’s exact profitability is tricky, Gauthier said, but she estimated that in the past three years Mulberry & Vine’s over-all profit margin has shrunk by a third, and that the only obvious contributing factor is the shift toward delivery. “I think it’s a far bigger problem than a lot of operators realize,” she told me. “I think we are losing money on delivery orders, or, best-case scenario, breaking even.”
In 2016, delivery transactions made up about seven per cent of total U.S. restaurant sales. In a research report published last June, analysts at Morgan Stanley predicted that that number could eventually reach forty per cent of all restaurant sales, and an even higher percentage in urban areas and among casual restaurants, where delivery is concentrated. Companies like GrubHub maintain that the revenue they bring restaurants is “incremental”—the cherry on top, so to speak, of whatever sales the place would have done on its own. They also argue that delivery orders are a form of marketing, exposing potential new customers who might convert to lucrative in-restaurant patrons. The problem is that as consumers use services like Uber Eats and Seamless for a greater share of their meals, delivery orders are beginning to replace some restaurants’ core business instead of complementing it. (In the Morgan Stanley survey, forty-three per cent of delivery patrons said that a meal they ordered in was replacing one they would have otherwise eaten at a restaurant.) And, as delivery orders replace profitable takeout or sit-down sales with less profitable ones—ostensibly giving restaurants business but effectively taking it away—the “incremental” argument no longer holds. “It’s total bullshit, and you can quote me on that,” Justin Rosenberg, the C.E.O. of the Philadelphia-based fast-casual chain Honeygrow, told me. “I’ve spoken to C.F.O.s of bigger fast-casuals, and they’ve said the same thing.”
For a sense of why a thirty-per-cent delivery-service charge is so problematic, consider that in the restaurant world, notorious for its slim profit margins, an industry-standard budget apportions thirty per cent of revenue for the cost of ingredients, thirty per cent for the cost of labor, and the remainder for “everything else”—rent, utilities, insurance, supplies, credit-card fees, and profit. One way of solving this equation might be to retool the basic restaurant business model to better suit the demands of delivery. That’s what the chef David Chang, of Momofuku, and the venture investor Hooman Radfar attempted to do with Ando, a fast-casual restaurant that they founded, in 2016, as a delivery-only experience. The plan sounded simple: a production kitchen on Fourteenth Street would make sandwiches, salads, and such, and Ando would sell them exclusively as delivery orders through a proprietary app; all the costs of running a dine-in restaurant—front-of-house staff, décor, pricey real estate in a desirable location—would be eliminated. After a little more than a year, though, Ando scaled back this initial vision, giving the kitchen a conventional retail façade so that patrons could also order takeout. Around that time, I spoke to the restaurant’s C.E.O., Andy Taylor. He said that no matter how much he was able to save by forgoing a traditional dining room, the cost of delivering food was too high, in part because he anticipates courier costs increasing as a result of rising minimum wages and a historically tight labor market. “I don’t think a pure delivery model can be profitable,” Taylor said. Last month, Ando ceased operation, and a note on its Web site announced that its team and technology had been acquired by Uber Eats.
Large chains or venture-backed endeavors like Ando can afford to undertake such experiments. At Sweetgreen, for instance, forty per cent of orders are now placed for pickup through a proprietary app, and the company is about to pilot a delivery service. It is small businesses, which lack the leverage to negotiate third-party fees, or the resources to adapt their facilities, that are made most vulnerable by delivery’s growth. A representative for Curry-Ya, a Japanese restaurant in Harlem that has become one of my favorite spots for delivery, told me that “sometimes it seems like we’re making food to make Seamless profitable.” At the same time, she said, “it’s really becoming a bulk part of our business, so it’s not something we can cut.” Another New York restaurant owner told me that a colleague described delivery as “like crack cocaine,” an income stream that his business had become dependent upon but that might ultimately be running them into the ground. Many of the restaurant owners I spoke to knew that their percentage of deliveries was rising along with their costs, but they were unsure of how that was affecting their profitability. “We kind of think that it all balances out, but, honestly, we don’t know,” Tom Birchard, the owner of the popular Ukrainian restaurant Veselka, which has been serving late-night borscht and pierogi to East Villagers for more than sixty years, told me. “We don’t have the capacity to really analyze the economics of it carefully. We’re in the dark.”
It’s worth noting that, even while charging restaurants steep rates, most delivery platforms are not yet profitable, either. Their hope is that order volumes will one day become high enough—and couriers will deliver enough orders per hour—to push them into the black. To that end, some of them are moving to reshape the restaurant industry from within. Uber hasn’t revealed its plans for Ando’s team and technology, but another of the company’s initiatives is nudging restaurants to embed “virtual restaurants” inside their kitchens—picture a burger joint housing, at Uber Eats’s behest, a cookie company that exists only as a menu on the delivery provider’s site. DoorDash, an Uber Eats competitor, has started to experiment with leasing remote kitchen space to restaurants so that they can expand their delivery radii. If such practices catch on, it’s easy to imagine a segment of the restaurant economy that looks a lot like, well, Uber, with an army of individual restaurants designed to serve the needs of middle-man platforms but struggling to make a living themselves. Michelle Gauthier, of Mulberry & Vine, told me that such a system would, for one thing, preserve little of what drew her to the restaurant industry in the first place. “Having a delivery-only business that’s soulless and lifeless and just about production?” she said. “Personally, I have no interest in that.”
5 Food Delivery Apps That are Worth Your Time and Money
Let’s be real. As much as we, as a society, talk about the importance of eating clean, fresh food, we don’t always have time. I work in the produce industry, and after a long day of thinking about fruits and vegetables, I’d rather spend some quality time with my wife and daughters than think about food prep.
The good news for people who care about both their health and their time is that food delivery apps are a thing, and have been for a while. Although not all apps are created equal, there are a few that promise fresh meals from local vendors in a short amount of time — which is the perfect way to get the best of both worlds.
On-Demand Delivery from Anywhere
(Delivery fee between $4.99 and $7.99)
One of the largest, oldest, and most famous food delivery apps, Postmates is still going strong. Despite higher delivery rates, Postmates is worth downloading because it offers the widest variety for whatever your palette craves. Unlike other apps, PM is not affiliated with specific restaurants, so if there’s a local joint you love, chances are it will be on the app. Postmates has dominated its game and expanded to deliver more than restaurant meals. It now offers clothes, alcohol, and my personal favorite, groceries. (I love anything that boosts the produce industry, and Postmates’ inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables is a win.)
Food Delivery, Alcohol, Laundry, Restaurants
(Delivery fee is built into price)
Delivery.com, much like Postmates, is more than just a meal delivery service. They also deliver groceries and produce, which is a golden ticket for my support. An almost perfect blend of Grubhub and Postmates, Delivery.com partners with restaurants, again resulting in lower delivery prices and no price surge during busy times. The only thing holding Delivery.com from taking first place is its size; it’s currently a smaller service provider, meaning fewer options. I have my money on its growth though, as it has blended perks from the two industry monopolies. Even if my opinion may be biased toward apps that get fresh produce to its users, this is definitely one worth using.
(Delivery fee is $4.99)
This is an app for all you purists who are looking for ways to streamline the brands you use. Although the Uber Eats app is seperate from the Uber app, its interface is similar, which makes it easy to use for those familiar with its parent service. It has taken off quickly in a number of cities, thanks to Uber’s success, and offers comparable service to its competitors. I always say this about the produce industry: more competition is never a bad thing. It pushes the industry forward and inspires innovation. Hopefully Uber Eats does the same to the food delivery industry.
Delivering Good Flavors
(Delivery fee between $0.99 and $7.99)
Similar to UberEats, DoorDash has acted as a catalyst for competition in the food delivery market. The one feature I turn to is the ability to order food as far as four days in advance. A modern, time-conscious take on meal prep, this forever solves the “where should we eat?” argument by allowing you to decide days in advance. As a small business owner, I also feel a sense of camaraderie with DoorDash. Although they are a larger company, they are small in comparison to their competition, and it’s important to me to offer a fellow food-industry underdog my patronage.
Healthy, Delicious, Chef-Made Meals Delivered in about 30 minutes
(No delivery fee, but a $3.00 tip is automatically charged)
Eat Purely is my favorite food delivery service. Based in Chicago, they deliver freshly prepared food throughout the city and into the north suburbs. They offer a rotational weekly menu, often featuring dishes created by Michelin Star chefs. What truly sets Eat Purely apart is their dedication to showcasing in-season produce for lunch and dinner. They are always honest with their customers about exactly what goes into each dish (always healthy, natural ingredients) making for truly nourishing meals. Their delivery is quick, so when time is an issue (which it always is), I know I can count on them to get my food to me when I need it.
Even us produce industry folks get how hard it can be to find the time to prepare a wholesome meal, and in a market flooded with food delivery apps, you can lose even more time deciding which one is the best for you. While I personally use a blend of different apps (depending on what I’m looking for) my favorites boast more options, lower costs, and of course the option to have a crisp, sweet apple delivered right to my front door.
When was the last time you had a good experience calling a restaurant for delivery? You might get put on hold, have to talk over the background noise of a busy restaurant, and often they will get your order wrong.
Thankfully, in the age of apps, you can order food for delivery straight from your phone. Whether the goal is to preserve your sanity, to quickly order dinner before answering that work email, or to get it in before choosing what to binge-watch, food delivery apps are here to help. We made a list of the best food delivery apps to make things even easier. We had to start with the ubiquitous Grubhub, but make sure to check out all your options! Here are the best food delivery apps.
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At a glance
The Grubhub app is available for both iOS and Android. You simply enter your location and Grubhub will show you all of the restaurants in your area. You can search by cuisine (Italian) or by a specific menu item (cheeseburger), making it easy to find your next meal. You can also save delivery locations, such as work or home, to speed up the process.
Availability: Grubhub is available in more than 900 cities.
Fee: The app is free to use, though some restaurants may charge a delivery fee and have a minimum order amount.
Download or order here
DoorDash isn’t as big as Grubhub, but it does offer a few unique features, such as its “DoorDash Delight” scoring system. The “Delight Score” uses factors such as food quality, restaurant popularity, delivery time, and customer satisfaction to recommend the best restaurants in your area.
Availability: DoorDash is available in 800+ cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Atlanta, Seattle, Boston, New York, and Chicago, among others.
Fee: The fee varies by restaurant, though there are no minimums. The price typically includes the cost of your meal, as well as tax, delivery fees, and an optional tip. Some restaurants charge additional service fees. Apple Pay is accepted.
Download or order here
If you trust Uber to drive you safely around the city, maybe you’ll trust them to deliver your sandwiches. The UberEats app is a standalone delivery app that is currently available in many cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. While UberEats and Uber are different apps, they share many of the same features, such as estimated delivery times and cashless transactions. UberEats has seen significant growth recently and is an excellent option for availability, even in smaller cities. Their app also gets high marks for usability and browsing friendliness.
Availability: Covers 500+ cities, including Amsterdam, Austin, Baltimore, Singapore, Tokyo, Portland, and a host of other locations peppered throughout the globe.
Fee: UberEats charges a service fee of 15% of an order’s subtotal and there is a small order fee for orders less than $10. Fees may vary based on restaurant and location. Gift cards are available.
Download or order here
Postmates is a little different than the other food delivery services on our list. First off, you can get a lot more than food. Postmates is a delivery service that will pick up just about anything from just about anywhere and deliver it to your doorstep, even alcohol. Since Postmates doesn’t partner with restaurants, the only thing you are limited by is your location.
Availability: Postmates is currently available in more than 3,000+ cities throughout the U.S. in all 50 states and D.C.
Fee: There’s a fee added to every order, and during peak delivery times there may be additional Blitz Pricing fees added as well. Postmates also offers a “Plus Unlimited” service for $10 a month, which lands you free delivery from select stores and restaurants on orders of more than $15.
Download or order here
Delivery.com is another delivery service that goes beyond the menu. You can get lunch, groceries, a bottle of wine, or even get your laundry with this app. Similar to Grubhub and Seamless, Delivery.com doesn’t charge you a fee to use its service. Instead, the company makes its money by taking a small percentage of your pre-tip subtotal.
Availability: More than 100 cities around the United States,
Fee: The app is free to use, but restaurants may charge a delivery fee and have an order minimum. There is a reward program to collect points through repeated use.
Download or order here
While many of the food-delivery apps on our roundup work as a middleman between restaurants and customers, goPuff operates more like a digital convenience store. GoPuff offers everything from phone chargers and bathroom tissue to six-packs of your favorite adult beverages — it will even deliver vaporizers, for those so inclined. You can scroll through the service’s robust database of items here.
Availability: goPuff is available throughout the United States, but has a particularly strong presence in Southern and Midwest cities. They’re also continuing to grow into new locations, so check the website for more information!
Fee: The app is free to use, but goPuff charges $2 for delivery.
Download or order here
ChowNow has a two-pronged approach to food delivery: It works with restaurants to provide digital tools that can work directly from their own websites (an increasingly popular approach for these food apps) while appealing to customers through its own app that allows them to order from many different restaurants at one place. The app allows you to search for available restaurants in your area or browse based on the type of food you want (burgers, Thai, etc.). It’s a very clean, informative app that excels at giving you all the info you need to make up your mind.
Fee: ChowNow’s merchant services route pricing through to restaurants, so fees will depend entirely on the restaurant and location. When you pick a restaurant, ChowNow will show you information about the delivery fees that particular restaurant charges.
Download or order here
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The best and worst ‘healthy’ meal delivery plans
I don’t cook. Really.
In college, I once gave my mom a Mother’s Day card that read: “Thank you for teaching me the joys of cooking. Peel back microwave film, set to high.”
For much of my adulthood, I’ve subsisted on Special K, Lean Cuisine, Amy’s frozen dinners and Sweetgreen. “Cooking” to me means throwing a veggie burger on my trusty countertop George Foreman and tossing some veggies from the freezer into the microwave of my tiny NYC kitchen.<
But, one thing I repeatedly hear as a health writer is that making your own meals is good for you — and your wallet. A 2017 study from the University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine found that people who cook at home more often than eating out have “healthier overall diets without higher food expenses.”
So, when Instagram began showing me ads for supposedly healthy, prepared meal services, such as Sakara Life, I was a prime target. Sakara is one of several companies advertising chef- and dietitian-prepared meals that are nutritious, delicious and, most importantly, don’t require me to attempt cooking.
Along with Brooklyn-based registered dietitian Allison Knott, I decided to try out several of these services and rank them. Our criteria: Everything had to be fully prepped — meaning no dishes, no mess. Every meal also had to be vegetarian to keep things consistent. (One of the most popular companies is vegan.)
Read on for the best and worst of the bunch, listed in order of our most to least favorite.
Empress riceBrian Zak/NY Post
The service: This vegan, organic socialite favorite offers meals with trendy ingredients, such as spirulina-infused green goddess “mylk,” with various “detox” teas on the side.
Average price per meal: $20
Typical dish: Empress rice, described on the menu as “superfood rice” and vegetables
How it fared: The rice dish was surprisingly tasty and one of the best meals I tried flavorwise, but the company annoyingly refuses to provide nutritional information. Knott notes that the meal seems to be “lacking in protein” and the trendy astragalus root it contains “may have some side effects such as gastrointestinal upset and may disrupt blood sugar levels.” Still, I felt light and healthier while eating this rabbit food, and my jeans fit better after just two days.
Peanut tofu bowlStefano Giovannini
The service: Born in a Brooklyn kitchen, Mosaic offers frozen grain bowls and risottos and claims to roast, saute and season its food by hand. The company says it doesn’t use any preservatives, other than natural lemon juice, which is why the “use by” date is shorter than standard ice-box meals.
Average price per meal: $12.50
Typical dish: Peanut tofu bowl
How it fared: The most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch, the food looked like actual food, rather than a messy mush. Although the flavor was a bit bland, the vegetables were vibrant and crisp and the meal was filling. But at more than 500 calories for the meal I tried, it has as many calories as a typical Amy’s dish. Still, our dietitian is a fan. It has more than 20 grams of protein and a moderate amount of sodium. Also, “it has a good amount of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin A and C,” Knott says.
Chickpea fennel Salad with harissa tahini dressingBrian Zak/NY Post
The service: Made in a Brooklyn kitchen, this organic meal delivery service offers fresh food with plant-based or omnivore options that are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.
Average price per meal: $18
Typical dish: Chickpea fennel Salad with harissa tahini dressing
How it fared: The breakfasts were delicious, but the salads felt basic and much less satiating than my usual lunchtime bowl at Sweetgreen. Knott notes that “they don’t list calories or nutritional information, like Sakara . . . but they seem to rely on ingredients more commonly found on store shelves and less on the superfood and exotic ingredients.”
Herbed chickpea frittatasBrian Zak/NY Post
The service: This Bronx-based company caters to an array of diets — from Whole30 to paleo to vegan — and offers a variety of healthy desserts and snacks.
Average price per meal: $10
Typical dish: Herbed chickpea frittatas: a two-bite light breakfast with fresh herbs and roasted vegetables, paired with savory tomato jam and a Sicilian kale salad
How it fared: Reviews were mixed. I found the frittata dry and flavorless, but a friend loved it. Knott praised the offerings for being low in calories but satiating. “The combination of protein and fiber plus unsaturated fats from olive oil and olives will likely make this a filling breakfast option despite it only being 300 calories,” she says.
Spaghetti squash with basil pestoTamara Beckwith/NY Post
The service: Prepared with dietitians (and supposedly cooked by Michelin-starred chefs), this is the first meal-delivery service tailored specifically to diets low in FODMAPs — fermentable carbs like cauliflower, lima beans and onions that can cause digestive issues.
Average price per meal: $8
Typical dish: Spaghetti squash with basil pesto
How it fared: Pass the salt! Even the mac ‘n’ cheese, albeit creamy, needed a bit more punch in order to be enjoyable. Knott notes that the squash meal is low in protein and fiber, and someone relying on these meals might need to get fiber elsewhere.
Veggie tikka masalaStefano Giovannini
The service: This frozen food company is “sugar conscious,” gluten-free and focuses on having the right balance of macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals) in each meal.
Average price per meal: $12.50 each
Typical dish: Veggie tikka masala
How it fared: The meals looked like your typical frozen dinner mush and tasted like it, too. They’re not any healthier, either. “The saturated fat is surprisingly high with a closer look at the ingredients showing that the majority . . . is coming from half-and-half and butter,” says Knott. “The sodium is also on the high side.”
EVERYDAY NEEDS, DELIVERED FAST
goPuff delivers thousands of daily essentials in just minutes. Whether you’re craving late-night snacks or just ran out of laundry detergent, goPuff brings you what you need for a flat $1.95 delivery fee.
ORDER IN SECONDS, DELIVERED IN MINUTES
Download the goPuff app and enter your address. We deliver to 150+ markets and counting, including most major cities. And we’re quickly expanding!
Add your favorite items to your cart and continue to checkout. We pack your order in our local facility and deliver it straight to you. No middlemen means we’ll get there fast!
THOUSANDS OF CONVENIENT ITEMS
We own and operate our facilities, which service 150+ delivery zones across the country, and stock them with thousands of items from your favorite brands. Order food delivery, from fresh essentials— eggs, milk, bread & cheeses—to favorite snacks, like chips, ice cream & candy. Looking for drink delivery? Order from our collection of flat and fancy water, energy drinks, juices, and beer, wine & spirits*. Need paper products delivered? Shop our paper towels, toilet paper & so much more.
DELIVERED 24/7 IN MOST MARKETS
goPuff delivers to 150+ areas, including more than 20 major cities and college campuses: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlottesville, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, College Park, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Flagstaff, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Minneapolis, Newark, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Richmond, San Antonio, Seattle, State College/Penn State University, St. Louis, Syracuse, Tampa, Towson, Tuscson, Washington, D.C. and more.
Need something late? We deliver 24/7 in most markets, and until 4 a.m. in newly launched areas.
$1.95 FLAT DELIVERY
Some delivery services charge you more when they’re busy. Not goPuff. Our fast delivery is always just $1.95—all day, every day. We never surge or hike delivery.
Want free delivery? Join Fam, our membership program that offers free delivery on every order for a low monthly subscription.
GET DELIVERY OF YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS
Our partners include Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, M&Ms, Reese’s, Gushers, Tide, DayQuil, Takis, Dove, Colgate toothpaste & much more.
EARN POINTS TO REDEEM REWARDS
We love a good deal. Honestly, who doesn’t? That’s why we created Puff Points, a rewards program that gives discounts the more you order goPuff. Earn Points with every order & redeem them to unlock different rewards, like daily & weekly discounts. All new users earn 6,000 Puff Points with their first order!
AWESOME CUSTOMER SERVICE
Sometimes things go wrong. We’re only human. And so are the goPuff Customer Service representatives on the other line. We hope we got your order just right, but in case we didn’t, give the team a call.
WAYS TO PAY
goPuff accepts credit cards (Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover) and debit cards.
*Beer delivery, wine delivery and liquor delivery is available only in select regions. ID verification required for alcohol delivery. Please drink responsibly.
***goPuff is not available in all markets…yet. Want us where you are? Find us on social media @goPuff.
DrinkFly liquor delivery service launched last year for booze at the touch of an app when traveling isn’t desirable or prudent.
But what about when other cravings strike and traveling, even to the corner store, is just as undesirable?
Fetch my Soda has got you.
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Fetch My Soda promises to deliver your favorite brand of sugary beverage to your doorstep within 30 minutes, and has even done the work of pairing Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, and other drinks with delicious and classic snack companions: Coke and Doritos? Hell yes.
Founder George Anzaldi says he is only operating in St. Paul and certain suburbs of St. Paul for the time being until the company has time to grow. They’re currently working on an Andriod app, so for now order via their website.
Delivery is technically free, but there is a slight product markup: a 15-ounce bag of Combos plus a two-liter bottle of Coca Cola Classic is $6.99. That’s a steal when power lounging is non-negotiable.
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