Smart Money

Best Food Delivery Apps

In the age of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to get food and groceries delivered right to your door. We’ve found the best apps for food delivery and much more.

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When the kids are running around out of control or you’re working on a project that’s taking way longer than it should, making dinner gets pushed down on the priority list.

That’s when you open your favorite food delivery app and save the day with takeout from one of your favorite restaurants. You’re also supporting small businesses in your community without having to leave your home.

But with so many to choose from it’s impossible to know if you’re getting the best deal or the most variety on the app you’re using. That’s why we’ve taken a deep dive into the best food delivery apps to take one decision off your already-full plate come dinnertime.

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Is it Safe to Get Food Delivered During the Coronavirus?

Safety is everyone’s biggest concern right now and food delivery services are taking that very seriously. As of now, no reported cases of COVID-19 have been linked to contamination of food. So it is safe to get food delivered whether from a meal kit delivery service or local restaurant delivery. You just need to be cautious when handling the delivery and packaging of your meal.

How to Safely Order Takeout During the Coronavirus Outbreak

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, COVID-19 is detectable for up to two to three days on plastic, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three hours in the air. That means it’s vital that you take appropriate measures to shop and accept deliveries safely.

When available, shop and pay for your order online and if receiving a delivery, opt for contactless delivery. Your driver will leave your order on your doorstep, walk away, and text you when it’s dropped off and they’re at a minimum six-foot distance.

If you do have to go to the store or restaurant to pick something up, wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after shopping or picking up. Wash produce before storing and throw away the packaging of your restaurant deliveries immediately.

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Best Food Delivery Services to Get You Through Coronavirus Times

Ordering takeout can be safe if you practice recommended safety guidelines. The best food delivery apps are all helping in that effort by offering online ordering, online payment, and contactless delivery.

To compare services I checked the total price for a chicken burrito from Chipotle from all services that offered it or a comparable item from those that didn’t. Here’s how the services stacked up and the unique features of each.

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1. DoorDash

DoorDash is the largest food delivery service in the U.S., currently making up 39% of all food delivery sales. It’s also the most affordable delivery app. Its fees are consistently lower than other services and even some menu prices are lower.

DoorDash is available in over 3,000 cities in the U.S. and its partnership with liquor stores allows you to easily order beer, wine, and spirits. And in the app you can see local favorites, deals, and restaurant ratings from other users.

Fees: $2.99 delivery fee, 15% service fee, and $2 small order fee for orders under $10. Free delivery on orders of $15 or more with DashPass for $9.99 per month.

2. GrubHub

The second-largest food delivery service in the U.S. is Grubhub. It's most popular in many Northeastern metro areas, including New York and Boston.

Grubhub accepts all major credit cards, Grubhub Gift Cards, Paypal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Amex Express Checkout, making it easy to pay online no matter what you’re paying with. You also have the option to decline napkins and silverware at checkout.

But Grubhub can be more expensive. Compared to other food delivery apps, the burrito I ordered was .80 cents more expensive on Grubhub and the total order was almost $10 more overall.

Fees: $4.99 delivery fee in most markets, $4.49 service fee, $2 small order fee for orders under $10. Free delivery and 10% cashback on every order are available with GrubHub+ for $9.99 per month.

3. Postmates

Postmates will deliver just about anything from anywhere to your door. Where Postmates shines over its competitors is with its deals. You can get free delivery for a number of restaurants and from trending restaurants in the Party section of the app. Don’t like what you see? The Party section updates every five minutes with new merchants.

During busy times diners are subjected to increased blitz pricing and reviewers have stated that the Postmates app is clunky and more difficult to use than other food delivery apps.

Fees: Delivery fee is $0.99 $3.99 for partner merchants and $5.99-$9.99 for all other merchants. There’s a variable percentage-based service fee that tends to be around 18% of your base order and a $1.99 small cart fee for orders under $10. You can get free delivery on orders over $12 and avoid all blitz pricing with Postmates Unlimited for $9.99 per month.

4. Seamless

Seamless is a food delivery app owned by Grubhub. So if you have Grubhub there’s no need to try Seamless or vice versa. The prices, fees, and availability are all the same.

The reason Grubhub hasn’t absorbed Seamless, like it did when it acquired Eat24, is that Seamless is a bigger name than Grubhub in many metropolitan areas, including New York and LA.

Fees: $4.99 delivery fee in most markets, $4.49 service fee, $2 small order fee for orders under $10. Free delivery and 10% cashback on every order are available with Seamless+ for $9.99 per month.

5. Delivery.com

Delivery.com started in New York City and is more than just food delivery. You can order catering, groceries, even gifts and laundry services through the platform. You’ll earn Delivery Points with every order that can be redeemed for credits and prizes through the app and Delivery.com makes ordering lunch for the office easy with online group ordering.

While fees look to be a little higher at Delivery.com, one New Yorker found that many identical menu items were cheaper on Delivery.com than Seamless so it’s still smart to compare prices across apps.

In New York City, where Delivery.com is based, minimum orders range from $5 to $20 for individuals and $100 to $500 for catering.

Fees: Fees vary by restaurant but reviewers report $4.99 delivery fees and $1 service fees.

6. Caviar

Caviar offers delivery, pickup, and catering from local independent restaurants in 28 metro cities in the U.S. In 2019 it was acquired by DoorDash but is still a separate entity because of its emphasis on delivering from higher-end restaurants.

One unique feature about Caviar is its location-based delivery fee. If you’re close to a restaurant you can get free delivery and there are many restaurants with $1.99 fees up to $7.99. The minimum order is determined by each restaurant and how busy it is. It typically starts at $10 and you can choose to pay the difference if your order is under the minimum.

Fees: Delivery fees start at $0 and increase based on the distance between diner and restaurant. A variable percentage-based fee is applied to each order that usually equals around 10% to 15%.

7. UberEats

Wherever Uber operates you’ll typically have access to UberEats as well. It’s available in thousands of U.S. cities around the country and more around the world. You can also use your existing Uber account to sign up and pay on UberEats.

Select cities offer Uber Rewards where you can earn points on select orders or rides that can be redeemed for credits in the app.

Fees: $4.99 delivery fee, 15% service fee, and $2 small order fee for orders under $10. You can get free delivery and 5% off orders over $15 with an Eats Pass for $9.99 per month.

8. Waitr

What makes Waitr unique may not affect your ordering but it does affect the person delivering it to you. Waitr is the only food delivery company to employ its drivers versus hiring them as independent contractors. That means Waitr can schedule drivers based on market demand to ensure there’s enough drivers during the day times.

The app allows you to make custom groups, called Collections, with your favorite restaurants and share them with other users. You can also browse other public Collections for dining suggestions. Waitr is also the only food delivery app with no small order fee.

Fees: $2.99 delivery fee and percentage-based service fee of about 15% of order.

9. goPuff

Anything you can find at a convenience store can be delivered by goPuff. goPuff is unique in that it’s not the middleman between you and a store. goPuff stocks over 3,000 items in its own local warehouses and delivers them to your door fast. Because it’s not restricted by another merchant’s schedule, goPuff is available 24/7 in most markets and until 4:30 am in newly-launched markets.

Their tagline is order in seconds, delivered in minutes and they take it seriously. Its currently available in over 150 Southern and Midwestern cities but only within a small radius of their local warehouse to ensure quick delivery.

Products on goPuff are marked up 20% to 40% higher than identical items on the Walmart grocery app and the minimum order is $8.95 but you’ll never have to pay surge pricing or service fees.

Fees: $1.95 delivery fee or free delivery on every order with a Fam membership for $5.95 per month.

10. Instacart

Instacart is one of the best grocery delivery services on the market. It partnered with more than 350 retail partners to deliver from 20,000 stores in 5,500 cities. In addition to grocery stores you can get delivery from pharmacies, liquor stores, pet stores, and more.

The minimum order for an Instacart grocery delivery is $35. Retailers set the prices for their goods which don’t always match in-store prices.

Fees: Delivery fees range from $3.99 to $7.99, the service fee is typically 5% or a minimum of $2, and the alcohol service fee is $2 to $10 depending on the total price of the order. You can get free delivery on all orders over $35 and avoid service fees and peak time fees with Instacart Express for $9.99 per month.

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The Best Food Delivery Apps Will Keep You Fed Through Anything

No matter what’s going on, these top 10 food delivery services will keep you fed quickly and safely. Once you realize how convenient food delivery is you may never go back to ordering the same way again.


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