Food delivery is no longer just for pizza and Chinese food. You can now order food from almost any restaurant with meal delivery apps. Food ordering apps connect customers to food establishments and drivers who pick up and deliver orders. Ordering apps like Grubhub also reduces the frequency of order mistakes, such as mishearing cheese sticks instead of cheese steak.

Food delivery apps also add more independent contractor jobs in the gig marketplace, and non-delivering restaurants may attract new customers. But is the convenience of third-party food delivery services worth the additional price?

Get Food Delivery From a Restaurant That Doesn’t Offer It

If you want food delivered to your door, you can use several different apps depending on where you live. Some food ordering apps have discounts and rewards, so you can get cheaper meals and free items. 

Major chain restaurants often have smartphone apps that let you order for pick-up or delivery, earn rewards points, and keep track of your favorite menu items. Here are some restaurant delivery or pick-up apps:

·      IHOP, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Krispy Kreme

·      Chili’s, TGI Fridays, and Wingstop

·      Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, and Domino’s

·      Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, and White Castle

Popular Food Delivery Apps

GrubHub delivers orders from over 320,000 national chains and local restaurants in more than 4,000 U.S. cities. It has a few filters that narrow down options to what you really want, whether it’s a cuisine type, items from the kids’ menu, or food delivered to your door within 45 minutes.

·      GrubHub+ is a monthly membership that waives your delivery fees on orders more than $12. 

DoorDash is also available in more than 4,000 U.S. cities, but it does not have as many establishments as GrubHub. You can save restaurants you like on the app to easily order from the establishment again. DoorDash and Chase have partnered together, so you can get the DashPass membership for free as long as you use your Chase card for orders.

·      DashPass is a monthly membership that offers free delivery and lower service fees on orders more than $12.

UberEats is a part of Uber but has a separate app. Like regular Uber drivers, you can track your order in real-time. However, UberEats has a 15% service fee. American Express rewards Platinum cardholders monthly with a $15 credit for UberEats. 

·      Eats Pass is UberEats’ membership program that waives delivery fees and gives a five percent discount on orders over $15. 

Postmates is in more than 4,200 U.S. cities and offers delivery 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Postmates offers more than restaurant delivery, as you can also order groceries at participating stores. 

·      Postmates Unlimited membership waives all delivery fees.

Caviar is only available in about 30 major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and Dallas. However, DoorDash bought the food delivery company and expanded the app’s reach. Keeping to its name, Caviar has a curated restaurant selection and does not deliver fast food. Delivery fees range between $1.99 and $8.99, based on delivery distance and region. 

Disadvantages of Food Delivery Apps

While you can use a delivery service to have food delivered to your door, the convenience comes with a surcharge. Apps charge service and delivery fees, and you may feel compelled to tip the driver as well. You could end up paying another $2 to $20 or more in fees.

Additionally, restaurants must pay the app companies a percentage (usually between 10 and 30%) of every order made through the app. Many establishments limit their menu and increase their prices on the app to make up the difference.