There is no denying that mobile-friendly food delivery applications increase people’s access to restaurant-quality meals. Commonplace applications like DoorDash and Grubhub provide consumers a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, which is especially helpful for independent eateries who can’t afford to retain delivery people on staff (or that don’t want to deal with the extra complication).
DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats, Grubhub, and Seamless are the most popular meal delivery apps in the United States. Together, these five companies have partnered with hundreds of thousands of restaurants around the country.
None of them is notably different from the rest. While each app has its own visual style and select set of partner restaurants, the overall user experience is similar. Total delivery prices are also quite consistent, despite some volatility due to charge structures and special packages, and the discretion of the user on the tipping front. All of it is compatible with iOS and Android gadgets.
What you get for a monthly membership (if any), whether or not you can follow your driver in real time, and whether or not you have access to anything more outside prepared meals are where the actual distinctions lie. These variances materialize as separate pros and cons that may sway your decision; or preferences, if you’re one of the millions of people who use more than one meal delivery service regularly.
Over 300,000 restaurants across the United States and Canada are affiliated with DoorDash. In almost every major city in North America, delivery people (often referred to as “dashers”) are present (and a fair number of smaller cities across the continent, including many college towns).
DoorDash competes with Instacart in some areas by also delivering groceries, despite the fact that its primary concentration is on food delivery from restaurants. Depending on the market, you may be able to order online and pick up your food from a few different eateries.
Credit card holders who use DoorDash and sign up for a partnership with Chase might save money.
The subscription service, grocery store pickup and delivery from participating restaurants in some locations, and credit card integration are some of the highlights of this app for Android and iOS.
- DashPass. Those who regularly use DoorDash can sign up for the DashPass monthly membership service. Customers who sign up for a monthly plan and spend more than $12 receive free shipping for the entire year. Even though shipping costs might fluctuate, you don’t need to place more than two purchases every month to make a profit. Monthly renewal is automatic, however you can cancel at any time without penalty.
- Guests can choose to have their food ready for pickup at certain eateries. Some restaurants that are partners with DoorDash provide in-store pickup. Depending on where you live, coverage may or may not be available for your preferred channels, but chances are it is for the vast majority of them.
- Bonus for Bringing in New Referrals. Up to $25 may be earned by recommending up to 25 new users to the DoorDash app. While the amount of money you may earn for referring friends and family to DoorDash varies by location and is subject to change at the company’s discretion, you can earn at least a small amount.
- Delivery Choices for Groceries As of now, DoorDash only delivers groceries in certain cities. Don’t be alarmed if this feature doesn’t show up in your app just now; it seems to be a new service, and it’s unclear if or when its coverage will grow.
- Affiliated Credit Card Services with Chase. There are special perks and rewards for anyone who have a certain Chase credit card and utilize DoorDash. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, for instance, can receive a free 12-month DashPass membership upon activation and up to $60 in DoorDash credits until 2021.
Postmates do not just bring meals from restaurants. Postmates may also be used to schedule the delivery of groceries, dry items, and even alcoholic beverages, depending on your location. Postmates is as near as a restaurant-focused delivery app gets to being multipurpose, while it cannot compete with the likes of Instacart, the industry leader in grocery delivery.
Postmates offers a variety of advantages, such as a monthly membership plan that is substantially cheaper when paid for a whole year in advance and free delivery on orders over $10 from hip eateries. Postmates also promises same-day delivery, however this guarantee isn’t always met.
Postmates is unique in that it offers groceries and alcohol delivery on a massive scale, a subscription service, and value-added activities like Postmates Party and Postmates Events.
- Food and non-food items sent straight to your door. Postmates not only offers food delivery from restaurants, but also provides grocery and dry goods delivery from local stores who have partnered with the company. Depending on where you live, you may be able to shop at a number of different types of businesses, including large-scale supermarkets, smaller specialty markets, drugstores, and convenience stores.
- The Supply of Alcohol. Postmates furthermore provides alcohol delivery in jurisdictions where it is permitted to do so.
- Available for Pickup at a Few Retailers. Pickup from certain stores is available through Postmates. When compared to DoorDash and UberEats, fewer restaurants and stores accept Postmates deliveries.
- Infinite Postmates. A Postmates Unlimited membership costs $10 per month. In exchange for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, Unlimited users don’t have to pay shipping costs for any purchases over $12. Postmates claims that after the second monthly purchase, users begin to see a profit. Postmates Events, such as reserved ticket blocks at sold-out public events and behind-the-scenes meet-and-greet chances, are available only to unlimited members.
- Gathering of the Postmates. With Postmates Party, you may get free delivery on purchases over $10 from a rotating selection of “trending” eateries. Although it might be challenging to plan Postmates Party orders in advance due to the selection being very erratic depending on market and schedule, the savings more than make up for the inconvenience.
Since it is owned and run by the same business as the ubiquitous ridesharing app, Uber, UberEats may fairly call itself “the Uber of food delivery applications.” It’s not integrated into the ridesharing app, which is a bummer for customers; aficionados of the service still have to download and install it alone.
However, that is just a minor annoyance at worst. Other than that, it’s not surprising that the creators of a ridesharing app would also create a real-time driver tracking app, which makes UberEats an excellent addition to your food delivery lineup, along with its unusually generous monthly subscription service that shines on larger orders, a bespoke rewards program, and a streamlined user interface.
UberEats stands out from the competition because of its convenient subscription service, rewards program, and real-time order monitoring.
- Consumes Pass. With an Eats Pass membership from UberEats, you can get food delivered to your door every month. You may get unlimited free delivery and 5% off items over $15 for only $9.99 a month. Every month, your Eats Pass will automatically renew, but you may cancel at any time with no fees.
- Uber Bonus Points. The Uber Rewards program is a free service that offers customers a point for every dollar spent on qualifying UberEats orders, two points for every dollar spent on eligible UberPool trips, and three points for every dollar spent on eligible Uber Black journeys. You may cash in 500 points for a $5 bonus.
- Guests can choose to have their food ready for pickup at certain eateries. A number of area eateries are UberEats pickup locations. Coverage varies by location and restaurant type, but is still rather extensive, so there’s a good chance your go-to spots will have pickup options.
- Following Drivers in Real Time. You can keep tabs on your UberEats driver’s location and arrival time in real time, just as you can with the Uber ridesharing app.
Seamless and Grubhub
You don’t get two for one with Grubhub and Seamless. The two applications are different and can’t be used in tandem. However, they share a parent firm and functionally equivalent programs, making them essentially interchangeable for most customers.
Monthly subscriptions are available on both Grubhub and Seamless, and their 10% cash-back incentive on large purchases makes them the finest in the market. Freebies, such as $5 off any size order at partner eateries, are available to all users. Providing VIP treatment to customers is a good bonus.
Seamless and Grubhub’s most valuable aspects are their membership services, priority customer support for subscribers, special rewards for consumers, and referral programs.
- Both Seamless Plus and Grubhub. Both Seamless and Grubhub offer a premium service for a monthly fee. A monthly subscription to either service will set you back $9.99, and you may cancel at any moment without incurring any fees. Both apps provide the same perks, such as free delivery on all orders and 10% cash back at participating restaurants. Participating restaurants are denoted in the applications (and may be filtered for using the apps’ search tools).
- Seamless+ and Grubhub+ customers get priority service. Those who have upgraded to Grubhub+ or Seamless+ receive special treatment from a dedicated support staff.
- Benefits from Grubhub and Seamless. Both applications provide discounts or freebies at local businesses. The typical discount is $5, but sometimes you might get even more of a discount. Do not anticipate a discount at your go-to eatery, as coverage varies by market and is not necessarily universal.
Over the course of a few years, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out a number of different restaurant delivery applications. My general opinion of each app is far more positive than my overall perception of on-staff restaurant delivery, notwithstanding the odd terrible encounter, such as when I had to travel to the restaurant to pick up an order the driver had seemingly absconded with.
Not being able to say that with pride as a former employee delivery driver makes me sad. However, meal delivery applications from restaurants are much more efficient at getting orders to their destinations on time and without making any avoidable blunders.
Any of the popular applications should serve your needs just fine. You’ll definitely wind up using the app more frequently if it has more of your favorite restaurants or if it has a subscription plan that works best for your requirements.