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When you’d rather order fast food from your favorite local restaurant instead of running to the grocery store, what’s the cheapest food delivery service to use? Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats?
We did some research to find the answer.
But before we dive into that, we know some people aren’t looking for a deep dive on delivery prices, they just want a good deal on their next takeout order.
So here are a few to consider:
DoorDash is currently offering new customers a $0 delivery fee on their first order.
You can’t get much cheaper than that (although we encourage you to tip your delivery driver, especially during the coronavirus pandemic).
You can save $7 off your first order of $12 or more with codeAFF7.
You can save $7 on your first order of $14 or more with codeeats-haleyy303ue.
And with that, let’s go deeper into what’s the best food delivery app available.
Another quick note: We didn’t include Seamless in our experiment, however, you can view our list oftested and verified Seamless promo codeshere.
Inthispost, you’ll find:
- Which food delivery apps we think are the cheapest
- A breakdown of how each food delivery service sets its prices so you can order smarter and get a good deal
- Coupons and promo codes to help you save moneyon your next meal delivery
- An experiment where we tested 5 popular services (available to both iOS and Android users) against each other
Basically, we’re going to give you the simplest answer possible and then offer you a more detailed breakdown in case you geek out on this stuff like we do.
What’s the Cheapest Food Delivery Service?
Rates depend on where you live, how much food you’re ordering, what time of day it is, and individual pricing at your local restaurants. Here’s how the leading companies approach those variables.
How 5 popular food delivery services set their prices
|Standard Delivery Fee||Surge Pricing? (Raising rates during busy hours)||Minimum Order?|
|GrubHub||Lets each restaurant decide.||No||Lets each restaurant decide.|
|Postmates||$0.99–$3.99 for Partner Merchants. All other merchants range between $5.99-$9.99.||Yes||Not for standard orders. $12 minimum to qualify for free delivery with Postmates Unlimited.|
|Uber Eats||Usually $2 – $8 (depending on your distance from the restaurant)||Yes||Small Order Fees vary by city. Typically $2 for subtotals less than $10 or $3 for subtotals less than $15.|
|Caviar||$1.99 – $8.99, (depending on your distance from the restaurant) +18% service fee.||No, but does increase minimum orders during busy hours.||$15 – $25|
|DoorDash||99 cents to $7.99 plus a service fee of 7% to 15% on every order.||Yes||No|
How to get a better deal with each delivery service
Grubhub’s pricing model is unique because in many cases, they simply process the online orders, leaving delivery to the actual restaurant.
I’ve asked the customer service team for a typical rate, or even a range, on multiple occasions — and they haven’t offered one.
According to theirFAQ, minimum order amounts are also set by the restaurants — some have minimums, some don’t.
Grubhub for Work, a separate branch of the service that allows businesses to order food, has a standard $9.99 delivery fee and a $50 minimum.
A great thing about Grubhub is theydon’t do surge pricing, which their customer service team recently confirmed for me.
How to get a better deal on GrubHub:
- Consider not using Grubhub for smaller orders to avoid the minimum order amounts set by some restaurants on the platform.
- Since Grubhub doesn’t use surge pricing, doesn’t have a % based fee, and the prices vary by restaurant, I don’t have a great tip for how to save money on Grubhub.
Caviar charges $1.99 to $8.99 for delivery, depending on your distance from the restaurant you selected. It also charges a flat 18% service fee, which, for high ticket orders, means it often won’t be the cheapest food delivery service.
The typical minimum order requirement is $15; however, according to their customer service team, during periods of unusually high demand, they may temporarily increase the minimum subtotal up to $25. They say that, “Typically, the minimum will return to normal in 10 to 30 minutes.”
Other than the added minimum, they do not have surge pricing, which is a nice perk. And Caviar will occasionally “offer $0 Delivery Fees to highlight select restaurant partners.”
How to get a better deal on Caviar:
- Consider keeping orders low to limit the effects of the 18% service fee
- Order from nearby restaurants
Uber Eats pricing
UberEats recently updated the way they set their prices.
Although they’ve described their fee as “variable” for a while, it usually came in ataround $4.99— a good deal for longer deliveries, but not so much if you were ordering from a restaurant just down the block.
Under the newsliding scale system, delivery fees typically range from $2 – $8, depending on how far you live from the restaurant. And thanks to a cool new feature, you can now filter restaurants based on how much it would cost to have them delivered. So, for example, you can choose to only see restaurants with a delivery fee of $5 or less.
Uber Eats does have surge pricing during busy hours, which can increase your rate (with the goal of incentivizing more delivery driversto come online to speed up delivery times). Onewriter says, thanks to surge pricing, she was quoted $23 to get an $8 order of fried rice delivered.
Uber Eats used to not have minimum order amounts but has introduced “Small Order Fees” to their service. It varies by city but is typically $2 for subtotals less than $10 or $3 for subtotals less than $15.
How to get a better deal on UberEats:
- Schedule orders in advance to avoid surge pricing
- Look for restaurants close to your address, which should come with smaller delivery fees.
According toQuartz, Doordash charges 99 cents to $7.99 for each order it delivers along with a service fee of 7% to 15%.
Their customer service team says that, like Caviar, they also run free-delivery promotions with certain restaurants or in certain areas from time to time:
“At times, you may notice the delivery fee is waived if we’re running a promotion with the restaurant or in a particular area.”
Quartz also reports that Doordash is currently using surge pricing in select markets during busy times.
They do not set minimum order amounts.
How to get a better deal on Doordash:
- Schedule orders in advance to avoid surge pricing
- Consider keeping orders low to take advantage of the no-minimums policy and to limit the effects of the % based service fee
Postmates has a delivery fee that is currently $0.99 – $3.99 for Partner Merchants and somewhere between $5.99 – $9.99 for all other merchants.
They use blitz pricing during busy hours which can drive up your rate.
Postmates also has a subscription, Postmates Unlimited, that offers “free delivery on orders from all merchants on the Postmates platform when the cart size is over $12.” It’s $9.99/month, which means you can save money after just 3 orders. Postmates Unlimited customers also never have to deal with surge pricing, which can lead to further savings.
How to get a better deal on Postmates:
- Sign up for Postmates Unlimited
- Schedule orders in advance to avoid surge pricing
The Experiment: Who has the cheapest food delivery option?
To test out these pricing models on an actual order, we focused on Griddler’s Burgers and Dogs in Boston, Massachusetts.
Griddler’s partners with 5 delivery apps, Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Caviar, and Postmates, making it the perfect test subject for our little experiment.
To keep things simple (and delicious), we added 10 orders of waffle fries to our cart for each of the services mentioned.
We set a delivery address that was 1.1 miles away from the restaurant. (And we conducted this experiment in the late afternoon on a weekday.)
The price of the food was always the same ($39.50), but the delivery costs changed at checkout depending on the app.
In this particular case…
Caviar was offering free delivery from Griddler’s, so their only charge was the 18% service fee they build into orders — $7.11 for this order.
Doordash was also offering free delivery for this order. So the only special charge was their 10% service fee of $3.95.
Postmates started with $4.99 for delivery, but thanks to surge pricing, the cost was increased to $6.24, bringing the total to $48.51
Grubhub wanted $4.99 to deliver our waffle fries, for a total of $47.26.
And Uber Eats wanted the exact same thing — a $4.99 booking fee for a total of $46.27.
So who won?
In this case, the cheapest food delivery service was…
Doordash at $46.22
Followed narrowly by…
Uber Eats and Grubhub both at $46.27
And trailing behind in this experiment were…
Since DoorDash was waiving its delivery fee, it’s likely thatGrubhub orUber Eats would normally beat the DoorDash price.And without surge pricing, Postmates would have been right there with them at $47.26.
For individual orders,as much as we’d like to give you one simple answer on which delivery app is the cheapest, you’ve probably noticed it’s a bit more complicated than that.
BUT, you can get a better deal from any food delivery service if you know the pros and cons of each pricing model — so you can order more intelligently.
Food Delivery Subscription!
In our experiment above, we didn’t take into account subscription options that potentially can save you even more if you’re a frequent takeout customer.
Below we’ll break down each of the services, how much they cost, and what savings potential they offer.
If you get food delivered frequently, your cheapest option is probably Postmates Unlimited, a subscription that offers “free delivery on every order over $12, every single time.”
It’s only $9.99 per month—or 99.99 paid annually—which means you could be saving money after just 3 orders since Postmates’ flat rate delivery fee is currently $3.99 for orders from partner merchants. Postmates Unlimited customers are also never subjected to surge pricing, which can amplify your savings.
Back in 2016, Postmates revealed that Unlimited customers tend to use the service 8.6 times more than non-subscribers. So if you’re a casual food orderer looking for a one-time deal, the subscription probably isn’t right for you.
Fun fact: If you happen to live in one of the participating U.S. cities that offer Amazon Go (ie. Chicago, New York, San Francisco, or Seattle), you can order directly from the Postmates app (just note that you can’t pay with Amazon Prime or Amazon Pay. I know, Big Tech right?).
If Postmates isn’t offered in your area, chances are DoorDash is, which is great news because their subscription service DashPass is almost identical, except for a few differences.
DashPass too is $9.99 per month (there is no annual option) and “offers unlimited deliveries from thousands of eligible restaurants with $0 delivery fee on orders over $12.”
DoorDash claims that you’ll “save an average of $4-5 per order,” which seems about right looking at our experiment above.
New DashPass members are eligible for a 30-day free trial and can cancel at any time. Also, here’s the best part of all DashPass also applies to Caviar orders as well which can really rack up the savings.
Fun fact: Certain credit card providers, such as Chase, are offering a year of DashPass free for their members.
Grubhub offers its own version of unlimited free delivery with Grubhub+ (sometimes abbreviated as GH+).
Again, the pricing structure is very similar to the other subscription options: $9.99 per month, free delivery on orders over $12.
However, Grubhub+ comes with its own unique set of perks such as 10% cashback on orders and in-app perks found at your local restaurants displaying the “GH+” badge.
The only downside is their free trial is 14-days long.
Finally, Uber Eats offers Eats Pass, a $9.99 per month subscription to receive $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders over $15 and a one-month free trial.
However, Eats Pass members have taken to the internet to express their frustrations with the program.
“The way it is advertised is in no way how it works. The wording sounds like you get free delivery all the time and then 5% off when you spend over $15. When in actuality you have to spend at least $15 for any benefit to kick in AND THEN THE 5% IS ONLY OFF THE SERVICE FEES,” says one Reddit member.
The Uber Eats website is vague on the details as well.
Conclusion: Who has the best food delivery service?
Although there’s no perfect answer to the question “what’s the cheapest food delivery service,” we hope you’ll use the strategies in this post to score cheaper delivery food from the 5 apps we covered.
NOTE: Looking for thecheapestmeal kits(Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc)?Click here to read our review.
Out of the four food delivery apps we tested (DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates), Uber Eats came out on top as the cheapest.Which food app is best and cheapest? ›
- Zomato. Zomato is, without a doubt, one of the best online food delivery apps in India and has almost become synonymous with the same. ...
- Swiggy. ...
- Travelkhana. ...
- Box8. ...
- FreshMenu. ...
- Eat. ...
- EatSure. ...
Fortunately, GrubHub's delivery fee tends to be a bit cheaper than DoorDash's but still varies from restaurant to restaurant. Or, if you prefer to skip the fee all-together, you can pay for a GrubHub subscription to get $0 delivery on all orders.What's cheaper Uber eats or DoorDash? ›
You should now know that DoorDash usually has lower fees than Uber Eats. Both restaurants and customers can get cheaper deals through DoorDash than via the Uber Eats online platform or mobile app. Sometimes, you may see lower delivery fees at Uber Eats. But, overall, DoorDash is the cheaper option.What is Uber one and is it worth it? ›
Uber One is worth it if you use the service a lot. If you order food delivery frequently and end up paying more than $8.25 a month in delivery fees, or if you take an Uber ride every week, Uber One can be a smart investment in helping you save money on these services.Is Uber Eats or DoorDash better? ›
Uber Eats is simple and user-friendly, and top pay is higher. DoorDash is also user-friendly, and it has more flexible features such as scheduling and fewer delivery vehicle restrictions. Both let you keep all your tips, and they offer incentives that can earn you extra money.How can I order food in less money? ›
Order More Than The Minimum Order Value
So always order your food more than the minimum value so that you can save maximum on your online orders. This is one of the most simple and quick ways to save money on food when ordering food online.
- Grubhub. Best food delivery service overall. ...
- DoorDash. Great food delivery service with helpful recommendations. ...
- Seamless. A mirror image of Grubhub. ...
- Uber Eats. The best food delivery service if you already use Uber. ...
- Instacart. ...
- Caviar. ...
- Postmates. ...
With DoorDash, you'll more often pay a service fee to both DoorDash and the restaurant you're ordering from. Grubhub typically does not include restaurant service fees but more often requires minimum order amounts. Both services allow you to enter a custom tipping amount if the preset ranges aren't satisfactory.Why is DoorDash more expensive than Grubhub? ›
Grubhub partners with more restaurants. It will also often cheaper than DoorDash for large orders, since it doesn't have the service fee of 7% – 15%.
DoorDash came in cheapest, but they applied a $2.39 discount to my order. Uber Eats left off their $0.99 delivery fee. Postmates also left off its $1.99 delivery fee, but still ended up as the most expensive option, coming in at a whopping $19.93, which is the most expensive order in the entire experiment.Why is Uber Eats more expensive than DoorDash? ›
DoorDash typically has lower service fees than UberEats but UberEats' delivery fees are lower. So, if you're looking to save money, it's worth checking the fees on both platforms before placing your order. Of course, price isn't everything and both DoorDash and UberEats have their own unique features and benefits.Can you pay cash with DoorDash? ›
You can use a credit card, debit card, or PayPal on the website. However, due to covid-19, DoorDash Drive's "Cash on Delivery" service is no longer available. If you would like to use Cash on Delivery, we suggest contacting the business you are ordering from to see if they offer a similar service.What's better Uber Eats or Grubhub? ›
People who live in bigger cities may benefit from Uber Eats, while those in small towns might rely on Grubhub. Restaurants may offer their services through different apps, but both have similar payment structures.Why is Uber charging me 9.99 a month? ›
Uber One is a new membership that provides Rides as well as Eats discounts for $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually. You can cancel your membership within the app up to 48 hours prior to the next scheduled payment without being charged.Does Uber have a monthly plan? ›
What is Uber Pass? Uber Pass is a membership that unlocks savings across Uber. For a fixed monthly fee, you get discounts on your rides, Eats, and grocery delivery, letting you do more with Uber.Is there a monthly fee for Uber? ›
There are no recurring charges or membership fees for using Uber. You are only charged for the rides you take.Do you tip DoorDash driver? ›
Customers can leave a tip when they check out for a delivery order. 100% of tips are passed onto the Dasher.What differentiates DoorDash from Uber Eats? ›
DoorDash's fee is typically 10-11% of the order subtotal, while Uber Eats charges 15%. Also, both apps apply small order fees. DoorDash charges $2 if you don't make the minimum order, and Uber Eats, depending on your location, charges either $2 on orders under $10 or $3 under $15.Is Uber Eats going out of business? ›
That might sound like a big deal, but there's an aspect to this threat worth noting: Uber has no plans to cease California operations of Uber Eats, a spokesperson confirms to Eater SF. And as of Uber's last earnings report, Uber Eats had grown bigger than the company's ride-hail business.
- Actually visualize what you're spending. One thing you can do to motivate yourself to quit is to actually look at what you're spending. ...
- Delete the apps. ...
- Plan your weekend meals. ...
- Pay yourself first. ...
- Prepare freezer meals for emergencies. ...
- Don't fall for the convenience factor.
Get a Delivery Subscription. If you order food frequently, consider signing up for a delivery subscription. Many food delivery apps — such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats — now offer subscriptions to help you save money on delivery fees, and nab free delivery from restaurants that normally charge a fee.How can I save on food delivery? ›
- Look into services that deliver from multiple stores. ...
- Consider buying in bulk. ...
- Look into the benefits that apps offer. ...
- Consider “free-trial hopping”. ...
- Pay attention to the fees. ...
- You can order through the restaurant directly. ...
- Don't forget to search for coupons.
- Auntie Anne's. After installing Auntie Anne's Pretzel Perk's mobile app, you'll get a free pretzel with your first purchase of $1 or more. ...
- Baskin-Robbins. Downloading the Baskin-Robbins app gives you a free regular scoop of ice cream. ...
- Chick-fil-A. ...
- Chipotle. ...
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. ...
- Dairy Queen. ...
- Dunkin' Donuts. ...
- Jamba Juice.
Grabit is the app that delivers. Anything you want, whenever you want it. Grabit delivers food from any restaurant or goods from any business, all in typically less than an hour.Which app has fastest delivery? ›
- Wefast — Fast Courier Delivery App.
- Dunzo: Deliver Packages Fast.
- Saral – Same Day Intra-City Courier Delivery.
- Pidge – Instant Delivery & Courier Service.
- Lalamove India – Delivery App.
- Swiggy Genie: Local Grocery and Parcel Delivery.
Postmates went viral for announcing a Pride month menu designed for queer sex. The 'bottom-friendly' options are aimed at people who enjoy receiving sex acts or giving up control during sex. Cutting out dairy and eating the right fiber can prevent digestive distress during sex, an expert said.Which food delivery app pays the most 2022? ›
The food delivery service that pays the most is Instacart, with drivers reporting earning as much as $30 an hour. Before you quit your day job to deliver food, you need to consider the responsibilities of a delivery job.What's cheaper Postmates or DoorDash? ›
DoorDash came in cheapest, but they applied a $2.39 discount to my order. Uber Eats left off their $0.99 delivery fee. Postmates also left off its $1.99 delivery fee, but still ended up as the most expensive option, coming in at a whopping $19.93, which is the most expensive order in the entire experiment.What's better Uber Eats or Grubhub? ›
People who live in bigger cities may benefit from Uber Eats, while those in small towns might rely on Grubhub. Restaurants may offer their services through different apps, but both have similar payment structures.
The numbers for gross earnings per trip show Grubhub with a substantial edge over Doordash, $10.26 vs. $7.93 per trip, respectively. Tips also look better at Grubhub, where the median tip earnings per trip amounted to $5.00, while average Doordash tips came in at $4.17.Can you pay cash with DoorDash? ›
You can use a credit card, debit card, or PayPal on the website. However, due to covid-19, DoorDash Drive's "Cash on Delivery" service is no longer available. If you would like to use Cash on Delivery, we suggest contacting the business you are ordering from to see if they offer a similar service.What's the difference between GrubHub and DoorDash? ›
These apps will require you to pay a service fee, delivery fee, and tip. With DoorDash, you'll more often pay a service fee to both DoorDash and the restaurant you're ordering from. Grubhub typically does not include restaurant service fees but more often requires minimum order amounts.Which one is better Postmates or DoorDash? ›
If scheduling your hours each week is important, then DoorDash is a good choice. For people who prefer flexibility, Postmates is the better choice. You can also deliver for both to earn more money. On-demand side gig apps offer a terrific way to earn cash in your spare time.What is the cleanest food delivery service? ›
- Best Overall: Sunbasket.
- Best Value: Daily Harvest.
- Best Variety: Hungryroot.
- Best Organic: Green Chef.
- Best Vegan: Splendid Spoon.
- Best for Families: Purple Carrot.
- Best Gluten-Free: ModifyHealth.
- Best Prepared Meals: Territory.
Many restaurants and eateries list the price of menu items higher on delivery apps like DoorDash. They do this to help offset some of the commission fees. That means you may be paying a higher price for your food than if you were to order directly from the restaurant.Is GrubHub or Uber Eats more expensive? ›
At the end of the day, though, UberEats came out the cheapest despite its highest base price due to the cheapest cost of delivery. When the journalist ordered a tofu teriyaki bowl, however, it was GrubHub that came out on top, at almost $3 cheaper than the other options.Can you live off of DoorDash? ›
Living off DoorDash is likely possible if you live in a low cost of living area and don't have any dependents. But, your income goals also influence if this is the right decision. For example, if you want to grow your wealth, you probably want to aim for a decent job with a good salary.Is Grubhub worth the money? ›
So, is Grubhub+ worth it? Depending on the restaurant, delivery fees can add several dollars to your order total, so the monthly subscription expense may be worth it if you order in often enough. Roughly speaking, you'd need to order delivery at least two or three times per month to come out ahead in savings.What is the difference between DoorDash and Uber Eats? ›
Unlike UberEats, DoorDash does not enforce a minimum order amount. Both, however, use surge pricing depending on the time of day, where they charge more during busy hours to incentivize more drivers to come online, speeding up delivery times.