Do you ever have those days when you can’t–or don’t want to go out and get food? Food delivery companies can hook you up with everything from a quick, last-minute meal to a week ‘s worth of groceries.
But how do food delivery companies work? What restaurants and stores will they deliver from? And how much do they charge to bring you a meal or grocery order?
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Get Food Delivered to Your Door
Depending on which company you choose, you can get restaurant food, coffees and snacks or groceries delivered to your home. Many companies will deliver to your place of business, as well.
Each company works a little differently. So we’ve gathered the details on seven popular companies you can go to for food delivery.
DoorDash is a leading food delivery service in the United States. Four college students in 2013 founded the company. The four students ran the company–then called Palo Alto Delivery–by themselves.
It was housed out of their Stanford College dorm and marketed via flyers on dorm bulletin boards. Today the company is worth an estimated 12 billion dollars.
How’d they do it? By providing fast delivery of restaurant meals right to your door. The DoorDash site is super easy to use. When you go to the site, you just put the address where you want the food delivered into the site’s address bar.
The site will show you all of the area restaurants that are available for DoorDash delivery. Also, it’ll show you how many minutes you can expect to wait for your delivery.
After you click on the restaurant where you want food from, the site shows you a menu of available items to order. You choose the things you want and add them to your cart.
Note that in order to make a complete order, you’ll have to create an account and sign in. Then you’ll finish checkout and give DoorDash your credit card number for payment.
Once you check out and pay, your order goes in the DoorDash cue. A “Dasher” picks it up and delivers it to your desired destination. You’ll sign for delivery acceptance (and tip), get your food and you’re done.
FYI: DoorDash recently started delivering groceries. Check the DoorDash site to see if they offer grocery delivery near you.
How Much Does DoorDash Delivery Cost?
DoorDash’s delivery fee varies depending on the restaurant or store you choose. There is typically a delivery fee and a service fee with each order. Note that there’s a minimum food dollar amount order in most cases too.
When you’re ordering on the DoorDash site, you’ll get a clear outline of the total cost–including fees–before you pay. You can add in the optional tip after your Dasher delivers the order.
In some regions, DoorDash offers an additional service called DashPass. This service costs $9.99 per month and gives you unlimited free delivery.
Plus, it includes reduced service fees when you place a minimum order of $12 at participating restaurants. See the DoorDash website for more details.
Founded in 2004, Grubhub is one of the first online food ordering and delivery services. Chicago-based coworkers Mike Evans and Matt Maloney founded the company out of a desperate need for variety.
They’d been working late nights at their jobs and were sick and tired of eating pizza every night. The site, which started as a look-up site for area restaurants, soon expanded. As of this writing, the company has a value of a lofty 6 billion dollars.
Grubhub works similarly to DoorDash. You visit the website and enter your address or zip code in the search bar. You’ll have to sign in to your Grubhub account as you do with DoorDash if you want to complete an order. The site will populate a list of restaurants you can order from.
You choose your restaurant, select the menu items you want and select a delivery date and time. Grubhub will let you schedule your food delivery up to seven days in advance. If you wish, you can choose to pick up the food on your own instead of opting for delivery.
You’ll be able to complete your order when you hit the “Checkout” button. You can pay with PayPal, a credit card or say you’ll pay in cash (only certain restaurants accept cash). Grubhub will schedule an independent contractor to deliver your food.
How Much Does Grubhub Delivery Cost?
As with DoorDash, Grubhub has delivery fees and service fees. Those delivery fees and service fees vary on several factors. The size of your order, the restaurant you’re ordering from and other factors all influence the delivery charges you’ll pay.
Also, you may want to add in a tip for good service if you have the food delivered.
Postmates was founded in 2011 by a group out of San Francisco. Unlike DoorDash and Grubhub, the Postmates’ start-up doesn’t involve a great story. It was just three guys starting a business to deliver goods locally.
But the business took off and is valued at this writing at over 2 billion dollars. One difference between Postmates and the other two companies we’ve looked at so far as that Postmates delivers more types of goods to your door.
Along with restaurant meals, Postmates will deliver groceries and alcohol to your door. You can schedule the orders for personal pick up, as well.
How Much Does Postmates Delivery Cost?
Postmates will charge a delivery fee of somewhere between 99 cents and $3.99 when you order from a partner merchant. If you order from a non-partner merchant, the delivery fee is between $5.99 and $9.99. The delivery fees can vary based on location.
Besides, there is a variable percentage-based service fee applied to each order. Postmates does have a membership service available to help you reduce delivery fees. It’s called Postmates Unlimited. It costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 per year if you pay annually.
Joining Postmates Unlimited gets you free delivery on all orders–as long as they meet the order minimum for that store/area.
Instacart will deliver groceries to your home in as little as one hour. They’ll make same-day alcohol deliveries as well. Much like DoorDash, Instacart has risen in the food delivery ranks quite quickly.
A 25-year-old supply chain engineer and former Amazon employee in 2012 founded the company. Instacart first launched in San Francisco and then expanded throughout the United States and Canada.
Today, the company serves over 1,200 cities and has an estimated valuation of over 8 billion dollars. Ordering with Instacart is easy. You start by going to the Instacart site and opening a free account.
After you create your account, you can start ordering groceries. Just click on the store you want delivery from, and start shopping. You can search for items to order by name, or browse sections such as produce. You can schedule your delivery as soon as possible, or up to a week in advance.
If you’d rather not have delivery, you can schedule a pickup of your grocery order at the store location too.
How Much Does Instacart Cost?
Instacart has a minimum order of $10. The price you’ll pay for delivery depends on the size of your order and the delivery time you choose. Typically, your delivery fee will be somewhere between $4 and $8 for non-rush orders.
Instacart does have a membership service called Instacart Express. If you decide to join Instacart Express, you’ll get free delivery on all orders over $35.
Instacart Express costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year when you join. Note that although you’ll get free delivery, you might still be subject to other types of service fees.
5. Uber Eats
Uber Eats was founded as a subsidiary to the Uber ridesharing company. It was launched in 2014 as UberFRESH and had its base out of Santa Monica, California. In 2015, the company renamed itself Uber Eats, and it has been growing ever since.
And although Uber doesn’t list a separate valuation for Uber Eats, Uber as a whole was valued at $49 billion as of this writing.
Uber Eats delivers restaurant food to hundreds of cities in North America, as well as hundreds more all over the globe.
How Much Does Uber Eats Cost?
Like the other services we’ve talked about, the delivery fee for Uber Eats varies with each order. There may be service fees as well, but you’ll always see the fees up front before you complete your order.
And it’s common to tip your driver with Uber Eats and other delivery services if you feel the service was good.
6. Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service by retail giant Amazon. There’s no need to talk much about Amazon; you probably use their site already. Here’s the process of ordering groceries through Amazon Fresh.
You start by signing in to your Amazon Prime account. Then you start adding items to your cart. When you’re ready to check out, you select your preferred date and time for delivery.
You can choose to have your items left on your doorstep or to be delivered to you personally, too. Amazon Fresh has over 2,000 cities on its delivery list. However, this is a somewhat new service from Amazon, so you may not find your city on their list quite yet.
But the selection is diverse; you’ll find pretty much every item you would at your local grocery store.
How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?
Amazon Fresh delivers groceries for free in some cases. However, it’s important to note that the service is only available to Amazon Prime members.
There is no monthly fee over and above your Amazon Prime fee. Amazon Fresh orders over $35 are free, but in some regions, that minimum order amount is higher. If your order is under $35, you’ll pay a delivery fee of $9.99. However, that fee can vary in some regions.
7. Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh works differently than the other stores featured here. When you order from Hello Fresh, you’ll get entire meals delivered to your home.
This can be a great service if you’re super busy and don’t have time to plan and shop for meals. Here’s how it works.
You start by choosing how many people you want to feed and how many meals you want to be delivered to your home. They’ll deliver meals for up to six days a week, for either two or four people.
You can choose from a list of meals under categories like:
- Meat and veggies
- Low calorie
Once you create your order, your deliveries will come every week. However, you can skip weeks or change up delivery days.
To be clear, Hello Fresh sends you the ingredients for the meals you choose, along with complete instructions on how to prepare the meal. You’ll do the actual meal prepping yourself.
However, the website says the preparation instructions are easy to follow. Note that Hello Fresh can’t accommodate special dietary requests. They do offer vegetarian options but don’t guarantee your special nutritional needs will be met.
So if you need gluten-free food, dairy-free, nut-free and so on, you’ll need to browse through the menus for possible options. But there are no guarantees here, especially where allergies are concerned.
How Much Does Hello Fresh Cost?
The Hello Fresh website says they have meals starting at $7.49. However, you’ll often find promo codes on the site or elsewhere on the web to get discounts.
There are shipping costs that come with the service too. However, the website doesn’t specify what they are.
As you can see, there are several ways to get food delivered to your home. Whether you choose to get prepared restaurant meals, orders of groceries or meals waiting for you to make, you’ve got plenty of options.
Today’s tech-savvy world means it’s easy to make sure you get the food you need and want without having to leave your home.
Have you used any of the services here? If so, what was your experience?