A Breakdown of DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub and Postmates
Gone are the days where the few choices to take-out meals were pizza or Chinese food. No longer are you sifting through your kitchen drawers looking for the menu to the same restaurant you ordered from the last three nights in a row, hoping that your food arrives in thirty minutes or less. With the birth of restaurant delivery apps, food can be ordered from just about anywhere in a click of a button, and with no need to change out of your footy pajamas.
Quick-service chains jumped on the bandwagon the last few years to profit from the genius idea of bringing the food to the consumer, as places like Burger King, Taco Bell and McDonald’s are all participating. These fast-food joints quickly learned the advantages of the delivery service as they each have so many locations, most customers are near at least one of them, making shorter delivery times. You can’t go anywhere without seeing that iconic yellow M in the shadows or smelling the ever-indulging double cheeseburger, as there is usually a kid eating a Happy Meal somewhere nearby. Even casual chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and Chili’s updated their Curbside To-Go service where delivery drivers bring the food to the front door of your home instead of just to the drive-side door of your car.
While delivery apps have proved to be successful for these well-known food and beverage spots, would they be of any use to a privately-owned eatery? We did some research on some of the most-used restaurant delivery apps and they are seriously getting a lot of buzz. Here’s the breakdown on some of the more popular services:
For many hungry millennials, DoorDash is the go-to click for fueling an empty stomach. It is available in 1,200 cities in US and Canada and can be downloaded through any IOS or Android device. It has the widest selection of both local eateries and national chains with over 110,000 restaurant menus to select from. Many wine and liquor stores even offer delivery of beer, wine spirit, mixers and snacks through the app. Customers pay for their orders and tip through the app without needing to fetch for change for the delivery driver. Here’s the catch: while there is no minimum in how much you must order (one Crunchwrap Supreme to go!), the service sometimes includes an extra service fee, and surge pricing may increase during peak hours. However, customers don’t seem to mind spending a few extra dollars if it means they don’t have to get out of their beds when hunger strikes, and it is still one of the more popular options of delivery.
As if Uber didn’t already consume all the cab services on the streets with their ride-sharing app, they have now added delivery to their list of take-overs. UberEats can be used in all major cities including restaurants and grocery stores. You use your Uber app to sign up and just like Uber so conveniently pin-drops where you are, you type in your location and it will tell you what restaurants nearby are participating in the service. The menus are categorized by ethnicity and cuisine type making pleasing your craving of vegan tacos that much easier. As I’m sure you could have guessed, UberEats also enables you to track your meal the whole time. So instead of plastering your forehead to the window, patiently waiting for your food to arrive, you can relax and just watch it in transit on the app.
Many restaurants both chain and local are participating in GrubHub and for many reasons. First, users can view what restaurants will deliver to their address before signing up, so you won’t realize at the last minute that your favorite eatery for chicken wings has not joined yet. Users love that the app offers exclusive promotions and they can search for restaurants with coupon discounts. They also have access to customer reviews and recommendations to help narrow down your “grub” search even more. GrubHub does not charge a delivery fee, as any fees are set by the restaurant. Most virtual forms of payments are accepted and you can track an order using updates and alerts from the app, so definitely something to consider for the consumer and the business.
If for some strange reason you miss having the ability to get in your car and pick up your order, Postmates allows you to avoid delivery fees all together by picking it up at the restaurant. Many of course, still prefer their food coming to them as they deliver from fast food, major chains and local eateries. Luckily for the late night snackers, Postmates offers 24/7 service and will deliver as long as the restaurant, grocery, or liquor store is still serving. It is probably this feature that convinces frequent users to join the “Postmates Unlimited” program – a yearly subscription for free delivery on orders over $20.
Now, down to the burning question: Are take-out apps worth the investment for my business? The simple answer is yes, but as long as you do your research before signing on.
While these are popular delivery services, not all may be available near your restaurant. While DoorDash and GrubHub have branched out throughout much of the Garden State, Postmates mainly services businesses in the northern portion of the state (Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson) according to their website. UberEats, is testing the waters on the other side of the bridge as they have partnered with more than 100 restaurants to deliver food to customers in parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties. The app also caters to customers in Hoboken, Jersey City and Atlantic City.
No matter which service you pursue (and there are many more!), we encourage business owners to do your research before deciding what delivery service makes the most sense for your restaurant.
About the Author: Courtney Ciandella has been the sole Marketing liason for Bielat Santore & Company since 2013. She is also the conductor behind the Who’s Who in the Restaurant Industry and Restaurant Tip of the Month series.