Best Food Delivery Services

GrubHub is our best pick for food delivery

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Flat lay view of couple eating delicious takeaway meals on dinner table - with pasta, vegetable salad and seafood risotto

Oscar Wong / Getty Images

Food delivery services give consumers the power to decide what they want to eat and from where, without ever having to leave the house. While restaurants or grocery stores once delivered only directly through their businesses, it’s now very common for restaurants and grocers to partner with outside delivery services. These services are generally available as a website, mobile app, or both. From staples like pizza and Chinese to vegan options and Ethiopian cuisine, the best delivery services must have it all available. 

The best food delivery services also have a large variety of restaurants and/or grocery stores under their umbrella, giving users a great selection to choose from, and are set up for an easy and user-friendly interactive experience. Additionally, they must be upfront about their fees, have customer service available, and offer quick delivery. Ahead, find both old favorites and up and coming food delivery services to try.

Best Food Delivery Services

Best Overall: GrubHub

GrubHub

GrubHub

Key Specs
Fees to Use: $1 and up delivery; 5-10% service
Average Delivery Time: 45 minutes
App Available: Yes

Why We Chose It: GrubHub has a huge variety of restaurants to choose from, is available in most cities in the U.S., and makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Pros
Perks with frequent orders
Optional membership for free delivery
Searchable by dietary restrictions

Cons
Fees can vary
Food may be pricier
Unauthorized restaurant listings issue

GrubHub is an industry leader for food delivery services and is the best overall option because it has so many restaurants on its roster and is so widely available. You can order from mom-and-pop restaurants as easily as you can from large chains. GrubHub does its best to make the food ordering experience fun by offering perks, such as discounts on future orders, an optional monthly membership that enables you to bypass delivery fees, and numerous different ways to search for restaurants, diet types, and cuisines. Membership for the GrubHub+ Program will waive all delivery fees on orders over $12 and costs $9.99 monthly.

The company has been in business since 2004, making it one of the longest-running delivery services out there, and the service works as well on the mobile app as it does on a website. Fees are moderate and are clearly listed when you order before you pay. Delivery times are generally consistent, and customers rarely complain about an order taking much more time than the stated time. 

Best for Low Fees: ChowNow

ChowNow

ChowNow

Key Specs
Fees to Use: Delivery fees vary by restaurant; no service fees
Average Delivery Time: 45 minutes
App Available: yes

Why We Chose It: ChowNow doesn’t charge businesses a commission fee, making it the closest thing possible to ordering directly from a restaurant.

Pros
Restaurants choose their own fees
Helps keep restaurants in business
Pickup available
Local eatery focus
Lower prices than competing platforms

Cons
Delivery not available in all areas
Few chain restaurants 
Delivery fee may be high

Different from many other food delivery services, ChowNow does not take a commission percentage of the orders that customers place through it. Instead, it charges restaurants a flat monthly fee between $129 and $199 to be on its platform. With the average commissions of delivery services running anywhere from 20 to 40 percent, this is a significantly different business model, and it means that restaurants get to keep a lot more of the money that you pay for your food. In turn, those businesses have a better chance of staying alive.

Because it’s a service for restaurants and customers to use rather than a platform with its own drivers, ChowNow initially only offered pick up unless a restaurant had its own delivery drivers. But in 2016, the company partnered with other food delivery services to be able to more easily offer delivery instead of only pick up. Delivery through ChowNow is now available throughout the United States, with more restaurants joining the service because it enables them to offer their usual prices to customers, without any fees. Customers say their service is prompt, as well.

Best for Fast Delivery: Delivery.com

Delivery.com

Delivery.com

Key Specs
Fees to Use: No delivery fees unless restaurants charge one; service fees differ per location
Average Delivery Time: No info available
App Available: Yes

Why We Chose It: This neighborhood-focused service offers restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, and laundry delivery in over 2,400 cities.

Pros
Points earned with every purchase
Good variety of business types

Cons
Not available in all cities
Delivery fees vary 
Smaller restaurant selection than other services

Delivery.com is a service that charges a 15% commission to the businesses on its platforms. That’s lower than average, making it a service that is beneficial to both businesses and customers. On its site and app, you can choose from restaurants, dry cleaners, laundering, flower delivery, alcohol shops, and grocery stores. The company has three million customers who collectively have placed 30 million orders from just shy of 20,000 businesses, and it is a quick-growing name in the delivery service space.

The neighborhood focus makes Delivery.com a one-stop-shop for all of your local at-home needs, making it appealing for customers. To entice users further, the platform gives points for every order placed. Those points can then be used for future orders as discount credits or can be donated to charities like Rise Against Hunger and Dine11. Delivery.com welcomes business suggestions, so if you don’t see the restaurant or grocery store you want to order from on the platform yet, send them suggestions and they’ll reach out. Users say the deliveries are prompt and customer service is friendly.

Best Customer Service: Postmates

Postmates

Postmates

Key Specs
Fees to Use: $0.99-$9.99 delivery fee; variable percent service fee
Average Delivery Time: 40 minutes
App Available: Yes

Why We Chose It: With a focus on service, Postmates strives to offer a more concierge feel to customers than other food delivery services.

Pros
24/7 delivery
Huge variety of businesses
Available in most major cities
Daily discount deals

Cons
High service fees
Free delivery only for members
Less intuitive website than others
Potentially longer wait times

Postmates sets itself apart from other food delivery services by also offering delivery from convenience stores, drugstores, and grocery stores. Customers rave about its service, noting that the company will act as a middle man between a restaurant and a customer to a greater extent than is common for food delivery platforms and works hard to resolve customer complaints. Though no membership is required, it offers a monthly program for about $10 that allows you to receive free delivery on all your orders plus five percent off for a low monthly price. 

Because Postmates tries to have more of a personalized touch, its pricing may be higher than other food delivery services. Delivery times may be longer not because its drivers are slower, but because you can place an order from a restaurant that's further away.

Founded in 2011, Postmates is now in all 50 states, and with over 600,000 merchants under its umbrella, it appears to be the largest of all delivery services.

Best for Grocery Delivery: Instacart

Instacart

Instacart

Key Specs
Fees to Use: $3.99 to $7.99 delivery fee; 5-10% service fee; alcohol service fee; heavy-item fee
Average Delivery Time: for $3.99, within two hours
App Available: Yes

Why We Chose It: With same-day service (and as quick as one hour available), Instacart makes ordering groceries a breeze.

Pros
Large selection of stores
Big box and specialty grocers
User-friendly interface
Ability to chat with shoppers

Cons
Prices may be higher
Hard to choose substitutions
Tipping on expensive orders can be costly

Who needs to go to the grocery store when it’s so easy for your groceries to land on your doorstep? Created in 2012, Instacart has revolutionized the experience of running errands. Its platform includes grocery stores, specialty food stores, pet shops, convenience stores, drugstores, alcohol suppliers, and even discount warehouse stores like Costco. You’re able to follow shoppers through the app as they acquire your items, and you can deny substitutes for out-of-stock products if you don’t want them. However, the shoppers aren’t always able to give you another substitute that you request in the chat function.

You'll have to balance the cost against what you’re willing to pay for the convenience of not spending time shopping, though: You’ll likely feel obligated to tip, and that can add up to $50 to your family grocery bill for the week if you tip 20 percent on a $250 bill. Additionally, there is a percentage-based service fee for every order, though Instacart offers a membership service called Instacart Express: For $99 a year, delivery fees are waived for all of your orders. If you’d like to use the service for all of your home shopping needs, that’s a small price to pay to waive the delivery costs. 

Best for No Contact Delivery: Uber Eats

Uber Eats

Uber Eats

Key Specs
Fees to Use: Delivery fees vary from free to $6.49; 10-15% service fee
Average Delivery Time: 40 minutes; within 15 minutes from driver pickup
App Available: Yes

Why We Chose It: For restaurant delivery that is placed gently on your doorstep, Uber Eats “no contact” option takes the cake.

Pros
Rewards for ordering
Daily discounts

Cons
High service fee for customers
High commissions for restaurants
Many restaurants are ghost kitchens

An offshoot of popular rideshare service Uber, Uber Eats is the company’s food delivery service available throughout the United States, as well as throughout the world. You can order from restaurants in your area through its website or the app, and your account is connected to your rideshare account. That means the points you earn for rides can be used for discounts on food, which is convenient. Its one of the only services to offer a specific “no contact” drop-off option, and you can enter specific instructions for where you’d like your order placed and how you’d like it to be handled.

The main complaint about Uber Eats is that they charge customers a lot of extra fees and also take high commissions from restaurants. That means more money goes directly to them than with other platforms.

Best Variety of Restaurants: DoorDash

DoorDash

DoorDash

Key Specs
Fees to Use: $2-6 for delivery; 12% service fee
Average Delivery Time: 40 minutes
App Available: Yes

Why We Chose It: DoorDash highlights the top cuisines ordered in your area, making food delivery selection easier than ever.

Pros
Easy to navigate
Black-owned businesses featured
Local spots and national chains

Cons
Known for forgetting items from orders
Menus may not include all items
Low employment satisfaction

DoorDash is a great choice when you’re seeking variety, with over 300,000 restaurants throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada. Its site and app are easy to use and have features that other food delivery services don’t, such as highlighting Black-owned businesses and showing you the types of cuisines that are most popular in your geographical area. While it used to only have restaurants, the company has expanded to now also offer convenience stores and alcohol purchases, too.

DoorDash has a rotating list of special deals, such as a cash incentive off of an order with a certain minimum, a set percentage off an order, or delivery fees waived for specific restaurants. The company, which was founded in 2013, has its own program for giving back to communities, in which it partners with food rescue organizations to salvage restaurant food that would otherwise become food waste. Membership, known as its DashPass, is available for about $10 a month; DashPass removes the delivery fees from your orders and may also reduce the service fees. 

Final Verdict

As the oldest business in the food delivery space, GrubHub is a consistent customer favorite. It has a broad range of restaurant types offered on a simple-to-navigate platform. GrubHub is one of the only platforms to let customers search by specific dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, and because it's so widely available throughout the U.S., chances are that any type of food you’re looking for will be on its platform. 

GrubHub offers a free delivery membership known as GrubHub+, which will remove delivery fees from all of your orders for $9.99 monthly. Since delivery fees add up quickly, it's a worthwhile purchase for anyone who orders often. While there are plenty of good choices for food delivery services, the convenience, solid reputation, and consistent service make it our overall winner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Food Delivery Services Work?

To use a food delivery service, you go to the website or app of the service and choose a restaurant. You can enter in a name, or select a type of cuisine to browse through. Alternately, if you already know what restaurant you want to order from, you can usually go to their website, and then click “order online” to be taken to the delivery service they use. From there, you’ll select the items you want to order. Once you’ve selected everything you want, you’ll check out; all fees will show up clearly and you’ll see the total. Then, pay for your order and your food will be on the way. 

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Food Delivery Order?

Generally, you'll receive your food in 35-60 minutes. This is dependent on two main factors: the time it takes the restaurant to prepare your food, and how long it takes the food delivery service driver to bring it to you. 

Are Food Delivery Service Prices Similar to Dining In?

Prices can be similar if you use a service like ChowNow. ChowNow doesn’t take a commission from restaurants, so it generally charges the same as if you were dining in. However, most services do take a commission that is anywhere from 20-40%, so most restaurants charge more for the food. Otherwise, they’d be put out of business by this large cut in profits. 

Should I Leave a Tip for Food Delivery Services?

Yes! It’s wise to treat delivery drivers the same way you would restaurant servers, as they are providing the same service of bringing your food to you. Food delivery drivers are not highly paid, and what you tip them may be the bulk of the money they earn. It is customary to tip 20 percent for delivery orders, just like in restaurants. 

Methodology 

We reviewed all of the food delivery services with a national footprint while compiling the list of companies in our roundup. Factors we considered include price, availability, ease of use, average delivery times, and more.

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