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There used to be a time when food delivery was pretty much limited to pizza. Now pretty much anything you could want from your area’s food scene can be brought right to your door. You don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount, though … so what are the cheapest food delivery apps?
Before you order delivery from these third-party delivery apps, there are some things you need to know. Who has the most expensive delivery and service fees? Whose unlimited subscription offers the best perks? Which service has the best coupons?
Each of the four top food delivery apps — DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates — will end up costing you 40 – 50% more than eating in restaurant or picking it up yourself.
Not all food delivery apps are created equal, so we dug into the details about each one to find out which is the cheapest. But hey, if you’re loyal to a specific food delivery app, we have every DoorDash delivery tips, Uber Eats tips, and Grubhub tips.
Cheapest Average Delivery Fee: Uber Eats
So you pay for the food, and then you pay an extra delivery fee to have someone bring it to you. Every food delivery service has them, but Uber Eats has the cheapest delivery fee by far.
You can get most delivery fees waived if you pay $9.99/month for unlimited delivery as an Uber One subscriber, but for everybody else, delivery fees range from $0.99 to $2.99 per order on orders within five miles. How much you spend depends on how far the restaurant is from your location.
Cheapest Delivery Service Fee: Grubhub
These companies have to pay for things like marketing, tech development, and payment processing — plus they want to make a profit — so they pass the costs along to you in the form of service payment.
These fees can be kind of sneaky; they aren’t advertised in many apps’ delivery cost estimates, and in most cases, you won’t know how much it’ll cost until checkout.
Everybody charges these fees, but we’ve found the cheapest service fees through Grubhub, who charges between $1.50 to $2.50 minimum per order. Other delivery services charge $3 or more.
Which of the food delivery apps has the cheapest average service charge? Check it out:
- Grubhub: $1.50 minimum; averages 2.9% of total order
- Uber Eats: $2.90 minimum; 15% of an order’s subtotal
- DoorDash: $3 minimum; typically 10% or 11% of an order’s subtotal
- Postmates: $3.60 minimum; around 15% of an order’s subtotal
Best Coupons or Promos: Uber Eats
If you’re split between a few options, you should always double-check what food delivery apps are giving coupons. Unfortunately, none of the third-party delivery services will let you stack coupons. The most consistent coupons are free delivery, free food, and $5 off orders of $20 or more. Here are a few more coupons that you should look out for on every delivery service:
- Free delivery when you spend at least $15 – $20
- BOGO free items from specific restaurants
- 20% off orders (maximum of $5)
Plus, if you use a referral code before you start your order, you can get even more off your order. Here’s how much you’ll get with each referral code:
- Uber Eats: $20 off an order of $25 or more
- DoorDash: $15 coupon after your referred person makes their first order
- Postmates: $20 off an order of $25 or more
- Grubhub: $10 coupon after your referred person makes their first order
The company that consistently gives the most and best coupons is Uber Eats.
Heading over to their “Offers” page will show you several restaurants that are offering free delivery, BOGO free items, and $5 coupons.
NOTE: If you’ve subscribed to your favorite third-party delivery service, you’ll be given different and better coupons. DoorDash especially has so many exclusive subscribers only coupons, so if you have DashPass, you’ll get the best coupons from DoorDash.
Most Restaurant Selection: Uber Eats
Before you pick out which delivery service you’re gonna use, you need to decide what you’re going to get. And if you’re looking for variety in your third-party delivery service, Uber Eats has the most restaurants partnered with their service. Here’s how it breaks down for each service:
- Uber Eats: 900,000 restaurants
- Postmates: 600,000 restaurants
- DoorDash: 390,000 restaurants
- Grubhub: 320,000 restaurants
Best Subscription Service: DoorDash DashPass
The big four food delivery services offer monthly subscriptions that eliminate most (if not all) delivery fees — plus come with exclusive perks.
All of these monthly subscriptions cost $9.99/month, but DoorDash is at the top of the pile because they have the best of both worlds. They’re the only service that has both a 30-day free trial and a $12 minimum spend for free delivery. Three services have a long trial but a higher spending threshold. (And while Postmates has the same threshold and trial period, they generally have a smaller roster of restaurants, plus no cash back.)
If you use Uber a lot, you’ll want to stick with Uber Eats since Uber One gives you benefits for both, but if you’d only use Uber Eats, you should stick with DoorDash.
Each subscription service will get you access to exclusive coupons that you won’t be able to find with a regular account — but DoorDash’s DashPass will get you the most coupons.
Cheapest Price Markup: Equal Across the Board
When you’re ordering through a third-party app, food prices can be 20 – 40% more expensive than in the restaurant. But if you were wondering if a service was better than the others, you’d be surprised to find out that they all upcharge you the same. No matter which service you choose, you’ll be paying the same in base food price.