Marcus Lawrence | 

How Does Grubhub Work? 16 Secrets to Getting Cheap Delivery

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Although Grubhub is the third-largest food delivery service (behind competitors DoorDash and Uber Eats), they’re often first place in my book for saving money on my meal deliveries.

That’s because Grubhub offers lots of incredible ways to save money that the others don’t, from price matching to a strong rewards program to lots of ways to get free delivery — that don’t involve searching the web for bogus coupon codes.

Hope you’re hungry — here comes a buffet of Grubhub deals.


1. Get new Grubhub deals every day with Grubhub Perks.

A person sitting and holding their iPhone with the Grubhub mobile app open showing the list of Grubhub Perks for different restaurants including Buffalo wild Wings, Mai Thai Restaurant & Bar, and Wild Burger. The user's Perks cash value shows to be $107.00.

In the Grubhub app, there’s an entire section dedicated to revolving deals called Grubhub Perks.

These are Grubhub-exclusive coupons that work with local and national restaurants, such as $5 off $15 savings at Buffalo Wild Wings or free delivery at Dickey’s Barbecue.

If your heart isn’t set on a particular restaurant the next time you use Grubhub, check the Perks tab to see the new deals. They refresh every day.


2. Grubhub price matches other delivery services — plus gives you an extra $5 in credit.

- A restaurant window displaying stickers for various food delivery services, including Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Doordash.

After you place an order, if you find a lower price on DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Postmates, Grubhub will send you the difference (up to $10) plus an extra $5 in Perks credit to be used on a future order.

Price Match is determined by the total cost of food and beverages and all fees that apply to the order at time of checkout (including taxes, service fees, etc.). Promotions, discounts from subscriptions, donations, and tips are not included.

Here’s how you submit your price match request:

  • On the website: Click here, choose the relevant order, and click “Submit your order for Grubhub Guarantee.”
  • Via the Grubhub app: Tap Orders, select the relevant order, tap “Help,” and choose “Submit your order for Grubhub Guarantee.”

Follow the instructions and they’ll get back to you within 24 hours.


3. If your Grubhub order comes late, you get $5 in credit.

- A person holding their iPhone with the Grubhub mobile app open to the Help section. The user's orders are displayed below the instructions which read,

I’ve had to wait for a ridiculous amount of time for Uber Eats orders to get to my doorstep, and all I got was cold food. Grubhub will credit you $5 in Perks if your meal comes to you later than the estimated delivery range given to you as you place your order. The Perks can be used with your next Grubhub order.

You request the Grubhub Guarantee credit the same way you go about price matching.


4. Grubhub Plus is worth the $10 if you order 2 – 3 times a month.

- A take out bag from Carl's Jr which reads,

Grubhub Plus is a subscription service that gets you free delivery on the vast majority of Grubhub orders of $12 or more.

Sign up to get your first 14 days for free, and afterward, Grubhub Plus costs $9.99 per month. Since most delivery fees are at least $3.99, you’ll make up your subscription fee in just 2 – 3 orders.

You can get a list of all the Grubhub Plus restaurants by clicking the GH+ icon on the main Grubhub page.

Grubhub Plus members also gain access to even more Perks offers, including $5 off $30 at Panera Bread.


5. Refer a friend to Grubhub and you both get $10 off.

Two women sitting next to each other on a sofa while looking at their cell phones.

Whenever you refer a friend to Grubhub using your unique invitation, they’ll get $10 off their first-time app order, and after they place that order, you’ll get $10 off.

You’ll find the invitation link in the Perks/Earn section of the Grubhub app, or by visiting the Refer page on the Grubhub website.


6. Get rewarded for repeat orders at certain restaurants.

- A Taco Bell sign positioned at a parking space. The sign has the Taco Bell logo and reads

Another feature of Grubhub Perks is the ability to earn cashback when you meet certain requirements at various restaurants.

For example, you’ll earn $10 back when you order three times from P.F. Chang’s. And a juice bar in my town offers $5 back when you spend $100 (and no, not all in one order).

Find the cashback offers by going to the Perks section in the app and then choosing “Earn” (instead of “Redeem”).



7. Lyft Pink subscribers get Grubhub Plus for free.

- A woman sitting in a car, shown through the windshield, which has a pink Lyft sticker in the left corner and a pink mustache trinket on the dashboard.

Members of the $19.99/month Lyft Pink subscription service get Grubhub Plus included.

That means on top of Lyft Pink’s perks — which include 15% off all car rides, priority airport pickups, surprise offers, and relaxed cancellations — you get Grubhub Plus.

Grubhub Plus typically costs $9.99/month, so it’s kind of like you could get Lyft Pink for half off if you wanted it.


8. Use the Grubhub app to sort by lowest delivery cost or soonest arrival.

A person holding their iPhone with the Grubhub mobile app open to the sort-by options. The options read,

Although you can place orders via the Grubhub website, the app is by far the way to go. Not only do you have access to a larger number of Grubhub Perks, but the app lets you sort restaurants by delivery fees or by how quickly they’ll deliver so you can find the cheapest (or fastest) meals.


9. Watch out for sneaky service fees — they’re all over the place.

- A person wearing a Grubhub hat and t-shirt setting a food delivery bag on the counter in front of a customer. The customer is out of focus in the foreground, facing the Grubhub worker.

Much of the info you’ll find online says that you can expect to pay a 15% service fee in addition to any delivery charges, food costs, and tip — but that’s not what we found (or what Grubhub even says).

When we experimented with different restaurants and different amounts, we found service fees that were as low as 6.25% and as high as 16%. And Grubhub says service fees will never be less than $1.00 and never more than $9.00.

Make sure you look at the summary of charges before you place your order so you don’t end up paying on the higher end of those fees.

Grubhub’s service fees tend to be lower than Uber Eats, which charges a minimum of $3.00 with no maximum, and higher than DoorDash, whose service fees range from $1.99 to $5.99.


10. Save an extra 5% by getting Grubhub gift cards from Target and Raise.

- Two gift cards being held center-frame in front of a wall of gift cards, one is for Grubhub and one for Doordash.

Although you can’t stack multiple coupons or offers on Grubhub, you can stack the savings you get from discounted gift cards on top of Grubhub promos.

Target sells Grubhub gift cards, and when you use the REDCard debit card, you’ll get 5% off those gift cards (and pretty much anything else you get from Target).

Online gift card reseller Raise has Grubhub gift cards for 2% off, which means you’ll pay 2% less than the amount loaded onto the card. Every little bit helps.


11. Does Grubhub take cash? Yes — sort of.

- A sign displayed in a restaurant window which reads,

Unlike DoorDash and Uber Eats, Grubhub actually accepts payments in cash — if the restaurant allows it. Very few restaurants offer this, because the driver would have to bring your cash payment back to the restaurant after the food delivery. Not the most efficient.

But hey, it IS technically possible to pay in cash for Grubhub. Here’s how to find out if a restaurant in your area allows this:

  • Add items to your cart from the restaurant of your choice.
  • Tap “View order” and “Continue to checkout.”
  • Find where it says “Your Payment” and choose the payment type.
  • Browse the list of payment options; if cash is an option, it’ll be listed.
  • (If cash isn’t an option, you can cancel the order.)
  • Check out and pay the delivery driver with cash — exact change, plus tip — when she arrives.

Grubhub also accepts Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, eGift, and credit cards.


12. Grubhub lets you schedule your order up to four days ahead of time.

- A person holding an iPhone that is displaying the Grubhub mobile app's scheduling page. The user is setting up a delivery for a future time and date.

Lots of people don’t realize that you can schedule your meal delivery ahead of time — you totally can. Grubhub lets you schedule up to four days in advance. Here’s how you do it:

  • Add food items to your cart.
  • Tap “View order.”
  • Where it says “Delivery, ASAP” tap “Change order settings.”
  • Next to where it says “ASAP” tap “Change.”
  • Pick your preferred day and time — from two hours to four days in the future.


13. College students can connect their meal plans to Grubhub.

- Three college students are sitting outside at a green table on campus. They are all looking at their laptops and talking.

If you’re a college student with a meal plan, listen up: Grubhub has partnered with more than 250 colleges and universities across the country.

You can order ahead for pickup or delivery at on-campus and off-campus restaurants and dining halls, and use your meal plan card to pay.

And that’s just one of the many freebies and deals for college students we’ve found.



14. Grubhub lets you donate change for charity — and will match your donation.

- A banner from the COVID-19 page on Grubhub's website. It says

Grubhub offers “Donate the Change,” where you can choose to round up your total to the nearest dollar amount, and the change will go to charity. Donations go toward a number of different community organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and local food banks.

When you Donate the Change as a Grubhub Plus member, Grubhub will match your donation.

And once you decide to Donate the Change, Grubhub will assume you want to keep doing it. But you can always toggle it off during the checkout process.


15. Get deliveries from drugstores and convenience stores.

- A 7-eleven storefront with cars parked in front of it.

Grubhub has come up with their own brand of convenience store goods, called Grubhub Goods, which is available to more than 3,000 locations across the country. They also deliver from convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Walgreens.

You can sort by “Convenience” in the Grubhub app or on the website, and have access to energy drinks, ice cream, personal care products, and more convenience items delivered by Grubhub drivers.


16. Grubhub lets you place catering orders for 10 – 200 people.

A low angle view of a person walking and carrying two large Grubhub meal delivery bags.

You can’t really find catering on the Grubhub app, but at you can browse a list of restaurants that offer catering in your area.

Just put in your address to see which businesses offer catering. You can schedule a catering order up to 14 days in advance.

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