In case you haven’t noticed, getting fed by phone is very commonplace these days. Whether you’re calling in for lunch at the office, getting home at the end of the day and feeling too exhausted to cook, requesting food for a party, making sure your elder family members have a hot meal, looking beyond room service options when you’re traveling, or just plain quenching your curiosity about this new breed of convenience, food delivery apps are the answer to instant and easy culinary satisfaction.
The concept is simple. Remember pizza delivery? Most of us have used this service forever. You call the pizza place, let them know your order, give them your address, and they deliver the hot pizza to your door, at which time you make your payment and, presumably, provide a tip to the driver. When you think about it, that’s a lot of steps – particularly in this era of swipe gratification.
Enter the food delivery apps. Here are the leaders of the pack. All orders and payments are made through the associated apps.
Seamless. I’ve listed this first because it’s the first one I ever heard of. Originally designed for office deliveries, Seamless would let you order in lunch so that your workers didn’t have to go out wandering the streets at lunchtime. Now available in over 600 cities in 16 states and the District of Columbia, Seamless’s delivery service is free. Seamless merged with GrubHub, so between the two of them, many more bases are covered.
GrubHub. Choose your menu options from a variety of local restaurants and GrubHub does the rest. They go to the restaurant, get the food, keep it warm, and deliver it to you. You get the restaurant experience of having your food prepared for you, without ever having to step outside. You’ll find GrubHub in 19 states with service in over 1,600 cities in the United States. GrubHub can also be found in London. In addition to the Seamless acquisition which expanded the GrubHub market, GrubHub recently acquired mobile ordering and payments platform LevelUp. GrubHub integrates with Yelp restaurant reviews and the Venmo payment service, and American Express customers can use American Express points to pay for GrubHub expenses.
DoorDash. Similar to GrubHub, DashDoor employs a troupe of drivers who dash to the restaurant you have chosen, pick up your meal order, and deliver it quickly to your door. Payment is made through the app and you can include an optional tip. DoorDash has begun experimenting with robotic delivery devices in areas where restaurants are very close to residential units.
Postmates delivers to over 150 cities across the United States and touts its lack of connection to a specific network of restaurants, so your restaurant choices are rarely limited. Postmates goes beyond restaurants to offer delivery from other types of stores, using the catchphrase “Anything from Anywhere.” Postmates has partnered with Walmart to help power Walmart’s Online Grocery Deliveries services.
UberEats. You know Uber – the driving company that is upending the taxi cab industry. Uber does way more than offer limo-type service. Using UberEats (a separate app from the Uber driving service), you can order your meal and then let Uber run for the food and deliver it to you. Similar to the Uber driving service, the app provides you with an estimate of your delivery time, the ability to track the progress of the driver, and the name and photo of your driver. There is a $5 delivery fee, and the entire monetary transaction is handled within the app. UberEats is expanding globally faster than the other services and can be found in England, The Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, Canada, France, Poland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, India, Thailand, South Africa, and more!
See inside August 2018
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