Quick Note: Whenever possible, we use affiliate links, which help cover the costs of running this site.
When you’d rather order fast food from your favorite local restaurant instead of running to the grocery store, what’s the cheapest food delivery service to use? Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats?
We did some research to find the answer.
But before we dive into that, we know some people aren’t looking for a deep dive on delivery prices, they just want a good deal on their next takeout order.
So here are a few to consider:
DoorDash is currently offering new customers a $0 delivery fee on their first order.
You can’t get much cheaper than that (although we encourage you to tip your delivery driver, especially during the coronavirus pandemic).
Get Free Delivery with DoorDash!
You can save $7 off your first order of $12 or more with codeAFF7.
You can save $7 on your first order of $14 or more with codeeats-haleyy303ue.
And with that, let’s go deeper into what’s the best food delivery app available.
Another quick note: We didn’t include Seamless in our experiment, however, you can view our list oftested and verified Seamless promo codeshere.
Inthispost, you’ll find:
- Which food delivery apps we think are the cheapest
- A breakdown of how each food delivery service sets its prices so you can order smarter and get a good deal
- Coupons and promo codes to help you save moneyon your next meal delivery
- An experiment where we tested 5 popular services (available to both iOS and Android users) against each other
Basically, we’re going to give you the simplest answer possible and then offer you a more detailed breakdown in case you geek out on this stuff like we do.
What’s the Cheapest Food Delivery Service?
Rates depend on where you live, how much food you’re ordering, what time of day it is, and individual pricing at your local restaurants. Here’s how the leading companies approach those variables.
How 5 popular food delivery services set their prices
|Standard Delivery Fee||Surge Pricing? (Raising rates during busy hours)||Minimum Order?|
|GrubHub||Lets each restaurant decide.||No||Lets each restaurant decide.|
|Postmates||$0.99–$3.99 for Partner Merchants. All other merchants range between $5.99-$9.99.||Yes||Not for standard orders. $12 minimum to qualify for free delivery with Postmates Unlimited.|
|Uber Eats||Usually $2 – $8 (depending on your distance from the restaurant)||Yes||Small Order Fees vary by city. Typically $2 for subtotals less than $10 or $3 for subtotals less than $15.|
|Caviar||$1.99 – $8.99, (depending on your distance from the restaurant) +18% service fee.||No, but does increase minimum orders during busy hours.||$15 – $25|
|DoorDash||99 cents to $7.99 plus a service fee of 7% to 15% on every order.||Yes||No|
How to get a better deal with each delivery service
Grubhub’s pricing model is unique because in many cases, they simply process the online orders, leaving delivery to the actual restaurant.
I’ve asked the customer service team for a typical rate, or even a range, on multiple occasions — and they haven’t offered one.
According to theirFAQ, minimum order amounts are also set by the restaurants — some have minimums, some don’t.
Grubhub for Work, a separate branch of the service that allows businesses to order food, has a standard $9.99 delivery fee and a $50 minimum.
A great thing about Grubhub is theydon’t do surge pricing, which their customer service team recently confirmed for me.
How to get a better deal on GrubHub:
- Consider not using Grubhub for smaller orders to avoid the minimum order amounts set by some restaurants on the platform.
- Since Grubhub doesn’t use surge pricing, doesn’t have a % based fee, and the prices vary by restaurant, I don’t have a great tip for how to save money on Grubhub.
Caviar charges $1.99 to $8.99 for delivery, depending on your distance from the restaurant you selected. It also charges a flat 18% service fee, which, for high ticket orders, means it often won’t be the cheapest food delivery service.
The typical minimum order requirement is $15; however, according to their customer service team, during periods of unusually high demand, they may temporarily increase the minimum subtotal up to $25. They say that, “Typically, the minimum will return to normal in 10 to 30 minutes.”
Other than the added minimum, they do not have surge pricing, which is a nice perk. And Caviar will occasionally “offer $0 Delivery Fees to highlight select restaurant partners.”
How to get a better deal on Caviar:
- Consider keeping orders low to limit the effects of the 18% service fee
- Order from nearby restaurants
Uber Eats pricing
UberEats recently updated the way they set their prices.
Although they’ve described their fee as “variable” for a while, it usually came in ataround $4.99— a good deal for longer deliveries, but not so much if you were ordering from a restaurant just down the block.
Under the newsliding scale system, delivery fees typically range from $2 – $8, depending on how far you live from the restaurant. And thanks to a cool new feature, you can now filter restaurants based on how much it would cost to have them delivered. So, for example, you can choose to only see restaurants with a delivery fee of $5 or less.
Uber Eats does have surge pricing during busy hours, which can increase your rate (with the goal of incentivizing more delivery driversto come online to speed up delivery times). Onewriter says, thanks to surge pricing, she was quoted $23 to get an $8 order of fried rice delivered.
Uber Eats used to not have minimum order amounts but has introduced “Small Order Fees” to their service. It varies by city but is typically $2 for subtotals less than $10 or $3 for subtotals less than $15.
How to get a better deal on UberEats:
- Schedule orders in advance to avoid surge pricing
- Look for restaurants close to your address, which should come with smaller delivery fees.
According toQuartz, Doordash charges 99 cents to $7.99 for each order it delivers along with a service fee of 7% to 15%.
Their customer service team says that, like Caviar, they also run free-delivery promotions with certain restaurants or in certain areas from time to time:
“At times, you may notice the delivery fee is waived if we’re running a promotion with the restaurant or in a particular area.”
Quartz also reports that Doordash is currently using surge pricing in select markets during busy times.
They do not set minimum order amounts.
How to get a better deal on Doordash:
- Schedule orders in advance to avoid surge pricing
- Consider keeping orders low to take advantage of the no-minimums policy and to limit the effects of the % based service fee
Get Free Delivery with DoorDash!
Postmates has a delivery fee that is currently $0.99 – $3.99 for Partner Merchants and somewhere between $5.99 – $9.99 for all other merchants.
They use blitz pricing during busy hours which can drive up your rate.
Postmates also has a subscription, Postmates Unlimited, that offers “free delivery on orders from all merchants on the Postmates platform when the cart size is over $12.” It’s $9.99/month, which means you can save money after just 3 orders. Postmates Unlimited customers also never have to deal with surge pricing, which can lead to further savings.
How to get a better deal on Postmates:
- Sign up for Postmates Unlimited
- Schedule orders in advance to avoid surge pricing
The Experiment: Who has the cheapest food delivery option?
To test out these pricing models on an actual order, we focused on Griddler’s Burgers and Dogs in Boston, Massachusetts.
Griddler’s partners with 5 delivery apps, Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Caviar, and Postmates, making it the perfect test subject for our little experiment.
To keep things simple (and delicious), we added 10 orders of waffle fries to our cart for each of the services mentioned.
We set a delivery address that was 1.1 miles away from the restaurant. (And we conducted this experiment in the late afternoon on a weekday.)
The price of the food was always the same ($39.50), but the delivery costs changed at checkout depending on the app.
In this particular case…
Caviar was offering free delivery from Griddler’s, so their only charge was the 18% service fee they build into orders — $7.11 for this order.
Doordash was also offering free delivery for this order. So the only special charge was their 10% service fee of $3.95.
Postmates started with $4.99 for delivery, but thanks to surge pricing, the cost was increased to $6.24, bringing the total to $48.51
Grubhub wanted $4.99 to deliver our waffle fries, for a total of $47.26.
And Uber Eats wanted the exact same thing — a $4.99 booking fee for a total of $46.27.
So who won?
In this case, the cheapest food delivery service was…
Doordash at $46.22
Followed narrowly by…
Uber Eats and Grubhub both at $46.27
And trailing behind in this experiment were…
Since DoorDash was waiving its delivery fee, it’s likely thatGrubhub orUber Eats would normally beat the DoorDash price.And without surge pricing, Postmates would have been right there with them at $47.26.
For individual orders,as much as we’d like to give you one simple answer on which delivery app is the cheapest, you’ve probably noticed it’s a bit more complicated than that.
BUT, you can get a better deal from any food delivery service if you know the pros and cons of each pricing model — so you can order more intelligently.
Food Delivery Subscription!
In our experiment above, we didn’t take into account subscription options that potentially can save you even more if you’re a frequent takeout customer.
Below we’ll break down each of the services, how much they cost, and what savings potential they offer.
If you get food delivered frequently, your cheapest option is probably Postmates Unlimited, a subscription that offers “free delivery on every order over $12, every single time.”
It’s only $9.99 per month—or 99.99 paid annually—which means you could be saving money after just 3 orders since Postmates’ flat rate delivery fee is currently $3.99 for orders from partner merchants. Postmates Unlimited customers are also never subjected to surge pricing, which can amplify your savings.
Back in 2016, Postmates revealed that Unlimited customers tend to use the service 8.6 times more than non-subscribers. So if you’re a casual food orderer looking for a one-time deal, the subscription probably isn’t right for you.
Fun fact: If you happen to live in one of the participating U.S. cities that offer Amazon Go (ie. Chicago, New York, San Francisco, or Seattle), you can order directly from the Postmates app (just note that you can’t pay with Amazon Prime or Amazon Pay. I know, Big Tech right?).
If Postmates isn’t offered in your area, chances are DoorDash is, which is great news because their subscription service DashPass is almost identical, except for a few differences.
DashPass too is $9.99 per month (there is no annual option) and “offers unlimited deliveries from thousands of eligible restaurants with $0 delivery fee on orders over $12.”
DoorDash claims that you’ll “save an average of $4-5 per order,” which seems about right looking at our experiment above.
New DashPass members are eligible for a 30-day free trial and can cancel at any time. Also, here’s the best part of all DashPass also applies to Caviar orders as well which can really rack up the savings.
Fun fact: Certain credit card providers, such as Chase, are offering a year of DashPass free for their members.
Grubhub offers its own version of unlimited free delivery with Grubhub+ (sometimes abbreviated as GH+).
Again, the pricing structure is very similar to the other subscription options: $9.99 per month, free delivery on orders over $12.
However, Grubhub+ comes with its own unique set of perks such as 10% cashback on orders and in-app perks found at your local restaurants displaying the “GH+” badge.
The only downside is their free trial is 14-days long.
Finally, Uber Eats offers Eats Pass, a $9.99 per month subscription to receive $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders over $15 and a one-month free trial.
However, Eats Pass members have taken to the internet to express their frustrations with the program.
“The way it is advertised is in no way how it works. The wording sounds like you get free delivery all the time and then 5% off when you spend over $15. When in actuality you have to spend at least $15 for any benefit to kick in AND THEN THE 5% IS ONLY OFF THE SERVICE FEES,” says one Reddit member.
The Uber Eats website is vague on the details as well.
Conclusion: Who has the best food delivery service?
Although there’s no perfect answer to the question “what’s the cheapest food delivery service,” we hope you’ll use the strategies in this post to score cheaper delivery food from the 5 apps we covered.
NOTE: Looking for thecheapestmeal kits(Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc)?Click here to read our review.
What is the cheapest food delivery method? ›
Out of the four food delivery apps we tested (DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates), Uber Eats came out on top as the cheapest.Which food app is best and cheapest? ›
- Zomato. Zomato is, without a doubt, one of the best online food delivery apps in India and has almost become synonymous with the same. ...
- Swiggy. ...
- Travelkhana. ...
- Box8. ...
- FreshMenu. ...
- Eat. ...
- EatSure. ...
You should now know that DoorDash usually has lower fees than Uber Eats. Both restaurants and customers can get cheaper deals through DoorDash than via the Uber Eats online platform or mobile app. Sometimes, you may see lower delivery fees at Uber Eats. But, overall, DoorDash is the cheaper option.What is the best and least expensive food delivery service? ›
- EveryPlate. Starts at $5 a serving. See at Everyplate.
- Dinnerly. Starts at $6 a serving. See at Dinnerly.
- HelloFresh. $8 a serving (if you order meals for four) See at Hello Fresh.
- Home Chef. Starts at $9 a serving. ...
- Mosaic Foods. Plans start at $5 a serving.
- Toast TakeOut.
- Uber Eats.
- Grub Hub.
- Grubhub. Best food delivery service overall. ...
- DoorDash. Great food delivery service with helpful recommendations. ...
- Seamless. A mirror image of Grubhub. ...
- Uber Eats. The best food delivery service if you already use Uber. ...
- Instacart. ...
- Caviar. ...
- Postmates. ...
Fortunately, GrubHub's delivery fee tends to be a bit cheaper than DoorDash's but still varies from restaurant to restaurant. Or, if you prefer to skip the fee all-together, you can pay for a GrubHub subscription to get $0 delivery on all orders.Which is cheaper Grubhub DoorDash or Uber Eats? ›
They all charged the same for the actual food -- it's the fees that set them apart. Uber Eats charges a $4.99 booking fee. Grubhub is $5.99. Door Dash is at $5.17 for its delivery and service fees.Does Grubhub have a monthly fee? ›
After your free trial ends, your free trial will convert to a paid Grubhub+ membership and Grubhub will automatically charge you each month at the then-current rate (currently $9.99 per month) plus applicable tax until you cancel.Which one is better Grubhub or DoorDash? ›
The numbers for gross earnings per trip show Grubhub with a substantial edge over Doordash, $10.26 vs. $7.93 per trip, respectively. Tips also look better at Grubhub, where the median tip earnings per trip amounted to $5.00, while average Doordash tips came in at $4.17.
Can you pay cash with DoorDash? ›
Look for orders that say Cash on Delivery and accept just like any other order—the only difference is you'll get paid in cash when you drop them off. Get paid the minute you deliver the order. Once you collect the payment, you're done. Keep 100% of the cash (including any cash tips).Is Uber Eats or Grubhub better? ›
People who live in bigger cities may benefit from Uber Eats, while those in small towns might rely on Grubhub. Restaurants may offer their services through different apps, but both have similar payment structures. Uber Eats does offer more free delivery promotions to non-paying members.Are there any cheap meal plans? ›
- Starts at $4.99: Dinnerly.
- Starts at $4.99: EveryPlate.
- Starts at $6.79: Daily Harvest.
- Starts at $6.99: Home Chef.
- Starts at $6.99: Revive Superfoods.
- Starts at $7.99: HelloFresh.
- Starts at $7.99: Blue Apron.
- Starts at $7.99: Mom's Meals.
HelloFresh is VERY affordable. In fact, a 10-week price comparison study showed that you can save some serious cash if you sign up for a HelloFresh subscription. How much so? Well, our affordable meal plans consist of meals that are $7.49 a person, versus $9.74 at the grocery store.What is a cheap meal? ›
Soups and stews are reasonably frugal meals and are top on the list of cheapest meals. This slow cooker chicken tortilla soup promises to come in at $1.63 a serving. Remember you can buy managers' special chicken breasts or even chicken thighs to save more money on buying your meat!Is there an app that will deliver anything? ›
Grabit is the app that delivers. Anything you want, whenever you want it. Grabit delivers food from any restaurant or goods from any business, all in typically less than an hour.Which is the fastest delivery app? ›
- Wefast — Fast Courier Delivery App.
- Dunzo: Deliver Packages Fast.
- Saral – Same Day Intra-City Courier Delivery.
- Pidge – Instant Delivery & Courier Service.
- Lalamove India – Delivery App.
- Swiggy Genie: Local Grocery and Parcel Delivery.
Bloomberg Second Measure's transaction data shows that DoorDash and its subsidiaries earned 59 percent of U.S. consumers' meal delivery sales in May 2022, while Uber Eats came in second place with 24 percent. It's worth noting that our sales metrics may differ from publicly reported earnings for a number of reasons.What is the most used food app? ›
|App App Name||Change Daily change of Usage Rank.|
|2||DoorDash - Food Delivery||=|
|3||Uber Eats: Food Delivery||=|
|4||Tropical Smoothie Cafe||=|
- Potato Chips.
- Ice Cream.
- Chicken Tenders.
- Soft Drinks/Soda.
- Oreo Cookies.
- French Fries.
Which food delivery app pays the most 2022? ›
The food delivery service that pays the most is Instacart, with drivers reporting earning as much as $30 an hour. Before you quit your day job to deliver food, you need to consider the responsibilities of a delivery job.What's cheaper Grubhub or DoorDash? ›
Fortunately, GrubHub's delivery fee tends to be a bit cheaper than DoorDash's but still varies from restaurant to restaurant. Or, if you prefer to skip the fee all-together, you can pay for a GrubHub subscription to get $0 delivery on all orders.Is Deliveroo or Uber Eats cheaper? ›
The app companies said their commission charges were fair. Which? found: orders on Deliveroo were the most expensive, costing an average of 31% more than ordering directly. UberEats cost an extra 25%Which is cheaper DoorDash Grubhub or Uber Eats? ›
They all charged the same for the actual food -- it's the fees that set them apart. Uber Eats charges a $4.99 booking fee. Grubhub is $5.99. Door Dash is at $5.17 for its delivery and service fees.Which food delivery is cheapest UK? ›
- Asda. Delivery: Starts at £1. ...
- Iceland. Delivery: Starts at £3, free with spend over £40. ...
- Morrisons. Delivery: Starts at £1.50. ...
- Ocado. Delivery: Starts at £2.99 for orders under £75, free for deliveries over £75. ...
- Sainsbury's. ...
- Tesco. ...
DoorDash came in cheapest, but they applied a $2.39 discount to my order. Uber Eats left off their $0.99 delivery fee. Postmates also left off its $1.99 delivery fee, but still ended up as the most expensive option, coming in at a whopping $19.93, which is the most expensive order in the entire experiment.Should I use Grubhub or DoorDash? ›
The numbers for gross earnings per trip show Grubhub with a substantial edge over Doordash, $10.26 vs. $7.93 per trip, respectively. Tips also look better at Grubhub, where the median tip earnings per trip amounted to $5.00, while average Doordash tips came in at $4.17.Is DoorDash better or Uber Eats? ›
Uber Eats is simple and user-friendly, and top pay is higher. DoorDash is also user-friendly, and it has more flexible features such as scheduling and fewer delivery vehicle restrictions. Both let you keep all your tips, and they offer incentives that can earn you extra money.Is just eat or Uber Eats cheaper? ›
Uber Eats was 25% more expensive, while for Just Eat it was considerably lower, at 7%. The single most expensive order was a "£43.94 Deliveroo takeaway from a burrito and taco restaurant, which cost 44% (£12.29) more than ordering directly from the restaurant", Which? said.How much is Uber Eats delivery? ›
A fee that changes based on your order's size, typically 5% of the subtotal. For most restaurants, a fee will apply to orders under a certain amount. Restaurants may set their own fee, so the amount varies. You can remove the fee by adding more items.
How much does Deliveroo charge to deliver? ›
At the time of writing, Uber Eats is taking 35% of the cost of an order but is hoping to go down to 30% to win over more customers. Meanwhile, Deliveroo charge an average of 20-25% commission, with a cap at 30%.