Best Food Delivery App of 2020
By: Dannie Phan | March 19, 2019>
There was a time, in the dark and distant past, when only select restaurants would deliver food to your door. Those restaurants were the ones that employed drivers on their own, and customers had to actually call the restaurant and speak with an employee to make an order.
Dark days, indeed.
Nowadays, hungry folks are likely to be able to order from a vast array of restaurants through food delivery apps. Not only do those apps display all the menus from businesses they partner with, but they also employ the drivers themselves to pick up the food and deliver it to your door.
Because it’s not up to the restaurants to maintain a roster of drivers, deliverable food choices are opened up beyond the standard Chinese-and-pizza fare to include lots of local and upper-end options. New options even cater to specialty diets, including foods for those following Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Keto, Gluten-Free diets, and more.
Here are some of 2020's best food delivery services and apps to check out next time you’re feeling peckish:
Best Food Delivery Apps of 2020
One of the best known food delivery services, Grubhub is searchable to area or type of cuisine. The app now operates in more than 1,600 cities in the U.S. and offers perks and rewards users can cash in to save money on future orders.
Bite Squad (iOS/Android)
Joining the legions of companies attempting to build a long-term relationship with customers through ongoing subscription fees, Bite Squad offers to deliver food to members within a 7-mile radius at no extra charge. Subscriptions run at $9.99 per month.
Seamless is a subsidiary of Grubhub, and like its parent company, offers perks and rewards from frequently used restaurants. It operates in many cities across the U.S. but is most prevalent in Manhattan.
Delivery.com lets you collect points for your orders to earn free deliveries or other goodies, including some sweet electronics.
Doordash partners with an impressive 300,000 restaurants in 4,000 cities across the U.S. and Canada. It also promises to increase takeout sales by 50 percent for participating restaurants, so it’s a win-win.
A well-known and trusted brand name, UberEats has pretty expansive reach in cities worldwide. The app lets you track your order and give specific delivery instructions to make the whole process a little easier.
Postmates makes the plunge past food delivery. They courier a range of goodies to your door, like grocery and alcohol orders. Gift cards are also available!
This app walks the line between meal and grocery deliveries, to offer fast and convenient delivery. goPuff stocks items in its own warehouses, to get the goods directly to the customer.
ChowNow takes customers one step closer to restaurants to facilitate ordering from the restaurant’s own website.
Operating in 28 cities across the U.S., Caviar specializes in bringing independent and local food options to its users. It’s also committed to providing learning and career opportunities for its drivers.
Like Caviar, Zomato has opted to offer options outside the standard delivery fare. In Zomato’s case, they claim to be trying to “change what you eat” by working first on how you eat.
Since pizza delivery has been around almost as long as pizza has, you’d think that Dominos is no different. But since this pizza place has an app, they fit on this list just fine. Dominos’ app allows users to log in and build their pizzas, check out coupons to save some cash, and schedule a delivery. It even remembers your ‘favorite order’ for next time.
A grocery delivery app that promises same-day service in select cities, InstaCart also offers unlimited free delivery for subscribers.
Long known as a review app, users can also order delivery or pickup using Yelp.
Mercato is a grocery delivery app that caters to customers of independent grocers in 18 different cities across the country. It even allows users to shop from multiple local merchants in one order to offer the best selection of local fare possible.
Why are Food Delivery Services so Popular?
These services and apps are becoming more popular as users get used to being able to order just about anything through an app, and like to have it delivered directly to them. Adding to the appeal is that some apps, like Caviar and Zomato, focus specifically on getting high-quality food to their users.
Depending on the app, and the food ordered, these delivery services could also be considered a time-saving necessity. If a customer was looking to get food from an Italian restaurant nearby, say, a fifteen-minute drive from home, the drive alone would take thirty minutes, after which you’d have to add time for ordering and waiting for the food to be prepared. Meanwhile, most apps deliver in 30-35 minutes. For customers who don’t have access to a vehicle, food delivery apps could potentially save them even more time.
Most apps (or partner restaurants) charge anywhere between $1 and $10 over the cost of your food as a delivery fee, plus any tip you give the driver. That said, you probably don’t want to be buying a single burger for delivery, but want to wait until you’re looking to order two full meals or have a peckish crowd at your house to justify costs.
It’s also worth considering how partnering businesses each benefit from participation. Businesses need to pay to partner with the app and put up their menus and profiles. In some cases, the restaurant also pays per order brought in through the app.
For their part, restaurants benefit through added orders and notoriety the app brings in. Well-known participating chains like Taco Bell, McDonald's, and Chipotle can offer even more reach to their customers, while small, local, mom-and-pop restaurants get visibility and extra orders through the app, too.
Thinking of becoming a delivery driver yourself? You might wonder which is the best food delivery app to work for. Drivers get paid either hourly or, as in the case of Postmates, according to their performance. Postmates has a complicated compensation schedule that calculates the number of orders picked up and subsequently delivered, as well as a per-mile compensation, and takes into consideration the time it took you to get the whole job done. DoorDash allows the driver to see the expected payment of each delivery before accepting the work.
Are Food Delivery Apps Right for You?
Whether considering working for or ordering from a food delivery app, you'll need to check all the details on fees and even some reviews of the service. Some users have complained about being charged for an order that the partnering restaurant never received. Others complain that service takes too long or drivers are rude. All in all, though, food delivery services have forever changed the way many people order their food.