Food Delivery Face-Off: We Compare The Largest Apps In Five Categories
MURRAY, Utah – Not all that long ago, our food delivery options were limited to pizza, maybe Chinese and not much else. Now with just a few taps in a food delivery app, we can have our favorite meals brought to us from pretty much any restaurant.
Third-party deliveries have mushroomed into an estimated $13 billion industry. Its three biggest players, DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub, all now make deliveries along the Wasatch Front.
Users like college student Holly Sorenson, love the convenience.
“You’re studying and you’re just like don’t want to go out or you’re busy, it just is more convenient to order and not to have to leave the house or not have to go to the store,” Sorenson said.
That convenience also keeps stylist Jen Anderton using a delivery app to have food brought to her salon.
“Hair stylists don’t schedule a lunch hour,” she said. “And, so we’re eating while our colors are processing or in between clients.”
But does delivering on that convenience mean quality takes a hit?
To find out how well DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub match up, we launched a food delivery face-off ordering the same meal from the same restaurant at the same time.
KSL’s Lori Prichard and her friends, Michele Lieb and Dawn Flynn each manned an app.
Lori’s job was to check out GrubHub. Michele tested UberEats while Dawn put DoorDash through the paces. They tested each app in five categories:
· Ease of Use
They decided on Red Robin’s Gourmet Cheeseburger with steak fries, the Bar Wings appetizer with chips and a drink.
Ease of Use
All three found navigating through the restaurant options and selecting choices was, for the most part, a fairly simple and straightforward process.
However, during our test, the GrubHub app presented issues for Lori. It repeatedly ignored her selections. When Lori finally got past that issue and tried to submit her order, the app informed her that her bag was empty. She eventually quit the app and used GrubHub’s website to place the order instead.
Michele had an easier time placing her order on the UberEats app, but it did not accept a change. The app showed she had successfully updated an appetizer selection, but when the food came, it included the original appetizer she didn’t want.
Dawn didn’t find any hassles with DoorDash’s app, giving it the win in the ease of use category.
Next up: cost.
All three apps priced the meal the same: $25.17. The differences came with the fees. UberEats tacked on $6.77 in service and delivery fees for a total of $31.94. DoorDash’s $5.48 service and delivery fees brought its total to $30.65. Our winner, GrubHub added just $4.24 in delivery fees for a total of $29.41.
You should know, the food sold through the delivery app is often priced higher than it is inside the restaurant. Had Lori and her group walked into Red Robin, each burger would be $1.80 less, each appetizer $1.69 less, and they would have saved 20 cents on each soft drink.
When Lori, Michele and Dawn submitted their three orders at 12:04 p.m., within seconds each got an ETA from their apps.
DoorDash initially told Dawn to expect her meal at 12:55. UberEats gave Michele an ETA of 12:40 p.m. And, GrubHub pegged its delivery time for Lori between 12:35 and 12:45.
In the end, DoorDash beat its estimate – arriving at 12:39, 35 minutes after Dawn placed her order. UberEats arrived just one minute later, and GrubHub got there just two minutes after that.
Even though it initially had the longest time, DoorDash got the win but just by a hair.
Because strangers are delivering food to homes, we also compared safety and security.
All three apps allowed the group to watch their incoming meals on a map in real-time. But while GrubHub and UberEats identified their drivers with a name and photo, DoorDash only gave Dawn a name.
“I want to know, like, who I’m opening my door for,” she said.
We gave GrubHub and UberEats the win in this category.
With the exception of Michele’s appetizer mix-up, every order arrived complete. Nothing was missing, not even a straw. So, who brought the warmest food?
At 93.2 degrees, DoorDash’s burger prevailed but again, just barely. The thermometer read 92.9 degrees for the GrubHub burger and 92.3 for UberEats.
After five categories, determining who delivered the goods the best isn’t exactly a slam dunk. Technically, DoorDash squeaked in a win in three categories but all three came out very close in price, speed and quality.
Our conclusion? It mostly comes down to your preference and your restaurant choice. Most restaurants only work with one or two apps, not all three.
Whatever service you choose, here’s one more thing to consider.
We had UberEats deliver specialty soft drinks to Lori at a Saturday afternoon pool party. Driver Jay Jensen told her that in three hours of deliveries so far that day, his take was only $20, including tips.
“It hardly pays for my gas,” said Jensen. “That’s why we need the tips. Then I might make something.”
So tips are greatly appreciated.