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The 7 Best Food Delivery Apps: A Restaurant Owner’s Guide

A detailed review of the top 7 food delivery services, including their pros and cons, to help restaurateurs select the best option for leveraging technology in enhancing the delivery process.

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With the introduction of food delivery apps, the restaurant sector has been flipped on its head in recent years. Previously only available at pizzerias and Chinese restaurants, meal delivery is now available at nearly every sort of dining facility, from fast-food chains to independent cafés, fancy restaurants, and more.

According to IMARC Group analysis, the meal delivery sector in the United States is expected to rise to $42 billion in the next five years.

Of course, many forward-thinking restaurateurs see the benefits of providing a unique eating experience that isn’t reliant on table availability. The main issue is determining which food delivery services are suitable for you.

To help you make a selection, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 food delivery apps in the United States. We go over the advantages and disadvantages of each food ordering and delivery service, as well as the types of restaurants they are most suited for. Let’s continue!

Table of Contents

  • The Fundamentals of Food Delivery
  • What is the Process of Food Delivery?
  • Things to Keep in Mind when Choosing a Food Delivery App
  • Top 7 Food Delivery Services
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • The Doorstep Delivery Problem

The Fundamentals of Food Delivery

Delivering food, takeout meals, or meal kits is, at its most basic level, a courier service given by restaurants and other food-related enterprises (e.g., grocery stores). Customers place an order for meals to be delivered to a certain address. The restaurant completes the order by preparing, packaging, and delivering the food to the consumer. Food deliveries are typically made by courier drivers in motor vehicles, though they can also be made on a scooter, bicycle, or even on foot.

Many companies will woo restaurateurs who are interested in adapting to this new reality. It can be difficult and time-consuming to sort through all of the possibilities and choose which is the greatest fit for your company. Technology has had an impact on the restaurant sector, just as it has on the retail industry. Customers’ expectations have moved in lockstep with technological advancements. For many new and established restaurateurs, offering delivery is the only way to stay competitive today.

In the following part, we’ll go over the basics of these services and look at the features to look for when selecting a service for your restaurant or food business.

What is the Process of Food Delivery?

Today’s tools, in many ways, look and feel the same as they have for decades. But don’t be fooled by the illusion. Technology has changed the way meals are delivered in recent years. The days of having to rely on paper takeaway menus, a dedicated phone number, and manual order administration are long gone. With free delivery, today’s expectations are high (or lower delivery fees).

Almost every stage of the service is now managed by technology, according to today’s providers. Customers may browse selections and place orders using easy-to-use meal delivery applications and online menus. Many ordering platforms give customers additional options, such as specifying a specific time for delivery. Customers are frequently given the option of paying online or at the time of delivery.

Meal kit delivery services are now available, which supply all of the fresh ingredients needed to create a meal. For a home chef, this service is ideal. Purple Carrot is a wonderful example. Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal kit delivery business that brings organically prepared plant-based meals to your door. These meals are either ready-to-eat or come with the option of having to prepare them yourself. Some of the best vegetarian dishes may be found there. Another business that provides meal alternatives and delivers ingredients and recipe cards for those meal options is HelloFresh. You have the option of ordering through a weekly subscription that is automatically renewed. This can also aid with meal preparation.

With only a few taps, ordering food with special diet plans such as vegetarian alternatives, low carb, gluten-free, or diabetes-friendly has become simple and easy. They concentrate on each meal plan that has dietary constraints. These meal kits or oven-ready meals are made using high-quality ingredients and eliminate the need for grocery shopping and preparation time.

As you might expect, the evolution of meal delivery has given restaurateurs unprecedented chances to reach new customers and expand beyond their physical location limits. When adding meal transportation to their business model, many operators encounter new hurdles, such as ensuring that their food ‘travels’ well, finding parking for cars, and modifying their menu to suit at-home eating. With the use of a route planner app for delivery drivers, these difficulties can be overcome.

Things to Keep in Mind when Choosing a Food Delivery App

Are you ready to learn about the top food delivery service applications for your company? Whether you’re beginning a new meal-kit delivery service or have an established food business, you’ll want to make sure you pick a platform that fits your needs.

Here are some of the most important aspects to consider while choosing a food delivery app.

  • Route Planning and Allocation: Restaurants can easily manage several drivers and exceed customer expectations while lowering costs with effective route planning and optimization. It enables a manager to simply assign orders to specific drivers.
  • Easy and Secure Payment: Your chosen app should allow you to pay for your delivery orders in a variety of ways. It is one of the most important characteristics. If it doesn’t, you’re likely to lose a lot of clients at the “place order” step of the process. Include an online payment integration like Square, Stripe, Apple Pay, or PayPal, as well as cash or credit upon delivery for customers who are hesitant to pay online. You’ll also want to make sure that consumer payment information is safe and secure.
  • Live Tracking: Customers will love this function, which allows them to follow their orders in real time. It can also enable the delivery driver spend less time at each stop and provide managers with useful information. Live monitoring is now available in the best meal delivery applications.
  • Flexible Delivery Scheduling: This feature will make the customer’s life as well as the kitchen and delivery staff’s lives easier. Customers can arrange appointments for later in the day or even the next day, making the ordering procedure more convenient for them. It can also assist the kitchen and delivery crew in better planning for peak demand times by ensuring that they have sufficient workers, raw ingredients, and other resources.
  • User-Friendly: At the end of the day, the customer experience is what matters most in any business. And, if you provide meal delivery via delivery apps, your app will be the customer’s first point of contact with your business. First impressions are crucial, so make sure the app has a user-friendly dashboard and a quick and easy ordering experience. What is the most effective technique to comprehend the user experience? As a customer, try out each app and see where you end up.
  • Order Management: Another ‘must-have’ feature for any meal delivery software is order management. The administrator should manage all orders, notify clients on order status, and manage payments from the admin panel.
  • Administrator Dashboard: You’ll want a dashboard that’s easy to use and lets you accomplish whatever you need to do as a restaurant manager/administrator, just like your customers.
  • Navigation/GPS Tracking: This tool will help your delivery drivers complete their deliveries more quickly, resulting in happier customers and the ability to complete more deliveries per shift.

These are just a few of the important characteristics to consider when selecting a meal or food delivery service. Other aspects, such as a shipping price, are critical to your company’s specific demands. A delivery fee could be a crucial aspect that determines the app’s popularity. Reading a customer review can sometimes help you determine whether or not a service is right for you. That’s why it’s critical to have a well-thought-out and practical plan in place before you start looking for an app or software to help you carry out your strategy.

Top 7 Food Delivery Services

#1 DoorDash

DoorDash is an aggregator network that presently serves over 310,000 eateries in over 4,000 cities. It connects local eateries with local “dashers” (freelance couriers) so that you don’t have to hire your own. It is one of the most popular food delivery services in North America, with Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, Seamless, and Instacart following closely behind.

Caviar is another company that DoorDash has brought under its wing. Caviar started up as a high-end meal delivery service. However, since DoorDash purchased Caviar in 2019, you’ll be able to order a wide range of meals from Caviar.

Pros

  • It’s great for diner takeout or ready-to-eat meals
  • Order and progress tracking
  • Minimum order amounts are low
  • A monthly cost with no additional delivery fees
  • Monthly or annual subscription options are available

Cons

  • Customer service is lacking
  • Exorbitant rates

#2 Postmates

Postmates can let you get food, drinks, and retail goods delivered right to your customers’ doors. “Our objective is to enable anyone to have anything delivered on-demand,” their mission statement says. Like many of its competitors, Postmates uses a fleet of couriers to deliver orders from local restaurant partners.

Pros

  • Restaurants can outsource the entire delivery process
  • Low delivery fee and cost

Cons

  • For drivers, the compensation structure is opaque
  • There can be issues with delivery assignments

#3 Uber Eats

Uber created a reputation for itself as an alternative to traditional taxi service, and now, with the Uber Eats app, they’re building a name for themselves in the food delivery market. It is one of the most popular cab and food delivery apps on the market.

Pros

  • Largest meal delivery platform in terms of gross earnings (excluding China)
  • Refined technology
  • Business insights gleaned from data collecting

Cons

  • Service and delivery fees take into earnings,
  • Delivery worker receives fewer tips

#4 Gopuff

Gopuff is a great app for getting snacks, drinks, groceries, and even over-the-counter medicine delivered. The app is now available in over 500 places across the United States and is rapidly expanding.

The distinctive aspect of Gopuff is that everything the consumer orders is delivered from Gopuff’s own warehouses, rather than from a retailer.

Pros

  • It includes cleaning supplies, over-the-counter medicine, and infant necessities in addition to the food
  • From its micro-fulfillment centres to your door in less than 30 minutes
  • Whether you order on a weekday or a weekend, there is a fixed delivery price of $1.95

Cons

  • There are no restaurant meals delivered
  • Experiences with delivery inaccuracy

#5 GrubHub

With over 200,000 partnered restaurants in over 4,000 U.S. cities, GrubHub claims to have the largest and most extensive restaurant partner network. Seamless is also owned by GrubHub. They’re both using the same app.

Pros

  • Pickup orders that are COVID-19/coronavirus friendly
  • Simple pricing structure and subscription option
  • GrubHub is a mobile app that works on both iOS and Android

Cons

  • Poor delivery driver feedback
  • High delivery fees and other charges as compared to the competition

#6 Instacart

Instacart is a food delivery service that extends beyond restaurants. It offers online and mobile shopping experiences to assist customers in selecting and ordering products. Customers can then choose to pick up their order in store or have it delivered (delivery fees apply).

Pros

  • Items can be ordered from local grocery stores and eateries
  • Contact-free delivery for the Coronavirus pandemic – choice to leave at my door
  • Options for scheduled delivery

Cons

  • The delivery app is seen as glitchy or unreliable
  • The tip structure is unfavorable to drivers
  • There is no complimentary delivery (there are varied delivery fees or service fees)

#7 Skip The Dishes

With SkipThe Dishes, you can avoid a lot of the extra effort that comes with implementing food delivery to your restaurant. Orders will be picked up and delivered to consumers by the company’s couriers who will come to your establishment. Many fast-food businesses and restaurants, including McDonald’s, Subway, KFC, and Wendy’s, use Skip The Dishes.

Pros

  • Breakfast, lunch, and all meals are served by well-known merchants
  • Available in a variety of locations and countries
  • There is no need to subscribe
  • Based on the order, charges a delivery or service fee

Cons

  • Reliability issues
  • Service charge eats down restaurant profits

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which meal-delivery service is the best?

The greatest food delivery services are those that have a stronghold in your neighborhood. One company may be more established and professional than others in specific sectors. In some cases, an Uber Eats may be favored over a DoorDash. The most important thing is to look into the systems in your region. It’s also decided by which restaurants it serves and how much it costs for delivery. If you’re looking for meal kit services, there are numerous to choose from, including Home Fresh, Green Chef, Freshly, and Blue Apron.

Which North American food delivery service is the best?

The best food delivery options is a personal choice. DoorDash has a 45 percent market share of food delivery firms in the United States as of June 2020, according to objective data. It is followed by Uber Eats, GrubHub, and Seamless. It depends on the type of customer review you find. Depending on where you are, there are a variety of popular food delivery services.

The Doorstep Delivery Problem

Solving the “direct to your door” problem is one of the current challenges for local businesses. New opportunities are always presented by changing trends. However, it is up to restaurant owners and operators to seize the opportunity.

We hope that this article has helped you make an informed decision about which meal delivery services or food delivery apps are best for your restaurant. We didn’t cover all of the possibilities in this article, including Chownow, eat24, SunBasket meals, and others. Meal kit delivery providers such as SunBasket and Marley Spoon serve nutritious meals that have been authorized by nutritionists.

Then there’s SnapKitchen, which produces all three meals of the day in collaboration with chefs, personal trainers, and dieticians. These are excellent, high-protein, keto-friendly meals. Most of these services, such as Home Chef, Green Chef, and SunBasket, charge a set fee for a week’s worth of meals. Most cities on the East Coast are served by these services.

These meal delivery services make it simple to give excellent discounts on groceries and home supplies. Please let us know if you’d like us to cover another delivery app. Otherwise, please let us know how we can assist you with the “straight to your door” or any other route planning issues you may be experiencing. We at EasyRoutes are dedicated to resolving route planning and optimization problems.

About EasyRoutes

EasyRoutes is a local delivery route planner tool that makes planning a route a breeze. After that, you can either share your routes with drivers or deliver them yourself using the our Delivery Driver mobile app for iOS & Android.

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"The EasyRoutes app saves us probably 40 hours per week, and I can genuinely say it would be hard to run our business without it…We plan our routes each morning with three clicks of a mouse which is a massive time saver."
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