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5 Grubhub Alternatives That Are Worth Checking Out Today

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It’s easy to become dependent on GrubHub, but there are so many alternatives available to you, many with spectacular promotions like free delivery on your first order.

This article discusses five alternatives to GrubHub and explains how they work, where they are available, and how much their services cost.

What is GrubHub?

GrubHub is an online food ordering and delivery service that partners with restaurants to connect users to their favorite food.

GrubHub users can search for food options based on promotions, fare options, price, and proximity.

GrubHub’s food ordering and delivery services became popular during the late 2000s and have become ubiquitous, especially because of the pandemic.

How Does GrubHub Work?

GrubHub provides restaurants with an app and website to sell their food and freelance delivery drivers to deliver food to customers.

GrubHub earns money through commissions on user purchases.

Where Is GrubHub Available?

GrubHub’s food delivery and online ordering services are available nationwide.

Grubhub serves over 3,200 cities across America, making it one of the most ubiquitous online food delivery and ordering platforms available to consumers.

How Much Does GrubHub Cost?

GrubHub charges customers a service fee for deliveries that varies depending on geographic location and restaurant but comes out to about 10% of an order’s total cost, usually four to five dollars.

What Are Some GrubHub Alternatives?

Food delivery services were popularized in large cities like New York City.

The proximity and variety of restaurants available in large cities made them perfect testing grounds for large-scale online food ordering and delivery services.

While GrubHub did not pioneer the online food ordering and delivery system, its user interface and ubiquity are partially responsible for the explosion in the popularity of food delivery services.

vector graphic showing the logos of grubhub alternatives on phone screens arranged next to one another

GrubHub’s acquisition of Seamless and Eat24 has helped the company remain relevant in the competitive landscape of food delivery, but even with the absorption of these popular platforms, GrubHub has struggled to maintain its industry dominance in light of the pandemic.

America’s major food delivery services are experiencing phenomenal growth because of safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, which means that many fledgling delivery services are expanding, and new food delivery start-ups are cropping up to get a share of the burgeoning market.

All this growth means that consumers now have more options than ever for ordering food from their favorite restaurants, including some of our favorites like Uber Eats, DoorDash, ChowNow, Caviar, and Postmates.

Uber Eats

Uber has been chauffeuring people across several American cities for some time now, so it’s no surprise the rideshare company expanded into chauffeuring food sans people.

Uber Eats started in 2014 and has steadily gained a reputation as a progressive food delivery service.

Uber Eats has recently garnered attention for its test of food deliveries using autonomous vehicles, which may just give the delivery service a competitive edge in the future.

How Does It Work?

Uber Eats offers its users hundreds of restaurants ranging from typical fast food options like McDonald’s to hole-in-the-wall favorites.

Uber Eats users can browse restaurants by location, price, cuisine, or promotions and pay for their food purchase via a payment card.

Once an order has been placed, users may track their delivery in-app or on their web browser.

The recent addition of non-food deliveries is sure to increase the popularity of Uber Eats as well, which hopefully means users will get to enjoy promotions on more than just food items.

Users who already use Uber for transportation purposes can make Uber Eats purchases from the same app using their saved card information, making the online food ordering experience that much more convenient.

Where Is It Available?

Uber Eats is currently available in all fifty states and Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.

Ultimately, user demand will dictate whether or not Uber Eats is available where you live.

If you live in a one-stoplight town, chances are Uber Eats will not be available in your area, but to make sure, check the Uber Eats delivery locator.

How Much Does It Cost?

Uber Eats users can expect to pay a booking fee and any applicable state or local taxes on their food order.

Most Uber Eats orders charge a service fee that averages to about 15% of an order’s total price.

Uber Eats prices are subject to courier availability and restaurant proximity: Demand drives prices down, and worker scarcity drives prices up.

In addition to delivery fees and taxes, Uber Eats users should tip their couriers either in-app or in-person.

DoorDash

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, online food ordering and delivery service DoorDash surpassed GrubHub as the most popular online food ordering and delivery service based on total sales in the Spring of 2019.

The pandemic led to increased dependence on GrubHub alternatives like DoorDash.

DoorDash took advantage of the popularity of its services and expanded its consumer offerings in 2021 to include alcohol and convenience item deliveries.

The new services, marketed under DoubleDash, allow users to combine their food orders with additional purchases from partnered businesses, including drug stores like Walgreens and grocery stores like Albertsons.

How Does It Work?

DoorDash is an online and application-based food ordering and delivery service powered by gig workers.

DoorDash users can browse local food options from a variety of restaurants with the ability to filter restaurants by price, proximity, promotions, and cuisine.

Once a customer has decided on their preferred food option, DoorDash calculates all applicable state and local taxes and charges a delivery fee based on the total price of the customer order.

The order is then sent to available couriers who pick up the food and deliver it to the customer.

Remember to tip your courier either in person or on the app.

If you’re pinching pennies, and to be honest, who isn’t with inflation rates right now, you can also opt to pick up your food order in-store and skip the delivery fee and tip.

Where Is It Available?

DoorDash is available nationwide in over 7,000 cities.

The food ordering service is also available in many cities across Canada, Australia, and Japan.

How Much Does It Cost?

DoorDash charges an average delivery fee of four dollars, but exact charges vary depending on geographic location, restaurant selection, and courier availability.

Frequent DoorDash users may consider the company’s subscription service, DashPass, which costs 10 dollars a month and offers subscribers unlimited free delivery on orders over 12 dollars from select restaurants.

Hypothetically, users who order from DoorDash more than three times a month will save money by subscribing to the food delivery service, but keep in mind that not all of the restaurants listed on DoorDash participate in the subscription program.

ChowNow

ChowNow is a food ordering app and subscription service based in Los Angeles.

ChowNow was founded in 2011, making it a newer food delivery company.

Unlike other GrubHub alternatives that focus on providing the best user experience, the mission of ChowNow is to help restaurants succeed by restructuring the food delivery business model.

Instead of collecting a commission on sales, ChowNow charges restaurants a flat monthly fee.

Restaurants receive a food delivery app, website, and a marketing team in exchange for the fee.

In terms of customer interface, there is little difference between ChowNow and other food delivery services.

How Does It Work?

Customers familiar with more popular food ordering apps like GrubHub or DoorDash will appreciate the intuitive layout of ChowNow.

ChowNow allows customers to browse local food options based on distance, price, cuisine type, and available promotions.

Once a dish selection has been made, users agree to pay a nominal delivery fee for their food order—don’t forget to tip your courier.

ChowNow’s appeal as a service lies in connecting small businesses with a consistent user base.

Many of us saw our favorite restaurants close during the pandemic, which was both sad and inconvenient.

ChowNow doesn’t prevent businesses from closing, but it does put more money into the pockets of small business owners because it doesn’t charge commissions like other GrubHub alternatives.

Where Is It Available?

ChowNow offers restaurants in most cities across America, including New York, New York, San Francisco, CA, Austin, TX, and smaller cities such as Santa Fe, NM.

How Much Does It Cost?

ChowNow customers can expect to pay an average delivery fee of five dollars, comparable to other food delivery fees.

However, restaurants keep 100% of the delivery fee from ChowNow—an excellent way to help small businesses stay afloat.

Caviar

Caviar is a food delivery service app acquired by DoorDash at the end of 2019.

As the name suggests, Caviar is marketed as a posh GrubHub alternative.

Caviar is almost identical to its parent company DoorDash but offers a more eclectic restaurant selection.

How Does It Work?

Caviar users use a search bar and map interface to locate restaurants.

Similar to other food delivery services, Caviar users can filter and sort restaurants according to distance, price, cuisine, and available promotions.

Once a selection has been made, users agree to pay a delivery fee and all applicable state and local taxes.

The food is then prepared and couriered to the customer’s address.

We encourage you to tip your courier either in-person or in the Caviar app; they work hard for their money.

Where Is It Available?

Caviar has limited availability compared to other GrubHub alternatives.

Caviar is only prevalent in larger cities such as Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA, Portland, OR, Dallas, TX, and New York, NY.

How Much Does It Cost?

Since Caviar is a subsidiary of DoorDash, their fees are about the same as their parent company.

Most delivery fees for Caviar fall in the three to six dollar range and rarely exceed nine dollars.

Caviar frequently offers zero delivery fee promotions, perhaps as a ploy to increase the app’s popularity—we are not sure, but if you are looking to save a few dollars on delivery, we suggest browsing Caviar’s restaurant options.

Postmates

Postmates is a food delivery service owned by Uber.

Postmates operates like other food delivery services on the consumer-facing end but allows its couriers the flexibility of delivering orders using a variety of transportation options, including bikes and cars.

Postmates couriers can also deliver on foot.

How Does It Work?

Postmates uses an on-demand freelancing platform to connect customers with local restaurants.

Postmates customers have access to a diverse catalog of cuisine options that range from Malayasian to New American.

Once you make your selection, Postmates prompts you to checkout with your preferred payment method, and then voila, you’re done.

If you remember to tip (noticing a theme here?), your courier may even walk up to your apartment to deliver your food—that is, if you live in a city like New York.

Where Is It Available?

Postmates is currently available in 3,500 cities nationwide.

How Much Does It Cost?

Postmates delivery fees tend to be cheaper than other GrubHub alternatives, with an average fee of $2.50 for partnered restaurants and eight dollars for non-partnered restaurants.

Postmates does charge a surge fee during especially busy ordering times.

What’s the Best Food Delivery App for Customers?

If you’re truly looking for a deal, the best food delivery app is the one you use the least.

The food delivery industry is more competitive than ever because of the pandemic, which means businesses are running frequent promotions to attract new and repeat business.

When it comes down to it, each food delivery service offers a unique user experience, below is a breakdown of where each app excels so you can make the tastiest decision for your stomach and wallet.

  • Uber Eats is best for fast food orders or customers who already use the rideshare app and is suitable for convenience item purchases.
  • DoorDash offers the largest selection of restaurants across more cities than any other app. DoorDash is also great for alcohol deliveries.
  • ChowNow is best for conscious consumers who want their local businesses to stick around.
  • Caviar is best for users who are burnt out on the same old restaurant options listed everywhere else.
  • Postmates is best for users seeking consistency: a vital part of any meaningful relationship.

What’s the Best Food Delivery App for Drivers?

For drivers, the best food delivery app to work for will depend on what is available in their area.

However, there are a few defining characteristics to consider for the available apps when choosing which to work for.

The best app to work for based on pay is usually DoorDash or Postmates.

DoorDash has an hourly pay of $20-25, and Postmates pays around $20 an hour and has a generous tipping system.

The easiest app to get started on is Uber Eats, so for anyone new to the delivery game, this is the best option for new drivers.

Research which apps are available in your area, their hourly pay, and what incentives they may offer to new drivers to pick the best one for you and your schedule.

Wrapping Up

There are many food delivery service options available to consumers because of the pandemic.

Make the most of the situation by perusing the various restaurants and promotions available on each GrubHub alternative.

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