What is GrubHub and What Does It Do?

Everyone gets hungry, but sometimes you’re stuck somewhere, and you can’t leave to get food. Do you starve? Enter GrubHub. This service uses a series of emails and acts as the middleman for you to get food via the web. You order on the app, an independent rep gets notified of the order, they remotely call it in for you, and then one of their drivers picks it up or the restaurant sends their own driver, depending on the area and order. It’s very simple and convenient, especially for those who can’t get out to get food.

Overview of GrubHub


What is GrubHub?

This is a web-based food ordering service that connects starving customers with local restaurants. The Chicago-based company has almost 10 million subscribers and over 55,000 participating restaurants. The company was originally two—Seamless and GrubHub—but they merged in 2013 and became a publicly traded company a year later. The process connects everyone through an app, but you can also use the website as well. It’s very simple to use, and the app itself is free, which is what makes it so popular.

How Does GrubHub Work?

GrubHub works with an app or website much like most online businesses. The company acts as a go-between by giving you all the local participating restaurants menus and prices in one app, allowing you to order food just like any other item online. Click, add what you want to eat to the basket, check out, and wait for your food to show up. You can order take-out as well if you’d rather go get it yourself instead of delivery.

GrubHub Review

Overall, the company is doing better than most other food delivery services and with an annual review of around $493.3 million a year, it’s obviously popular. The majority of issues seem to be technical, with deliveries not being passed on to the restaurant or the order being canceled without notifying the user.

That being said, the initial positive boom that the company had has been swiftly falling. With poor delivery service, lack of drivers, and food taking hours past the expected delivery time, it seems that customer service is also lacking when it comes to rectifying these problems. A slew of negative reviews over the holiday period means that maybe this company just isn’t up to the pressure of anything more than a typical lunch rush.

GrubHub Delivery

GrubHub uses its own drivers to pick up and deliver food outside of the restaurant. If the food isn’t delivered it’s the company’s fault, not the restaurant. The issue with this is that many of the drivers are just “some guy with a car” so they can get lost, and if the app doesn’t dispatch them, you may never get your food at all. There is also a background screening or review process for these drivers to guard your safety as a customer and another for the reps who work behind the scenes as independent agents.

GrubHub Free Delivery

The usual delivery fee for GrubHub is $3.99 and this doesn’t include driver’s tip. This changes based on whether you’re ordering from multiple restaurants or lots of items. The only way you’ll get a free delivery is with a code or coupon or if the restaurant offers it, which usually only happens over a certain amount or if you’re within a certain mileage from them.

GrubHub Contact

There is an option to email the company directly within the app, otherwise you can use the email [email protected] if you have questions about the Android version of the app. The company has an instant chat on its website as well as a phone number.

GrubHub Contact Number

(877) 585-1085

GrubHub Twitter

The company’s main handle is @Grubhub but there’s also an @Grubhub_Care for order issues or complaints. The company has had a Twitter account since 2008 and has a following of 14k.

GrubHub Email

While the company does not have an email listed, there are email boxes on its website to email them directly with specific complains such as comments, social media, charges, and ordering issues so that they go straight to the right department.

GrubHub App

The GrubHub app is available for both iOS and Android, but if you don’t have either, you can browse to their website and order there. It has a 4.5* rating on the Google Play store and a 4.2* rating in the App Store.

GrubHub Locations

They now operate in both the UK and the US in over a thousand cities and growing. You can check to see if your city is served by the company on their website or by downloading the app and entering your details.

Grubhub vs

GrubHub Vs.

GrubHub has a lot of competition out there. What once was simply a “pizza only” industry now has many chains offering their own delivery, not to mention similar services like Fetch who operate in smaller towns. While the business method is sound, other small startups quickly jumped on the design they created and as many as 50 such companies existed within a couple of years. Now that the market has stabilized, there are 7 “big names” which most people can recognize, but the majority of them still only operate in larger cities. Even though their business model is similar, there are still differences between each.

GrubHub vs Seamless

Seamless and GrubHub are now one and the same company. The companies merged in 2014 so they’re no longer competing. While Seamless was founded first, the two startups were founded with the exact same purpose. Seamless still operates a separate website and app despite the merger and is rated higher than the GrubHub app but their range is limited to 600 cities compared to GrubHub’s 1100. Unlike GrubHub, they do not charge any extra fees. Seamless is still the biggest and most used app but it works much the same as the wider area GrubHub. GrubHub currently holds 23% of the market share for food delivery services, second only by 1% to Domino’s.

Seamless is unique in that it accepts cash payments or PayPal only. Ordering is free and while the items are the same price as the restaurant the restaurants charge the delivery fee since they are the ones with the drivers, not Seamless.

GrubHub vs UberEats

UberEats is one of the smallest food delivery services. It works much the same as GrubHub but with Uber services being controversial, and in some places illegal it’s much less widely available. In London, UK, for example, the company lost its license to operate so you won’t be able to order despite being the largest city in the UK. UberEats is only available in about a dozen cities, making it very restricted and unlikely you’ll be able to even use it. Uber also charges an extra fee for busy areas and peak times, just like their normal drivers would and also doesn’t include tips.

GrubHub vs Postmates

This is more in-depth than GrubHub because they also delivery groceries and more since they partner with other local companies like Walgreens. This is a subscription service with a $6.99 and up monthly fee with unlimited deliveries, but you can also do one-off deliveries based on what the seller charges for delivery (usually $3.99). Postmates is one of the few services that does not require a background check for their staff which is concerning for security reasons. Postmates also has a free app, but the cost to use it means it ends up being more expensive than GrubHub unless you have specific needs from places other than restaurants to use it.

GrubHub vs Eat24

Owned by Yelp, the company is worth $134 million, a mere quarter of GrubHub yet serves 1,500 cities and 400,000 restaurants. Unlike GrubHub, the company has no drivers of its own which limits the companies willing to work with it to those who already have their own delivery drivers. Unlike all the other services, because the drivers work for the restaurants, delivery fees are only what the restaurant would usually charge and the Eat24 service is actually free. There’s also a cashback program for frequent users as well as preordering and reordering.

GrubHub Pricing

GrubHub’s menu price is set by the restaurants for each dish to match what they have on their own menus. While some restaurants have a minimum order amount others don’t.

Most prices on GrubHub reflect the local competition. While you might be ordering from a chain restaurant, their charges may be higher because of the local rates and taxes. For example, California and New York have much higher taxes than Virginia, and local prices are also higher which means the same dish is likely to cost less in Virginia than elsewhere, even if you’re using GrubHub prices to order on both occasions.

GrubHub charges restaurants a commission to use their service at approximately $5 per order which is why the delivery charge is rarely free unless it’s a large order. They also charge $1 to restaurants to get paid from what money they have accumulated with the app.

On top of this, there’s a small surcharge per dish added to the cost of the food by GrubHub so you’ll pay a little more than ordering directly from the restaurant.

What is GrubHub’s Delivery Fee?

The cost for GrubHub delivery depends on whether you’re just ordering for yourself or ordering a large work order, in which case there is a $9.99 delivery fee and a $50 order minimum. GrubHub itself, like Seamless, is free to use so there’s no GrubHub service fee and the GrubHub delivery fees are determined by the restaurant using their own drivers or the service they outsource to (possibly GrubHub’s own drivers). GrubHub prices will vary by geographic region, so you’ll need to look within the app in your local area, but most restaurants charge a minimum $3.99 delivery fee, though delivery can also be free over a certain amount.

Canceling an order

Since there’s a time delay between when you place your order and when GrubHub calls the restaurant it’s a good idea to call directly to the restaurant first if you want to cancel the order before calling GrubHub. If you’re going to cancel an order from the app, go into your orders, select the order you wish to cancel and then press cancel (the middle button at the bottom). It will ask you your reason for canceling and details if applicable. There’s no charge to cancel an order, but refunds may take several days to appear.

Grubhub Mobile

GrubHub FAQ

If you’re still not sure about using the app, here are a few of the most commonly asked questions:

What is the GrubHub delivery fee?

GrubHub itself is free. The delivery charge is made by the restaurant and the cost will vary on where you’re ordering from, and how much. This charge ranges from $3.99 and up, though large work orders are a standard $9.99 with a $50 minimum.

Is GrubHub legit?

Yes. When it comes to food delivery this is one of the most popular apps around. The issues that the company has usually crop up in peak time. While it might take a few days to get a refund when you’ve canceled an order, it will happen, and if not, you can contact customer service to chase it up.

GrubHub is a publicly traded company on the NYSE which means that they’re owned by shareholders like most other large companies.

How much does GrubHub cost?

The app is totally free; the cost of using it is free for people ordering food. The only charges you’ll get is from the restaurants themselves for delivery.

For a restaurant that wants to use GrubHub, there are fees. This includes a prepaid order commission, delivery commission, phone order commission, order processing fee, and a pay me now fee when you request the balance from your GrubHub account. The delivery commission rate only applies if GrubHub is using their own drivers, not the restaurant while the prepaid order rate applies even if this is the case. Each order processing fee is 3.05% plus $0.30.

Does GrubHub take cash?

You can pay using Apple Pay, Paypal, Gift Card, Google Pay, or a credit card but the company does not accept cash. Your driver, however, will be able to accept a cash tip if you’re giving them one.

Does GrubHub include a tip?

No. Tips are not included in the delivery fee. This is the same for most food delivery services. While in the US tipping is expected (for approximately 10-25% of the total amount), the UK does not commonly tip, so it depends on where you’re using GrubHub as to whether you need to tip or not. Most of the time you need to calculate the GrubHub delivery fee + tip as what you’ll actually be spending on your food.

Is GrubHub safe?

GrubHub is a legitimate business and a popular app. The drivers and phone reps have to pass background checks for criminal activity before they’re hired. While there’s always a risk that someone slipped through, the company tries to listen to complaints and follow up on suggestions. You may ask for a driver not to be used for your delivery again but there are no guarantees. If you’re really concerned, you can pay for your delivery using PayPal, so the company will never see your credit card information.

Is GrubHub worth it?

That depends on whether you can’t drive to get your food or whether you simply don’t want to and want to pay for being lazy. Most delivery fees charged by restaurants are fairly small (less than $5), but you are paying for the convenience.

How to cancel GrubHub Order

Within the app, select the order you wish to cancel to bring up the contents. Within the order, you’ll see a button that says “Cancel.” Press this, your order is canceled! It’s a good idea if you’re canceling the order to call the restaurant directly first. Since GrubHub acts as a middleman by the time they call the restaurant your food may already be on the way. The money will take 3-5 days to be refunded after you cancel an order.

How does GrubHub work?

GrubHub acts as a middleman, allowing you to order food using the app then having one of their representatives call the order into the restaurant. You can either order direct from the search function within the app, adding items to your cart as you go, or you can choose a specific restaurant to order from and look at their menu. When you’ve decided what you want, you check out and pay. That then sends the order to a GrubHub representative, they call it in, the restaurant makes your food, and they hand it to a driver who delivers it to you. The restaurant gets a notification via app or email with the estimated delivery time, so they know you’re waiting for it.

GrubHub Driver FAQ

The most common question is about hours and pay. Since GrubHub lets you make your own hours you make your own schedule but there are no breaks unless you schedule them in. Be careful, since you’re the one in charge of your schedule you’re also in charge of canceling if anything happens and you can’t make those hours. Another thing people want to know is if you get paid for vehicle use or a company car. GrubHub drivers use their own cars and don’ get compensated for doing so which means you need to factor car repairs and gas into the amount you make.

GrubHub drivers start out doing only residential deliveries. There’s a hierarchy within the drivers so that over time you can move up to doing corporate deliveries which are bigger and cost more, so you make more per delivery. This may mean a bigger vehicle, carts, or dolly’s to be able to accommodate these larger deliveries.

You get paid weekly, but many drivers have reported not getting their paychecks on time and they only have a 40% rating on Glassdoor as a recommended company.

Another question that has brought up concern is the fact that the app tracks your location even when you’re not working. While it’s understandable for the app to track you while “on the clock” to determine late deliveries, it’s rather concerning that this feature can’t be turned off. The company has full control over the app, so they can also disable it at will and lock you out if there’s a problem with you as a contractor.

There are also no benefits for drivers. Call reps get full hourly rates, health insurance, and paid time off if they’ve worked for the company for a while but since drivers are considered to be contractors and not employees, they are paid differently.

To apply as a driver you’ll need a driver’s license and state ID, valid car insurance, and a bank account. While it’s not necessary to live in the city you want to work in, you’ll also want to make sure GrubHub operates in your city or close by.

How much does a GrubHub driver make?

Driver pay is often dependent on location. The average is around $11 per hour but you’re also driving your own car and while miles are compensated for, it’s only between restaurant to the customer, not the return journey or back to the restaurant. Since the busy time is weekends and bad weather, you may not make much money at all after taxes if no one tips you. While you do make tips, the tips can be used by the company to make up the minimum pay amount like a server would in a restaurant, only you’re not getting the same benefits since you’re an independent contractor.

Is it worth working for them? Many drivers say that it’s a balance between the convenience of flexible hours and the fact that you have a lot of out of pocket expenses.


The GrubHub app is a safe and convenient way of ordering food. Employees are vetted to make sure your information is safe, and you don’t have to worry about who is coming to your door. Comparing other apps around, GrubHub is free, and their delivery fees are about the same as the competition. While they don’t take cash, it’s much safer that way in case something goes wrong. Working for GrubHub means you’ll have flexible hours and good side pay so it’s something to consider if you’re looking at a side hustle. While not every location has GrubHub, some restaurants can deliver directly using their own drivers through the app. Still hungry? The company works when the restaurants do so you’ve probably still got time to order!

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