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Are Your Favorite Delivery Apps Worth the Money?

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With the coronavirus pandemic still going strong across the country, you may not feel all the way comfortable dining out. Delivery apps have made it easy to get restaurant meals brought right to your door — but many of them have high fees and markups.

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It’s hard to pass up on convenience, but it could be taking a big bite out of your budget. Before you place your next order, take a look at the fees associated with the top delivery apps.

Last updated: Oct. 26, 2021
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DoorDash

DoorDash delivers from over 300,000 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada and offers a pickup option if you don’t want to pay delivery fees. But just how much are those fees if you choose the convenient option?

The New York Times compared the cost of ordering two turkey sandwiches from Subway in the restaurant vs. via DoorDash delivery and found it costs 46% more via DoorDash. That included a $2 markup on the sandwiches themselves, plus a $1.99 delivery fee, a $1.20 service fee and a higher sales tax. Note that the 46% does not include a Dasher tip.

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Grubhub

Grubhub offers delivery and pickup options at a number of local restaurants and popular chains. It also offers Perks for members, which can be savings or deals on restaurants near you. Frequent Grubhub users may consider joining Grubhub+, which gives you unlimited free delivery on orders of $12 or more at eligible restaurants. Membership costs $9.99 per month.

Of the four major delivery apps, The New York Times found that Grubhub had the lowest markup, at 25% for the Subway sandwich order. The cost of the sandwiches was actually slightly lower via the app than in the restaurant; fees included $1.99 for delivery and a service fee of $1.29.

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Postmates

With Postmates, not only can you order restaurant and fast food meals but also groceries, alcohol and other convenience items. Like Grubhub, Postmates offers a monthly membership option for free delivery. Postmates Unlimited — which costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 annually — gets you no-fee delivery on all orders over $12 and access to special offers.

However, of the four major delivery services, Postmates had the second-highest fees, The New York Times found. Postmates had higher delivery and service fees than DoorDash and Grubhub — $2.99 and $2.42, respectively — bringing the total markup for the order to 63% compared to buying in the restaurant.

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Uber Eats

Uber Eats is Uber’s food delivery service, available in major cities across the country. If you opt for Uber Eats to get your food delivery, however, be prepared for a major markup on your order. The New York Times analysis found that the cost of the two Subway sandwiches was marked up by $2, and on top of that, additional fees included $3.99 for delivery, a $2.22 service fee and a $3 small order fee. With sales tax, the total for the order came out to $25.25 — a 91% markup from the in-store total cost of $13.21.