Don’t you love the convenience of modern life? Long gone are the days when food delivery was predominantly limited to pizza or takeout. Now, a whole universe of culinary options is at your fingertips thanks to an explosion of the food delivery services market, currently valued at $270 billion.
Whether you want ribs from your favorite hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint, a Boba tea to quench your afternoon thirst, or a late-night burger, your next meal—or drink—is just a few screen taps away.
In this delivery market, competition is fierce: DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and the list goes on. While the sheer options may be overwhelming, for food connoisseurs, this rivalry ensures better service, quicker deliveries, and often, more discounts.
And for food trucks, ghost kitchens, and restaurants, these options mean more avenues to get your delicious cuisine into the hands (and mouths) of hungry local customers.
With that said, here are the top four food delivery platforms you should have in your rotation.
In terms of market share, DoorDash is the runaway favorite, accounting for 65% of the online food delivery market. The app operates in more than 4,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, offering a broad array of local and chain dining options.
Their recommendation engine is top-notch for discovering new restaurants. Plus, a $9.99 monthly DashPass subscription can cut down those variable service fees. The app's "Yum Score" gives you a snapshot of food quality and delivery speed. And you can even order alcohol where local laws allow.
When it comes to quality and convenience, Grubhub is often rated as the top food service delivery app. Operating in more than 4,000 U.S. cities and partnering with 300,000+ restaurants, Grubhub sets the gold standard.
Whether you're craving fast food from national chains or a gourmet meal from a local bistro, Grubhub has it all. And the platform offers multiple payment methods for convenience.
If you want to avoid the vast majority of delivery fees, you can sign up for a Grubhub+ subscription at $9.99/month for free deliveries.
#3 Uber Eats/Postmates
Since Uber's multi-billion dollar acquisition of Postmates in 2020, the combined service now offers an even wider range of dining and delivery options. Operating in hundreds of cities worldwide, the country’s second-largest delivery service is a go-to for both global and local cuisines.
Despite the merger, Uber Eats and Postmates still function as separate apps. Even so, the Postmates app now has a very similar interface and restaurant selection, and consumers can link their Uber accounts for a cohesive user experience.
The downside of Uber Eats is the relatively high service fee, which accounts for 15% of the total subtotal. That's on top of a minimum order fee ranging from $2 to $3 for orders falling below the $10 to $15 mark. Sure, you can offset these costs with an Eats Pass subscription for $9.99 a month, but it's still an additional cost to factor in.
For restaurants, ChowNow isn't your run-of-the-mill food delivery app. It serves as an online ordering system and point-of-sale (POS), rather than merely a delivery service. Instead of charging commission fees, ChowNow allows restaurants to pay a flat monthly fee.
For customers, ChowNow offers a transparent fee structure and focuses on supporting local restaurants. However, it's worth noting that the service is currently available in only 18 U.S. cities, although there are plans for future expansion.
Leveraging all delivery avenues for maximum outreach
In an age where convenience reigns supreme, food service delivery isn't merely an optional perk—it's becoming a core offering for restaurant businesses. Ignoring this trend is akin to turning a blind eye to consumer demand, placing your venture at a competitive disadvantage.
As a restaurateur or budding chef in a ghost kitchen, you’ll need to leverage every delivery option available to maximize your outreach to potential customers.
When setting up your operations, note that the availability of these food delivery services is location-dependent. Big cities are hotbeds for culinary diversity and delivery options, while those operating in a smaller town or rural area might find the options are more limited.
Keep a close eye on geographically expanding delivery apps and always seek to be the first to launch in your area.
Partner with CloudKitchens to optimize your food delivery services
Launching a delivery service in-house can be resource-intensive and fraught with challenges, from opening up the kitchen to coordinating with the various food delivery apps.
That's where CloudKitchens enters the delivery equation. By partnering with us, you can convert your culinary aspirations into a streamlined, profitable reality—in as little as four weeks.
We offer 200 square feet of commercial kitchen space, complete with operational support and foundational kitchen equipment. We also provide technology that enables you to process all your orders in a single app, integrate various delivery platforms, and leverage insights and tools designed to optimize your delivery business.
Put simply, CloudKitchens empowers you to optimize delivery, minimize costs, and maximize profits—allowing you to focus on what matters most: culinary excellence.
Statista. Online Food Delivery. https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/online-food-delivery/united-states
Statista. Market share of leading online meal delivery companies in the United States. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1235724/market-share-us-food-delivery-companies/
Grubhub. Grubhub Relaunches its Loyalty Subscription Program, Grubhub+ https://about.grubhub.com/news/grubhub-relaunches-its-loyalty-subscription-program-grubhub/
Restaurant Business. Uber Eats completes Postmates acquisition. https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/technology/uber-eats-completes-postmates-acquisition
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