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Cheapest Delivery App: What is the Cheapest Food Delivery Service

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Tessa ZuluagaAuthor

What are the cheapest delivery apps?

Cheapest Delivery App: What is the Cheapest Food Delivery Service

Technology has revolutionized the way we order and enjoy our favorite meals. In recent years, the popularity of food delivery services has soared, with an increasing number of consumers opting for the convenience of enjoying restaurant-quality dishes from the comfort of their own homes. As the demand for food delivery continues to rise, restaurants are recognizing the immense potential and benefits of partnering with third-party delivery apps.

These apps provide access to a vast customer base and offer a range of services that simplify the delivery process. However, with multiple delivery apps available, it becomes crucial for restaurants to evaluate the most cost-effective solution.

In this article, we’ll break down the costs of each app in the delivery market.

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Why should your restaurant offer delivery?

In 2024, offering delivery isn’t much of an option. Offering delivery services at your restaurant can provide several benefits, including:

  • Increased revenue - Delivery expands your potential customer base beyond those who dine in at your restaurant.

  • Convenience - Delivery offers convenience to customers who may not have the time or ability to visit your restaurant in person. Convenience plays a huge role in what restaurant guests choose to support.

  • Competitive advantage - Offering delivery can give you a competitive edge over other restaurants that don’t. It shows that you're willing to adapt to the needs and preferences of your customers.

  • Expand reach - Delivery allows you to reach customers beyond your immediate area. With the rise of food delivery apps, you can potentially attract customers from neighboring towns or even cities.

What is the cheapest delivery app?

Now that we’ve established why offering delivery is important, let’s discuss the best food delivery apps and break down their costs. Food delivery apps are only growing in population, but you want to keep service charges to a minimum. Here we’ll include service fees, perks, and overall cheapest options for restaurant owners. All of the apps listed below are available for both your iPhone and Android using guests.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats seamlessly connects you with a vast network of customers. This app has been around since August 2014 with its original launch of the UberFRESH service in Santa Monica, California. Then in 2015, the platform was renamed UberEats and was a standalone application initially launching in Toronto.

Through Uber Eats, your restaurant can expand its reach. Restaurants can efficiently fulfill orders while maintaining control over their menus and pricing. With real-time tracking and analytics, restaurants gain valuable insights into customer preferences, enabling them to tailor their offerings. Partnering with Uber Eats can help foster growth in an increasingly competitive industry.

Uber Eats has 3 options for restaurant businesses to choose from:

Lite - This option keeps costs as low as possible. This is best for businesses looking to reach customers who already know about your restaurant. This only includes discoverability in the Uber Eats App when customers search for your store.

You pay:

  • 15% fee for delivery orders

  • 6% fee for pickup orders

Plus - This option gives your restaurant more exposure. This option includes Uber One benefits ($0 Delivery Fee and discounts) that apply to member customers ordering from your restaurant.

You pay:

  • 25% fee for delivery orders

  • 6% fee for pickup orders

Premium - This option can maximize your sales. This is the best fit for businesses that want to stand out and reach more new customers. Your business will be discovered more frequently in the Uber Eats app, Uber One benefits apply, and for the first 6 months, you pay 0% fees for each month that you don’t get at least 20 orders. Lastly, you can receive matching of ads spending up to $100 per month.

You pay:

  • 30% fee for delivery orders

  • 6% fee for pickup orders

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Doordash

DoorDash started in the fall of 2012 at a small macaroon store in downtown Palo Alto. The idea started as a simple solution for small business owners in the Bay Area who couldn’t fulfill the demand of their delivery orders. Today this mobile app had 26.5 million downloads worldwide in 2023.

DoorDash offers your restaurant customizable products and solutions. The service gives you the ability to adjust menu offerings and operating hours in real time. DoorDash can help you expand your restaurant business and make more sales — without taking a hit to your profit margin.

For pricing, you can choose a package that works best for your specific business with zero payment processing fees. You can cancel or change your plan at any time.

Basic - If you’re looking to save money, this is the best option for you. With the basic package, you can offer delivery and pickup for customers nearby but it includes the highest customer delivery fee.

You pay:

  • $0 for 7 days, then

  • 15% commission per delivery order

Plus - If you’re looking to get discovered by new customers from further away, this package is for you. This package also requires a lower delivery fee from customers.

You pay:

  • $0 for 30 days, then

  • 25% commission per delivery order

Premier - This is your best option to maximize sales. The premier option’s goal is to make your restaurant stand out to new customers. This package also requires a lower delivery fee from customers.

You pay:

  • $0 for 30 days, then

  • 30% commission per delivery order

DoorDash has many perks for guests to reach their favorite restaurants such as Dashpass and more.

Grubhub

Grubhub was founded in 2004 in Chicago as an alternative to paper menus. Then the following year they introduced a free delivery service through Seamless. Today, Grubhub enables restaurants to manage their hours, menus, promotions, orders, and more. Plus it’s backed by a dedicated Account Advisor available to help you maximize your profitability.

When you join Grubhub, you can select your marketing fee level to unlock tools during a 30-day risk-free trial. Grubhub enables you to have immediate exposure with promotion and loyalty tools and engage with customers by responding to ratings and reviews.

Essentially, for orders you receive through the Grubhub app or on Grubhub.com, you pay the company a marketing commission. This ranges from 5% to 20% of each order, depending on the Grubhub pricing package you choose. Here are the pricing packages they offer:

Basic - With the basic plan your marketing rate starts at 5%

Plus - The plus plan marketing rate starts at 10%

Premium - Premium’s marketing rate starts at 15%.

Postmates

Postmates is a food delivery service that was founded in 2011. In December 2014, Postmates opened its application to allow small businesses to compete with larger companies such as Amazon. Postmates was then acquired by Uber in 2020. You can still use Postmates today, you’ll just experience the added benefit of being shown to customers on the Uber Eats app as well. This online ordering system also works with all kinds of merchants, not just restaurant-specific ones. You can find grocery stores and pharmacies on this user-friendly platform.

Postmates and Uber Eats bring you an even larger and more efficient combined merchant and delivery network. With Postmates, you can enjoy seamless POS integrations, group ordering, and promotions.

Similar to Grubhub, Postmates charges a commission between 15-30% of orders. In addition to this commission, if your restaurant wants to utilize direct bank deposit, the fee is 0.80% up to a maximum of $5.00. Lastly, tablet and hardware rentals are $5/month.

However, if you choose to be a Postmates Partner, you don’t incur Credit Card Processing Fees. All orders are processed through an electronic ordering app on a tablet which is given to you for free. This means partners can save 3-6% on credit card processing fees.

Caviar

Five college friends founded Caviar in 2012, at a time when GrubHub and Seamless were the only major online food-ordering businesses. Today, the delivery platform is a part of DoorDash.

With this being said, Caviar has the same pricing module as DoorDash. You can choose from basic, plus, and premier.

This popular food delivery app also offers guests the Dashpass option through DoorDash for $0 delivery fees and lower service charges.

Toast

Toast offers a variety of ways for your guests to order food.

Toast TakeOut App for Restaurants - You can access thousands of potential new guests and give regulars easy reordering at their fingertips with our mobile ordering app for pickup or contactless delivery, with no commission fee.

Toast Delivery Services - Restaurants using Toast Delivery grew sales by over 29% relative to their peers. Toast Delivery Services™️ allows restaurants to dispatch local drivers through an on-demand network to service any delivery order.

Third-Party Delivery Integrations - If you love one of the apps we discussed above but use a Toast POS system, why not integrate them? Reach more guests and ditch the tablets, all while reducing labor costs and order errors. There’s no more double-entry with these integrations.

Customizable, commission-free online ordering - Toast Online Ordering is commission-free for your restaurant, and easy for your guests and staff. Ordering is easy for guests with a mobile-optimized web page, Apple Pay®, and a streamlined multi-location picker to help guests order from the right location.

Choose what’s best for your restaurant business

So which delivery option is the cheapest food delivery service? It depends on your restaurant. If you’re looking for strictly a meal delivery service with low delivery charges, the basic plans for Uber Eats and Doordash might be best. If you’re looking for lots of marketing and something unique consider Postmates or Grubhub.

If you want to do takeout and delivery in-house without paying third-party fees, Toast Takeout might be your best option. Use the information in this article to determine which provider is best for your unique case, and start improving your delivery services while cutting costs today.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.