Feb 29, 2020 - Economy

The real price of eating in

Illustration of a line of delivery robots with food items on their backs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Food delivered via app can cost as much as 91% more than ordering the same dish in the restaurant, The New York Times' Brian X. Chen found.

Why it matters: "When you order through a delivery app, you pay multiple parties, including the driver and the companies that offer the apps, like Uber Eats and Postmates. In some cases, you pay the restaurants extra fees as well."

Chen used Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates to fetch turkey sandwiches from Subway, and a "family value meal" from Panda Express.

  • His findings: "The markups can be downright egregious."

What Chen found:

  • Uber Eats prices were high across the board, even though it offers the same service as Grubhub and DoorDash.
  • Uber's service charges are the most variable, with delivery fees seesawing depending on couriers' availability.
  • Postmates' prices can skew higher if a courier delivers multiple items from a variety of places.
  • Other delivery apps typically have relationships with restaurants exclusively, so offers are more limited and service fees trend lower.

Go deeper: Little return for food delivery

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