Apr 26, 2021 - News
How much food delivery really costs in Des Moines
Data: Axios research; Chart: Axios Visuals

Delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash cost consumers more and tighten razor-thin margins for businesses, but we've come to rely on them during the pandemic.

The state of play: The cost of the same meal can vary dramatically whether you purchase it directly from the restaurant for pick-up or have it delivered via your app of choice.

Here's an example from Abelardo's, Des Moines' favorite Mexican drive-thru, for three fried tacos and plain chips:

  • The meal itself costs $1 less on the apps, but the totals are $3+ more expensive.
  • Delivery fees vary from restaurant to restaurant, app to app, even day to day. In this real-world instance, GrubHub charged $1.50 more than its competitors.
  • The kicker is really in the miscellaneous "fees" category, which brings the GrubHub cost to $15 — about 45% more than pick-up.
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