Feb 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

The real price of eating in

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

Go deeper

Virus spread emphasizes precariousness of gig economy work

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While a growing number of white collar companies are asking employees to work from home, gig economy companies seem to be doing little to protect workers in the face of coronavirus — though pressure is mounting for them to do more.

Why it matters: While engineers and business managers at companies like Uber and Lyft can bring their laptops home and access corporate health resources, the independent contractors who ferry passengers, hot meals and groceries, cannot. This highlights painful differences between corporate "haves" and "have-nots."

Tech shapes a new stay-at-home economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the coronavirus crisis forces daily life across the U.S. into a new homebound template, the tech industry is swooping in to reshape how we shop, eat and entertain ourselves.

The big picture: Trends toward e-commerce, delivery services and online entertainment have long been underway, but this moment is accelerating them — and pushing the companies and industries behind them into a new position of dominance.

Scoop: Uber CEO asks Trump to include drivers in economic stimulus

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Uber is asking the U.S. government to include independent contractors in its economic stimulus plans, according to a letter being sent Monday morning by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to President Trump. The company is not asking for a bailout or loans.

Why it matters: Many of the proposals floated for a relief bill that Congress is assembling have included new protections and benefits for employees, but that category excludes millions of "gig economy" drivers and delivery people.