Embracing Highs, Accepting Lows: Adventures with Food Delivery Apps

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Food Delivery Apps

Food Delivery Apps

I couldn’t have cared less about food deliver apps until various cards started providing credits to use on the platforms.  Like many of you, I felt a need to maximize card benefits by using these credits, so I tentatively pursued these apps.  While my activity on food delivery apps has decreased recently (more on that in a future article), I still use them periodically.  I’ve experienced a variety of highs and lows while using the three major ones – Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub – and I’m happy to share my takes today.

Food Delivery Apps

Uber Eats

Highs

I’ve found the Uber Eats app to be fairly streamlined and reliable.  When I’ve had problems with an order or delivery, the chat bot and reps have efficiently resolved matters.  Uber Eats has generally refunded and offered an additional credit for unsatisfactory food quality or missing deliveries.

I’ve enjoyed the smooth navigation and wallet listing my credit cards on file and available Uber credit, conveniently banked from Amex benefits.  And, of course, Uber Eats and Uber can draw from the same credit, bringing more utility.  Uber clearly displays my current promotions, as well.

Lows

I’ve had a few experiences where Uber Eats has strung me along.  On occasion, the latest delivery time updates slowly but repeatedly, giving me little confidence or context for the status of my order.  I’ve also noticed that the app jumps the gun on pickup orders.  Several times, the app states an order is ready for pickup when, in reality, it’s not.

Often, I’ve noticed the app only displays stores which are currently open.  I sometimes like to plan future orders days ahead, and it’s often most convenient for me to do so during early or late hours.  But an advance order during off times isn’t possible, and even looking at a menu is a no-go.

Food Delivery Apps

DoorDash

Highs

I’ve noticed that DoorDash has the best variety of restaurants in our area, especially pickup options (my personal preference).  Of course, that’s region-dependent, so I can understand others may disagree for their situation.  I rate DoorDash’s interface a bit higher than that of Uber Eats.  DoorDash seems to convey more information concisely, involving less scrolling.  And the DoorDash app’s home screen seems to be the most robust out of the three.

In comparison to the paid tiers of the other services, I feel DoorDash’s Dash Pass is more generous with specific restaurant coupons and promos.

Lows

Unlike Uber Eats, I’ve found that I can only view my DoorDash app-wide promotions by creating a dummy order.  There’s no way to view what general promotions are on my account, or at least no way that I’ve easily found.  When traveling, I’ve found that DoorDash is slower to populate with very new locations (read: just-opened hotels).

Food Delivery Apps

Grubhub

Highs

First off, Grubhub seems to throw out $5 off $15 order promos like candy.  We regularly post them, and I routinely receive a new promo immediately after making an order.  It’s too bad this is the biggest positive with Grubhub.

Lows

Grubhub’s app is the most painful of the big three, by far.  The app feels clunky, unfinished, and generally unreliable.  The app crashes on me routinely, and I have a hard time trusting it.  Why?  Because Grubhub committed the most major food delivery app sin in my book.  Here’s what happened.

The Grubhub app advertised a restaurant as open and allowed me to place a pickup order for a location that was actually closed.  I arrived to pick up my order – all doors were locked, and the drive thru was unresponsive.  I was completely defeated – I had no energy to pursue a refund.  That monthly Amex Gold credit was gone, and I pretended the whole thing never happened.

If that isn’t enough, Grubhub’s restaurant selection is easily the worst in my area in comparison to Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Conclusion

Technology is great, until it isn’t.  Food delivery apps routinely remind me of this.  That said, I’ll accept the nonsense with the overall services I receive.  And my preference for picking up orders over delivery has probably saved me from more frustration.  For what it’s worth, I’ve found specific restaurant apps to be more reliable than those from food delivery apps.  Nonetheless, I’ll cautiously continue using all of them.  How do you feel about the major food deliver apps?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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