There may be a lot of fat on your food delivery receipts.
Food delivery businesses have taken off over the past nine months as the world grappled with a terrifying global pandemic. And to give them credit, they’re providing a service at a time when many of us have been scared to leave our homes.
But if you order regularly from one of the companies operating in Morgantown—DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, or local company DubVEatz—have you compared the cost of your order with picking up curbside? Now you don’t have to, because we’ve done it for you.
Scenario 1: A typical meal for two from Buffalo Wild Wings
Fifteen traditional wings with ranch dressing, carrots and celery on the side, and fries; a Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wrap with crispy chicken and fries; plus chips and salsa to share.
- Order through the restaurant for pick-up curbside and you’ll spend just over $41.
- Have Grubhub or DoorDash deliver, and you’ll spend $66 for the same order. Almost every item you’ve ordered will be $1 or more than restaurant charges, too.
Scenario 2: Tasty take-out for two from local favorite Chaang Thai
Chicken Pad Thai, Ayuttaya Spicy Basil Fried Rice with chicken, and an order of Draggon Eggzzzz to share.
- Order ahead and pick up at the restaurant and you’ll spend just over $40 for the meal, and that includes a 20 percent tip to help a local small business.
- Order through DubVEatz and you’ll spend $45—but $53 if you order through Grubhub.
Scenario 3: A quick, satisfying dinner for two from Qdoba
A Chicken Queso Burrito, a Steak Fajita Quesadilla, and an order of three-cheese queso with chips to share.
- Order ahead and pick up within 10 minutes for roughly $22.
- Spend $25 with DubVEatz delivery, almost $36 on the same order with Grubhub and Uber Eats, and just over $39 with DoorDash.
Lisa Biafore, owner of The Tea Shoppe, used Grubhub early on in the pandemic to keep money coming in. She says delivery companies can take up to 30 percent of each order total but, when dining rooms were closed to the public, it was really the only way many restaurants could survive.
Biafore eventually nixed her partnership with the delivery service and put her servers to work as delivery drivers instead, keeping profits in-house and staff employed.
Grubhub’s fee structure for restaurants is a negotiable marketing fee that is typically 10 to 15 percent of each order restaurants receive through the platform, explains spokeswoman Jenna DeMarco. “Grubhub does not make any changes to menu prices unless done in consultation with the restaurant. When all of the costs and expenses of running our business are accounted for, we make only 1 percent of total food sales as profit.”
The moral of the story is: If you insist on food delivery, stick with the local guys—DubVEatz—for the most affordable option. And if you order through the other guys, just know their service can come at a premium.