If you’re a restaurant owner running a modern restaurant, your takeout customers can be just as profitable as your dine-in clients. If you’ve struggled to expand the to-go side of your business, it might be because you don’t have an effective food delivery system. Many of these food delivery companies will integrate with your point of sale.
Managing an entire delivery team can be difficult, but third-party providers have simplified the process. Now, numerous tech companies use intuitive apps to process customer orders, track delivery time-frames, and collect money. Not only does this take the delivery management process out of your hands, but it also allows you to access the millions of customers that use food delivery apps.
So, what are the best food delivery services for restaurants? We’ve compiled a list of your top eight options – let’s check them out!
Here are 8 of the top restaurant food delivery companies to work with:
UberEats is the food delivery service backed by Uber – the world’s largest ride-sharing app. The platform connects restaurant owners with thousands of food delivery drivers using a seamless smartphone application.
Drivers receive a notification when a nearby order is placed. After the driver accepts the job, they travel to the restaurant, pick up the order, and deliver it to the destination. Payment is handled electronically through the app, and customers can track the progress of their order from the comfort of their homes – it’s an entirely hands-off process for restaurant owners.
As with most modern restaurant delivery services, UberEats allows you to bypass employing your own delivery team. Still, this benefit comes at a price – Uber is known for charging some of the largest food delivery commissions on the market, which can eat into your restaurant’s bottom line. You can currently expect to pay around 30% of an order’s value in commission.
The primary advantage of partnering with UberEats is its size. As the company has over 300,000 nationwide restaurants to find the best restaurants nearby, it has become a popular platform for consumers that want variety. If you want exposure to UberEats’ loyal customer base, you must partner with their service.
Who It’s Best For: Restaurant owners in large cities want access to UberEats customers. It’s also suitable if you don’t have money to invest in your own delivery team.
Availability (Service Area): All major cities in the USA (100s of options). Global cities are also available (900 total worldwide cities).
DoorDash is one of UberEats’ fiercest competitors. Based in San Francisco, the company first began offering meal delivery services in 2013. It’s now one of the country’s largest third-party restaurant delivery services.
DoorDash operates the same way as UberEats. Drivers are notified of nearby jobs, and orders are completed entirely through the DoorDash app. Customers submit their credit card and other payment information directly to their smartphones.
While DoorDash doesn’t have the same number of users as UberEats, the company is expanding rapidly. Also, you’ll be charged a 20% commission, which is 10% less than the current rate at UberEats.
At present, DoorDash has over 250,000 partner restaurants in 300 cities. Still, UberEats has a wider customer pool.
Who It’s Best For: This is best for a restaurant or ghost kitchen that wants a third-party delivery service with a large network of drivers. If you live in a large city, this is a more affordable option than UberEats (but it doesn’t have as large of a customer base).
Availability (Service Area): 300 nationwide cities (all major US cities).
Postmates is another San Francisco-based startup attempting to dominate the third-party food delivery industry. It also offers customers an easy-to-use app to process orders and manage deliveries.
One primary advantage of Postmates is that users can also order from stores and non-partner restaurants. While this doesn’t offer a huge advantage to restaurant owners, it’s essential to understand how the system works for consumers.
This isn’t to say that Postmates doesn’t partner with restaurants. The company is firmly committed to helping restaurant owners select prices and meal types most suitable for delivery. It can help you ensure quality food is delivered to your customers.
Postmates will take a 10-20% commission from a sale, depending on various factors. The company is known for offering extensive promotions to customers.
Who It’s Best For: Restaurants that want access to an extensive network and affordable commission structure.
Availability (Service Area): Major cities in all 50 states (100s of options).
Grubhub is another restaurant food delivery titan that has customers across the country. This Chicago-based startup has invested heavily in creating an intuitive app and a large network of customers. Again, users can place an order, and a Grubhub delivery driver will visit your restaurant and deliver the food to its destination.
Grubhub allows you to use its delivery platform on orders through your own website. If a customer orders through your website and uses a Grubhub driver, you’ll only pay a 10% commission. If the Grubhub app is used for delivery, it will cost around 20% on top of the normal delivery fee.
Grubhub has recently been fined for placing restaurants on their app without notifying the owners. This means that a restaurant may suffer from association with the platform if an order isn’t processed correctly.
Still, there’s no denying that Grubhub has a solid market share in terms of nationwide consumers. The company has done an excellent job advertising over the past few years.
Who It’s Best For: If you’re looking for a delivery service that allows you to use its drivers for a lower fee, this is an excellent option.
Availability (Service Area): 3,200 cities in the United States.
Seamless is one of the oldest names in the third-party food delivery business – this New York City-based company has been operating since 1999. The company merged with Grubhub in 2013 and is now part of a larger group of restaurant food delivery services.
Seamless offers a smartphone app, third-party delivery drivers, and automated order processing. While you can tap into Seamless’s driver pool, this is also an excellent option if you want to offer online ordering for pickup orders. Customers can order through the Seamless app and collect the items from your store.
While Seamless has been successful at helping businesses grow, it’s currently only available in 14 cities in the United States.
Who It’s Best For: Restaurant owners that want a niche delivery service that also offers in-store pickup features.
Availability (Service Area): Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Detroit, Miami, Houston, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and St. Louis
Eat24 was bought by Yelp’s restaurant review platform only a few years ago. As Yelp decided it no longer wanted access to the food delivery market, it sold the company to Grubhub in 2017.
At first, the company continued to operate as Eat24, but it has now fully merged into Grubhub. If you visit the Eat24 website, you’ll be redirected to Grubhub.
Who It’s Best For: The same type of customer looking to tap into GrubHub’s extensive user base.
Availability (Service Area): Grubhub’s service area (listed previously).
Caviar was initially owned by Square (a payment processing giant), but the company was sold to DoorDash in 2019. While the firms are now under the same ownership group, Caviar continues to operate its website and mobile application. I suspect the two platforms will completely merge in the future.
Caviar charges the same rates as DoorDash – this is noticeably cheaper than UberEats. Still, Caviar has a long way to go. While the company is popular with its users, it’s only available in 28 cities around the country.
Who It’s Best For: Restaurant owners looking for a niche service in one of Caviar’s 28 target cities.
Availability (Service Area): Boston, Brooklyn & Queens, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Greater Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Marin County, North Jersey, Northern Virginia, Orange County, Peninsula, Philadelphia, Portland, Richmond, Rockville, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, East Bay, Seattle, Seattle Eastside, South Jersey, Walnut Creek, Washington DC, and Woodbridge.
SkipTheDishes is a Canadian food delivery service growing in popularity in the United States and worldwide. The company offers the same user-friendly mobile app approach as other providers on our list.
The company provides different commission percentages depending on various factors, so you’ll have to contact them to determine the price your restaurant will pay for delivery.
While SkipTheDishes partners with McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, and several other major brands, it doesn’t have a significant presence in the United States. The other options on our list are better if you’re trying to target a significant market segment.
Who It’s Best For: Restaurant owners looking for a niche website with custom commission structures.
Availability (Service Area): Buffalo, Omaha, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Columbus.
Bonus – Your POS System
While the third-party restaurant delivery services on our website can help you tap into new markets, they’re also costly. You’re not alone if you think paying up to 30% to a third-party delivery provider is excessive. Many restaurants are now bringing their delivery services back ‘in-house’ to avoid this issue.
Fortunately, point of sales platforms offers an excellent way to streamline your delivery options. Many modern restaurant POS solutions integrate with delivery platforms to provide online ordering, delivery tracking, and a host of other premium features.
This means you can accept online orders and automatically process them through your in-store POS software (and you won’t have to pay commissions).
Some POS platforms also offer driver management portals that help oversee your delivery team. Also, you won’t be at the mercy of a third-party platform’s drivers. Sometimes customers complain that DoorDash and UberEats deliveries arrive cold!
If you’d like to see how POS companies are revolutionizing the delivery industry, check out some reviews on our website. At POSUSA.com, we’re firmly committed to connecting our readers with the world’s most advanced point-of-sale technology.
If you’d like to find a POS that works with the best restaurant food delivery services, you can compare here.
So why did these delivery companies believe and go the route of charging the restaurant for the entire service fee of upto and beyond 30%. If I hire Uber to take me to a restaurant, I don’t expect the restaurant to pay my Uber fee. Either charge the customer ( no balls to try this route) or split the cost. These fees may be sustainable for awhile to a restaurant or a large populated area but come on, get real the majority of restaurants are small and can’t afford this in the long run
I agree, Marty. The more restaurant owners I talk to, the more I learn that the delivery fees destroy their bottom line. Some are grateful to have a service to help their businesses stay alive, but others, especially small restaurants trying to navigate a pandemic, can’t afford it.
I know dozens of cities and counties have fee caps, but only two states – Washington and Oregon have approved statewide cap limits. States like California, New York, and Texas are considering legislation to limit third-party delivery fees charged. I think that’s a great step in the right direction, but hopefully not too little, too late.
That being said, many restaurant owners have also taken it upon themselves to offer delivery services in-house and said to hell with these services. Some more advanced POS systems offer delivery features, so something to keep in mind.
Restaurant owners should simply advertise they pass the 30% on to customers. There is no reason it should be destroying there bottom line. People ordering food need to realize that the process of providing that convenience cost money. Not just for the delivery driver but all the tech and IT personnel behind the scenes.
Let me restate, if the consumer wants the convenience of placing an order on their smart phone then they can pay the 30%. If anything should be legislated it should be that restaurant owners pass that charge one and not try to low ball each other by offering “free delivery”.
Furthermore, Free Market should handle this. If 30% is truly too high, then restaurant owners should do this in house. I bet they will find out that it’s not as simple as buying a plugin for wordpress to implement.
Thanks for the great comments, David. I totally agree, but I don’t think many consumers realize that restaurants are paying these hefty fees. The last time I used DoorDash, I bought Chinese food for $25.25. With the delivery fee and tipping, the total was $37.88. So I paid almost $13 in delivery fees and tips. Was it convenient, I suppose. Will I do it again..no. I felt like it was a rip-off. At that price, I’ll just drive down a mile to save $13. I had no idea how the fee structures worked.
The problem with restaurants passing on the cost is that DoorDash still charges a delivery fee, and you tip on top of that. So if the restaurant owner increases prices to cover the commissions, so now we end up paying even more for our $25 meal. A competitor would love this and could see a jump in business. I suppose a restaurant could have a separate menu with pricing for delivery to offset the fees, but this can turn into a management headache.
I’ve talked to restaurant owners who say passing on 20-30% of the commission fees to the consumer will hurt business. Maybe a split of the fees with consumers could be reasonable. I’m not anti-DoorDash, it’s definitely a much-needed service. I just think the fees and commissions should be comparable to the services being offered. If restaurant owners are comfortable with the fees, then so be it. If not, they can consider passing on the costs or bringing delivery in-house.
One thing I know for certain, it’s definitely not as simple as buying a plugin for WordPress, but there are POS systems that have the features built-in to make this happen, especially when working with a trusted POS reseller to handle the tech stuff.
What a great blog, thank you for this! Indeed, online ordering and delivery systems for restaurants gave them a lot of opportunities and sales. That’s why, managing these two areas is very important for restaurant owners. Another important step restaurants must take is to have the best order management tool to make their ordering and delivery systems faster, accurate, and more efficient.