A Closer Look at 5 Popular 3rd-Party Delivery Services

Which delivery services offer the coverage and speed at a price that works for your restaurant?
October 16, 2020, 09:36 PM UTC
A Closer Look at 5 Popular 3rd-Party Delivery Services

Partnering with a delivery service can be a great idea for your restaurant. It can help expand your client base beyond your neighborhood. It makes ordering easy and accessible. When they order through a delivery service, people know their order has zero chance of being misunderstood over the phone, and they don’t have to read a credit card number aloud. And when a restaurant hires a service, dedicated delivery drivers come included.

The proposition felt like a win-win even before the pandemic increased the value of smooth, reliable delivery. Now the value of using a delivery service has basically skyrocketed. Before Covid, working with a third-party service was shown to raise sales between 10 to 20%. Yet from February to April of 2020, there was an 840% increase in weekly sales via online ordering, a trend that held across suburbs and cities alike.

With any of the following services, you'll get a well-oiled delivery system ready to plug-and-play for your business. With all of the top options, food delivery contractors are part of the package, which means you don't have to have an existing delivery system or workers in place.

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So which service (or services) should you choose? Here's a closer look at some of the most popular and promising options out there.


Its name connotes luxury, and this app generally offers delivery from high-end restaurants that don't have relationships with any other delivery app. Although DoorDash acquired Caviar in 2019—another move towards industry consolidation—Caviar has one of the lower commission fees, at 10% or less.


DoorDash earned 45% of meal delivery sales in June 2020, despite having less name recognition than its competitors. Especially popular in the Midwest and the South, DoorDash has been on-point during the Covid crisis, at one point slashing its commission for locally owned restaurants by half and earning goodwill that may be contributing to its current success. In normal times, their commission fees are said to range from 10% to 25%. 

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After merging with Seamless in 2013, Grubhub was acquired in June 2020 by a Dutch company called Just Eat Takeaway that has delivery down to a science. More than 85% of restaurants said that Grubhub increased the volume of takeout and delivery orders for their businesses. The drawback is, again, steep commission fees that can range up to 35%. 


Its name has become practically synonymous with online food delivery, making Seamless the Xerox or Band-Aid of its industry. That brand recognition adds value, especially in major cities. Since everyone's heard of it—and their friends and colleagues are all using it—people are likely to download the app (and thus to consider your restaurant). One downside: critics have complained that Seamless extracts too much in fees, as much as 30%.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats may be the least expensive app for customers, which savvy restaurant-goers may value. Probably more importantly, people who regularly use Uber as a ride-sharing service earn points that can lead to free food delivery. UberEats is currently available in just 500 cities globally compared to DoorDash's 4,000 cities and GrubHub's 2,700. While some restaurants can negotiate a different rate, UberEats reportedly charges a 30% fee for delivery and a 15% fee for carryout orders. 

[Photo by Norma Mortenson from Pexels]