Which food app delivers?

Noah Grabianski, Staff Writer

Believe it or not, the first pizza delivery was in 1889, 130 years ago, delivered to Queen Margherita of Savoy. In 1960, pizza delivery was modernized, and since then, more and more restaurants have introduced delivery straight to your door as an option. In the past couple of years, three companies have risen as  food delivery staples – Postmates, Doordash, and UberEats. With these three companies competing for a consumer’s business, I decided to try out all three to find out which one is best.

On Saturday, October 19th, we ordered the same meal from the same restaurant and judged each company on price, speed, and service. Our orders were staggered five minutes apart. The order was one bacon cheeseburger, one cup of medium fries, and one double Oreo shake from Five Guys. We were staying in a room at the Lake Point Tower, a tall structure that stands just in front of Navy Pier.

We ordered first from Postmates. Immediately, the app began to offer us deals – they offer ”parties,” which is like carpooling. To get free delivery, customers may participate in a “party,” a type of carpooling system where a driver picks up food from one restaurant for multiple different orders, or customers can pay $9.99 per month on orders over $15. This order was the most expensive, at $33.53. There was no option to tip the driver, and the estimated waiting time was the longest at 30 – 40 minutes.

We ordered second from Doordash. We were offered a zero dollar delivery fee for the next thirty days on orders over ten dollars, which, of course, we denied to keep the test fair. The final price was the lowest, at $28.69, including a four dollar tip. They placed in the middle of estimated arrival times with an estimate of 25 – 32 minutes.

The final order was placed using UberEats. There weren’t a lot of deals offered to us, and while we ordered, we were hit with a collection of confusing fees, such as service fees, delivery fees, and cancellation fees, to name a few. While it did not apply to our order, they also charge a fee if your order is under ten dollars. The final price was in the middle of the three with $29.30, which includes a 20% tip. The waiting time was fastest at 20 – 30 minutes.

Pretty much as soon as the orders were placed, the companies showed their worth or lack thereof. While all three offered live text communication, Doordash kept us the most updated and was extremely accurate. What UberEats lacked in communication, they made up for with an easy to read tracking map. Postmates was by far the worst of all three. After spending a long time searching for a driver, they were barely moving, which makes sense in the Chicago traffic. However, after that, it seemed to be giving us multiple different drivers, and it took a very long time to find the right person for us. 

Doordash was first to arrive, which a total delivery time of 23:40. Their driver, Chris, showed up on a bike, a smart idea for a quick way to get around the bustling Chicago streets. We tested the food immediately, and they brought us the hottest food, and the second coldest shake. Fifteen minutes later, our UberEats driver arrived. Clocking in at 38:36, our driver Charneeta arrived with the second hottest food and the coldest shake. 

By then, Postmates still hadn’t found us a driver, and the estimated arrival time was over half an hour away. So we headed up to the room to enjoy the food we already had and periodically checked on the progress of our Postmates order. They sadly clocked in at 1:44:41. Yes, that’s an hour over the estimated arrival time. Sadly, their biggest flaw was their lack of an available driver, and we hope that this isn’t normal for Postmates. The food quality was less than stellar, as we were given the least hot food and the least cold shake. 

This concluded our test of Doordash, UberEats, and Postmates, and there was a clear winner. With the only time under the estimate, not to mention the cheapest food, Doordash stepped up to the plate. So, if you ever need food delivered in a hurry, Doordash is the way to go.