food delivery

Food delivery competition is heating up!

Last night, I saw a promotion for a new food delivery service, Caviar. The flashy ad promoted partnership with independent restaurants that serve high quality food, typically only available in person. I was intrigued. I have used Eat24 and Groupon, but as I wrote recently, not yet. Since I am always on the hunt for competition for product and service delivery I already obtain, I did a little research. And, there definitely are differences between the various food ordering services.

Testing out if Caviar’s restaurants were truly exclusive, I did a search for a chicken restaurant here in DC that I have seen advertised on multiple food delivery sites. Sure enough, Caviar listed them as an option. Next, I placed a fake order for salads on both sites, and Caviar. Then, I started to see the true differences – order minimums, extra fees, automatic tips, varying delivery times, and a rewards program.

Caviar food delivery screenshot

food deliveryIf you look closely, you will notice that Caviar’s estimated order arrival time was substantially longer than This could just be that all of a sudden orders picked up. But next, you will notice that Caviar has a higher minimum food delivery order for the same restaurant, $15 vs. $10, respectively, than So, for my order, I had to place more items in my basket, or pay the difference, to meet the minimum. food delivery screen shot

food had several key differences, too. For one, there was a 20% coupon code applied automatically. That’s cool with me! also has a rewards program, presumably for discounts after you reach a certain spending threshold. There was something else missing, a Service fee. has a delivery charge only. With Caviar, there was both a Service and Delivery fee, but no built in tip. I do like that feature as I am not a fan of auto tipping a certain percentage. We’ll save the tipping debate for later, though. If paying by credit card, automatically adds 15% to your order price, before tax.

Bottom line is, with all of the various food delivery services available, check to see what extras are added to your price. More than likely, the menu prices are the same, but the service charges, delivery fees, and minimums will make all of the difference.

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