The top food-delivery service isn’t Uber Eats or Postmates

DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: Food delivery apps compared

The top food-delivery service isn’t Uber Eats or Postmates

With many restaurants limited to pickup and delivery in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, food delivery apps DoorDash and Uber Eats have become a particularly convenient way to grab some grub.

DoorDash and Uber Eats are currently the biggest food delivery services in the United States.

On the surface, these apps have similar features — they're both available in various cities, have thousands of restaurant options and, most importantly, allow you to order food directly from your phone. 

I wanted to find out how these apps compare not only for food delivery, but for equally important, albeit less obvious features price, app layout and customer service. To test which food delivery app was the strongest overall, I ordered the same meal from both services and compared delivery prices at various times of the day.

DoorDash's straightforward menu layout, individualized customer support, and frequent exclusion of the small order fee for one-person orders makes it the app I use most. Still, because it's difficult to know which service will be cheaper once you start ordering for a group, I keep both downloaded and will opt for Uber Eats if it's more affordable.

Read more: Best food delivery service: DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and more compared

Now playing: Watch this: Food delivery apps compared: DoorDash vs. Uber Eats Angela Lang/CNET

While both apps charge a small order fee if your subtotal falls below a specific minimum, DoorDash often has a lower order minimum than Uber Eats, meaning the small order fee is typically excluded if you're only ordering a single item. So, DoorDash tends to be the cheaper option for small orders.

Angela Lang/CNET

Both apps offer promotions, but Uber Eats has some pretty useful ones. For instance, they're constantly offering free and 99-cent delivery fees for various restaurants. Additionally, for select restaurants, your delivery fee will be waived if you share your driver with a customer near you.

Which app is cheaper? A full breakdown of fees, promos and subscription services

When I started comparing these apps, I was immediately curious whether one was more affordable than the other. DoorDash and Uber Eats charge a delivery fee, a service fee and, occasionally, a small order fee. Delivery fees vary with time of day and restaurant distance.

DoorDash's service fees are typically equivalent to 10 to 11% of the order subtotal, while Uber Eats' run as much as 15%. If your subtotal falls below a certain amount, you'll be charged a small order fee of $2 to $3. In my experience, DoorDash's order minimum is lower than Uber Eats, but this varies by location.

While I thought a lower service fee would make DoorDash consistently cheaper than Uber Eats, I was wrong.

When I ordered two California burritos from a local Mexican restaurant about 2 miles away, the final cost on DoorDash was $3 more than Uber Eats. Yet, prices fluctuate depending on the time of day, and I ordered my burritos within the nonpeak hours of 2 to 4 p.m.

, so I checked what they would've cost during the busier hours of lunch and dinnertime. At lunch, Uber Eats was pricier than DoorDash because the delivery fee increased by $9, but at dinner, the delivery fee went back down and DoorDash was the pricier option again.

Viva Tung/CNET

Costs also change with restaurant distance, so I checked what my total would've been if I ordered from a Mediterranean restaurant a half a mile away from me, and a Mexican restaurant 4 miles away from me. If I ordered two falafels from the Mediterranean restaurant, DoorDash always would've been $5 more than Uber Eats, because Uber Eats has an exclusive 99-cent delivery fee for this restaurant.

Viva Tung/CNET

As for ordering two burritos from the Mexican restaurant, DoorDash was only a little cheaper at nonpeak hours and dinner time. Yet, at lunchtime, DoorDash was significantly less expensive than Uber Eats because its delivery fee decreased by $4.

Viva Tung/CNET

At the end of the day, there isn't one service that's consistently cheaper than the other. Prices change in unexpected ways depending on when you place your order and restaurant distance. Additionally, as the Uber Eats 99-cent delivery fee shows, both apps offer promotions that can end up making one a lot cheaper than the other.

If you're only ordering for yourself, DoorDash's frequent exclusion of the small order fee will most ly make it the more affordable option. Once you start ordering for more than one person, it's nearly impossible to know which app will be cheaper. I recommend keeping both apps downloaded and checking each before ordering.

If you plan on using these apps frequently, both offer $10-a-month subscription services with no delivery fees. DashPass from DoorDash gives members lowered service fees on orders above $12, while Eats Pass on Uber Eats offers a 5% markdown on orders over $15. Chase Sapphire Reserve card holders get DashPass at no additional cost for two years.

DoorDash's menu layout and customer support are unmatched

When I first opened DoorDash and Uber Eats, they looked pretty similar. They both have filter options at the top and icons to find specific items fast food. As I began scrolling through restaurants, I d how the thumbnails on Uber Eats gave plenty of information on pricing, type of food, and ratings without taking up too much of the screen. 

In contrast, DoorDash just displays the restaurant name, delivery time and fee, only giving you more information when scrolling down. However, any doubts I had about DoorDash's interface were quelled by its user-friendly menu.

Both use an infinite scroll with a navigation bar at the top, but DoorDash also allows you to switch into a category view that sorts items into groups “Appetizers” and “Dinner.” I'm a fan of this option because I how it allows me to quickly find items, without having to scroll through an entire menu.

I also appreciate that DoorDash provides more personalized customer service with phone numbers, live chat and a comprehensive FAQ page. While Uber Eats also answers many frequently asked questions, it doesn't have a chat option.

Angela Lang/CNET

DoorDash and Uber Eats have nearly identical checkout processes

After customizing your order and adding it to your shopping cart, you may add specific drop-off instructions and can tip your driver during checkout or after your food has been delivered. Both services have received backlash over how they treat driver's tips, so one way to ensure your tip makes it to your driver is to place some cash at your doorstep. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Both accept credit cards or Apple Pay for iOS users, while Uber Eats also takes Venmo and Uber Cash. DoorDash also takes Google Pay if you use Android. 

DoorDash and Uber Eats are also offering a no-contact delivery option in light of the pandemic. Check out the full video for my reactions on how my food arrived, but, overall, I was pretty happy with how things looked once they made their way over to me.

Support your local restaurants

These apps are a convenient way to discover new restaurants, but it's important to note that they can also charge restaurants 15- to 30% commission fees. So, once you come across some top-notch restaurants on these apps, try to place an order directly through them, because that is the most effective way to support the restaurants near you.

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Uber Eats vs Postmates – What is Better to Make Money?

The top food-delivery service isn’t Uber Eats or Postmates

Looking to earn some extra? Are you into driving and want to earn some extra when driving? Here is a quick Uber Eats vs Postmates comparison, both popular options when it comes to the delivery system.

If only there were some other way to do this. Right?

Now, this is the point where all of you who are looking to make money, get to swoop in, and take advantage of this opportunity. With the rising popularity of gig economy jobs, platforms Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash are becoming more common.

Therefore, the question now arises: which one is better to make money?

While there are many of these platforms out there, we’ve pitted two of the best against each other: Uber Eats vs Postmates.

Once you’re done with this article, you’ll know exactly which one is a better side hustle for you.

What is Postmates and How Does it Work?

Postmates is another American company offering food and other goods delivery service. It was founded in 2011 and has headquarters in San Francisco, California.

As of April 2019, Postmates operated in more than 3,500 US cities and was available to almost three-quarters of all US households. It’s safe to say that they’ve got good coverage.

Essentially, Postmates works the same way as Uber Eats. You install the app, sign up, browse through the restaurants, place your order, and have your food delivered.

However, there are slight differences. There are more choices and variety with Postmates. The waiting time is longer since the driver places the order. You also have the option of tipping your driver.

Furthermore, another significant difference is that Postmates is not necessarily limited to food. Even though primarily it delivers food only, you can have other stuff delivered as well.

For instance, you can order groceries or have your clothes picked up from the dry cleaners. You’ll find all sorts of restaurants and shops available and not just big brands.

It might not seem that different for customers, but the experience is quite different for drivers. With Postmates, drivers have slightly more work cut out for them.

They have to place the order themselves, sometimes call customers to ask about substitutes, or make the payment for the order at the restaurant.

Other than that, it also takes slightly longer to start delivering for Postmates. The signing up process is pretty similar. You have to download the separate Postmates driver app.

Then, you will have to enter your basic information. If you pass their criteria, a Postmates representative will contact you for further details.

Finally, after everything is approved, you’ll receive your Postmates card and bag, and you’ll be all set to start delivering.

What is Uber Eats and How Does it Work?

As you can probably tell by the name, Uber Eats falls under the parent organization Uber, a popular ridesharing service.

Uber Eats was founded in 2014 when the whole food delivery business was really picking up. It wasn’t the first one in the market, but it has quickly become one of the most popular platforms.

If you’ve already used the Uber app, you’d be familiar with the Uber Eats app as well. It works much the same way.

For those who are totally new to it, here’s how it works. Once you’ve installed the app and set up your account, you open the app. You are immediately presented with a list of restaurants delivering through Uber Eats in your area.

You can browse around each place, see the menus, prices, deals, etc. When you’ve decided on an item, you can simply add it to your cart and place the order.

After that, you can track your order from the moment the restaurant receives it till the moment it reaches your door. The payment is all done through the app, and there’s no physical exchange of cash.

That was for customers. How does it work for the drivers?

We’ll get into it in more detail in a while, but we’ll tell you a little bit about it. For the drivers, there’s a separate Uber Eats Driver app.

You need to install this app and enter information your social security number. This is used to run a background check on you.

Then, if you clear that and meet all their driver requirements, you can start delivering. All you have to do is pick up the order and deliver it.

Immediately after the delivery, your earnings for that delivery run is deposited in your account.

Now that you have a basic idea in mind about how Uber Eats and Postmates work, we can get down to discussing the real difference between Postmates and Uber Eats.

Which pays more? Which has better tips? What are their requirements?

We’ll cover everything so that you know exactly which one will work best for you and help you make the most money.

When you’re wondering which is better to make money, it’s not just the pay rate that counts. There are various other factors that influence which is the better platform. Therefore, we’ll discuss different aspects of delivery service and see how both the platforms perform.

Driver Requirements

Before you start delivering, you first need to make sure you fulfill all the driver requirements. Both platforms have their own set of requirements, which are necessary for various safety and legal reasons.

For Uber Eats, you need to meet the minimum working age requirements of that city. This could be different from place to place, but usually, it’s 18 or 19 years.

You’ll also need a driver’s license and at least one year of driving experience. Furthermore, you should also be able to carry some cash.

Additionally, you’ll also go through a background check, but that’s done on both platforms. Other than that, Postmates has only one requirement that you need to be at least 18 years old.

Vehicle Requirements

There are requirements not just for you but for your vehicle as well. Uber Eats requires that your car must be from 1998 or later. The vehicle’s insurance should be valid and up to date.

You should have proof of your vehicle’s registration as well. In the case of a scooter, it has to have a motor of at most 50cc.

If you plan on using your bike for the deliveries, you just need to carry your government-issued ID. Now, on the other hand, Postmates has no vehicle requirements.

See Related: 16 Best Jobs for Introverts


If you meet all the requirements, you can proceed to installing the app and registering yourself. You have to enter your basic information, after which it takes some to get verified. Once it’s all verified, you are notified, and you can start delivering.

Uber Eats takes a couple of days, while Postmates takes slightly more time. This is because Postmates sends you their card and bag, which you need for the deliveries.

See Related: 17 Best Part-Time Jobs

Placing the Order

All the restaurants on Uber Eats are partners with the platform. Whenever a customer places an order, it immediately goes to the restaurant as well as to a nearby delivery rider.

Therefore, when the delivery rider reaches the restaurant, all he has to do is pick up the order. Usually, these restaurants are quite fast and have the order all ready to go.

It takes a bit longer with Postmates. On this platform, there are lots of restaurants and shops, but they’re not all necessarily partnered with Postmates.

When a customer places an order, sometimes it goes directly to the restaurant and sometimes to the delivery guy. In the former case, it’s a similar situation as Uber Eats.

If the order went to the delivery guy, that means he has to place the order, wait for it to get ready, and then deliver it. As you can imagine, this takes a bit more time than Uber Eats.

Both platforms deal with all the payment through the app, but Postmates is slightly different. Remember that card we keep mentioning that Postmates deliverers receive?

Well, when an order is not prepaid, the delivery guy uses that Postmates card to pay for the order. Postmates loads it with the exact amount needed for the order.

Delivering the Order

Once the order is ready, it’s time to deliver it. There’s not much difference in the exact delivery process. The difference lies in where the delivery is made.

For Postmates, it’s a straight doorstep delivery. Regardless of anything else, you have to deliver the food to their house. If you run into some coded gate or security, you can call the customer and ask them to let you in.

In Uber Eats, it varies from place to place. Some cities will have the option of doorstep delivery, which is, then, the same as Postmates.

However, in some cities, you only have to deliver to the curbside. When you reach a curbside near the customer, the customer gets a notification and comes to take the order themself.

Curbside deliveries are much easier for drivers as they don’t get their car and look for the customer’s home. Moreover, they don’t have to look for parking spaces either.

Besides that, some Postmates orders don’t require delivery at all. Postmates allows customers to place an order and pick it up themselves to avoid the delivery fee.

See Related: 11 Ways to Make Money with Your Bike


The exact rates can vary from place to place and situation to situation. However, we’ll try to give you a rough idea regarding how much do Postmates deliverers make and how much do Uber Eats delivery drivers make.

Uber Eats fees comprises of four things:

  • Drop-off fee
  • Pick-up fee
  • Mileage fee
  • Time fee

The pick-up and drop-off fee is somewhere between one and two dollars. The time fee is usually around $0.20, and the mileage fee is around $0.60 per mile.

Uber Eats deducts around 25% to 35% as their own profit cut. Considering all this, you can expect to earn somewhere between $8 to $12 per hour.

For Postmates, drivers start out with a basic $1.35 per order. Then, each minute they have to wait earns them $0.10, and each mile traveled an additional $1.03. They also get tips from customers.

You can earn more on both platforms by working during rush hours. During these times, both platforms offer higher pay as an incentive to the drivers.

See Related: 12 Best Rental Business Ideas

Pros and Cons

A good way to sum up our Uber Eats vs Postmates discussion would be to look at some pros and cons lists for both platforms.

Pros of Uber Eats

  • Flexible hours and days
  • No limit on the number of hours you can work
  • Can get your earnings instantly instead of waiting for a month
  • Can work for Uber as well as Uber Eats together
  • Cash bonuses on completing a certain number of deliveries at a certain time
  • Referral bonuses and discounts
  • Very little waiting time
  • Quick and simple delivery process

Cons of Uber Eats

  • Sometimes it takes time to check an order at the restaurant
  • No tips
  • Strict driver and vehicle requirements
  • Takes time to find parking space and the house

Pros of Postmates

  • More restaurants equal to more orders
  • Total freedom over your work schedule
  • No strict requirements
  • Can withdraw your earnings instantly any time
  • Available in most areas
  • Postmates card makes it easy to pay for the order

Cons of Postmates

  • Have to wait quite a bit
  • Some orders are hard and complicated
  • Finding parking and customer’s house add to the total time

Check out our full list of the top delivery apps to work for and earn money.


The on-demand food delivery business is no joke. It can be tough at times, and the customers might not always be nice. However, it does have a lot to offer. If you’re looking to make some extra money, this is where you want to be. 

While there are a lot of options out there, Uber Eats and Postmates are two of the best. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, which we have discussed in detail in our Uber Eats vs Postmates comparison.

Ultimately, a lot of it will come down to you only. Where you live, and your preferences will play a big role in deciding which platform is the one for you. 

Uber Eats isn’t available in all US cities, so in that case, Postmates will be the only option for you. Similarly, if you don’t want to go through all the waiting time, Uber Eats will be much better for you. 

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The Best Food Delivery Apps for 2021

The top food-delivery service isn’t Uber Eats or Postmates

App-based food delivery is a popular way to get a quick and easy meal. While food delivery was limited to certain types of restaurants for years, services Uber Eats and Grubhub have made it easy to get food delivered to your door.

With food delivery apps, you can order from your favorite restaurants simply by pressing a few buttons. Contact-less delivery options can also help cut down the need to stand at the door and wait. We’ve gathered all the essential info for the best food delivery apps for 2020.

We’ve also found some of the best recipe apps if you decide to make your own meal.

Take a look at our list of the best iPhone apps and Android apps for more great downloads.

Grubhub (iOS/Android)

The Grubhub app is available for both iOS and Android. You simply enter your location and Grubhub will show you all of the restaurants in your area. You can search by cuisine type (fast food) or by a specific menu item (cheeseburger), making it easy to find your next meal. You can also save delivery locations, such as work or home, to speed up the process.

Availability: Grubhub is available in more than 3,200 U.S. cities and London.

Fee: The app is free to use, though some restaurants may charge a delivery fee and have a minimum order amount. GrubHub+ is a service where participating restaurants offer unlimited deliveries for a $10 per month subscription.

Coronavirus: Grubhub now offers contact-free delivery, including an order pickup option for people who are more comfortable picking up the food themselves. Customers can select the delivery option at checkout and instruct the driver to leave food at the door, in the lobby, or wherever the customer prefers.

Download or order here

Doordash (iOS/Android)

DoorDash is similar to GrubHub in that you can order from local restaurants, and a delivery driver will bring your meal to you. DoorDash isn’t as widely available as GrubHub, but it’s a great option and the app is easy to use.

Availability: DoorDash is available in 800+ cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Atlanta, Seattle, Boston, New York, and Chicago, among others.

Fee: The fee varies by restaurant. The price typically includes the cost of your meal, as well as tax, delivery fees, and an optional tip. Some restaurants charge additional service fees.

Apple Pay is accepted.

You can sign up for a $10 monthly subscription called DashPass, which provides a “$0 delivery fee and reduced service fees for subscribers when ordering $12 or more from any DashPass-eligible restaurant.”

Coronavirus: DoorDash offers contact-free delivery to customers as the default option.

Download or order here

UberEats (iOS/Android)

If you trust Uber to drive you safely around the city, maybe you’ll trust them to deliver your sandwiches. The UberEats app is a standalone delivery app that is currently available in many cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles.

While UberEats and Uber are different apps, they share many of the same features, such as estimated delivery times and cashless transactions. UberEats is an excellent option for availability, even in smaller cities.

The app also gets high marks for usability and browsing friendliness.

Availability: Covers 500+ cities in 24 countries, including Amsterdam, Austin, Baltimore, Singapore, Tokyo, Portland, and a host of other locations peppered throughout the globe.

Fee: UberEats charges a service fee of 15% of an order’s subtotal, and there is a small order fee for orders less than a certain amount (usually $10). Fees may vary restaurant and location. UberEats has a $10-per-month Eats Pass subscription that provides $0 delivery and 5% off orders over $15. Gift cards are also available.

Coronavirus: In addition to instituting contact-less deliveries, Uber Eats is providing delivery personnel with more sanitization options and materials, as well as instituting other initiative to help provide assistance and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Download or order here

Postmates (iOS/Android)

Postmates is a little different than the other food delivery services on our list. First off, you can get a lot more than food. Postmates is a delivery service that will pick up just about anything from just about anywhere and deliver it to your doorstep, even delivering alcohol.

Availability: Postmates is currently available in more than 4,200 cities throughout the U.S. in all 50 states and D.C.

Fee: There’s a fee added to every order, and during peak delivery times there may be additional Blitz Pricing fees added as well. Postmates also offers an “Unlimited” service for $10 a month, which lands you free delivery from select stores and restaurants on orders of more than $12.

Coronavirus: Postmates offers contact-free delivery choices and encourages customers to report if their delivery person appears unwell. The company set up a Fleet Relief Fund to help employees with COVID-19 medical expenses.

Download or order here

Instacart (iOS/Android)

Instacart is a grocery delivery app helps you shop online and get your groceries delivered from neighborhood stores, sometimes within the hour — or you can pick up your order at the store.

Just add items to your cart and a shopper will put your order together.

You can get anything from groceries and produce to liquor and household items from more than 20,000 retailers in North America, including Aldi, Publix, Costco, H-E-B, Wegmans, Lucky, Smart & Final, Safeway, Stater Bros, Petco, and CVS.

Availability: Instacart delivers from 25,000 grocery stores in 5,500 cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago, Austin, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, and many others across the U.S. and Canada.

Fee: Retailers set the prices of items delivered on Instacart — sometimes they match in-store prices and sometimes not. Some stores opt for a flat percentage to cover the cost of the service.

Delivery fees depend on the size of your order and the delivery time, and you will get the exact fee in advance during checkout. Delivery fees start at $4, but there may be other associated fees, a busy pricing fee.

Instacart also has an Express membership that provides free delivery on orders $35 or more.

Coronavirus: Instacart has instituted a Leave at my door delivery option so customers can limit contact with delivery personnel during the pandemic.

Download or order here (iOS/Android) is another delivery service that goes beyond the menu. You can get lunch, groceries, a bottle of wine, or even get your dry cleaning with this app. Similar to Grubhub and Seamless, doesn’t charge you a fee to use its service. Instead, the company makes its money by taking a small percentage of your pre-tip subtotal.

Availability: More than 12,000 merchants in 100 cities around the U.S.

Fee: The app is free to use, but restaurants may charge a delivery fee and have an order minimum. There is a reward program to collect points through repeated use.

Download or order here

goPuff (iOS/Android)

While many of the food-delivery apps work as a middleman between restaurants and customers, goPuff operates more a digital convenience store. GoPuff offers everything from phone chargers and bathroom tissue to six-packs of your favorite beverages — it will even deliver vaporizers, for those so inclined. You can scroll through the service’s robust database of items here.

Availability: GoPuff is available throughout the United States, but has a particularly strong presence in more than 150 Southern and Midwest cities and areas. They’re also continuing to grow into new locations.

Fee: The app is free to use, but goPuff charges $2 for delivery. They offer a $6-per-month membership where you can get free delivery.

Download or order here

ChowNow (iOS/Android)

many food apps, ChowNow provides digital tools from restaurant websites.

But the app’s dual approach also reaches customers directly through the ChowNow app, allowing people to order from various restaurants in one mobile location.

The ChowNow app lets you search the food type you’re craving or the partnering restaurants nearby. This app is user-friendly and offers helpful information when helping decide on a meal.

Availability: This app is in many US cities, especially large ones New York, Chicago, LA, Seattle, Denver, Portland, Atlanta, and Dallas.

Fee: The pricing of ChowNow varies depending on the restaurant you’re ordering from and its location. Once you decide on a restaurant, ChowNow will inform you of the exact fees that the restaurant will charge.

Download or order here

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