Online Food Ordering

As the weather gets colder and wetter, and the darkness sets in before we’re home from work we’ve been ordering in more often than in warmer months. Recently we’ve been made aware of several online ordering services that deliver to our neighborhood, including Foodler, SeamlessWeb, and GrubHub.

Have you used any of these? What are your thoughts?

NYC Takeout menu collage by Flickr user Shaninigans

So far I’ve only used GrubHub, but I liked that the site let me add in tip as a dollar amount or percentage of my total amount. No need to get out the calculator here—if you choose a percentage option they’ll calculate it for you. My complaint about GrubHub is that while many restaurants don’t charge for delivery, sometimes items are more expensive on the site than if you were to order from the restaurant directly. I reached out to GrubHub’s customer service (via the easy online chat function) and they indicated this shouldn’t be the case and that they would have their sales agent reach out to the restaurant in question (in this case, Himalayan Heritage) however it’s now several weeks later and some of the items are still more expensive than if you were to order directly from the restaurant.

There are a few discounts out there for those interested in trying these services. If you do check them out, please report back:

Save $10 off your first order at GrubHub by clicking here
25% off your order at SeamlessWeb using code DCHOLIDAYS (expires at midnight on Friday 12/11/2009)

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  1. 1

    FourthandEye says

    I used Grub Hub to order from Buca Di Beppo about two months back. Grub Hub's online menu definitely had higher prices for all the items than you'd find on the in-restaurant menu. I'd estimate around $2-$3 higher per item. Packaging and delivery fees are also added to the order.

    In total the order I made was probably ~$18 more than I would have spent on the food at the restaurant. However since beverages came out of my fridge rather than off an expensive drink menu that was a big source of savings and I probably broke even or better for the cost of the entire dinner.

    But the main motivation wasn't price. I just wanted to eat with my guests on the rooftop without having to cook.

  2. 2

    FourthandEye says

    Re: Tipping

    I do not tip on credit card for these sorts of services. In my mind tipping is for after a service is performed – not before. So I tip with cash on delivery. If there 20-30 minutes late the tip then reflects that…

  3. 3

    sheridan says

    I've used another online ordering/delivery service – and the charges haven't seen a higher price per item, but I do notice some iffy delivery charges. They also give out coupon codes frequently so it offsets that extra cost.

  4. 4

    Anonymous says

    I've used SeamlessWeb, and they promise to have the same prices for delivery that you would otherwise get from calling the restaurant directly. Only time prices might be higher is if DiningIn or some other delivery service is bringing the order.

  5. 5

    KimFromTheK says

    I wound up using the 25% off SeamlessWeb coupon last night and ordered in from Rumi. I really liked that I could choose a delivery time (I placed the order at 5 but didn't want the food until 8:30). The delivery guy arrived about 10 minutes after my requested time and the food was tasty.