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Top 10 things to look for in a food delivery service

Top10.com Staff
food delivery service
Food delivery is deliciously on the rise. Whether you are busy at work, at home, or somewhere in between, more and more Americans are discovering the convenience of these efficient services as a means of eating more satisfying and tasty meal options. But not all food delivery services were created equal. So before you click that order button, check out 10 features you’ll want to inquire about.

Top 10 Things to Scope Out When Trying Out a Food Delivery Service

1. Good customer service

Problems come up. I get it. The question is, how do you deal with those problems when they arise. A good food delivery service (or any service for that matter) will have responsive, competent, friendly, and available customer service reps there to help you when things go wrong. Did your order get misplaced? Extra surcharge you’re not sure why it’s there? Did your food come late? Did you get the wrong order? Whatever the issue, a dedicated customer service team can mean the difference between a small inconvenience and a complete fail.

2. Low minimum order amount

Here’s a major pain. You are having a crazy day at work. Deadlines are coming fast, and emails are whizzing past your eyes. And worst of all, you are hungry. Wisely you decide to order yourself some takeout. You pull up a service, choose a restaurant, browse the menu, and select a delectable dish to dine on. You put it in your cart and press deliver, and...nothing. You haven’t reached the minimum order limit to be eligible for delivery. Not only have you wasted precious time during your workday, but you’re STILL HUNGRY. Before you even start the process, make sure to check out the minimum order policy. This way, there are no surprises come checkout.

3. Fair and straightforward tipping policy

And while you’re checking out policies, it’s a good idea to see what the tipping policy is for a given food delivery service. Tipping is generally an optional thing. But many services set tipping as the default, along with a specified amount. Find out what the tipping policy is and also how that works for the drivers themselves. Do drivers get the tips? Are they part of their salary? Who’s actually getting that money? It may change the way you dip into your pocket.

4. Delivery time guarantees

This is a super important one because nobody wants to wait around for hours when they’re hungry (only to receive cold food, yuck). Does the service give or guarantee delivery times? What happens if or when they’re late? Is there reimbursement? This may come back to the first point, having good customer service. But it’s also a simple enough thing to check out on your own.

5. Delivery tracking

This is a fab feature that every food delivery service should have. Delivery tracking or order tracking allows you to see exactly where your food is at any given time. Using GPS tracking, delivery services can give you real-time information about how long your food will take to arrive. You can also get updates, depending on the service, when your order has been processed, when it’s left the restaurant, etc.

6. The types of fees involved

After the quality of service, this is probably the biggest element of food delivery services to consider. The types and amounts of fees that are being charged will certainly change the way you approach your takeout orders. What fees are being charged? Are there hidden fees, or is the company straight up about what they’re charging (I do so despise shady business practices)? Common fees include delivery itself, service fees, any applicable taxes, and tipping.

Check out if these fees are percentages of the order or a flat rate. Also, find out if the fees change at different times of the day (additional charges for after-hours, for example). And of course, you’ll need to find out how much each fee is. A company that charges a $5 delivery fee and then an additional $5 service and handling fee is essentially worse than the company that only charges you a $7 delivery fee. So do your homework before you make your comparisons.

7. Group ordering

Group ordering is a great way to save money on delivery and other fees. Plus, it’s more fun to eat with friends. So check with the food delivery service to see if it allows for group orders. More than that, see if you can get a discount for ordering in bulk. Many food delivery services do offer a free meal, a percentage off your total, or other incentives for ordering more food. Generally, you can easily get a group together to order when working at an office.

If you’re ordering at home, you might want to consider ordering more than one meal to save for the next day’s lunch or dinner. This way, you can still get the discounted rate on bulk ordering even if you’re eating alone.

8. Promos, vouchers, and discounts

Speaking of discounts, find out what kinds of deals this food delivery service has to offer. Most of the big-name brands will have a whole slew of promotions and discounts that you can take advantage of on any given day. For example, Uber Eats, Seamless, and PostMates all have popular deals like free delivery, $5 off your orders over $15, or one free meal when you order 5.

The promos change periodically, but you can find deals on any given day. Food delivery services also give additional discounts and promo codes to their frequent customers. So check your email for additional deals you can tap into.

9. Loyalty programs

What about a loyalty program? Many food delivery services will offer a loyalty program to return customers. This is a fun and easy way to earn some free food. Generally, the way these programs work is that you receive loyalty points for every dollar spent or meal order. Then you can collect these points and use them to pay for future meals. So, essentially you are getting free food just for ordering lunch.

10. Positive online reviews

Lastly, you want to check out a food delivery service’s reputation if this is your first experience with the brand. Before you order, read a few of the online reviews. Now, remember that you’ll always find negative reviews, even for the best companies and services. So take this with a grain of salt. In general, look for a food delivery service where the majority of its reviews paints them in a positive light. Look for reviews that showcase a company’s fast delivery times, friendly and helpful customer support, and fair and honest practices. Then you know you’re dealing with a quality food delivery service and not some hack job out of a guy’s garage.It’s also helpful to find a food delivery service with big, clear pictures of the food. After all, you want to drool a little over your meal before you order it. And if there are customization options, well, that’s the cherry on top.

Food Delivery Services: Bringing Home the Bacon

Food delivery services are changing the way consumers eat entirely, offering a more convenient solution with more options and flexibility as well. Check out these online reviews of the best food delivery services that deliver to your area, and give your tastebuds the party they’ve been waiting for!

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.