Not that long ago, there really wasn’t an option for food delivery besides the usual pizza guy. We had that brief stint of, what I felt was, one bike messenger guy running food around downtown. Then Gulf Stream Delivery starts up, not long after that they were bought out, and in came the big companies. Now every time I go to a restaurant, there’s always at least one food delivery person hanging out waiting for their order. Now the question is: with so many delivery services who do I order from, who has the best options, and isn’t it expensive? We’re going to answer all of those for you! What we did was order from all of the food delivery services that really have their feet set, meaning you see their names all over or they have made some splash with marketing. We went through everybody’s restaurant options and decided to go with Cafe Italia. Most of the services had them, they were a good distance away, and not crazy in price. There was one app that didn’t have them so we substituted in Pasta Co. on 2 orders which was right across the street, so equal distance and around equal price. Then we took note as to the options, what the process was like, and how much it actually costs. Here’s how it went…
GULF COAST DELIVERY
I tend to get this company confused with Gulf Stream Delivery, the names are basically the same, the website looks the same, lots of similar restaurants, they actually might be the same. As for apps, they have the least flashy app but definitely make up for it in restaurant options. They also seem to be the most consistent in price, cheapest delivery fee by $2–it is a sliding fee and the farther the place the higher the price. It does have to be on the opposite end of town before it hits the $5 range. They don’t text you like some of the others, but the app will give you alerts. You can just order and forget about it and they will promptly get you your food. I ordered the chicken parm from Past Co. for $9.59 with a delivery fee of $2.99 the total with tax and tip came to $15.87.
A favorite for a lot of people. This is one of the bigger delivery services and they have a well-designed app to show they mean business. But I will say it is kind of limited in terms of restaurant options. Within a second of ordering I received a text from my delivery driver letting me know I ain’t got no problem, she’s on the motherfucker. They do keep you up to date with your order through the app, letting you know everything going on, and if they have any questions they’ll text you (even if you stated in the order what you wanted). This company loves to throw out free delivery which really helps because, if not, they are easily the most expensive. I’m also not a huge fan of them not letting you see the total ‘til after it’s ordered. Then they add on a suggested tip (which you can change), but I’ve easily had the tip and service fee almost equal the total. Pasta Trio from Cafe Italia was $12.99 and even with free delivery it still came out to $21.51.
This one has been my main go to—I like the app, love the photos. They have someone go around taking photos of the food so you’re looking at actual food photos, not just stock pictures, which rocks! Most seem to have a delivery fee of $5, and they’re no different, although no service fee which is nice. You will get some free delivery notifications every now and then from these guys as well. Once ordered they’re pretty quick on the texting, letting you know when your order is in, giving you that warm fuzzy “everything is going to be ok” feeling. Decided to go with the other Pasta Trio version from Cafe Italia which was $12.99 and without free delivery, it came out to $22.06.
Grubhub happens to be the nations leading online mobile takeout ordering marketplace, and I had limited knowledge of Eat24, but I was pretty damn positive they were the same company. Everything looked exactly identical, and even the restaurants they have listed are the same. After a little research it turns out they are; Eat24 is one of their brands so I’m grouping these two together. A nice easy app, but at first I was not excited about their options. Scrolling down I saw lots of Subway. It did have a handful of local places and our test restaurant, so I went ahead and placed an order. Didn’t get a text from my driver, which isn’t a let down for me. I’m not a needy person and I don’t need that kind of reassurance. I did notice they had a $5.99 delivery fee which is $1 more than everyone else plus the sales tax for them was somehow higher. I ordered the fried calamari at $7.99 and the total came out to $18.16.
These are the guys who came in and took over Gulf Stream, and they did a nice transition into it, going from Gulf Stream to Bitesquad. The app is simple and clean with a lot of options. It’s nice to see the restaurants are overly local rather than the chains taking up all the space. SPID restaurant row gets more than enough business already. It might be a toss up on who has more options, Bitesquad or Gulf Coast Delivery. Once I placed my order I didn’t get a text ‘til the driver was almost at my place, so they’re not going to blow up your phone with updates if that’s what you’re looking for. I ordered lasagna from Pasta Co. which was $8.49, they have a scaling delivery fee so it’s dependent on how far the restaurant is from you. In this case, it was only $2.99 but it can go up to $4.99. The total came out to $16.55.
There seemed to be a lot of hype behind this one. They really used all the marketing avenues they possibly could, so I was pretty interested to see what they would be like. I download the app, open it up, start scrolling and I see Denny’s, Hooters, Popeyes, McDonald’s, etc, so not off to a good start. The options were severely lacking, and they had maybe only a handful of local places. I start looking for the places I’m ordering from and not one of them were in there. Started going into categories thinking I probably missed something and still weak-ass options! So I closed it out, deleted the app, and decided it’s not worth it, the end.
After killing a whole lotta Italian food, I started to go over all the options. They were all speedy, and I tried to order them at the same time. I didn’t want speed to be a factor because that also depends on the restaurant, but I do know they were all prompt and each one got the order correct. I even got caught! A couple of the drivers showed up to the store and my doorstep at the same time so I had a little explaining to do. No matter what, you’re looking at easily $10 more for delivery. My least favorite was probably Favor, but I’ll still order from them when they send some deal my fat ass can’t pass up. And honestly, if their billing didn’t make me feel like I’m getting played, I would use them more often. My favorites were Gulf Coast, Bitesquad and Waitr; they had the best selection of restaurants, pricing isn’t bad and were all quick on the draw.