Grubhub Review: Best Food Delivery Service?

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Published on: Nov 6, 2018

Advertised as the nation's leading online and mobile food ordering company, Grubhub promises to help connect local takeout restaurants with millions of diners and the food they love.

In fact, the website indicates their platform provides delivery or takeout from more than 85,000 restaurants in over 1,600 U.S. cities, in addition to London. Together, they promise to offer the largest selection of restaurants among the competition, with 423,000+ orders processed daily.

Just because Grubhub’s been around since 2004 and processes all of these orders each day, are they necessarily the best option for you? We’ll quickly walk you through everything we learned during our research.

How Does the Grubhub Work?

Whether using the Grubhub app or website, you’ll start by entering an address on the home screen, or by browsing by city, restaurant, or cuisine categories.

Based on your choices, you’ll see a list of restaurants that deliver to your address, along with recommendations based on what people near you are enjoying. Or, as their FAQ clarifies, “restaurants that are within a reasonable distance offering pickup.” Keep in mind that each restaurant determines their own delivery range, so you might notice that some will go farther than others.

Each listing will include an image, as well as:

  • A brief description (e.g., lunch specials, hamburgers, Chinese, Latin American, etc.)
  • Number of diner ratings
  • Average star rating
  • Overall pricing level (based on a metric ranging between one and five dollar signs)
  • Minimum order amount
  • Distance to your location

Using these criteria, you can further filter results based on whether or not they offer free delivery, delivery time available, if order tracking can be used, if the restaurant is currently open, price, and star rating.

GrubHub App ScreenshotsCredit: Grubhub Holdings Inc.

Clicking on a restaurant allows you to view the menu items available, their descriptions, and pricing. It's here that you can choose the quantity, delivery or pickup (if available), set a date and time (up to four days in advance), select options (protein, dressing, etc.), and leave special instructions.

Then, add your order to your bag and check out when you’re ready. You can pay using Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, eGift and credit cards, or cash, as well as using Venmo via the app.

After your order is submitted, Grubhub will send the details to the restaurant, who will confirm that your food is being prepped. They’ll also email you a receipt and text you a confirmation.

If you placed a pickup order, the restaurant will let you know when to expect the food to be ready, at which point you can grab it at your leisure. Make sure that you have an ID handy in order to verify you’re the order’s rightful owner.

If you placed an order for delivery, Grubhub offers real-time order tracking and push notifications via the app “so you know exactly when to dash to the door for your delicious meal.” You can also check the status by reaching out to the restaurant (their phone number is located in the confirmation email you received), or to the company’s support line.

If you choose to set up an account, Grubhub will save your history so you can see everything you’ve ordered in the past. This not only allows you to Express Reorder anything in just a few clicks (as well as make any adjustments you’d like), but you can also view and print receipts for expense tracking purposes

How Much Does Grubhub Cost?

According to Grubhub’s FAQ, “the restaurants we work with are contractually obligated to match the prices they have set on their menus.” However, if you opt for delivery instead of pickup, the restaurant might charge a delivery fee, which they set themselves and would apply even if you didn’t order through Grubhub.

However, most restaurants will have a minimum order requirement, which can vary widely depending on the establishment.

Along with your past order details mentioned above, you’ll also have the ability to save a credit card for future use to help make the process more streamlined.

If you run into any issues, Grubhub’s 24/7 customer support can be reached via phone at (877) 585-1085 or via live chat on their site.

A Look at Grubhub Customers Reviews

We encountered more than 470,000 combined user reviews between iTunes and Google Play at the time of our research, who had given Grubhub’s apps an average rating of about 4.6 stars. Compliments frequently referenced ease of use, low/no fees, and the wide selection of restaurants and dishes available.

On the other hand, the relatively few complaints tended to cite delivery issues (delays, aloof drivers, incorrect orders, etc.), functionality problems, and lack of available options. On both platforms, the company responded to much of this feedback.

There were another 1,000+ customer reviews on Yelp, where Grubhub held an average one-star rating, and a meaningfully higher average rating of three stars among 2,100+ reviews on Trustpilot. Again, most of these compliments and complaints were related to the company’s mobile app.

Grubhub vs. Other Online Food Delivery and Pickup Services

The HighYa team has written about many popular food delivery services and their competitors, including DoorDash, Caviar, Uber Eats, OrderUp (owned by the same company as Grubhub), and Postmates.

And after researching all of these services, we’ve found that choosing the best option fundamentally comes down to two factors: 1. Availability (the number of restaurants in your location), and 2. what you’ll pay:

Service Pricing Availability
Grubhub Free; each restaurant sets their own delivery fee, if any 85,000 restaurants in over 1,600 U.S. cities, as well as London
DoorDash Delivery fees vary; waived on orders $15+ 600+ U.S. cities and 110K restaurants
Uber Eats $4.99 delivery fee, add'l fees possible depending on the time Currently only available in 12 U.S. cities
Postmates $3.99 - $9.99 delivery fee per order; possible $1.99 small cart fee; Blitz pricing during busy times 25,000 partner merchants
Caviar 18% service fee; $1.99 delivery fee 20 U.S. cities (Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Greater Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Marin County, Orange County, the Peninsula, Philadelphia, Portland, Queens, Sacramento, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Seattle Eastside, Walnut Creek, DC)

Pulling all of these details together, should you go ahead and place an order through Grubhub?

Our Final Thoughts About Grubhub

While many of the services we’ve written about in the past offer free pickup, Grubhub’s no-fee structure and guarantee that you’ll pay the same prices as in-restaurant makes them the least expensive so far. As a result, if this is your top criterion, you won’t currently pay any less.

Grubhub has also been in business the longest among their online food delivery competitors, and they claim to provide access to the largest network, which consists of 85,000 restaurants in 1,600+ U.S. cities (and London).

However, if you’re looking for additional items, such as liquor and alcohol (or even Craigslist items if payment is arranged in advance), Postmates is one of the only games in town. Depending on the retailer your order from, your order total, and the time of day your order is placed, though, you could pay a hefty handful of fees.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while their apps seemed to come with mostly positive online customer feedback, Grubhub held a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 210+ customer complaints over the past three years, as of 8/20/18. Most related to ordering, delivery, and customer support issues, and all but 14 were answered by a company representative.

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