Food delivery apps have generated a massive transformation in food delivery over the last five years. What was once a Friday night tradition of calling in pizza delivery has turned into a $26.5 billion industry that offers fresh, hot meals from your favorite restaurants anytime and anywhere.
As COVID-19 shut down indoor dining and Americans began to quarantine, many turned to food delivery apps to support local restaurants and enjoy a great meal at home.
The increased traffic helped the food delivery industry grow 17 percent between 2019 and 2020, and many providers met future earning projections years in advance. Instacart surpassed its 2022 goals just three months after lockdown.
The convenience of ordering through an app with a massive variety of food and restaurant options continues to prove successful, and there’s a lot of market competition as a result.
Between DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and more, we wanted to know which is the best food delivery app in the U.S. and what about them consumers love.
We surveyed 1,500 Americans and learned:
- 3 in 10 Americans prefer DoorDash for their food delivery.
- 1 in 4 Americans prioritizes affordable delivery fees, while another 25 percent want restaurant variety.
- A majority of Americans spend less than $15 on their average food delivery order.
2021’s Best Food Delivery Apps
Americans have spoken and these are the most popular food delivery apps in the U.S. According to our survey, 30 percent of Americans favor DoorDash — a 30 percent lead over Uber Eats in second place.
1. DoorDash Is The Best Food Delivery App
According to our survey, 30 percent of Americans favor DoorDash — a 30 percent lead over Uber Eats in second place.
DoorDash secures its title as the best food delivery app in search volume, too. Google Search Trends shows a 67 percent lead in searches ahead of competitors Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Instacart. In fact, DoorDash is the most popular app in 48 out of 50 U.S. states and every major U.S. city.
When compared to other popular apps, DoorDash’s features and availability make it clear why they’re the best food delivery option.
- Partnered with 310,000 restaurants
- Available in 4,000 cities (the most of any app)
- $5.99 flat-rate delivery fee (other apps’ fees are variable)
- Average coupon savings of $12
2. Uber Eats Comes In Second For Best Food Delivery App
Uber Eats is the second most well-loved delivery service, with 21 percent of our respondents choosing this app. Uber Eats is also widely available, but only reaches 500 cities across the globe. It does offer a cheaper minimum delivery fee than DoorDash, but this can increase depending on your delivery time and distance.
Where Uber Eats really shines is in service. It boasts an under 30-minute average delivery time and partners with 320,000 restaurants — the most variety among its stiff competition.
- Partnered with 320,000 restaurants
- Available in 500 cities
- $4.99 variable delivery fee
- Average coupon savings of $15
3. Grubhub Earns Third Favorite Delivery App
Coming in third place is Grubhub, the oldest food delivery app among the top three. Founded in 2004, Grubhub now delivers to an impressive 1,200 cities in the U.S. and London. They also offer a huge variety of restaurants that set their own delivery fees — potentially offering a great deal for diners.
- Partnered with 300,000 restaurants
- Available in 1,200 U.S. cities and London
- Fees are variable and set by restaurants
- Average coupon savings of $11
The Worst Food Delivery App: Postmates
The least-favorite food delivery app in our survey was Postmates, with just 5 percent of respondents choosing it. That’s even fewer than the 9 percent of Americans who say they don’t use food delivery apps.
This may be in part because Postmates isn’t exclusively a food delivery app and can be used to deliver everything from groceries to office supplies. This also means they don’t actually partner with any restaurants.
- Partnered with 0 restaurants
- Available in 4,200 U.S. cities
- Variable percentage-based delivery fee and “Blitz Pricing” during busy hours
- Average coupon savings of $8
America’s Favorite Food Delivery App Features
Savings stay top of mind as 26 percent of Americans value affordable delivery fees above all else. Other cost-saving features, including coupon codes and discounts, are also highly valued, and 15 percent of respondents report they want coupon codes for their delivery.
Young adults ages 25–34 are the most cost-conscious, as 32 percent want affordable delivery fees and another 18 percent value discounts and coupon codes to enjoy a cheap night in.
55% of Americans Spend Less Than $15 For a Delivery Meal
A majority of Americans spend less than $15 on their average food delivery order, which isn’t a bad price for a restaurant meal. Though, when you consider the average user orders three times a month, this easy, $14 meal quickly becomes a $504 a year habit.
This cost also doesn’t account for tips or delivery fees. Considering a common $4 tip and $5.99 DoorDash delivery fee for each order, the average American may spend closer to $864 a year. It’s no surprise that customers are looking for discounts and affordable fees to cut costs.
Variety and Options Are Also Important
While most consumers prioritize their meal cost, 24 percent of our survey respondents are looking for a wide variety of restaurant options.
In fact, 54 percent of consumers choose a restaurant first, then choose which app to order from depending on the restaurant’s availability. When the average person has at least two food delivery apps downloaded on their phone, restaurant variety has a huge impact on sales.
This supports our finding that DoorDash and Uber Eats are the top food delivery apps, as they lead the competition with 310,000 and 320,000 restaurant partners respectively.
8 Other Great Food Delivery Apps to Try
The world of food delivery apps is huge, so you don’t just have to choose from the top three apps. Here are other great food delivery services that may be available in your area:
- Black and Mobile: Support local Black-owned restaurants with this Black-owned food delivery service app aiming to support underrepresented businesses.
- Caviar: Enjoy local favorites with city recommendations and even collections for health and dietary restrictions.
- Chowbus: Discover delicious and authentic Asian food in your city with Chowbus’ hand-picked restaurant selections.
- Delivery.com: Earn rewards with deliveries for food, essentials, and more. Fees vary by restaurant.
- goPuff: Order anything from snacks to household supplies a $1.95 flat-rate fee.
- Seamless: Available in most major U.S. cities with a $6 delivery fee.
- Seated: Seated aims to get new diners in upscale restaurants through rewards and savings opportunities, and it expanded into delivery in 2020.
- Slicelife: Support your favorite local pizzeria with Slicelife’s to-go and delivery options from over 12,000 independent pizza restaurants.
With a highly competitive market and a massive user-base, people have the power to choose the app that best meets their needs. Still, with a flat-rate delivery fee and a huge variety of restaurants, DoorDash earns the top spot as the best food delivery app.
This study consisted of three questions conducted by Coupon Chief through Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no fewer than 1,500 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. The survey ran in March 2021.