DoorDash, Postmates Meal Delivery Costs up to Twice As Much As Pickup

Ordering takeout food for delivery might cost you twice as much as picking it up yourself, depending on the delivery service you use, according to a new study.

And it's not just the tip and the service fees that make delivery meals more expensive, the report from FinanceBuzz found this month. Menu prices on the apps also tend to be higher than what you find at the counter, it said. Fast Food Restaurant Open Now

DoorDash, Postmates Meal Delivery Costs up to Twice As Much As Pickup

The extra costs are highest on Postmates, where higher prices, service fees, and a tip for the worker delivering the food increased the cost of orders by 105% on average. DoorDash was the second-highest at 95%, while Grubhub came in third at 93%. Uber Eats had the lowest markup — but it was still 80%.

"While fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Chick-fil-A are traditionally seen as relatively inexpensive places to eat, it can cost $15 to $20 (or more) to get a $10 meal delivered instead of purchasing it in-store," the report said.

FinanceBuzz compiled its data by ordering food from various national restaurant chains on DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats. It then compared the prices of those orders with the same meal purchased for pickup. The orders were placed within 45 minutes of each other and delivered to the same location.

Both restaurants and delivery services tend to contribute to the markups and fees associated with delivery orders, and the extra costs have been a flash point between restaurants and the apps. Last spring, for example, DoorDash told restaurants that it would rank them lower on its homepage if they marked up costs for delivery orders.

"Restaurants make their own delivery menu pricing decisions, and the service fee we charge is set by us," a DoorDash spokesperson told Business Insider. Last year, DoorDash added a "pricing and fees" tab on restaurant pages within its app to provide a breakdown of the fees consumers pay on orders, the company said in a blog post.

An Uber Eats and Postmates spokesperson said that restaurants are also responsible for the menu prices that diners see on its app or website. Uber Eats owns Postmates. Gruhub said it is "committed to keeping consumer fees low while accounting for the real costs to provide on-demand delivery."

Chick-fil-A had the highest total markup of the restaurant chains that FinanceBuzz surveyed. Delivery orders from the fried chicken chain were between 82% and 149% more expensive than pickup, depending on which delivery service customers ordered from. Chains including Starbucks, Panda Express, and McDonald's, had more modest average markups.

Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI.

Delivery services got a boost early in the pandemic as customers ordered fast food and groceries for delivery. However, some consumers have since noticed the higher costs associated with delivery, from markups to tips for delivery workers.

One Instacart grocery customer complained about the service's extra costs on TikTok last year, saying she paid between 50 cents and $2 more per item through Instacart than she would have if she had shopped herself. With those markups, plus fees and a tip, $435 worth of groceries from Southern California supermarket chain Ralph's become a $513.77 order.

DoorDash, Postmates Meal Delivery Costs up to Twice As Much As Pickup

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