Following the launch of Amazon Prime Now in June and the end of Favor and Caviar, Miami now has at least seven restaurant delivery services that drop food on your doorstep, including Postmates, GrubHub, Bitesquad, UberEats, Delivery Dudes, and Eat24. But because they all claim to be the best in what they do, it's become difficult to decide which service to use.
In hopes of resolving this modern dilemma, New Times tested all of these restaurant delivery services from our offices in Wynwood. Some charged big money and had big delays. Others were cheap and efficient. Numbers one and two do delivery as a sideline. Here's how the ranking came down:
Postmates connects customers with local couriers who order and deliver anything from any store or restaurant in South Florida. Using the mobile or web app, you can create a custom order. If the merchant's menu doesn't immediately pop up onscreen, you can request delivery by providing specific instructions. Though the delivery fee for Plus Partners is fixed at $2.99 or $3.99, it varies for all other customers depending upon location. Similar to Uber, it offers blitz pricing during peak hours, causing a temporary increase of the delivery fee. A 9 percent service fee is applied to all orders, which does not cover the tip for your courier.
With Postmates, the wait for a Della Bowls order was more than an hour and a half, though the food truck was parked only 0.4 miles from the New Times office. After 45 minutes, the first courier rejected the order, so I had to talk to customer service to be matched with another courier. Though the food arrived in good condition, the final price of the meal was not revealed until after delivery. Compared to the other services listed, Postmates was overpriced: It charged a hefty delivery fee of $6 (though the start and end locations were in Wynwood), a service fee of 9 percent, and an almost obligatory tip.
6. Delivery Dudes
With Delivery Dudes, you can place an order online or over the phone from restaurants in your area and pay the courier once he or she arrives. Delivery Dudes gives you the option to pay with cash and even provides a discount if you do. The standard cash delivery fee is $5, but for any credit card order, it's $7. If you're ordering with a group, Delivery Dudes can stop at multiple locations within their delivery range before completing your order. Each additional stop costs $5 and might extend the delivery time beyond the usual 45 minutes. Delivery Dudes is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and reopens at 5:30 to 11 p.m. on weekdays, but stays open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. All drivers are trained, uniformed, and equipped with thermals.
Delivery Dudes doesn't require a minimum order but demands a flat $5 fee for those paying in cash. Because the restaurant and end location were only 0.7 miles apart, the delivery fee seemed high. The food was delivered in an hour and 15 minutes, which exceeded the promised delivery time, but came exactly as ordered. Though the courier was friendly and called upon his arrival, he did not bring the food into the office, but rather had me meet him outside.
The food experts who brought you Yelp are giving restaurant delivery a go with Eat24. Through its website or on the app, you can browse from 1,468 restaurants in Miami, peruse menus, and place an order for pick-up or delivery. Once this is done, the order is sent to the restaurant. Restaurants themselves prepare and deliver. Eat24 also makes it easier to order food with friends by giving you the option to "share your cart" and split the check with other members of your group.
With Eat24, I had to place orders at six restaurants before finding one that delivered to the Wynwood area. There was a delivery minimum of $10, which seemed reasonable considering the price of the food on the menu, and it could easily be reached by ordering a wrap and a drink. The delivery fee was $4, which did not include the additional 15 percent tip. Through the Eat24 mobile site, I was able to track my order from the moment it was placed to when it was delivered: The food arrived in exactly 50 minutes.