It’s 8 p.m. and you’re lying in your room, wearing old sweatpants and an oversize T-shirt. The TV is on, Netflix is streaming, and there's no chance you're getting out of bed. In moments like this, food delivery services are a godsend: In a few clicks, dinner is served.
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.
GrubHub works with local restaurants to allow customers to order food up to 72 hours in advance or for ASAP delivery. Though the delivery fee for GrubHub can reach $7, it is set by each participating restaurant and would apply if you placed the order by phone directly with the eatery. Restaurants are obligated to match the prices on their menus with those of GrubHub, ensuring there are absolutely no markups on the prices you see online or on the app. Some restaurants require an order minimum of $10 to $20, while others allow you to place orders of any price. Though your credit card is charged when you order, some restaurants allow you to pay and tip the courier with cash.
GrubHub offers fewer restaurant options than Postmates. Though the delivery fee was half of that of Postmates, coming in at $3, the selection of quality restaurants was meager. After ordering a wrap from Green Berry and requesting delivery to Coral Gables, I was able to track the location of my order but had no direct connection to my courier. However, the food arrived in about an hour.
3. Bite Squad
Unlike most delivery companies, Bite Squad hires its own drivers and supplies them with uniforms and hot bags, helping to ensure that you get your food quickly and hassle-free. The company does not require order minimums or tips, though it provides customers with discounts if the cost of the order goes beyond a certain price. Using a five-step status checker, the app allows you to see when your order has been placed, sent to the restaurant, cooked, checked for quality, and picked up by a courier. You can also read Yelp customer reviews and look at pictures in just one click.
Like GrubHub, Bite Squad collaborates with few quality restaurants that deliver to the Wynwood area. While Postmates pairs with local eateries such as Coyo Taco and Zak the Baker, Bite Squad offers delivery from popular chains like Chili's and Earl of Sandwich. Despite that drawback, Bite Squad's delivery was on schedule, arriving in just 50 minutes in an insulated bag. The delivery fee was $1.99, which is significantly lower than those of the other delivery services listed.
UberEats is the newest delivery service to reach the Magic City, having launched July 12. Offering customers service from more than 100 restaurants in Miami, it delivers food orders any day between 8 a.m and midnight. Menu prices are guaranteed to match those of the restaurant. With UberEats, Uber drivers serve as couriers and work without a required tip. As of now, and for the next couple of weeks, there will be no delivery fee on food orders with UberEats, but they will eventually rise to $4.99. If you download the app and share a special code with your friends, you can receive $20 off your order. An additional 50 percent will be taken off your first two UberEats orders now through August 2.
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UberEats has proven to be one of the best delivery services in Miami due to its selection of restaurants and reliable service. Some eateries in Wynwood's delivery range included Della Bowls, Poké 305, the Fed, Zest, and Bachour Bakery & Café. After I placed my order, I was able to track my delivery in real time and see how it was affected by traffic through Uber's familiar map. The food arrived in about 35 minutes, which matched the expected delivery time.
1. Amazon Prime Now
By paying an Amazon Prime membership of $99 a year, customers can order from some of Miami's best restaurants with no delivery or service charge. Using the Prime Now website or app, they can see restaurant hours, view pictures of popular items, and track delivery services in real time. Amazon promises that prices are the same as those of the restaurants and ensures customers a complete refund if they find any marked-up item on Amazon's menu. With all of those benefits, it seems the only drawback to this service is that Amazon enforces a $20 minimum, which could be steep if you're eating alone.
Amazon Prime Now offers a list of 41 quality restaurants for delivery in the Wynwood area. The food arrived in 45 minutes without a delivery fee. Though I had to order more food than I wanted to meet the $20 delivery minimum, there was enough to take home and have leftovers for dinner. An additional $10 was taken off my first order using a promo code the app provided.