Get takeout from any restaurant, don’t worry if it doesn’t deliver.
Restlessly sitting in math class, my phone suddenly buzzes in my pocket. Your Postmates courier, Ellen, will drop off your food soon. ETA: 10 minutes. Smiling to myself, I pick up my pencil and refocus on the humongous equation being written on the board, content knowing that come lunch time a warm meal will be waiting for me in the front office.
Over the last five years, a plethora of food delivery services have popped up, promising your favorite meals from your favorite restaurants delivered right to you. Can’t find time to try that new restaurant? Want to mix up your lunchtime menu? Too lazy to leave your bed? No worries, log on and order up. It’ll be at your door in no time.
And I’ve tested and tried what are arguably the top three delivery services in the game.
First is the extremely well established Postmates hailing from San Francisco. Known by their cute, hipster bike logo, they deliver everything from steaks to school supplies.
Next is Bitesquad, a startup out of the Twin Cities, whose drivers wear green caps and drive green (as in environmentally sustainable) cars.
Lastly: Caviar, a relative newcomer recently acquired by Square (the company which allows us to pay for dance tickets by card). As its name implies, Caviar only features le creme-de-la-creme of independent restaurants: those with a Yelp review of four stars or higher.
I started off by ordering from Thrive, my favorite health-focused restaurant, with Postmates. As soon as I input my location, Postmates displayed their “Postmates plus” restaurants: those nearby featuring a $3.99 delivery fee. Placing my order, I used my friend’s referral code, granting him and myself $10 delivery credit and making my delivery free!
I had timed it so my smoothie would arrive at the beginning of lunch, and sure enough Ellen, my courier, was just arriving as class got out. The only flaw in their process was that I was unable to set my delivery time in advance, so I had to wait until exactly 30 minutes before lunch started to place my order in the middle of class.
Bitesquad was the exact opposite. After using their extensive search features, I carefully selected Caribbean restaurant Bongos Café. Despite not being open yet, I was able to place my order to be delivered at the beginning of lunch and forget about it for the time being.
Ten minutes before lunch, I got a text notification that my food was out for delivery, and next thing I knew it was waiting for me outside! Bitesquad was the most professional out of all the services I tested, however their website and app interface lacked pictures and was aesthetically unpleasing.
Caviar was the most hot-and-cold service of the week. While their interface blew me away with beautiful images and a multitude of search options, their delivery was lackluster at best.
I was excited to see that, as with Bitesquad, I could set my delivery time in advance. However, twenty minutes into English, my phone goes! Caviar is outside with my food 40 minutes early. This was ridiculous and I did not need 40 minutes to let my curry from Thaprachan Thai cool. Also to note, Caviar does have a $15 order minimum.
While none were perfect, there was a clear loser: Caviar. For larger groups and when ordering from distant restaurants, Bitesquad is the way to go, as they have much better options and generally have cheaper long distance delivery fees, along with the ability to order in advance. However, for a quick, nearby bite stick to Postmates with their referral bonus, which can easily make delivery free for multiple meals.
By Jacob Greene