As two working parents during these interesting times, food delivery has become a lifeline. However, the more we learn about Grubhub, the less excited we are about using them. Here’s what we’ve learned thus far.

The Grubhub Facts

Based on the several sources, here’s a summary of fees that come out of the restaurant’s pockets:

  • 25-35% commission and delivery fees
  • Restaurant-specific promotions
  • Refunds: GrubHub has a no-questions-asked refund policy for reportedly incorrect orders
  • Phone Number SEO fees - Grubhub’s own phone number for a restaurant will often out-compete the actual restaurants takeout number. Though you talk to the restaurant directly, the restaurant will be charged a Grubhub fee

Not to mention, Grubhub acquired a lot of their competition, and is looking to merge with Uber Eats, possibly creating a monopoly in restaurant delivery.

You can view a screenshot at the Eater article where one restaurateur takes home only about one third of their Grubhub winnings. Though it’s hard to know if that day is typical or an outlier.

When I consider ordering from Grubhub

It’s not as cut and dry as ‘Grubhub is forever eeevviiill’. I’ve also learned:

For larger chains, that seem to promote their Grubhub relationship, I will probably continue to use Grubhub.

Finding local restaurants with online delivery

If you know the restaurant you want to order from google them and find their site. See how they would like to provide delivery. For Charlottesville, here’s a few local options I know about:

  • A few Charlottesville restaurants use Foodio to manage online ordering and delivery on their site. If you want to see Foodio’s clients, you can enter a Charlottesville address on their site. Foodio charges 5% of the order subtotal, on top of credit card processing for a white-label online experience. Clients include Belmont Pizza and Thai 99 II.

  • The College Inn seems to have its own little online delivery empire. If you want that ‘standard cheap college pizza’ experience that our kids seem to love…

  • Charlottesville29 has a list of restaurants and their dining at home options, including delivery. Their focus is not online delivery.

  • This Reddit Thread has additional posts and comments with more restaurant delivery & takeout options.

Please comment if you know more online delivery options, and I’ll update them here.


Doug Turnbull

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