Food Delivery vs. Ritual App: Benefits at a Glance

These days, food delivery seems to get all the love. But while the convenience of food delivery can be all too tempting, it comes at a steep cost—steeper, in fact, than you probably already realize.
Megan Ballingall
June 9, 2022

It's a question as old as time: to order delivery, or get takeaway? These days, food delivery seems to get all the love. But while the convenience of food delivery can be all too tempting, it comes at a steep cost—steeper, in fact, than you probably already realize. 

Mobile ordering and food pickup apps steer clear of most of these costs. Plus, they offer a host of other benefits that you might not have thought of at first glance. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of these costs and benefits that separate delivery apps from food pickup options. 

Menu Markups

Believe it or not, delivery fees aren't the biggest culprit when it comes to padding your bill. More often than not, marked up menu items are what make the biggest difference on your credit card statement. 

A recent Forbes report found that some menu items on delivery apps have their prices boosted by as much as 91% compared to the same items ordered in-restaurant or for pickup. Don't be surprised, then, if a sandwich that might cost you 10 bucks at the bodega might appear on your food delivery app listed at $19.

The truth is that virtually all major food delivery apps allow their restaurant partners to set whatever prices they choose for their in-app menus. When given the chance, many vendors choose to jack up prices in order to offset delivery costs and increase margins. 

Order on the Go

One of the problems with food delivery is that it's tailored to stationary consumers. If you're on the go—such as driving home from a weekend getaway, bringing your kids home from school, or simply walking to the metro station—delivering food to your door may not be the most convenient option.

However, no matter where you are, you can order food for pickup. You don't need a fixed address, and you don't need to wait around in one place until your food arrives. Whether you're at the office, riding the streetcar, or sitting at home, you can order takeout at the touch of your fingertips without regard for where you are. As long as you can make it to the restaurant's doorstep, you're free to order whatever you're craving.

Delivery Fees (...and More Fees)

The most obvious cost associated with food delivery apps are their fees. When you order delivery, you pay a premium for convenience, and one that can increase the cost of your food by 20% or more. 

In some cases, food delivery apps have added ancillary service fees on top of their regular fees. For instance, one popular app introduced a “regulatory response fee” to the tune of $1.50, payable entirely by the customer. Then, delivery fees tack on an additional $1.50 to $5.00 (or more) to the already marked up meal cost.

The end result? A significantly more expensive meal than was initially advertised on the app's menu. Talk about losing your appetite! 

Fees at a Glance

Let's round up some of the industry standard fees associated with food delivery apps:

  1. Markup Fee: The first is the menu item markup, which many restaurants practice in order to recoup revenues lost due to service fees. These fees are often “hidden” and can inflate menu item prices by as much as 20%.
  2. Service Fee: Next is the service fee demanded by the delivery app provider, which is often about 15% of the order's value. While some apps have no cap on potential servie fees, other popular services limit service fees to no more than $5.00.
  3. Delivery Fee: Third is the delivery fee, which often scales by distance and one's proximity to the restaurant. Some platforms offer delivery fees as high as $6.99 if you're at the end of the restaurant’s delivery radius.
  4. Other Fees: Some jurisdictions have imposed regulations that require food delivery apps to tack on additional fees such as the “CA driver benefits fee” in California, which can range from $0.50 to $2.50 depending on the service provider.

In sum, these fees can easily add $15 or more to your order. If you order the same meal three times per week, that's $45 per week or a whopping $2,340 over the course of a year. Think of how much more food you could order if you saved on these fees all year long.

The Perks of Pickup

With a food pickup app, such as Ritual, you can skip on most if not all of these unnecessary and costly fees. The end result is more food on your plate, and more money in your pocket. Plus, who doesn't enjoy a stroll outside, a bike ride, or a quick drive around the block—brimming with anticipation—en route to your warm and delicious meal waiting for you at the pickup counter. 

As an employer, the benefits are compounded even further. With Ritual for Teams, you can offer your  employees daily or weekly meal credits that they can redeem at participating eateries in proximity to your office. Offering Ritual meal credits over food delivery services encourages your team to eat together, share special moments, and enjoy the local food options in your community. Plus, it lets your team enjoy more food at a lower, more competitive cost.

What's there not to love? Skip the delivery fees, skip the markups, and enjoy more of what you crave.

Get Ritual
Megan Ballingall
Megan Ballingall