Food Delivery? There’s an App for That

 
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In the past decade, pizza or Chinese food were about the only things you could order for home delivery. But now with Ubereats, Grubhub, and Doordash, you can have virtually any cuisine delivered to your door. In a recent Morgan Stanley survey, 43% of delivery patrons said meals ordered in were replacing those that would normally be eaten at a restaurant. Here’s how the latest apps work and a review of the best ones out there...

Like any other app, food delivery apps can be downloaded directly to your phone or tablet. Seamless is one app to consider. It provides menus from thousands of restaurants in over 600 cities and does not charge a delivery fee. It offers some discounts within the app but may require minimum orders. Seamless is available on iOS (Apple) or Android. In 2013, Seamless merged with Grubhub.

Grubhub provides a search engine to locate food by cuisine (Italian) or by specific dish (spaghetti and meatballs). It is available for Apple or Android and works in over 900 cities. Some restaurants may charge a delivery fee though the app itself is free.

E24 is an app developed by Yelp that has partnered with over 35,000 restaurants and processes over a million orders monthly. Customers can have food delivered or  can pick up the orders themselves. There is an app for E24 or a website that you can use to order food.

Doordash provides a service that some of the other delivery apps do not. It offers the “DoorDash Delight scoring system”, which ranks restaurants’ food quality, delivery time, popularity, and customer satisfaction. It is one of the fastest-growing apps in the United States.

E hungry is a competitor of E24 and provides restaurant service to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It can be integrated into a restaurant's website for ease of ordering. 

Food tripping is a GPS-based app that finds the closest juice bars, farmers’ markets, microbreweries and more.  It is available on iOS or Android and you can search by place, name, popularity, and cuisine.

There are several gluten-free apps available including Gluten Free Restaurant Items app, Find Me Gluten Free, and Dine Gluten free. Although most healthy people do not need to follow a gluten-free diet, those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance will find these apps very helpful. 

Are any of the apps health-friendly? Consumers using Apple products can download the Healthy Out app, which is available to US customers only, and provides a search engine for glucose control, Paleo, vegan, Mediterranean and other eating styles. It provides detailed nutrition information including calories, fiber, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein.

For dietitians with clients using these apps, here are a few health tips:

  • Review the sites’ nutrition information and provide healthful meal suggestions.
  • Suggest that clients order a large salad or make one at home to encourage more plant-based meals.
  • Advise people to split a few entrees with their spouse or the family rather than order one whole entrée per person.
  • Suggest trying vegetarian or vegan restaurants.
  • Encourage variety. There’s more to life than pizza!

By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

References:

  1. https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/pizza-paradigm-for-online-food-delivery
  2. https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/01/health/gluten-free-diet-history-explainer/index.html

PDF Handout: Delivery App Handout

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