I’ve heard about Grubhub for the longest time. Usually when I get food delivered, it’s from a restaurant that has its own delivery service, so I’ve never thought about using them… that is, until a couple of weeks ago. I want to mention I live in the Syracuse NY area, since I believe Grubhub is pretty much all across the country.

I was in the mood for some barbecued ribs, but I wasn’t in a position to leave the house to go get it. The closest barbecue joints are 10 minutes from the house, but going in, paying for something, coming back to the car and driving back home could possibly take 30 minutes. If I have to leave the house on days when my mother’s home, I don’t want to be gone for more than 10 minutes if possible.

I started off by figuring out which barbecue place I wanted to get my ribs from. It came down to choosing between Limp Lizard or Texas Roadhouse. I chose Limp Lizard because I’ve had their ribs and figured it was better to go with something I knew.

What you do is go to Grubhub to see which restaurants they work with. You get to search before you’re prompted to create an account, since you order through them instead of through the restaurant. I’d already seen that both of these restaurants were on their list, so I’d already completed that step.

With your first order via Grubhub, they offer a $10 discount. As you can see in the image above, the meal came to $16.99, but after the $10 discount, the delivery fee, tip for the driver & taxes and fees I ended up only having to pay $18.99. That looked pretty good, and I didn’t ask myself any questions.

If you stay on the Grubhub website you’ll actually get to watch the time progression of the time you ordered your food, when it’s in transport and when it shows up at your house. I was told it would take between 35 and 40 minutes, but I actually got my food in 25 minutes; yeah!

A week later I decided I wanted Chinese food. Once again, if I’d gone to where I usually go, China Garden, I’d have been away from home longer than I wanted to be (that’s because I always make changes to my food order, and for some reason they can’t understand what I’m saying over the phone lol). So, I went to the Grubhub site to see which Chinese restaurant in the area they were connected to, and it was Asian Garden (what is it with “Garden” and Chinese restaurants? lol), which is actually closer to where I live. I decided to order something through Grubhub and have it brought to the house.

That is, until I took a good look at how much I’d have to pay, which you can see there on the left. As you can see, my total order was less than what it was previously, but this time the added fees were higher than the food I was ordering by $19.16; what’s going on?

The delivery fee was higher than it was for Limp Lizard, which is about 4 or 5 minutes further than Asian Garden from my house. The driver tip is higher, but it was the same percentage rate as it was for Limp Lizard, which means… something… I can’t figure that part out.

However, the stickler was taxes and fees. Taxes on $14.45 comes to $1.16 if rounded up. That means “fees” were $6.41… whatever the fees are.

I looked back at the first thing I ordered through Grubhub and questioned it a bit. True, I had that $10 discount, but when compared to the 2nd order it seems like the driver’s tip is based off the discount and not the actual food order, which isn’t the norm when you order food from places that has its own delivery method. The same must be true for taxes and fees in some way because, since I don’t know how fees are calculated, I can only assume that if I hadn’t had that discount the first time around my total for delivering my food would have been around $40; ouch!

I don’t have a problem with food delivery companies charging fees for their services. I do have a problem with their costs being higher than the food I’m ordering. Maybe one makes out well if they’re ordering lots of food, but in the case of ordering things that don’t cost a lot it’s something I personally just can’t do.

Have you used Grubhub for food delivery? If so, are you good with how much you pay for delivery?