Grubhub delivers orders from your favorite local restaurant or store. It’s available throughout the US, with a vast variety of restaurants and grocery chains in each zip code. Even small towns (like the one I happen to live in) can use Grubhub’s app. I was curious to see how well Grubhub would perform.
The most convenient Grubhub feature is scheduling an order up to 4 days in advance. For busy individuals who have a tight schedule, prefer planning meals, and want to avoid grocery shopping, Grubhub can be a lifesaver.
This Grubhub review will help you decide if its service is worth trying. Another good option is Postmates, which is owned by Uber and specializes in meal and grocery delivery. Whether you're a busy professional, a parent with a full schedule, or just someone wanting more convenience in your meal planning process, read on to learn whether Grubhub is right for you.
|Option to schedule 5 days in advance||Less convenient in small cities|
|Membership that offers free delivery||Delivery isn’t available in all cities|
|Huge restaurant selection in big cities||Reliant on 3rd party order updates|
Grubhub is a 3rd party pickup and delivery platform listing local restaurants and shops integrated into its platform. You can order from the whole menu or item catalog to have hot meals or products delivered right to your door. You can also schedule your pickup or delivery up to 1 week in advance.
Since I’m in a small town, restaurant variety is limited and I could only order pickup. I’m in the lovely land of Hawaii, in a city called Kona, which is on the west coast of the Big Island and has a population of 23,000.
Testing a delivery service in a small town really tests the service’s coverage. It challenges the company's ability to provide its service for a diverse range of restaurants and maintain efficient delivery times with a potentially limited pool of drivers. In such settings, a truly comprehensive service should still offer a satisfactory user experience.
Kona is 1 of the bigger cities on the island but is still a traditional small town in the sense that local businesses here like to stay local. Tech apps that are typically integrated in medium–large cities, like Uber or Lyft, aren’t available or are minimally available, which may be why delivery wasn’t available with Grubhub.
I saw just how many options Gruhub offered when I typed in my zip code. Unfortunately, delivery isn’t an option in my city and there are only 4 restaurants available from which I could order pickup. However, I was happy to see The Fish Hopper integrated into Grubhub’s app, which is 1 of the most popular local restaurants and serves locally caught fish and local produce. I found that Postmates also had few options in my city so that may just be the downside of living in a smaller city.
Grubhub’s delivery and pickup options are more restaurants than they are shops. Grubhub didn’t have any grocery or convenience stores available in Kona. Even when I tested grocery and shopping options for various zip codes in larger cities, Gruhub primarily offered pickup and delivery from local restaurants.
In Kona, Grubhub offered zero grocery or convenience store options, despite there being several large chains here like Walmart, Costco, and Safeway. In larger cities there also weren’t many shopping options but there were a ton of restaurant options.
In an effort to increase convenience store offerings, Grubhub launched Grubhub Goods – a close partnership with 7-Eleven that allows you to use Grubhub to order from most 7-Eleven locations. There are over 3,000 locations at the time of this writing.
Unbagging was super simple since the restaurant bagged my order and put it on a table near the entrance of the restaurant. The entirety of my meal fit in 1 large, biodegradable to-go container. The only transit my order had to take was from the restaurant to my car, and my car to the table. Zero foods were harmed in the unbagging of my order.
Merchant availability, pickup, delivery, or scheduling service varies by zip code. I suggest typing in your zip code before making any order specifications like diet, or whether you’re ordering for pickup or delivery. Once you type in your zip code, those same order options might change.
Some of the diet options you might see are vegan or vegetarian. You might also see options for different food types such as sushi or pasta.
Food delivery could be tricky if you’re following a restrictive diet like keto. In that case, you may be better with a prepared meal delivery service such as Factor. There’s still no cooking involved but the meals do need heating up. You’ll find even more inspiration on our list of the Best Prepared Meal Delivery Services.
I ordered for pickup from a local restaurant called The Fish Hopper, which is known for locally sourced fish, meat, and veggies. My order was a freshly caught, seared Yellow Fin Ahi Tuna crusted with sesame seeds, served with a side of rice, sauteed local organic vegetables, and mango papaya relish.
I was happy to see Outback’s complete menu available for pickup on Grubhub’s app since it’s a bit of a family favorite. All meal and side customizations were available just as they are in the restaurant. You can choose how well you want your steak done, which sides you’d like, and choose all the customizations for each side as you would when sitting down in the restaurant.
$99.99 (one-time payment)
Type of Fee
Applied to most orders, covers delivery costs, Grubhub+ membership excludes this fee
$0 to $9.99
Applied to all orders and varies by many factors including delivery size
$1.50 to $9.00
Applied if you order less than the merchant’s minimum
Varies by city
Applied if you change your order details (i.e. address) after it’s confirmed
Varies by city and change request
CA Driver Adjustment
Applied for all orders carried out in the state of California – helps guarantee minimum wage and healthcare benefits for drivers so they aren’t dependent on tips
$0.99 to $2 per order
Similar to most food delivery services, the biggest downsides of Grubhub are all its fees and its lack of transparency about fee prices before you order. Since delivery and service fees are based on several factors like your order size, you won’t have a fee amount to calculate before you order. Customer service also didn’t have a clear answer about how to calculate fees ahead of order checkout.
Fees and tips can increase your final checkout price by more than 50%, so convenience really has to be your top priority in using Grubhub’s platform. Always double-check your order final right before you check out since all fees are added right before you finalize your order.
The Gubhub+ membership is $9.99 per month (or $8.33 per month if you pay $99.99 for the year). The primary benefit of the membership is free delivery, so this might be super convenient if you order at least 3 times per month since delivery fees can be upwards of $9.99 depending on where you order from.
If you’d like to see whether the membership is worth it – you can try it free for 1 month. But remember that you'll automatically be charged for your subscription if you don't cancel 48 hours before your 1st scheduled payment.
Or, you can have Grubhub+ for free for 1 year if you have an Amazon Prime Membership. The only benefit you receive with the paid membership that you don’t with the Prime Membership is a monthly $10 credit toward pickup orders, which will automatically deduct from your pickup order. Otherwise, you get the same free delivery and exclusive discounts.
Grubhub+ is worth it if you often order out and live in a city where delivery is available. You would still pay the service fee, but you won’t pay the delivery. And if you don’t live in California, you’ll automatically avoid the Driver Adjustment fee.
I initially decided to order from Outback Steakhouse since it’s a long-time favorite. Since I have a pretty packed schedule and Grubhub doesn’t offer delivery in my area, I wanted to get the most out of the app by scheduling my order in advance. I decided to schedule it 4 days ahead for a pickup time of 12:30. That way I could enjoy a tasty lunch as I reviewed my Grubhub experience.
I chose something I’d never tried on the menu – Steak & Tail, which is a signature sirloin paired with a steamed lobster tail. Decadent!
What I appreciate about the app is that it integrated all the same meal customizations that are available in-restaurant. I found this very convenient. Each entree at Outback comes with 2 sides, which I was able to select and customize in the app, along with choosing how well I wanted the sirloin cooked.
I received a confirmation email after I entered my payment details and placed my order, and I could see my scheduled order in the app. I like that I received 2 forms of confirmation that my order was scheduled. I’m always a fan of extra confirmation when scheduling a pickup or delivery, especially one that requires a specific time of day for the pickup or delivery.
On the day I’d scheduled my order, I was pumped to have some steak and lobster! I double-checked my order the morning of to ensure my order was still scheduled and to remind myself what time I needed to drive to the restaurant to pick it up.
Unfortunately, the hour before my order was meant to be ready – it was canceled. My order was scheduled for noon, and I received an email notification at 11:02 am. This was a bummer since the schedule ahead feature was the main convenience feature I was relying on to function, especially since I couldn’t order delivery.
I had a similar experience when I ordered from Postmates. My order was also canceled last minute leaving me disappointed and hungry. It wasn’t just me that I was ordering for that time which was even more frustrating.
I tried to quickly reorder through the app – it was confirmed and quickly canceled again. This was very confusing and I wasn’t 100% sure whether this was an app or restaurant issue. In my effort to give Grubhub a 2nd chance, I decided to reach out to customer service to discover the issue, and maybe experience some awesome customer service.
You can find your current customer service options when you click Need help? in the upper right hand corner of the Account or Orders tab in the mobile app. You can also navigate to your current order under the Orders tab, click on your order, then click Help in the upper right hand corner, then click Need more help? And Chat With Us to live chat with an agent about your order.
When I called I was connected to an agent on the phone within a couple of minutes. The agent checked if there was any glitch with my order, which there wasn’t, then suggested I speak with the restaurant to find out what happened. At this point, I was starting to wonder what the purpose was of using a 3rd party delivery app to schedule for pickup when I have to call the restaurant to discuss my order anyway.
The Outback employees I spoke with didn’t know why the order was canceled but mentioned they were out of lobster anyway. They mentioned there might be a problem with the app since Grubhub customer service just informed me the issue came from the restaurant. I was in a Catch-22, so I decided to break the cycle and order from The Fish Hopper instead.
I was really hungry so I just ordered for pickup ASAP. My order was confirmed and I could immediately see a progress bar in the app showing the different stages of my order. My order was estimated to be ready at about 12:45.
While this is a convenient idea – my progress bar never updated! When 1 pm rolled around, I figured I should go to the restaurant to check on my order. Considering the confusion in my earlier experience between Outback and the Grubhub app, I wasn’t 100% certain the status of my order was accurate.
My suspicions were confirmed – the app didn’t update my order status accurately and my order was ready and sitting on the host’s stand. Sadly, it was also cold. The progress bar stayed on the “In the works” stage even after I picked up my order.
There’s a chance that my Grubhub experience wasn’t the norm and is just a downside of living in a small town. Bigger cities have bigger delivery fleets, longer-term established restaurant partnerships with Grubhub, and restaurant or merchant employees who might be more familiar with Grubhub issues like the ones I experienced.
Grubhub is a 3rd party delivery app that integrates restaurants, grocery shops, and the Grubhub Goods 7-Eleven partnership for ordering convenience items.
Download the app on your mobile device. You can also open Grubhub’s website if you plan on using Grubhub on a computer instead of a smartphone.
Create an account. Grubhub is integrated with several major online services for which you can use your login to create an account with Grubhub.
Type in your zip code and select pickup or delivery to view ordering options. If you’re scheduling in advance – set your schedule time before you peruse order options. Selecting your pickup or delivery time will give you a more accurate selection of merchant options that can have your order ready at the right time.
Select the food or products you want. Take a moment to decide whether you want to type any instructions for the restaurant if there weren’t any customization options. For example, “leave out mango salsa” in The Fish Hopper dish I ordered.
Enter payment details. You can use credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay to complete your order.
Managing your membership is easy through the app or the website. You can cancel your subscription any time without needing to contact customer service. You just need to ensure that you cancel your subscription 48 hours in advance of your next scheduled billing cycle. So if you tried the 2-week free trial and found Grubhub isn’t for you – you need to cancel on trial day 10.
Managing your Grubhub subscription is more straightforward on the app than on the website. All your Grubhub+ membership details including associated contact information, payment details, default delivery address, benefit details, and more can all be found under the Account tab.
Grubhub’s customer service options include a phone number, live chat, and an FAQ. Live chat is available from 7 am to 2 am Central Standard Time. I found live chat to be the easiest way to contact Grubhub’s customer service.
However, finding the live chat isn’t straightforward since it isn’t overtly advertised. You need to tap through a few pages on the app and website to get to a live chat agent. To access live chat on the website, click Help at the bottom of the home page, click Billing, Payments & Refunds, click Need More Help?, then click Chat with us, and a chat box will pop up in the bottom right of your screen.
Note that you need to type first in the live chat in order to virtually line up for an agent. Otherwise, you won’t be connected to an agent. Once you type into the box, you’ll be notified of your position in the queue. I’ve always been connected in just a few minutes.
You can also call Grubhub’s customer service and speak to a live agent there. I was connected in about 1 minute each time I called. However, I found agents didn’t quite know how to handle my predicament, as I discussed earlier. The live chat option definitely worked the best, and the FAQ was pretty informative, too.
Postmates is another 3rd party delivery service that offers more restaurants and grocers but higher fees than Grubhub. Grubhub primarily concentrates on food delivery and doesn’t provide the extensive grocery and merchant options that Postmates does. You can still discover convenience stores and a local supermarket or 2, but Postmate's grocery delivery options significantly surpass Grubhub’s'.
Membership is the same for both companies, but neither reveals clear fee structures for customers to estimate costs beforehand, but all fees are displayed prior to finalizing and paying for an order. Minimum orders vary depending on the restaurant. A Grubhub+ subscription can be initiated with a one-month free trial, after which a monthly charge of $9.99 will be automatically applied.
For premium quality microwave-ready meals delivered to your door – Factor is a great option. Factor is different from Grubhub since it's a meal delivery subscription service that delivers a set of meals each week according to the diet plan you choose. Meals are delivered fresh and ready to heat and eat or store in the fridge or freezer for later.
Factor provides meals made of freshly cooked whole, high quality foods in 5 plans including Protein Plus, Chef’s Choice, Vegan & Veggie, and Calorie Smart. Factor’s service is great for people who don’t want to cook but still eat healthy according to their diet of choice. You can also order extra proteins, sides, and desserts to round out your menu. Prices start at $6.19 per serving.
Blue Apron is one of the best meal delivery services out there, offering gourmet meal kits at an affordable price. You’ll get restaurant-quality meals at a much more affordable price than it costs to dine out. While Blue Apron’s specialty is its easy-to-follow meal kits, it also provides 3 or 4 microwave-ready meals each week.
You can choose from 19 recipes each week, including Vegetarian and weight-loss friendly meals. Blue Apron is great if you’d still like to enjoy some meal prep, eat interesting recipes, want to order your complete weekly menu from one source, and don’t want to pay premium delivery fees for premium foods. Prices start at $5.74 per serving.
Grubhub is worth it if you live in a big city and mostly want to order from restaurants instead of grocery stores. The membership is worth it if you plan on ordering several times per month. My experience showed that the pickup feature isn’t the best and doesn’t update you accurately. However, the delivery may be excellent in non-small towns.
If you aren’t into cooking but don’t mind heating up a meal then I suggest you try Factor which has a large selection of healthy, prepared meals that just need a few minutes heating up.
Grubhub Goods can be super convenient as well when you need a few items from the convenience store but can’t get out to buy them and bring them home. Overall, Grubhub is your standard food delivery service with average delivery fees and restaurant selection.
Grubhub charges delivery and service fees, and the CA drivers adjustment fee (only in CA). However, Grubhub doesn’t disclose a standard fee table for customers to estimate costs beforehand. You can see all fees right before finalizing and paying for your order. Additionally, customers can opt for a Grubhub+ subscription, which costs $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial and offers benefits like free delivery from participating restaurants.
Delivery and pickup times can vary based on factors such as restaurant preparation times, driver availability, and distance between the restaurant and the delivery location. Generally, Grubhub aims to deliver orders within a reasonable time frame, often around 30-60 minutes. You can track your order in real-time through the Grubhub app or website to stay updated on the delivery status.