Food-delivery apps up to 44% more expensive, survey finds

  • Published
A Deliveroo riderImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The survey found Deliveroo was the most expensive of the food apps

Food-delivery apps have experienced a huge boost during the pandemic - but a snapshot investigation from consumer watchdog Which? suggests they may not be the cheapest option.

It compared the costs of meals from five eateries, bought directly and ordered on apps Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat.

On average, a takeaway cost 23% more on an app than ordering directly.

The app companies said their commission charges were fair.

Which? found:

  • orders on Deliveroo were the most expensive, costing an average of 31% more than ordering directly
  • UberEats cost an extra 25%
  • Just Eat orders were 7% more expensive

The most expensive order was a burrito and a taco from a Mexican restaurant, which cost £43.94 on Deliveroo - £12.29 (44%) more than ordering directly.

Before adding delivery and service charge, the cost was £8.30 more.

Prices on apps are generally set by restaurants and they often increase the price to cover the service fees charged.

'Riders' fees'

In response to the survey, Deliveroo said: "We encourage restaurants to set the same menu prices as they offer customers when dining in.

"And the commission we charge is then reinvested back into our business, paying for riders' fees, customer services and upgrading our services for restaurants."

Just Eat said it believed its commission rates "are aligned with the value we provide to our partners".

UberEats said it was focused on "ensuring that the best restaurants and the best selection of food is available to customers".

Image source, Getty Images

Most of the people surveyed by Which? had used delivery apps for takeaways and groceries during the pandemic:

  • 39% Just Eat
  • 25% Uber Eats
  • 20% Deliveroo

And their most common complaints involved:

  • late arrival
  • cold food
  • missing items

The proportion of customers who had found complaining difficult was:

  • Deliveroo - 53%
  • Just Eat - 46%
  • UberEats - 42%

Just Eat said it investigated all customer complaints raised issues.

And Uber Eats encouraged customers to use the help section of its app, saying it had a dedicated customer-service team.

Which? said many apps offered credit refunds - but consumer law meant customers should be given money back

Which? consumer rights expert Adam French said: "Next time you fancy a takeaway, you should be aware that the undoubted convenience offered by a delivery app comes with a hidden additional cost.

"If something goes wrong with your order, you might also find yourself caught between the restaurant and the app."