Best Food Delivery Services

Whether you’re thinking on-the-fly about dinner plans while lazing on the couch or trying to meal plan for the week ahead, food delivery services can offer up both choice and convenience when choosing your next feed.

In this guide, we take you through the different kinds of food and meal delivery and what to look for in each, so that you can choose a service that suits you and your diet. Continue reading...

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The meal did not mention on the description of meal on the app that it contained peanuts. Its also a meal i have made myself and its never had peanuts in the recipe. Show details

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4.0  (15,932)
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Removes mental loadLove the meals. We are doing vegetarian right now. And I love how it removes the mental load! Show details ·  1
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Kim
Kim2 posts
 
Vood's absolutely delicious plant-based foods are a lifesaverThis is a crazy busy time and it is fantastic to have absolutely yummy, fresh healthy food that is easy to prepare in my fridge. As well, I'm on 5:2 for life, and they have meals that are less than 300 calories. On my low cal days, I just heat dinner for me and my family. Simple and tasty!
Lite n' Easy
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4.4 from 6,922 reviews

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What types of food delivery services are there?

Food delivery worker handing a large brown paper bag to a woman at her front door.

Whether it’s restaurant delivery, ready-made meals, meal kits, or groceries delivered to your home, food delivery services have given us convenience and plenty of choice at the tips of our fingers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also meant a lot of us have spent or are currently spending more time indoors and less time eating out, which can help explain the huge increase in food delivery services as of late.

Here are some of the foods that delivery services can offer:

Regardless of what you’re after, you’ll find that there are some benefits and some downsides to using a food delivery service. We’ve outlined a few below for you to consider before you start looking.

Pros
Convenient, as you can have food delivered to your door from the comfort of your couch.
Can save you time, as you don’t have to shop for groceries, and if you’re having ready-made meals delivered, you don’t even need to cook.
Gives you new food ideas if you’re feeling uninspired.
Can help you discover new restaurants in your area (plus you can support local business).
Can make healthy eating easier, as there are plenty of services delivering healthy prepared meals.
Cons
Often more expensive than buying groceries and preparing food yourself.
May not service your area if you live in a more remote place - food delivery apps, for example, only really operate in Australian capital cities and urban areas.
Some food delivery services (especially those that contract delivery riders) operate in an ethical and legal grey area.
Often require a certain amount of tech literacy, as you usually need to order through your phone or online.

Ready-to-eat meals

Ready-to-eat meals are prepared by restaurants, cafes, and food takeaway joints, and then delivered to you either by their own staff or fleet, or a courier contracted by a food delivery service. Most of these food delivery services are apps, such as UberEats delivery and Menulog delivery.

Finding a restaurant

You can find all kinds of food outlets that are partnered with the delivery service you’re using. Some restaurants may deliver their food through more than one app, however many also exclusively deliver through one app.

Different apps will have different ways for you to browse the restaurants they’re partnered with, but will typically at least let you search restaurants by cuisine, price (letting you sort by cheap eats or fine dining, for example), and their proximity to you.

They’ll also often let you filter results further. Menulog, for example, also lets you sort your searches by user rating, minimum order (the minimum amount you need to spend to be eligible for delivery), and the delivery fee.

If you use an app enough, it may also start to recommend food joints based on what you’ve previously ordered.

The Menulog app.The Deliveroo app.The UberEats app.

Different apps offer different ways to browse. Pictured from left to right: Menulog, Deliveroo, UberEats.

Why is food delivery so expensive?

For some, high fees might not be worth the convenience of having food delivered.

Food delivery is generally expensive because you have to pay for the courier who delivers your food. Some restaurants will also hike up the cost of their food when ordered through a delivery service, often because the service will take a cut of what you pay.

When you take this into consideration, the higher costs might seem a bit more reasonable - they’re often there to help restaurants make ends meet. If these fees are still a concern for you, you can also keep an eye out for promotions - from time to time certain apps offer discounted or free delivery.

How ethical are food delivery apps?

Often delivery riders foot the cost of convenience for the consumer. These couriers are often paid below minimum wage and are employed as independent contractors, meaning that they’re not entitled to sick pay, paid leave, superannuation, and other similar benefits.

These gig workers receive little training or protection during bad weather, and are rarely compensated if they’re injured on the job.

Food delivery services have been put under pressure to address these issues, and some have responded - Menulog is one delivery service that is trialling a move towards an “employment model” to better the working conditions of its couriers.

Other things to consider

  • Payment options. Usually you’ll be automatically billed once you place an order if you’ve entered credit card, debit card, or Paypal account information, however some may let you pay in cash when the food is delivered.
  • Tracking your order. The ability to track your order’s progress - from cooking to it being delivered to your door - helps you see its ETA and plan accordingly.
  • Cancellation. Some apps might not let you cancel or change an order once you’ve placed it, or may charge a cancellation fee.
  • Ratings. You can usually check user ratings of the food outlet through the app, and if you’re a particularly picky eater, you can also cross-reference these with Google reviews.

Packaged meals

Meal delivery services, such as Chefgood and YouFoodz delivery, deliver pre-made meals to your door. These are the pre-made meals that arrive packaged (often frozen or cooled), and usually need to be popped into the microwave or oven to defrost and prepare for eating.

These kinds of services are popular with people trying to lose weight or go on a special diet (for instance, keto meal delivery is on the uptick), and so healthy meal delivery is often their selling point.

Usually these meals are pricier than the pre-packaged meals you’d find at the supermarket, however they’re generally considered more “gourmet” and are often fresher.

What if I have dietary requirements?

A decent food delivery service should be able to cater to all kinds of dietary requirements, whether they’re allergies, intolerances, or just personal preferences (such as vegan meal delivery). Double check before you sign up to save yourself a lot of hassle.

What should I look for?

  • A delivery service that offers you choice in what you get may suit you more - bonus points if they let you change meals if you dislike certain ingredients or cuisines.
  • Check whether the service will let you skip a week at any time - you may not need a delivery if you’re away on holiday or are planning on eating out a lot that week.
  • Read the fine print to see what the terms of cancelling your subscription are - some may require a few week’s notice, which may not be convenient for people who are trying a new service out.

Food that needs prep and cooking

Meal kit delivery services, such as MarleySpoon and HelloFresh meals, are those that send you ingredients for you to make your own meals, typically with a corresponding easy-to-follow recipe card.

They’re great for when you like cooking and prefer home-made meals, but don’t necessarily have the time to research recipes and go to the supermarket - or even if you just need a little bit of inspiration in the kitchen.

Usually, you get to select the meals you want, and these are dropped off at your door, usually every week. Some also let you customise your box, letting you add optional extras such as snacks, sides, and desserts.

What to consider when comparing services

Required food prep

Some services will send you produce that’s already chopped and sliced up - while this may save you more time, these ingredients are more likely to come packaged individually, meaning more plastic waste.

Customisability

We all have personal preferences when it comes to food, so a service that lets you change up the menu may be a good idea.

You may also want certain types of meals. For example, you may want meal plans that require only 15 minutes of prep during the week, so that you can have dinner ready in no time after a long day at work. Or you might want a special three course meal (plus dessert!) over the weekend.

Have a think about how and what you like to eat, and ensure that the delivery service you’re considering can cater to your needs.

Tip: Check exactly what comes with your meal box.

Check whether you’ll need your own pantry staples, as often these services won’t send you ingredients like oil, soy sauce, spices, butter, eggs, and flour in your meal prep delivery - this is an extra cost that could sway your decision over whether or not you want to subscribe to the service.

Fresh produce

If you have your own meal ideas, and just want your fruit and veg delivered to your door, then there are plenty of services that just deliver groceries.

These services are sometimes attached to supermarkets or grocers, such as Harris Farm Express, however there are also companies that send boxes of produce to your door - what you get depends on the season and availability of the fruit and vegetables.

What should I look for in a produce box delivery?

  • Quality of produce. Services that do fruit and veg delivery may source their food from a supermarket, farmer’s markets, or somewhere else, so it’s worth looking into where they get food to help determine the quality of the groceries you’ll get.
  • Quantity of produce. Meal boxes can come in different sizes, so ensure you’re getting enough for your household, because needing to do an extra shop in the week if you don’t have enough defeats the purpose of getting a box in the first place.
  • Delivery frequency. Most people prefer their groceries delivered weekly or every few days to ensure they’re using the freshest ingredients when they cook.
  • Price. You’ll likely be paying more for the convenience of having produce delivered to you, however the difference in costs between grocery boxes and what you’ll find at the supermarket aren’t as substantial as you’d think they’d be.

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