To Post Up with Mates or Uber and Eat: A Food Delivery Debate

BY: NICOLETTE NORRIS

People must be getting lazier with the rise of food-delivery services and apps appearing before our eyes. Eat24 gained popularity when Yelp bought it out (for $134 million) and has been in tight competition with GrubHub, one of the pioneers of online food ordering. Now, there are new players in the game UberEats and Postmates.

Postmates, which arrived to Long Beach in August 2015, has been doing some advertising on campus, so you may have heard about them recently.

UberEats just opened deliveries in Long Beach at the end of September. I went ahead and ordered from both companies and compared the delivery, food and service so that you can have a better idea of which route to take when you’re hungry at work or on campus.

UberEats

Delivery hours: 7 a.m. to midnight, but varies depending on when merchants open their doors.

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I had just arrived home after a long day of work and class, so I laid down and ordered dinner from UberEats. I had received a $20-off coupon here, so I was stoked to place my order. One downside with UberEats is that it is limited in the areas where delivery is available. For example, I tried to place an order at work the other day, but couldn’t because I work in Cypress and the service recently only became available in Long Beach (despite that my job is only about 10 minutes from campus), so this was a bummer. Nonetheless, I just placed an order once I got home.

Long Beach is home to many trendy, new restaurants, many of which were available through UberEats. I gave The Spot Cafe a try because I’d heard good reviews, and it had a smoothie that spoke to everything I was craving (called the Hulk, it’s jam-packed with spinach, whey protein, peanut butter, bananas and blends to creamy goodness). I got a large and also a chicken bowl with guac, black beans, brown rice and cheese (tried to stay on the healthy side of things).

With my $20 off and the cheap delivery fee ($4.99), I ended up paying less than three bucks out of pocket. This delivery was estimated to take between 53 and 64 minutes, but I got it within 40. I was satisfied with the cost-effective delivery service! I would definitely order from them again.

Postmates

Delivery hours: 24/7, depending on when the merchant opens doors.

Not sure if you’ve ever been starving at your desk at work, but it is uncomfortable to say the least. It’s my own fault for choosing to work awkward hours right before the time between lunch and dinner. Usually, I plan ahead, but on this day, I chose Postmates. I had one of those coupons some of the reps handed out on campus a few weeks back, so I got $10 off, which covered delivery charges.

After downloading the app and inputting my delivery address, I got to choose from restaurants ranging from Chili’s to Carl’s Jr., but the interesting thing about Postmates is that you can send your courier to a grocery store or local convenience store and request specific items. Even Starbucks was available, for those desperate for a coffee fix.

I selected a burrito from Taco Surf in Los Alamitos. The app showed me the price, charged my card and gave me an estimated delivery time. I will mention that delivery cost through Postmates can be a bit on the pricier side. I paid $10.50, which was based on my location in Cypress relative to Taco Surf, but some places have a fixed delivery cost of $3.99 for “Postmates Plus Partners.” Had I known this prior to my purchase, I probably would have chosen one of these options.

My delivery arrived to my job within 25 minutes. It had estimated 40-55, so having it arrive so quickly was a plus. My suggestion would be to plan accordingly in case you need more time. Realistically, I probably wouldn’t order from Postmates again unless I was again starving at work, or I had another coupon, because that $10 delivery fee is no joke.

The Consensus

Both cashless systems made it convenient for me as a customer to not have to worry about cash.  I could simply pay through my phone using my credit card, and tipping options are displayed after the order is delivered. Despite the major downside of limited delivery distance, I would gladly take UberEats over Postmates based simply on the affordable price and broad selection.