What is behind the high cost of delivery food?

It is no secret that the cost of food delivery can be staggeringly high. Yet consumers, trapped by today’s fast paced lifestyle, which leaves little to no time for meal prep or cooking, often cave to the convenience and lure of food delivery. We were interested to find out more about the exact cost of food delivery and why it is so expensive. There’s a saying, “it costs what it costs,” but this wasn't enough for us so instead we took an in depth look at the costs and fees relating to food delivery. Keep reading to see what exactly your money goes to each time you use a food delivery service.

To start, we have to first name all the parties involved in the food delivery process. For clarification, in this article I refer to food delivery to mean third-party food delivery apps or services. NOT food delivery from restaurants like Pizza Hut, Dominos, Panera, etc. So the first step in the process is the restaurant. The majority of the money you pay for food delivery goes to the restaurant because the food is the largest portion of the total cost. Next, there is the delivery service itself. This could be UberEats, Postmates, Caviar, etc, depending on where you order from. These companies take money for the service they provide facilitating the transaction between the hungry consumer and the restaurant itself. Finally, the delivery man/woman. The food delivery services, much like ride-share giants Uber or Lyft, employ vast networks of independent contractors who pick up and deliver orders from restaurants and deliver them to consumers. This typically seamless process is completed using technology infrastructure set up by the food delivery company you are ordering from.

The ride-sharing wars! Uber and Lyft conceptual road concept using toy cars.
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash

*January 1, 2020 Update: In some states starting this year, gig economy workers, which include food delivery couriers, will now be classified as employees and no longer contract workers. This change could have vast ramifications for food delivery companies who previously avoided paying traditional costs such as healthcare for contract workers. While many gig economy employers have promised to fight back against the new law, it is not yet clear what affect the new law will have on the price of food delivery. In order to recoup the new costs of operation, we expect the cost of burden to transfer to consumers who will likely see higher fees for delivery service.

So these are the 3 main players who will be receiving a portion of the bill you pay when ordering food delivery. And when you order delivery food, the split ends up being something like this:

For a more detailed breakdown of the individual services, we have provided another infographic you can use to determine exactly where the money you spend on food delivery is going.

This is only a partial breakdown of the fees and costs associated with food delivery services. Other services, such as Caviar, Delivery.com, Beyond Menu, and Eat Street are not listed.


Food delivery is definitely a luxury expense. However, it is also becoming more and more popular. It is estimated that there are currently 38 million third-party food delivery app users in the US. Next year alone it is predicted there will be a 16% increase is users up to over 44 million. The food delivery industry is still growing and finding its footing. That said, as many of the largest companies in the industry plan to IPO this year or continue to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in capital, it is an industry that is here to stay.

The prices these companies charge may be high, but the value they provide, the convenience of not having to take time out of your busy schedule to prepare or go buy food, is definitely worth it to some people. You will be best served using an app like FoodBoss to keep the costs of ordering food delivery as low as possible.

Time to clean up the diet. So gone are the nights of wine-ing, and here arrived are the days of keto paleo carb-free breakfasting.
Photo by Brooke Lark / Unsplash

FoodBoss is a food delivery aggregator. It compares the delivery fees and delivery time estimates for multiple different food delivery companies. You can check which service offers the lowest or fastest delivery option from whatever restaurant you want. Another perk is that on FoodBoss you have the widest selection of restaurants to choose from because every food delivery service is listed in one place. That means all the restaurants offering food delivery from each service can be compared in a single place instead of having to flip between multiple apps.

When you want to order food delivery, you should make sure you’re looking at all the information available before making a final decision. If you rely on just a single app to order food, you aren’t getting all the information possible. Some restaurants are only available on certain food delivery apps. If you only have one of these food delivery apps downloaded, you will never see all the restaurants around you that offer food delivery with other services. This is again the big benefit of FoodBoss. Instead of having multiple apps to check all this information, FoodBoss does the work for you and displays every possible restaurant option in the area. This way you will always find a great restaurant with a great deal on food delivery.

Food delivery is definitely expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can't still find great deals from some of your favorite restaurants. FoodBoss is the free service that allows you to find these deals easily and confidently thereby saving you time and money on food delivery.

Explore FoodBoss today to see how you can save money on every food delivery order you make.

Written by: Robert Burns

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Author Bio: Robert is a long-time FoodBoss contributor.  An adventurous eater with an eagerness to try any and all culinary styles, his favorite dishes include Coconut Curried Shrimp and Cioppino.

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