When you're ordering delivery, you might find yourself playing a familiar game. You'll toggle between apps such as Postmates, Uber Eats and others to figure out which has your favorite local restaurants, and which has the lowest delivery fee or special deal.
Two apps called FoodBoss (for Android and iOS) and MealMe (for iOS) can put an end to that cycle by acting like does for travel -- letting you compare the different delivery time estimates and costs from multiple services side by side, without constantly switching between the different platforms.
FoodBoss (including its browser version) launched in 2017, and aggregates third-party delivery services UberEats, Postmates, EatStreet and Delivery.com into one place. More delivery apps will be added in the future, said CEO and co-founder Michael DiBenedetto. It's currently available in 81 metro areas across the US.
When you go to the web version of FoodBoss, type in your address, and you'll see a list of restaurants and the delivery services they work with, along with estimated total fees (including delivery fees, surge pricing, service fees and taxes), and delivery time estimates. From there, you can filter results based on cuisine type, fastest delivery time or least expensive total fees.
MealMe launched in March 2021. It compares prices across delivery services like DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, Postmates, Caviar, Waitr, Delivery.com, Eatstreet and more. Though it's currently only available on iOS, the company plans to roll it out on Android and the web later, according to co-founder Matt Bouchner. MealMe is available in every US city.
MealMe's app operates somewhat differently than FoodBoss. You'll create an account, and the app will find restaurants near you, or let you search for the one you want. When you tap on one, you'll see which third-party delivery services work with that restaurant, and which is less expensive. When you tap on the option you want (say, UberEats) it will take you directly to that app. The app compares prices based on menu price inflation, delivery fees, service fees and surge fees, and simply tells you which delivery app will be the cheapest for you -- but doesn't include estimated delivery time or offer estimated fees.
Which app should you use?
Both FoodBoss and MealMe have partnerships with the delivery services, so customers don't get charged anything extra for using the apps -- they're purely aggregators, the founders of each said. Deciding which one you use depends on your situation, including where you live and what device you use.
FoodBoss operates in fewer cities and has fewer delivery services to compare, but gives you more information in terms of fees and delivery time estimates. It's also available on more platforms.
MealMe includes all of the major food delivery service apps, and is available in more cities, and also gives you less information before sending you to the delivery app. But it is only on iOS at the moment.
Both apps have seen an uptick in traffic recently as more people began practicing social distancing amid thepandemic, and have been trying to learn what local restaurants are offering delivery, DiBenedetto and Boucher both said.
"From our standpoint, it's about making sure consumers know the options for delivery or pickup, and can see what they want to order from their local restaurants," DiBenedetto said. "That's the best thing we can do right now in the cities we operate in to help local restaurants."
Minimizing contact with others is also key for reducing the spread of COVID-19 during this time, Boucher said. "This means getting food delivered to avoid going to restaurants," he added. "We help you to make an informed decision about which food delivery service to use."