Do Delivery Apps Have Hidden Fees?

It’s close to dinner time and you want to get something convenient and delicious. So, you decide to check out some of the pizza deals tonight at your favorite local pizza place. You put in an order through a delivery app and wait for your pizza to arrive. This probably all sounds great. Unfortunately, you’ve likely paid extra, potentially a lot extra, for the privilege of using an app. Delivery apps have hidden fees.

Delivery Apps

If you ever order food from your smartphone, you likely have one or more delivery apps. Some of these just submit your order to the restaurant and others have their own delivery services. In either case, the app is a private business that is trying to make money off of the transaction.

Delivery apps typically make their money in one of two ways: charging you a fee or taking a cut of the sale from the restaurant. In both cases, there is a reasonable chance you will end up paying the cost. Additionally, you may not even know you are paying.

Different Pay Structure

If you order through a delivery app, there are a few ways you can end up paying extra. Watch out for the following:

  • Service Fees: Some delivery apps charge a straightforward service fee. Basically, on every transaction, you pay a flat fee or percentage extra for using the app. Some apps make it obvious what you are paying; others tuck this fee away under the generic heading “taxes and fees.” While not technically dishonest, this categorization is easy to miss.
  • Delivery Fees: if the app provides delivery, you likely will pay a delivery fee. Depending on the setup, this may be going to the driver or the app company. Most of the time the driver gets a cut, but it may not be the full amount. So, if you pay a couple of dollars for your vegan pizza delivery, the app may be taking part of it.
  • Increased Prices: This is much trickier. You may be paying extra for the same food without realizing it. Some apps increase the price of food and take the increase. In other cases, the restaurant may list the prices higher on the app to make up for the fees paid to the app. In either case, you are paying extra.

Other Options

The best option for delivery is to order directly from the restaurant. If you have found the place with the best gluten free pizza delivery in town, skip the delivery app and order directly from the restaurant. Both of you will save money and you’ll still get the same great pizza.

If you enjoy the convenience of apps, many major restaurant brands have their own delivery apps. These aren’t third-party, so you aren’t paying extra for the privilege of ordering food. Instead, you just get the same great pizza you wanted at normal prices. That really is a win-win situation. If you know you are going to order from a restaurant, check the delivery options first and place your order directly. You’ll be glad you did.