The Hidden Fees of Food Delivery for Consumers

Food Delivery Post-Pandemic

During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, many families turned to food delivery services to reduce exposure to the virus. This led to a surge in food delivery nationwide.

Although things have cooled off since then, many consumers still have meals delivered on occasion. However, the hidden cost of food delivery has many questioning if delivery apps are worth the money.

 Food Delivery Fees Explained

Burger Meal

There are several fees you may encounter when ordering delivery. We break down the most common below


Tired of confusing delivery fees? Let’s get to the bottom of why they tend to accumulate so quickly. 

Continue below to learn more about the hidden costs of food delivery. 

Accepting Food Delivery
Takeout Picnic

Most Common Food Delivery Fees  

  1. Menu Item: the cost of the food you’ve ordered (sometimes marked up by the restaurant to offset their delivery partnership fees, often up to 30% commissions.
  2. Sales Tax: taxes based on your local laws and regulations 
  3. Service Fee: a fee charged by the delivery company for the service they are providing you
  4. Delivery Fee: a fee charged by the delivery company for expenses associated with delivering your order (i.e., driver fuel and car maintenance, demand, number of available drivers, etc.) 
  5. Tip: money you award your delivery driver to show appreciation for their service (Typically, 100% goes directly to your driver.)
  6. Small Order Fee: a fee charged by the restaurant, typically on orders under $10 (Small orders aren’t as profitable, so this fee makes these orders more cost-effective for the restaurant.)
  7. Priority Delivery Fee: a fee to have your order delivered directly to you (However, many customers claim to know, via tracking in app, that their orders were not delivered to them first. Many drivers have also reported, via online forums like this one, that they are not notified when an order is priority.)   

How to Avoid High Delivery Prices

  1. Choose pick-up versus delivery.
  2. Only order delivery when you receive a promo code. 
  3. Only order from nearby restaurants.
  4. Scout out special offers. (i.e., buy one, get one free)
  5. Enjoy dining in instead. 

Are Delivery Fees Worth the Money?

Ordering in is convenient when you simply don’t have time to dine at your favorite restaurant. Nonetheless, dining in is a feel-good experience that compares to no other. 

When you do have time, get out and live a little! Invite friends or wrangle the fam and enjoy quality time at your favorite local spots. 

With Dinefits, you can support local restaurants during their slowest times. This means extra care during your service, and your favorite seat is more likely to be available! 

Plus, you get paid to eat out! Learn more about what Dinefits has to offer, here!

Server Delivery