It’s not just delivery charges. According to research by Which?, the apps cost significantly more than ordering directly from the restaurant, even when delivery costs are accounted for.
Analysts treated themselves to a chicken shish at a Lebanese restaurant that would have been £12.95 if ordered direct, but £13.95 on Just Eat and Uber Eats, and £14.95 on Deliveroo.
Individual items can be more pricey on the app as restaurants charge more to claw back some of the money they pay out in commission to the apps, which can be up to 35% of the value of the total order.
Businesses join these platforms to avoid “becoming invisible to online orders”, a restaurant owner told Which?, as his venue makes over 60% through Deliveroo.
“Deliveroo has replaced the high street,” said George Kontaskos, from the Olive Grove in Cambridge.
It’s the same for grocery, according to researchers, after spending £48.09 for an online order from Co-op via Deliveroo which would have been £35.40 at the store.
What’s more, dedicated apps also come with problems such as delays, with 59% of Deliveroo users reporting issues with orders in the past 12 months.
Usually, the apps issue a refund or credit for the next order, as communicating with the restaurant through the platform ends up being difficult.
“If you’re due a refund, consumer law is clear you should get it in the same way you paid in the first place – don’t accept a credit or voucher in the app if that’s not how you paid and it’s not what you want,” said Adam French, Which? senior consumer rights editor.
“Food delivery apps should do more to make the responsibilities of the restaurant and their own clear, so customers aren’t caught between the two.”