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5 Best 3rd-Party Food Delivery Services

The best third-party delivery apps for restaurants & other food services have a large user network, are easy to use, and have clear fee structures.

    Kymberlin Bush
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Looking for food delivery services for your small business?

We did the work of reviewing the best POS systems for small businesses to find the best third-party food delivery services for you!

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
DoorDash

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  • Most popular food delivery app
  • Suitable for restaurants, grocery, alcohol, & convenience
  • 15-30% delivery commission fee
  • Most popular food delivery app
  • Suitable for restaurants, grocery, alcohol, & convenience
  • 15-30% delivery commission fee

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Grubhub

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  • Strong marketing suite
  • Suitable for restaurants, convenience stores, & liquor stores
  • 15-30% delivery commission fee
  • Strong marketing suite
  • Suitable for restaurants, convenience stores, & liquor stores
  • 15-30% delivery commission fee

Visit Site

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Uber Eats

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  • Large user network
  • Used by restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores, & more
  • 15-30% delivery commission fee
  • Large user network
  • Used by restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores, & more
  • 15-30% delivery commission fee

Visit Site

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Instacart

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  • Widely used grocery delivery app
  • Perfect for grocery stores & retail
  • No pricing disclosed online
  • Widely used grocery delivery app
  • Perfect for grocery stores & retail
  • No pricing disclosed online

Visit Site

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Drizly

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  • Best for alcohol delivery
  • Suitable for liquor stores, wine markets, & other stores that sell alcohol
  • No pricing disclosed online
  • Best for alcohol delivery
  • Suitable for liquor stores, wine markets, & other stores that sell alcohol
  • No pricing disclosed online

Visit Site

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

What Is A Third-Party Delivery Service?

A third-party delivery service specializes in delivering orders for other companies.

Restaurants and other businesses often use third-party delivery services to offer online ordering and on-demand delivery to their customers. These app-based services let customers order food, drinks, and other items on demand from their phones.

5 Best Food Delivery Services For Small Businesses

Online ordering from restaurants is more popular than ever and is almost essential to compete in today’s market. Here are our top 5 picks:

How The Best Third-Party Delivery Services For Retailers Compare

Delivery Commission Fee Credit Card Processing Fees Loyalty Program
DoorDash 15-30% None for app orders
Grubhub 15-30% Paid by merchant
Uber Eats 15-30% None for app orders
Instacart Not disclosed Not disclosed
Drizly Not disclosed Not disclosed

DoorDash: Best Delivery App Marketplace

DoorDash


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Pros

  • Numerous POS integrations
  • No credit card processing fees (for orders placed on app)
  • Self-delivery, pickup, & white-label delivery options

Cons

  • High fees for on-demand delivery

Why We Chose DoorDash As The Best For Selling Via App Marketplace

DoorDash is a major player in the delivery game, operating in most major cities and partnering with many of the largest chain restaurants in the industry, along with small businesses.

DoorDash is the most popular food delivery for business app on the market, which means being a part of this marketplace will get your restaurant in front of a lot of eyes.

DoorDash Pricing

DoorDash pricing for most businesses ranges from 15-30% (delivery commission on each order), depending on which plan you’re on. You also have the option of white-labeled delivery using DoorDash, which lets you integrate DoorDash with an existing delivery website. Self-delivery (using your DoorDash’s ordering network but your employed delivery drivers) and customer pickup are also options, and you’ll be charged 12% and 6% on those order types, respectively.

DoorDash offers an on-demand delivery option to use their drivers with your restaurant website or online ordering app, charging a flat fee of $6.99 to $10.99 for this type of order.

There are no credit card processing fees charged to merchants on the regular DoorDash app, but if you use DoorDash Storefront to offer white-labeled DoorDash delivery from your website, you’ll pay a processing rate of 2.9% + $0.30. DoorDash Storefront does not charge any commissions other than credit card processing.

DoorDash POS System Integrations

DoorDash integrates with a variety of the best POS systems for small businesses, including Square (which is a great free POS option), Toast, Aloha, Clover, Harbortouch, and others. You can also connect DoorDash to your POS using an order aggregation service like Chowly, Deliverect (through which you can integrate Lightspeed POS), and ItsaCheckmate.

DoorDash Is Best For Small Business Owners That:

  • Don’t want their customers to have to pay credit card processing fees
  • Want their choice of POS integration
  • Are looking to increase their revenue through the DoorDash marketplace

Get Started With DoorDash

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Grubhub: Best Marketing Features

Grubhub


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Pros

  • Free Grubhub tablet, menu photoshoot, & menu consultations
  • Access to promotions and loyalty perks at higher plan levels
  • Self-delivery, pickup, & white-label delivery options

Cons

  • Passes payment processing fees to merchants

Why We Chose Grubhub For Best Marketing Features

Grubhub is another major third-party delivery service in the US and is offered in most major cities across the country.

Though Grubhub can get expensive depending on your marketing package, Grubhub has a convenient price calculator on its website to help you determine your restaurant's projected monthly profit should you add Grubhub as a delivery option.

Grubhub Pricing

Grubhub commission fees range from 15-30% depending on how many marketing features you want (this includes a 5-20% base price, plus a 10% delivery fee). You can adjust your marketing fee to increase your visibility on the app. At higher plan tiers, you also have access to loyalty perks and promotions that drive sales, and your customers will pay lower fees.

Grubhub offers on-demand delivery services (using Grubhub delivery drivers without the other Grubhub services), starting at 10% of the order total.

Grubhub also charges businesses a 3.05% + $0.30 payment processing fee.

Grubhub POS System Integrations

Grubhub integrates with many popular POS systems, including Clover, Revel, Toast, Upserve, and NCR, as well as third-party order aggregators, including Deliverect, Chowly (through which you can have Grubhub orders sent to your Square KDS), Ordermark, and ItsaCheckmate.

Grubhub Is Best For Small Business Owners That:

  • Need access to a strong marketing suite
  • Want free features like a menu photoshoot and consultation
  • Don’t mind paying processing fees for their customers

Get Started With Grubhub

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Uber Eats: Best For A Large User Network

Uber Eats


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Pros

  • No payment processing fees on app orders
  • Self-delivery, pickup, & white-label delivery option
  • Simple, easy-to-use interface

Cons

  • Higher self-delivery fees

Why Uber Eats Is The Best Choice For A Large User Network

Uber Eats is the second-most-popular food delivery service in the US, after DoorDash. However, it's also used to deliver items other than food; Uber Eats partners with NimbleRx for prescription delivery, for example.

Uber Eats benefits from the vast Uber network, which also includes Uber users who use the popular ridesharing service.

Uber Eats Pricing

Uber Eats includes a standard delivery option, as well as a reduced-fee pickup option, a self-delivery option, and a white-label on-demand delivery. Uber Eats pricing includes a 15-30% delivery commission depending on your plan, or a 6% fee for pickup orders (same pricing as DoorDash). You’ll pay 15% on self-delivery orders, which is a bit higher than DoorDash’s fee for this type of order. On-demand delivery pricing isn’t listed, as it is tailored based on distance.

Uber Eats doesn’t charge merchants processing fees for orders placed on the app. If you use Uber Eats webshop, an online ordering solution that lets you integrate Uber Eats into your existing web channels, you’ll be charged a processing fee of 2.5% + $0.29 per order.

Uber Eats POS System Integrations

Uber Eats integrates directly with POS systems, including Lightspeed Restaurant and Toast, and aggregators Deliverect, Chowly (which you can use to connect with Square for Restaurants and other systems), and ItsaCheckmate.

You can also create your own POS integration within the system. And thanks to Uber Eats’ prescription delivery integration, Uber Eats can even be used with pharmacy POS systems.

Uber Eats Is Best For Small Business Owners That:

  • Want to take advantage of name recognition and an existing large user network
  • Don’t want to pay processing fees on app orders
  • Need a simple and easy-to-use interface that can be used to deliver more than food

Get Started With Uber Eats

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Instacart: Best For Grocery Stores

Instacart


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Pros

  • Hands-off for stores—Instacart shopper handles orders & delivery
  • Can grow your store’s sales with new online customer base
  • Includes delivery & curbside pickup options

Cons

  • Pricing for stores not disclosed online
  • Could take away from your own internal online sales

Why We Chose Instacart As The Best Option For Grocery Stores

Instacart primarily focuses on grocery delivery, while also offering alcohol and other retail delivery.

Unlike restaurant delivery services, there isn't much for retail business owners to think about when partnering with Instacart. It has personal shoppers who will gather the products themselves and, often, your business may find itself on Instacart's platform even without you knowing it.

Instacart Pricing

Instacart does not disclose its fees for businesses online, and it’s not immediately clear how stores can partner with Instacart. So, you’ll have to contact the company to find out how to list your products on Instacart. Instacart does say that stores can set their own prices on Instacart and that these prices can be higher than the price they charge in person.

Instacart POS System Integrations

Instacart doesn’t have built-in POS integrations, but you can use its API to integrate your POS transaction information with Instacart to reconcile your sales data.

You can also use the Instacart API to integrate Instacart into your eCommerce website.

Instacart Is Best For Small Business Owners That:

  • Don’t want to do the work of marketing to both drivers and customers
  • Need more than basic food delivery services
  • Want to take advantage of Instacart’s online customer base

Get Started With Instacart

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Drizly: Best For Alcohol Delivery

Drizly


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Pros

  • Includes staff training & dedicated account manager
  • Strong reporting features
  • POS integrations
  • $0 delivery fee for Uber One members

Cons

  • Delivery services not included in all states (stores must use their own delivery driver)
  • Pricing for stores not disclosed online

Why We Chose Drizly As The Best Option For Alcohol Delivery

Drizly is a popular alcohol delivery service that allows alcohol retailers to sell alcohol online. Similar to other third-party delivery apps, liquor stores and other alcohol vendors can pay to list their store and its products on Drizly.

Drizly Pricing

Drizly does not list its pricing for retailers but states that stores do not have to pay any fixed costs; you only pay a percentage of each order (similar to DoorDash and other food delivery services).

Drizly POS System Integrations

Drizly also has direct integrations with several liquor store POS systems, including Lightspeed and Clover.

Drizly Is Best For Small Business Owners That:

  • Need a compliant delivery app that follows local and state laws and regulations for alcohol sales
  • Want a dedicated account manager that offers included staff training
  • Don’t mind employing delivery drivers directly

Get Started With Drizly

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Why Should I Use A 3rd-Party Food Delivery Service?

There are many potential benefits to using third-party delivery services.

Online Ordering Can Increase Your Visibility

Opening your business up for online ordering and delivery can give thousands of new customers access to your products. Having your site appear on delivery apps can dramatically increase your visibility to customers in your area who may have otherwise not known you existed. If your kitchen can handle the uptick in orders, the ability to ring up sales without taking up space in your restaurant might be too much to pass up.

Customers Expect Delivery Options

Not only will putting your business on delivery apps grow your customer base, but a rising number of customers demand an online ordering and delivery option (or options) from the restaurants they frequent—ideally on one of their favorite delivery apps they already use. If you don’t offer online ordering and delivery, a certain portion of your customer base will instead choose a different restaurant that delivers, and you will lose out on their business.

You Can Use Multiple Third-Party Delivery Apps Simultaneously

Since most delivery apps charge on a commission basis, this lets your restaurant use multiple delivery apps simultaneously without necessarily incurring a higher monthly spend. This way, your business appears in multiple online marketplaces, appealing to a wider range of customers.

Trying multiple delivery apps can also help your restaurant determine which apps have the highest profit margins, so you can dump the services that you find aren’t worth the cost.

Third-Party Apps Can Save You Money

Using third-party delivery apps vs. in-house delivery can result in certain overhead savings. Most notably, you won’t have to staff delivery drivers or pay high gas prices. Saving on staffing costs is especially poignant during this time of worker shortages and high restaurant employee turnover.

Third-party delivery apps can also save you on software costs; in-house restaurant delivery software can carry a steep monthly charge, vs. third-party apps, most of which just charge you a per-order fee with no recurring monthly charge.

There Are Benefits For Ghost Kitchens

Ghost kitchens—that is, restaurants with no physical storefront—can use food delivery apps to sell food without any brick-and-mortar presence. Restauranteurs can use ghost kitchens to save money on overhead or to test out a new brand concept before launching a sit-down restaurant.

Third-Party Delivery Apps Are Convenient

Third-party delivery apps are very easy to set up and start using. Compared to implementing in-house delivery, it’s often easier and more convenient to use a delivery app. The entire order process is automated, and you don’t have to worry about coordinating the deliveries themselves. If your POS integrates with the delivery apps you use, that makes the process even smoother.

Our Methodology For Choosing The Best 3rd-Party Food Delivery Services

To choose the best food delivery services for small businesses, we analyzed over a dozen retail and third-party delivery apps based on pricing, delivery commission fees, credit card processing fees, delivery/pick-up options, overall popularity, and extra features such as a dedicated app marketplace and loyalty programs.

We considered recent reviews from unincentivized POS users on sources like G2, Software Advice, and Trustpilot while also testing the software ourselves or walking through product demos when no free trials were available.

Read more about how we rate POS systems at Merchant Maverick.

Third-Party Delivery Services For Retailers FAQs

What delivery service is cheapest for restaurants?

In-house delivery services offered by restaurant POS providers are often the cheapest type of delivery service for restaurants. Compared to third-party delivery services which can take a 30% commission on each order, POS companies typically only charge an affordable monthly fee or a low flat fee on each delivery order.

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Kymberlin Bush

Kymberlin Bush

Staff Writer
Kymberlin started contributing to Merchant Maverick as a freelancer in 2022 and joined the team as the full-time small business health insurance expert in 2023. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Pacific University in 2020 and continues to reside in Portland, Oregon.
Kymberlin Bush
View Kymberlin Bush's professional experience on LinkedIn.