With the rise in demand for food delivery we saw new competitors entering the UK market and offering more options to hungry consumers.
This was the case with Deliveroo that started in the UK in 2013 and three years later UberEats also entered the market.
I have been a customer of both since the beginning. Their apps are consistently getting new updates and improvements for us to have a smooth experience, order more often and spend more money per each order.
I used to order once a month but lately and with the restaurant dine in option out of the picture due to the Covid scenario, I started ordering on average once a week. If I have a good experience with one of the apps and I fancy the same food again, I would just re-order using the same app. I’ll go and check if there are any discounts available on other platforms or with the restaurant itself. TastyFind is my first go to option for this, so I can make sure I’m not missing out on any discounts or promotions when ordering my next takeaway.
In the past I wrote an article comparing the best food delivery services in the UK and it was during that moment that I found that the delivery fees comparison was not going to be so straightforward.
So I have decided to write a separate article to cover food delivery fees.
When it comes to fees we can encounter different fees depending on which app we are using and what we have in our basket but what is more surprising is finding different fees within the same app when the basket is exactly the same. Hold on, you will see examples in a second.
With JustEat, the delivery fees are reasonably easy to understand. JustEat doesn’t provide their fleet of drivers to the majority of the restaurants listed on their platform. So, the delivery is done by the restaurant’s own staff and tends to be a similar fee between them.
If you meet the restaurant minimum order they normally do the delivery for free, if you don’t reach that minimum in average they charge £2.50 to deliver the food to your door.
With Ubereats and Deliveroo the situation is a bit different. Their delivery fees depend on different metrics which are not public and we are not aware of all of them. Demand, distance and time of the day might be some of those metrics. They also have a service fee and other fees like “small order fee” depending on the amount that is in your basket. Deliveroo is more consistent than UberEats with a delivery fee around £2.50 per delivery
Deliveroo vs UberEats Fees explained
Before we continue with the test I will explain how fees are working or how they are supposed to work.
Both Deliveroo and UberEats have their own fleet of drivers. Once the platform receives an order from the consumer and is accepted by the restaurant, one of the nearest drivers will be able to pick it up and deliver the food to the consumer.
The Driver will have to spend more time driving depending on how far your place is from the restaurant. If it is close, the driver might be able to do the delivery in 5 minutes, if it is further it might take 15mins or more.
This affects how many deliveries a driver can do per hour and so it affects the delivery fee cost.
Then they both charge a Service Fee which is a percentage of the basket (before any discounts or promotions) with a limit.
||5% of your basket, £0.49 min and £2 max
||10% of your basket£1.29 min and £2.99 max
||Varies based on Distance
||Varies based on Distance
|Small order fee
||Depends on basket cost
||Depends on basket cost
Same Household, Same Basket, different fees
We gave it a try and tested it with different accounts within the same household.
To our surprise, using the same app (with the latest updates) and same basket we ended up with different prices. The biggest difference we found was in Ubereats with a service fee being 49% more expensive.
When doing the test we made sure that we:
- Deliveroo and UberEats Apps were up to date;
- Selected the same restaurant and the same menu items;
- No discounts or promotions were applied;
- No subscriptions or anything else activated;
- Used the same address;
- Placed the order at the exact same time
- Logged in to the App
Restaurant: GBK – Gourmet Burger King
Time of the day: Lunch
Price with 1 item: £3.33 vs £4.17
Price difference between accounts: £0.84 or 25% increase
In the UberEats application, we selected GBK restaurant and added to the basket the item “House Relish” which has a price of £1.25.
Basket A) We can see in this basket the House Relish item listed at £1.25. A service fee of £1.29 and a delivery of £0.79 which gives us a total of £3.33.
Basket B)On the other household account we can see the House Relish item listed at the same price £1.25, the same delivery fee of £0.79, a service fee with a different value of £0.79 and an extra small order fee at £2.00. Which gives a total price of £4.17
We wanted to test what would happen if the order was above £5 so we wouldn’t see the “small order” fee of £2.00 on basket B) and perhaps that would make it the same cost.
We decided to add a Classic Chicken Chargrilled Burger £10.20
The “Small order” fee is not showing up anymore in Basket B) since the order is now above £5. However the Service fee is different and interestingly the Basket A) is now more expensive £0.14
We added a few more items to both baskets:
We added the Satay Panko. Basket A) is now again cheaper by £1.14. The total cost of Basket A) is £26.04 and Basket B) is £27.18.
The Service fee of Basket B) went to £3.44 which is above their supposedly maximum fee ( when clicking on the Fee information button we can get more information about the fees
10% of your order before discounts and other fees (£1.29min, £2.99 max).
The difference from the service fee in Basket A (£2.30) to Basket B (£3.44) is now 49.5%
And the difference between accounts for the same restaurant and same items ended up being £1.14.
We wanted to check if in Deliveroo we were going to have the same discrepancy in fees. We added item by item and the fees were exactly the same to both household accounts. We made sure there were no discounts or subscriptions applied and there weren’t.
Deliveroo delivery fee and service fees were consistent across the different accounts which as we saw above, was not the case with UberEats.
As last test we wanted to compare both baskets from Deliveroo vs UberEats.
So, comparing the final costs between Deliveroo and Ubereats for a GBK order, we got:
||£26.04 and £27.18
||UberEats (cheapest basket)
The lowest we had in Deliveroo was £26.59 versus £26.04 in UberEats – £0.55 cheaper on UberEats. However UberEats could have been more expensive almost £0.59 if we have order with the account from Basket B)
We performed the same test with other restaurants and even though we got the same discrepancy with UberEats fees, UberEats was not always cheaper than Deliveroo.