Food delivery apps are one tool that helps make college life easier, and while there seems to be a surplus of food delivery apps that students have access to, each one is different in its own way. Cost, efficiency and quality of the app are deciding factors that play a key role in which app students choose for their food delivery needs.
Uber Eats, a mobile app that enables users to order food from their favorite local restaurants and have it delivered directly to the doorstep, has recently extended its services to the city of Ames. In today’s world, the days of ordering food by speaking to someone over the phone, getting off the couch and making the journey to the restaurant are over.
The app itself is simple and user-friendly. The main screen consists of a search bar on top and a list of restaurants to choose from, each represented by thumbnails displaying photos of their restaurant's food. The app specializes in highlighting local restaurants in Ames by listing them before the more recognizable chain restaurants.
Once a restaurant is selected, the user chooses what they want from the menu and is then offered a variety of customization options (extra cheese, extra veggies and so on) before the item is added to their cart. Once the ordering process is complete, the app shows the user in real time the status of the delivery, even showing the location of the driver as they make their way toward their destination.
Of course, no app is perfect, and Uber Eats is not free of drawbacks. At certain times of the day, a user’s order may take longer to arrive than it would have if the user had retrieved it themselves. It is also more expensive to have your food delivered. Uber Eats has a small range of restaurants to order from compared to competitors, such as DoorDash and JoyRun, as it has just entered the area.
Fees beyond the price of food include tax, a small order fee, a service fee, a delivery fee and tipping.
JoyRun makes delivery easy by not only offering to pick up meals or a cup of coffee for consumers, but by also offering to grab a few items at the grocery store if the need arises. “Runners” in the nearby area will make the run for you and deliver it as soon as possible. Another perk to being a JoyRun member is the ability to make runs yourself and earn a little extra cash while you’re at it. This perk is what makes JoyRun convenient for students, allowing you “run” whenever it works best for you and your schedule.
Easy and convenient delivery is promised with DoorDash, and with tracking within the app, users are able to estimate when their order will arrive. The dozens of categories, including “sushi near me,” or “Italian near me,” give users a variety of options when it comes to ordering through DoorDash. DoorDash also offers the ability to order for large groups of people, which is perfect for when you host your next get-together.
Groceries Made Easy
For most students, the Sunday Scaries extend further than just unfinished homework. Grocery shopping is a weekly chore that most students dread doing, even if it’s just for more milk or frozen meals. Luckily, more and more stores are offering convenient options for students, hoping to ease the Sunday Scaries one frozen pizza at a time.
Wal-Mart, Target and Hy-Vee are all a short distance away from campus and will do the shopping for students.
Besides the $30 order minimum, students will have no problem ordering groceries or anything else they may need from this retailer. With Walmart's pickup option, you place items into an online cart and choose a pickup time most convenient for you. Then, swing by the store and an employee will help you load the items into your car. Wal-Mart also offers a delivery option in some stores, meaning you can stay snuggled in your bed until your order arrives.
With Target Run-and-Done, customers have up to seven days between placing their order and picking it up. With the drive-up option, an employee will bring it out to your car, or you can go inside to the customer service desk and retrieve your order there.
Hy-Vee is more grocery-oriented, and offers the option of either pick-up or delivery right to your door. However, there is a delivery fee for this more convenient option. Without a membership, the delivery fee is $9.95. The option to pick-up, however, is free with a minimum purchase of $30 worth of grocery items.
Whether you’re still nestled in a blanket while ordering breakfast burritos for you and your roommates at the touch of your finger, or choose to venture out and retrieve your weekly grocery items, more and more companies are choosing to make shopping and eating a breeze for busy customers.
Reporting contributed by Will Kaptain