HOUSTON – Gone are the days of having to settle for pizza or Chinese food for delivery takeout. Food delivery services are expanding across Houston, making it possible to get just about any food you crave brought right to your front door.
KPRC 2 wanted to see how different companies compare.
At Bleach Salon off South Shepherd in Houston, lunch time is usually the busiest time of the day.
"Throughout the day, we really don't have time to sit down and eat most of the time," Bleach Salon owner Julie Correa said. "We've got maybe 10 minutes, and we are back and forth all day long."
"A lot of times I've seen clients take breaks and order food," salon apprentice Erika Garcia said.
"With delivery apps, it's great that we can get something healthy besides fast food or pizza or Chinese. That seemed to be the only option," Correa said. "Now we have a lot more options where we can actually get salads."
A busy salon where people are working or stuck in the chair, KPRC 2 thought it was the perfect place to put food delivery services to the test. We wanted to see how different food delivery services stack up during a typical lunch rush.
While this is not a true scientific study, KPRC 2 ordered the same exact food item from the same exact restaurant at the same time. The three apps used were Uber Eats, Favor and Door Dash.
Salon client Rita Contreras picked her favorite food delivery app to test.
"I like Uber Eats because it's reliable, good variety and it links up to my Uber application," Contreras said. "If you are a picky eater, they make it easy to change to suit what you are needing and what you want."
Using the app, KPRC 2 ordered the apple pecan salad from Dish Society on San Felipe. Uber Eats made us add a protein to the salad, so that added an extra $4.40 to the bill. With taxes and a $4.99 booking fee the total for our Uber Eats delivery is $22.26. Uber Eats does not automatically include a driver tip.
Garcia likes food delivery just so she doesn't have to leave the building.
"I don't have to go out in my car and get stuck in traffic," Garcia said. "That in Houston alone, there is no telling what time you would be back."
Garcia used Favor to place her order. With Favor, you automatically see who your driver is and you can call or text them with questions. You can also track the order from start to finish.
The total for our Favor meal: $21.72. That's $10.83 for the salad, $6.92 for the tip, $3.00 delivery fee and a .97 cent processing fee. (Favor automatically added a $6 off coupon because it was our first time using the app, so that bumped our total down to $15.72.)
Correa ordered her salad using Door Dash. With the included $3 dasher tip, a $2.99 delivery fee and a $1.36 service fee, the total came out to $19.65.
For each service you are given an estimated delivery time. We are expecting about 30 minutes before our orders start arriving. Because each delivery service sets its own price for the menu item, the prices for the salad did vary slightly.
Favor showed up 28 minutes after we placed the order. Not too long after, clocking in at 36 minutes, the Uber Eats driver walked in with our order.
We checked Door Dash. The app kept showing the driver was "in process." You could actually see the driver's car heading in our direction, but it was taking a very long time.
One hour and 13 minutes after we placed our order, the Door Dash delivery finally made it.
Here's what Door Dash had to say about the long wait time:
"At Door Dash we always strive to provide specific, accurate delivery estimates, so you can plan accordingly. The typical delivery for Door Dash arrives in less than 45 minutes and roughly nine out of 10 deliveries arrive on time or early," a Door Dash spokesperson said. "In this particular case, we encountered unexpectedly high customer demand that day and as a result saw some prolonged delivery times. We're always working to provide the best possible experience, and we apologize for the delay in this order."
KPRC 2 stopped by Dish Society, the restaurant where we ordered the salad from. Dish said on an average lunch day, they churn out 75 to-go orders. That's a 15 percent hike and it attributes that to the food delivery services that are available.
"We've seen a huge uptick in our sales in our business," Dish Society owner Aaron Lyons said. "I'd like to think that 80 percent of sales are incremental that we would have not otherwise gotten had we not been on the platforms."
"Oh my God. It's like every day," Favor driver J.R. Ramirez said, "I work six days a week and I'm like constantly busy. I work two different shifts and every time I clock in, it's like bam, bam bam!"
Here are links to the different food delivery services available in the Houston market: