Restaurants in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area offer delivery in a variety of ways, directly or through restaurant delivery apps.
Independent restaurant delivery
Pizza and Chinese restaurants have been the ones to most routinely offer delivery service. But, so do many other small, independent eateries. Today, almost any type of cuisine is available for delivery in the Puget Sound region.
Some restaurants in your immediate neighborhood may offer delivery service the old-fashioned way. You call the restaurant, place an order, give them a credit card, and the food is prepared for pickup or delivery. You will get more personal service if you are already a known customer at the restaurant or become one through regular delivery.
Delivery from independent restaurants may be free in a small geographic area immediately surrounding the restaurant. Outside of their delivery area, they may charge a fee, or may offer pick up only.
Many local and national restaurants also offer pickup or “to go” orders and delivery through a smartphone delivery app. Ask your favorite local restaurants for all of their delivery options. If pickup service is offered directly through the restaurant, then the restaurant avoids fees associated with delivery apps, so always opt for direct contact if available.
Pike Place Market Takeout & Curbside Pick-Up is offered by many restaurants at Pike Place Market. Click on the link to browse the list.
Restaurant delivery apps
Restaurant delivery apps require a smartphone. However, a few delivery apps also offer service from their website, though features such as real time order tracking and delivery are not available.
If you’ve never used a delivery service before, the following information will give you the basics on how to use restaurant delivery apps, especially to save money.
Note: restaurants pay fees to use delivery apps that eat into their (already thin) profits. So if a restaurant offers takeout and/or delivery by phone, that is a better option for them, especially the small independently owned restaurants.
How to use restaurant delivery apps
To use a restaurant delivery app, simply install the free app on your smartphone, create an account using a credit or debit card (or other available payment methods), and you are ready to order meals from nearby restaurants.
To find restaurants with delivery service, start the app and a list of available locations (based on your delivery address) will be presented.
Be sure to confirm whether utensils and napkins are included with your order or need to be added. Many restaurants conserve waste and assume most orders are delivered to homes or locations which already have cutlery, etc. So be sure to request these items if you need them.
After you place an order, most apps let you track the progress of your order, such as when it leaves the restaurant and the progress of the driver’s route to your delivery location. Where you meet your delivery driver to receive your order varies by the app you use.
In some cases, you can choose the level of delivery service. Some apps let you specify whether you want the order handed to you at the curbside, delivered directly to you at the door, or left outside your door with no contact. Some of these delivery options may cost more than others.
Tipping delivery drivers is optional and can be added on top of the restaurant and delivery charges. Drivers use their personal vehicle for delivery and pay for auto maintenance and gas, usually covered by delivery fees. However, most apps provide a way to add a tip to the order total for additional appreciation. Of course, cash tips are gladly accepted by most drivers.
Note that delivery drivers provide package courier service only. They work independently and are neither an employee of the restaurant or the delivery app. Delivery drivers typically pick up orders from hundreds of restaurants over the course of a month and have little to no specific knowledge about the food, the packaging, and policies at each establishment. If there is a problem with the order, the delivery company will require direct contact from the person who placed the order and not the delivery driver.
If you have a problem with your order, such as missing items or container leakage, the quickest way to a resolution is to either call the restaurant directly and/or initiate a request through the app. There is usually an easy way to initiate this contact in the app, from the specific delivery in your account.
How to save money on delivery fees
For small orders of one meal, delivery fees can equal the cost of the food. So, I usually like to use delivery services only when I’m ordering food to feed several people and/or planning to freeze the excess food to re-heat for another meal.
Fees for meal delivery can vary from service to service, from restaurant to restaurant, and from day to day based on current demand. Fees typically include time and mileage charges paid to the driver, service fees charged by the restaurant (to cover costs such as packaging materials and delivery minimums), and to the company that maintains the app. One easy way to save on delivery fees is to choose restaurants closest to your delivery location to reduce time and mileage charges.
Some apps offer subscription service which can provide delivery discounts and other benefits. If you find a restaurant delivery app you particularly like, signing up for subscription usually pays for itself in a couple of deliveries.
Limitations of delivery apps
Most restaurant delivery services work flawlessly most of the time. Service can be slower during periods of high demand, typically the evening dinner rush (5PM-7PM) and on weekends.
Note: during periods of social distancing due to the coronavirus, expect longer wait times and limited service at most restaurants.
Remain flexible and patient if your first choice is not available. Keep your options open. Try a variety of apps. Order “off peak” (before, after, or between lunch and dinner hours). Or, call nearby restaurants and order directly, then go pickup the order yourself.
During periods of peak demand, delivery service may not work the way you expect. Available restaurants can change from one day and time to another. If a restaurant is at peak demand, they may suspend orders for a short period.
Orders can sometimes be cancelled after they are accepted if demand is very high and the restaurant cannot prepare the order in a reasonable amount of time.
In these cases, try another restaurant, another app, and/or wait an hour and try again. Meanwhile, have a snack and a glass of wine or beer, and chill.
Benefits of restaurant delivery apps
One big advantage of using an app delivery service is the ability to track your order in real time. Most apps provide information about when the delivery has left the restaurant, and many track the delivery using GPS in real time en route to your location (however, GPS can also be inaccurate).
Some apps allow advance orders to be placed several hours or several days in advance. If available, find the advance ordering option in the app.
Restaurant Delivery apps in the Puget Sound region
Here’s a rundown of the restaurant delivery apps serving the Puget Sound region. The closer you are to major urban centers, the more choices you will have. Seattle and Tacoma have broad service, while the smaller cities from Everett to Bellevue and Renton will have fewer options. To find the ones best suited to your location and needs, the best thing to do is to simply place an order and try different services at different times.
Amazon Restaurants via Amazon or Prime Now suspended service in mid-2019.
Bite Squad Seattle offers pickup only from selected restaurants. Delivery service is not available last time we checked.
Caviar offers pickup and delivery service from restaurants in the greater Seattle metro area. Caviar accepts all major credit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
DoorDash offers pickup and delivery service from restaurants in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, as far north as Marysville. The DashPass monthly subscription program provides delivery discounts on eligible orders. In addition, you can earn delivery credits through their Friends and Family Referral Program. Look for these options in the DoorDash app.
Eat24 is now Grubhub.
Grubhub offers delivery from local restaurants and national chains to many zip codes in Seattle. The Grubhub+ monthly subscription program provides discounts on eligible orders and also offers special discounts to college students. GrubHub accepts Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, eGift and credit cards, or good old-fashioned cash.
OpenTable has partnered with Caviar, Postmates, and Uber Eats, to facilitate delivery and take-out at restaurants on the OpenTable network. To find OpenTable restaurants that offer delivery through these partners, simply download the latest version of the app in the App Store or Google Play and scroll down to the “Get it delivered” section. Tapping “View All” toward the upper right corner will display all the restaurants near you that offer delivery. Once you decide on one, the OpenTable app will lead you to order from that restaurant through one of our trusted partners.
Postmates. Postmates offers delivery on restaurant meals as well as groceries, clothing, and other goods from a variety of merchants. For more info on what’s available, install the app and create an account. The Postmates Unlimited monthly subscription program provides discounts on eligible orders. They also offer a referral program where you can earn delivery credits on new customers ordering through your referral link.
Tacoma South Hill Mall Restaurants Offering Pickup and/or Delivery include several national chain restaurants.
Uber Eats offers delivery from hundreds of restaurants in the greater Seattle-Tacoma metro area. The Eats Pass monthly subscription program provides discounts on eligible orders. In addition, receive discounts on a future order when you refer friends by sharing your “invite code” and they place an eligible order. You can also earn discounts when you add “Uber Cash” to pre-load your account with a dollar amount that can be applied to orders. Find these options in the Uber Eats app.
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