After dipping spoons into delivered ice cream this summer, four members of the Food On Demand brain trust ordered burritos for lunch on a perfectly normal, 25-degree day in Minneapolis. Looking for a mix of variety and control, we ordered from two national chains and one independent, and used four different third-party delivery services for a quick snapshot of the delivery landscape.
The scene was typical for early December in Minneapolis, two days after back-to-back Thanksgiving snowstorms blanketed the city. Roads were plowed, skies were clear and we were looking for a decent lunch without having to bust out the dog sleds to pick it up ourselves. Read on to see how we fared.
Tom: Chipotle from DoorDash
Starting with the worst experience, my delivered lunch was the saddest sack in the crew. I ordered Chipotle from DoorDash at 12:40 p.m., was quoted 21 to 31 minutes to be delivered at 1:16 p.m. I ordered a chicken burrito with a Mexican Coke in a glass bottle, because I’m fancy. Delivery fee of $3.99, Dasher tip of $4, taxes and fees of $1.87 put this order on the steeper side for a typical weekday lunch. Then again, $20.01 isn’t bad for some convenience on a busy day. A confusing waiting game commenced after placing my order, as the DoorDash order tracker never showed the driver’s location or provided reassuring updates. At 1:10, I wondered if my order actually went through, but then it arrived at 1:15. The driver skipped any pleasantries, handing me a crumpled paper bag that came out of an insulated bag that was wide open on two sides. “Here we go,” I thought. Inside the bag, the foiled burrito was crammed against my glass soda bottle, so it was humorously misshapen and not even lukewarm—the center of the burrito was cold. The bag contained a few napkins, although a packet or two of hot sauce would have been a nice extra. Coming from just 1.4 miles away, it’s remarkable how quickly my burrito went from (presumably) hot and delightful to unshapely and unappetizing.
Total cost w/tip: $20.01
Nick: Burrito Loco from Bite Squad
FOD reporter Nick Upton originally tried ordering Chipotle from Postmates, but since the brand has a limited presence in Minneapolis, it wasn’t meant to be. It took Nick a moment to figure that out, however, as he found a nearby Chipotle on Postmates, plugged in an order and got to the final confirmation before being told the company couldn’t deliver his order at the moment. Postmates didn’t specify, but Upton suspected it was because most of the brand’s drivers in our market were likely hanging around the downtown core—our office is 10 minutes north of downtown. Since Bite Squad has a huge presence in Minneapolis, he pivoted and ordered Burrito Loco, which is a popular campus burrito place four miles from our office. His order was originally projected to arrive at 12:36, but showed up 10 minutes early. There was nothing special about the presentation—a standard burrito in a bag with some chips—but the ramekin of queso was well wrapped and the driver delivered it in a closed hot bag. The order, with Bite Squad noting no additional tip was required, included a $3.99 booking fee and a $3 service fee. With a $3 tip, it came to a total of $27.07.
Ever the friendly Minnesotan, Nick enjoyed his driver Sean, who didn’t make any additional stops along the way and (oddly) shared facts about the Earth’s water being older than the sun and that, allegedly, raw honey contains traces of gold and other minerals. “I didn’t get a word in edgewise to ask him what his deal is, but Sean and I are best friends now,” Upton said of the encounter. The bottom line: Good food, good presentation, and all the utensils he needed, but no napkins—a solid “great!”
Total cost w/tip: $27.07
Jared: Qdoba from Uber Eats
FOD Publisher Jared Pfeifer’s lunchtime adventure with Qdoba and Uber Eats started with an offer for 40 percent off the order and a digital coupon for $7 off a future order—a sign of the times in the current delivery scene. Compared with Adam whose Qdoba came from a much closer location, Jared’s was from a store nearly 12 miles away. The estimated delivery time was 35 to 45 minutes, and the driver needed all that time with it arriving 44 minutes later. Jared was able to track the progress of his order via the Uber app, and the driver handoff was quick and uneventful. The burrito was lukewarm rather than hot, and the queso for his chips had cooled upon arrival. He didn’t spot a hot bag on the driver, although being charitable it could have been in the car.
The delivery fee was $6.49 plus a service fee of $2.07, so a total of $8.56 for the convenience, which felt steep for a typical weekday lunch, although the 40-percent-off discount eased the sting. All told, the cost of convenience including tip was 77 percent of the total, but the check was the lowest in the group. “All in all it was a good experience, but I would be more selective with future delivery orders and look for providers that can deliver the food as close to temp as I would receive in the restaurant,” he concluded.
Total cost w/tip: $16.12
Adam: Qdoba from Grubhub
A man of few words, but with endless enthusiasm for eating vast quantities of food (especially burritos), FOD Digital Development Manager Adam Griepentrog also had a glowing experience with his Qdoba delivered by Grub. Plugging in his order, he didn’t notice any special offers or discounts. He placed his early-bird order at 10:38 a.m., and it arrived at 11:17. Calling his driver a “normal-ish dude” and his burrito’s presentation “pristine,” Adam was the happiest camper even though it didn’t come with napkins. He wasn’t able to select the specific Qdoba store, which ended up being a positive compared with Jared’s Qdoba that came from a much more distant location. His order’s subtotal was $13.81 with $2.79 for the delivery fee and $3.19 for the service fee. “I enjoyed using Grubhub,” he said. “It was pretty straightforward and it was nice to be able to schedule my delivery ahead of time. It was on time and what I would have expected.”
Total cost w/tip: $25.66