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What’s the Average Distance for Food Delivery Services?

With rapidly increasing rates of people ordering their meals using food delivery services, it’s important to know how far each delivery service is willing to travel to deliver your meal. By knowing exactly which services you can use ahead of time, you’ll save time and frustration when it comes time to place your order!

Each delivery service and restaurant differ in their delivery radius, but restaurants stick to a five-mile radius as a general rule. This fluctuates depending on the location and availability of restaurants. Some regions require wider radiuses while others average at less than five miles due to restaurant density.

Since some people live in concrete jungles with restaurants on every corner, and others live in rural towns with the closest restaurant 10 miles away, delivery services are required to adjust their protocols.

In this article, you will get a better idea of which delivery service to use depending on the kind of environment you find yourself in.

Do Restaurants Determine the Maximum Delivery Distance?

Restaurants set their delivery radius for the food delivery services, which means each delivery distance is dependent on the restaurant you are ordering from. Because delivery distances can change from restaurant to restaurant, delivery drivers generally get paid different rates depending on the distance they travel.

By allowing restaurants to expand their ranges, they have more control over their client base and can choose whether they want to pay drivers more for the additional range or bring their range closer to pay them lower fees.

This also allows restaurants to choose the optimal range depending on their environment. For example, most restaurants in New York City will stick to a delivery distance of 15 blocks or less since that still services a vast range of people.

However, if the restaurant is in the suburbs or a more rural part of a state, they may need a five-mile radius just to get close to where their customers live.

Since every location and restaurant is so different, there cannot be a one size fits all distance for restaurants to work in. With that said, each delivery service can choose which restaurants they want to work with to ensure fair wages and enough work for their drivers.

Because of this, you cannot find every restaurant on delivery services, and not every restaurant on a given service will offer the same distance for deliveries as others.

While most of the delivery services follow similar radius averages, some are generally more accessible than others. There are several areas where neither of the popular services offers any deliveries due to low demand. And there are other areas where all of the services seem to offer the same restaurants and distances for delivery.  

How Far Does Uber Eats Deliver?

Uber Eats generally chooses to stay within a five-mile radius of the restaurants they service. However, their delivery zones are determined primarily by their site’s algorithm. Meaning that while Uber Eats’ average radius sits around five-miles, numerous factors go into deciding a delivery range.

Some factors Uber Eats consider include:

  • Cuisine type
  • Location
  • Distance
  • Expected delivery times

With these factors, they will automatically change the delivery zones of restaurants as those factors shift over time. This makes for an ever-changing platform, and although it makes it hard to predict, it is designed to give the restaurants and customers the easiest experience possible on their platform.

This method has been effective for Uber Eats, which has been proven by it being the most popular food delivery service. With it being the most utilized food delivery app, it can be assumed that most people ordering food can find a restaurant within their range.

Therefore, even though there is no consistent average distance, Uber Eats determines their distances on a case-by-case basis to ensure that all restaurants are given a fair chance to thrive on their app. Uber Eats also allows restaurants to increase or decrease their delivery radius.

Luckily, the majority of the food delivery services follow a very similar protocol to increase accessibility.

How Far Does DoorDash Deliver?

The general delivery radius for DoorDash is five miles, but restaurants can choose to expand their radius. This is similar to Uber Eats in that restaurants have control over whether or not they want to offer their services to those living further from their establishment.

It’s worth to mention that if the restaurant allows delivery farther than 5 miles, the delivery fees will increase based on the distance travelled by the driver.

How Far Does GrubHub Deliver?

GrubHub is often known as being the most accessible service with a radius that’s generally a bit larger than the competition. GrubHub states on their website that their range cannot exceed a 70 miles radius from the restaurant.

While GrubHub’s average delivery range is much closer to those of Uber Eats and DoorDash, this gives restaurants a lot more flexibility.

This is especially helpful for restaurants in more rural locations where further deliveries are necessary to serve their customers. Similar to the other two previously mentioned, GrubHub also allows restaurants to change their delivery radius.

How Far Does Seamless Deliver?

For those who prefer to use Seamless, the GrubHub counterpart, the average distance is consistent. Since Seamless officially became part of GrubHub, their delivery range and prices are in line with GrubHub’s, which means it cannot exceed 70 miles radius from the restaurant.

Which Food Delivery Service Delivers the Farthest?

GrubHub will generally deliver the farthest among the most popular food delivery services. Although GrubHub is well-known for its wide delivery range and overall ease while ordering, the service that will deliver the furthest may differ from region to region.

This is primarily because each service has slightly different ranges, restaurants they support, and the number of drivers in each area.

Therefore, when looking to get food delivered, there are a few steps to take. If you’re more than five miles from the closest restaurants, check GrubHub first, as they will generally deliver a bit further and may be your best option.

If you can’t find what you want, check the other delivery apps, but before exploring their food options, enter your address into the application. If you enter your address first, the app will show you only the restaurants within your delivery range.

This is a quick and effective way to avoid running into any problems as you try to order your food! It will also speed up your process of choosing the best delivery service for your needs and will give you a better feel for which to use going forward.

In addition, by checking all of the delivery services rather than just one, you’ll have the highest chance of finding something you want within your range.

Summary

In this article, we covered the average delivery distance for the most popular food delivery services. We learned that although all of the popular delivery services vary in their delivery distances, the most common average is around a five-mile radius from the restaurant.

If you live in an area that is not within a five-mile radius of any restaurants, don’t worry! If the service itself does not change its delivery distance within your area, your local restaurants will likely add distance to make sure they can reach their clientele.

Keep in mind that while all of the food delivery services will expand their range if necessary, it will often double or triple the delivery charge. This ensures that the driver is being compensated fairly for the extra distance being driven.

Therefore, if you are delivered food further than about five miles from the restaurant, expect additional fees to be added!

If you’re interested in finding out more about food delivery services, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Can You Order DoorDash for Someone Else? (Yes, Here’s How)

Can You Order Food Delivery to a Hotel?

Do Food Delivery Services Accept Cash?

Can You Order Food Delivery to a Hospital?

Do Uber Eats Drivers See Your Tip? (Before or After Delivery)

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Written by Eril E.

Eril is the founder of Shopfood.com. He has over 12 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. He launched many successful products for major brands sold at big retailers like Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more. He likes to write and share his experience with others. Outside of work, you can find him at a hiking trail in New England or playing soccer with his kids.

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