Treating ourselves to a takeaway became a weekly staple during lockdown, but many of us may have been paying a premium.
According to a new survey by Which?, ordering food through an app like Deliveroo, Just Eat or UberEats can be considerably more expensive than placing a direct order with a restaurant.
Which? researchers compared the costs of ordering meals for between two and four people from five different restaurants and cafes. On average, orders placed through an app were 23% more expensive.
One particular order – from a burrito and taco restaurant – cost 44% more through one of the apps than it did from the restaurant in question.
In response to the results, Deliveroo told the BBC: “We encourage restaurants to set the same menu prices as they offer customers when dining in. And the commission we charge is then reinvested back into our business, paying for riders’ fees, customer services and upgrading our services for restaurants.”
Just Eat said its commission rates align with “the value we provide to our partners”, while UberEats said it focuses on “ensuring that the best restaurants and the best selection of food is available to customers”.
Adam French of Which? pointed out that the results show that the “undoubted convenience” of ordering food through an app inevitably comes with an “additional cost”.
“If something goes wrong with your order, you might also find yourself caught between the restaurant and the app,” he added. “Food delivery apps should do more to make the responsibilities of the restaurant and themselves clear so consumers are not caught between the two if there’s a problem with their order.
“If customers are owed a refund for a delivery which has gone wrong, they should remember they may be entitled to a cash refund under consumer law – they don’t have to accept credit or a voucher if it isn’t what they want.”
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