By Kristy Wilson
A friend recently posted the following on Facebook and it cracked me up. Here is what she said: “Lol…the epitome of privilege: Ordering Starbucks from the app on your iPhone then sending Uber to go pick it up and deliver it to you…hahaha…if I ever do that…”
The first thing I thought was she is right — this is a total first-world problem. The second thing I thought … Uber delivers food? Well, yes it does! However, UberEATS is currently only serving 50 cities around the world and Champaign-Urbana isn’t one of them. However, this brings us to the point of the article: What are the delivery options in Champaign-Urbana? Looking beyond traditional delivery options of pizza, Chinese food, and Jimmy Johns, I’ll take a look at the current delivery options in C-U and the pros and cons that come with them.
I haven’t used any of the services. I gathered this information from the company’s websites as well as from talking with people who frequently use these options.
Pros: App available for phones. Some of their delivery partners offer the ability to order food ahead of time (for example, as I am writing this article and investigating options the restaurant that I am checking out is currently closed, but says “restaurant is currently closed, but you can order ahead.” Coupons! Who doesn’t like a good deal?
Cons: This delivery option is a bit confusing. Upon first glance the website appears to offer more options than anyone else, which is a big plus. However, once I attempt to go in and place my online order I am redirected to Eatstreet.com, so it appears that Eat CU is more of a food options platform that partners with other delivery businesses in the area.
Cons: I have lived here for many years (27 to be exact) and there are many places that I have never heard of as options for delivery and very few that I have. Delivery fees vary from $0-5 and some restaurants require a minimum order amount. Upon investigating it would appear that many of the delivery options come from campustown. If you’re a student this might be the perfect delivery option for you.
Pros: You get a $7 coupon as a first-time customer of Grub Hub when you subscribe to the email list-serve. They deliver from 18 restaurants in the area. App available for phones.
Cons: A delivery fee of anything from $0-3.99. While it’s not that much it still adds to the bill once you add a tip to that amount. Also, the restaurants that they are partnered with are pretty limited. While there are 18 different ones it seems that unless you’re primarily in the mood for pizza, Mexican or Asian cuisine that there aren’t too many options. Finally, 2.8 miles of distance can completely change the places that you can have delivered.
Pros: Incredibly wide variety with options ranging from Mary Anne’s Diner to JJ Fish and Chicken to Hamilton Walkers. Coupons are available online from places like Retailmenot.com, couponcheif.com, and their very own (orderup.com); “$10 off your first 3 meals (that’s $30!)”! A friend also reported that by creating an account that the more you use the service, the more coupons they send you thus incentivizing their continued use.
Cons: The issue noted earlier with other delivery places with the 2.8 miles of distance making a fairly sizeble difference in what restaurants are available. There is also quite a wide variety of delivery fees and in some cases minimum order amounts (for example, Siam Terrace has a minimum $30 order with an additional $6 delivery).
New and potentially on their way:
Fetch: There is an app available. The big distinction between this service and others is that it is tip-based and patrons do not pay a delivery fee. According to comments on the post about this service on Facebook, Fetch is a single person who is delivering items to people during downtimes of his deliveries with orderup.com, so he is not just sitting idle. One person commented that deliveries can be from anywhere not just food places. If you need a Tide pen (this example was tested by a Fetch user), then Fetch will go to Walmart and get it!
Door Dash: I stumbled upon this one when researching phone apps. When I went to the website it said “Coming soon to your area,” so be on the look-out for this one too.
Uber Eats: I checked their website out of curiosity. After entering my address I got a “we’re not their (sic) just yet!” message. Potentially another delivery option coming to C-U.
If you’re looking for delivery of other products beyond food be sure to check out our post on “Unique Delivery Options in CU.” There certainly could be more food delivery options added in the near future, or some of these options could exit the market. Are there any that I’ve left out? Any thoughts on the ones listed above?
Kristy Wilson considers herself a townie having lived in the community for 27 years. She grew up in Unit 4 schools and attended the University of Illinois. Kristy is passionate about her work with youth and families in the community and is interested in how nutrition affects youth’s behavioral health. Kristy is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with a degree concentrated in community and mental health.