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How to Choose the Best Food Delivery Company
There are dozens of food delivery services available for consumers. While these companies all bring food to your door, one may offer a specialty or a service that is particularly appealing to you. Searching for the best service begins with learning about the various types of companies and researching which one suits your needs.
Types of Food Delivery Services
There are three basic types of online food delivery services.
Restaurant Food Delivery
Some food delivery services bring restaurant meals to your door, much like the traditional pizza and Chinese food delivery services that have been around for decades. These third-party businesses usually promise to deliver meals from popular restaurants to your home. Depending on where you live, deliveries can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Customers have the ultimate advantage when it comes to restaurant delivery companies because they never have to leave the comfort of their home. They can also read menus, prices, and reviews before making an order. This choice is the ultimate in fast food delivery because it is convenient.
Prepared Food Delivery
Unlike restaurant food delivery options, prepared food delivery services bring ready-to-eat meals to your door. Most companies offer a variety of meals to choose from.
Fresh Food Delivery
Meal kit delivery services bring packaged and/or fresh food to your door. These online food deliveries offer packages that include recipes and a box of ingredients ready to prepare. Customers generally order a predetermined number of meals per week. Most companies have many healthy meal plans that cater to specific diets.
Some food delivery services cater to special dietary needs, such as gluten-free meals or foods for diabetic or vegetarian diets. Other options include paleo, vegan, keto, low-sodium plans, weight loss diets and organic food choices.
How to Find the Best Delivery Service for You
The following guidelines will help you decide which type of delivery service is right for your family.
Consider Your Budget
Price is probably the most critical consideration for anyone thinking about meal delivery. Look at your budget to determine how much you are willing to spend to have someone deliver fresh food or prepared meals to your door.
Prices will vary depending on how many times per week you plan to use the service and how many people will be using the plan. Most prepared meal plans cost more than ready-to-cook foods or restaurant food delivery.
Think about Your Goals
Your family's goals are also critical when considering a food delivery service. Meal kits are ideal for people who like to cook but don't enjoy shopping or simply don't have the time to shop. Prepared food delivery services are ideal for those who don't have the time to shop or cook.
Assess Special Needs
Consider any special needs, especially if you are looking at committing to a contract. Do any family members have allergies or medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure? If so, food delivery services should cater to these needs.
Do Your Homework
Choosing a home food delivery is important. Customer reviews are your best friend when it comes to finding a reputable company. If there are any issues with a service, it's best to know what they are before you commit to any subscription services.
Look at the company's Facebook, Instagram or other social media accounts for realistic photos of foods they deliver and honest reviews from customers. If their page is full of what appears to be stock photos and overly optimistic comments, you might want to investigate the company a bit more.
Don't fall victim to slick marketing campaigns or professional-looking websites. What matters is the food that will arrive at your door. Check the company's website for information about who runs the business and who is responsible for preparing your food. Find out if the company is certified in food safety handling. If it is a local food delivery service, ask friends and family if they have any compliments or complaints about it before you commit.
Look for truthful companies that employ their own chefs and prepare the orders in-house. Most honest companies have no problem naming who runs the operation and who is responsible for preparing your food. Find out how they deliver meals as well as if they take preparations to ensure food will arrive warm or cold enough.
If a service claims their food is “quality” or “organic,” ask where these ingredients come from.
Be sure to read the company's return policy in regard to canceling or changing your plan. Don't commit to a contract or automatic renewals without first getting a chance to sample the service.
Finally, read online customer reviews from organizations that are not affiliated with the service. There are dozens of websites that allow consumers to share their experiences.
There's little doubt that food delivery services offer convenience, but it pays to be a smart shopper. Always take your time and research companies you are considering. You don't want to be stuck with a subscription to a meal service that doesn't suit your needs or meet your expectations.