The Foobooz Guide to Ordering Delivery in Philly
Here’s what you need to know to get the best food in Philly delivered to your door, responsibly.
Delivery these days is complicated. There are so many apps which always seem to be running different specials, not to mention the fact that lots of delivery companies have sketchy practices around recruiting restaurants that quite often result in lost money for the restaurant and lost food for the customer. Here at Foobooz, we understand that sometimes you just need to eat fried chicken while laying on your couch, and we would never deny you that pleasure. We created this guide to help you maximize that pleasure without screwing anyone over. Here are our best practices for ordering delivery.
Pick a good platform.
As we mentioned, lots of problems have arisen from delivery companies like Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates listing restaurants on their sites without the agreement of those restaurants. We’re kind of picky about who we order from, and it’s not just because we care about protecting restaurants. It’s in our best interest as well: When you order food from a restaurant that doesn’t have an agreement with the delivery company, food is likely to take longer to arrive if it makes it to you at all. We also recommend avoiding UberEats, since we’ve heard their standards for drivers and customer service are pretty low. If you’re not sure if a place delivers, the best move is to call them directly and ask, since some restaurants have had fake websites pop up with incorrect delivery info. If they direct you to one of these companies, then it is, of course, fine to use them. Here are the two we recommend:
Caviar delivers only from restaurants with which they have a direct agreement. Restaurants have specific representatives that they can call if they have an issue. They are also known among restaurateurs for being the best at delivering food without issues like smashed food or other quality concerns.
Black and Mobile
Black and Mobile is a black-owned business based in Philly that partners with other black-owned restaurants to offer a delivery service. It’s in the start-up phase, so you have to catch them during their hours, but it’s a good alternative to supporting gigantic companies that don’t care about Philly at all.
Here is a list, in no particular order, of these that you shouldn’t order via delivery:
- Soup dumplings, which will almost certainly burst, congeal, or get cold before they arrive
- Fries, which are never as good reheated
- Anything with a fried egg, which does not travel or reheat well
- Steak tartare
- Nachos, unless you like soggy chips
- Onion rings
Always tip well, and in cash.
Last year, it came out that some delivery companies were using the tips that customers left in apps to subsidize their base pay, which means that if a driver was promised say, a minimum of at least $2.13 an hour (the federal tipped minimum wage) and received $10 in tips, they would be paid $10.13 for that hour, not the $12.13 that the minimum wage implies. Though companies say they’ve changed their policy, its still best to tip in cash. We also practice the following rule: for delivery, you tip $5 or 20%, whichever is a larger amount. Ordering $12 worth of food is the same amount of work for the delivery driver as $200, but if you can afford to order $200 worth of food, you should tip accordingly.
We know, we know. This is a delivery guide, but it’s worth mentioning that across the board, major delivery companies take around a 30 percent cut from the cost of the order, which is a huge hit to restaurant’s bottom lines. Typically, margins for a restaurant are between 15 and 30 percent, so the math is not in their favor. In addition, they pay for the cost of packaging the food, which is another hit to their bottom line. Most delivery companies don’t allow restaurants to list different prices for delivery, because many customers complain that delivery is too expensive any way. If you’re feeling ripped off, consider calling in your order next time and swinging by on your way home and leaving everyone with a couple extra bucks in their pocket.
Where to order from.
There’s an almost constantly expanding number of places to order delivery from in Philadelphia, but here’s a list of some of our favorite spots (including many 2019 Best of Philly winners) with their official delivery partnerships listed.
Baology – Caviar
Han Dynasty – Caviar
Dim Sum House (2019 BOP) – Caviar
Pho-losophy (2019 BOP) – Caviar
Tom’s Dim Sum – Caviar
Cheu Noodle Bar – Caviar
Ba Le Bakery – Caviar
Double Knot – Caviar
Pho Saigon – Caviar
Sang Kee Peking Duck House – Caviar
Nom Wah Tea House – Caviar
Lee How Fook – Caviar
Rangoon – Caviar
Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine – Caviar
Fu-Wah Market – Caviar
Bing Bing Dim Sum – Caviar
LALO – Caviar
Nunu – Caviar
Sate Kampar – Caviar
Amma’s South Indian Cuisine (2019 BOP) – Caviar
Stock – Caviar
Tiffin – Caviar
The Hot Dog Stand (2019 BOP) – confirmed UberEats partnership
Paprica Grill (2019 BOP) – Caviar
Porcos Porchetta and Small Oven Bake Shop – Caviar
Woodrow’s – Caviar
Liberty Kitchen – Caviar
Poe’s Sandwich Joint – Caviar
Mexican/Central American/South American
Tacos California – Caviar or in-house option
Mission Taqueria – Caviar
Jezabel’s Cafe (2019 BOP) – Caviar
El Merkury – Caviar
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor – Caviar
Loco Pez – Caviar
Los Gallos – in-house delivery
Taqueria Morales – in-house or confirmed partnership with Grubhub
Aunt Berta’s Kitchen (2019 BOP) – confirmed Doordash partnership
Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen (2019 BOP) – Black and Mobile
Good Dog Bar (2019 BOP) – Caviar
Mike’s BBQ – Caviar
Walnut Street Cafe – Caviar
High Street on Market – Caviar
High Street Provisions – Caviar
Kensington Quarters – Caviar
Poi Dog – Caviar