Food is what we spend most of our time thinking about. When our next meal is, finding time to try that new recipe and fantasizing about that unhealthy fried thing we happen to be craving - and will inevitably end up ordering when we're feeling too lazy to cook. With the plethora of food delivery apps out there, we've never been more spoilt for choice about getting exactly what we need food-wise, minutes after we've realised we need it. In fact, food apps have become so sophisticated that depending on your mood, you can pick the right app to cater to it: junk-food emergency, date night, binge-watching on the sofa with your SO. Here are the food delivery apps you need to know about...
Long gone are the days when a takeaway meant schlepping down to your local kebab house for a questionable pile of beige food slopped unceremoniously into a polystyrene container.
Now, you can order almost anything you want from the comfort of your couch with just a few swipes on your smartphone, from award-winning cuisine to – if you’re so inclined – piles of said beige food, and in minutes it’ll be at your door.
Food apps have also become an essential part of our lives because they’re the perfect complement to our other favourite activity: streaming our fave television shows anywhere and everywhere.
But with so many food delivery apps on the market, which one’s going to hit the spot right now?
HelloFresh: when you fancy giving cooking a go (but don’t know where to start)
If you’re the type of person who wanders aimlessly around a supermarket, blinking and bewildered under the fluorescent lights, wondering what to make for dinner before reaching for the pasta sauce again, you need HelloFresh. Think of it as culinary school for beginners (and we mean total beginners).
Every week, HelloFresh will send you the exact ingredients (all carefully measured for less waste) to make delicious, healthy meals, accompanied by absolutely fail-safe instructions. Choose to feed two to four people between three and five nights a week with three box varieties: classic, veggie and family (you can even choose your individual meals). Your subscription is totally flexible and can be managed via the app, where you’ll also find loads of other cooking inspiration and tips. See ya later, boring pasta.
UberEATS: when you’re hangry and need food NOW
Not content with totally turning the taxi industry on its head, Uber has recently launched its newest venture, UberEATS, offering all the value and convenience of its ride-booking service, but with food. Download the app, choose from the menus of restaurants near you and place your order, then follow your food’s progress to your front door where it will arrive in less than 30 minutes, ready to be shoved in your face.
There’s a £2.50 delivery fee but no minimum spend so you can order a snack without having to pad out your order (sorry if you’d been using that as an excuse for ordering family-sized portions).
Deliveroo: when it’s date night
Whether you want to impress a date by passing off restaurant-quality cooking as your own (we won’t tell), or you and your other half simply can’t be bothered to peel yourselves off the sofa to pause the Netflix, Deliveroo has you covered. Choose from the best restaurants near you – sushi, Italian, Vietnamese, they’ve got it all – make your order and then track your delivery. Of course, if it’s date night we’d hope you’d have better things to be doing than staring at a blue dot on a screen, so the app handily tells you exactly how long it’ll take for your food to arrive. There’s a £2.50 Deliveroo charge, plus a £15 minimum spend.
Just Eat: when you’ve got post-pub munchies
Let’s be honest, once you’ve stumbled home from the pub late on a Saturday night that sad loaf of bread in the kitchen cupboard doesn’t look too appetising. You need something meaty or cheesy – and preferably fried, stat! One of the better known food apps, Just Eat is your gateway to seemingly countless takeaways in your area, most of which operate pretty late. Each business determines its own minimum spend and delivery fee so it’s easy to get the most bang for your buck (although there is a 50p fee for paying by card), and Just Eat operates a price promise guarantee: if your order is advertised by the restaurant for less somewhere else, they’ll send you a voucher for double the difference.
hungryhouse: when you’ve got mates round
hungryhouse is Just Eat’s main competitor, and operates in much the same way with the same type of takeaways on offer and a similar get-up with minimum spend requirements and delivery charges (although some businesses on hungryhouse choose to absorb the card payment charge, which can vary on this app). There’s a huge selection of cuisines on offer, so the biggest problem will be finding something everyone can agree on. The good news, though, is that some restaurants take part in hungryhouse’s Reward Stamp programme, so if you can all find somewhere you’re happy with, your sixth order will be discounted by 50%. This almost makes up for Sarah taking so damn long choosing her pizza toppings. Almost.
Kukd: for takeaway with a conscience
If you’re ever hit with a pang of guilt while you’re tucking into a delicious take-out, Kukd is for you. Every time you make an order through the app or website, no matter how small, Kukd provides one full meal and a bottle of fresh water to a child in Bangladesh. And you’re rewarded with more than a tasty dinner and clean conscience; every pound spent earns you one Kukd point. These are worth a penny apiece, but they quickly add up and can be redeemed whenever you like. You can also make table bookings and reservations through the app, which will net you a tidy 10 points a time, too.
Jinn: when you could really murder a McDonald’s
Award-winning restaurant cuisine is all well and good, but sometimes you just get a mean craving for good ol’ reliable, aka a Big Mac and fries. You’ll just be getting out of the bath or pouring a cup of tea when suddenly, BAM. You NEED a greasy hit. And then you’re left weighing up just how much you want it against how little you can bothered to trek to your nearest Macca’s to get it.
But not any more, thanks to Jinn. Providing you’re in a serviceable area, this is one of the magic food apps that promises to deliver almost anything (anything legal) within 35 minutes. That includes clothing, electronics, groceries and yep, Maccy D’s. Each delivery costs £5.95 plus 10% of the order value on top of the price of the goods, making it a little pricey for a cheeseburger, but it all depends how much you want it…
Main pic: Pexels via Mali Maeder