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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Main pic: Pexels via Mali Maeder