What is Grubhub, and how does it work? (2024)

If you’re an American, it’s hard to ignore the Grubhub name when you’re looking for online eating options. Here’s what you need to know before placing your first order.


  • What is Grubhub?
  • How does Grubhub work?
  • How to sign up for Grubhub
  • How to use Grubhub
  • What is Grubhub Plus?

What is Grubhub?

Grubhub is an app- and web-based meal delivery service founded in 2004. While its full history is more complex, the short version is that it grew its reach through a merger with Seamless and a series of takeovers, eventually getting bought itself by the Netherlands’ Just Eat Takeaway.

Just Eat operates in many countries around the world, but the Grubhub brand exists mainly in the US, where it covers over 4,000 cities across all 50 states. There are over 300,000 participating restaurants in the country.

How does Grubhub work?

Once users create an account (see below), they can use the Grubhub website or mobile app (for Android and iOS) to browse local restaurants, add menu items to a cart, then select a payment method and check out. While the service is of course focused around delivery, you can skip an associated fee if you opt to pick up food yourself.

Note that partner restaurants don’t handle delivery. Instead your food is picked up by Grubhub drivers, who get paid on a gig basis, much like Uber drivers or Instacart shoppers. For this convenience, restaurants pay Grubhub a portion of their revenue. That’s why it often costs more for online orders than it does for dine-in or take-out.

How to sign up for Grubhub

The app and website offer a variety of ways to sign up. If you want to sign up with your email address, you’ll be prompted to enter your first and last name and create a password. You can also sign up by linking an existing Amazon, Apple, Google, or Facebook account. Either way, you’ll be asked to set a default delivery address.

Be prepared to attach a online payment method to your account, too. Options include credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal. If a restaurant supports it, you may be able to use cash, but don’t count on it.

How to use Grubhub

What is Grubhub, and how does it work? (1)

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Assuming you’re using the mobile app, the first thing to do is adjust your filters via the Home tab. You can switch between Delivery and Pickup, and if you hit the Preorder tab, you can schedule an order up to 4 days in advance. If you don’t preorder, Grubhub assumes you want your food ASAP.

In the top bar you’ll see your current delivery address next to a map pin. Tap on this to change where orders go. Make sure your address is as precise as possible, conforming to what you’d find in an app like Google Maps — drivers don’t have time to wander around a neighborhood looking for you.

Use the Sort button to filter local restaurant listings. The app defaults to a “recommended” view, but you can also search by price, rating, distance, or delivery speed. Of these, speed and price (low-to-high) are probably the most useful.

Tap in the Search field to look for something more specific, such as doner kebabs or a particular restaurant.

Once results pop up, select a restaurant to see its menu and add items to your cart. Once you’re ready, continue to checkout, making sure order details are correct. You also get a chance to add special delivery instructions, which can be essential if you live in an apartment or condo complex, or you’re staying at a hotel.

Once you select a payment method, you’re ready to place your order. The order is confirmed by email, and you can keep track of its progress via app notifications and the Orders tab.

What is Grubhub Plus?

Grubhub Plus is a monthly subscription plan that waives delivery fees on orders over a certain minimum ($12 before taxes, tips, and fees). You also get improved customer support, and various perks and rewards, such as charitable donations or occasional free meals.

There are limitations. Restaurants must specifically be participating in Plus, something marked by a listing badge. And even when a restaurant is part of the Plus network, your order loses free delivery if it includes alcohol.

Plus costs $9.99 US per month after a free trial. The trial period can vary, but lasts no more than 30 days.

Read more: How does Uber Eats work


Yes, albeit with a giant asterisk next to that. It’s supported only a on per-restaurant basis, and there’s no way of telling ahead of ordering. Assume you’ll be using online payments for most if not all orders.

The answer to this could change at any moment, but DoorDash is typically cheaper for small orders, i.e. ones under $20. If your order is $50 or higher, you should automatically go with Grubhub.

The service is now owned by a Dutch company, Just Eat Takeaway, which completed a $7.3 billion acquisition in 2021.

No. In fact, you’re not allowed to use them with many of Grubhub’s rivals either, since SNAP benefits are intended for groceries, not restaurant food. You can use them with some grocery delivery services.

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    What is Grubhub, and how does it work? (2024)


    What is Grubhub, and how does it work? ›

    Grubhub is an online food delivery

    online food delivery
    Online food ordering is the process of ordering food, for delivery or pickup, from a website or other application.
    https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Online_food_ordering
    marketplace, where restaurant owners can list their establishments for hungry diners to order from. We make it easy to grow your business by providing powerful self-service technology backed by an Account Advisor dedicated to your success.

    How does Grubhub work step by step? ›

    How does Grubhub Delivery work?
    1. Customer places an order. The delivery process begins when a customer places an order on the Grubhub app. ...
    2. The restaurant accepts and prepares orders. ...
    3. The driver accepts and picks up the order. ...
    4. The Grubhub Driver delivers order.

    What is the difference between Grubhub and DoorDash? ›

    DoorDash: Popular in the United States and Canada, DoorDash provides food delivery from various local stores and restaurants. Grubhub: Primarily serving the United States, Grubhub connects users with nearby restaurants for delivery or pickup.

    Do I need to tip Grubhub delivery? ›

    If everything goes smoothly with your delivery and the weather is good, 20% is the standard cost of having the mealtime brought to your doorstep. Never tip less than five bucks, though.

    How do Grubhub drivers get paid? ›

    Get paid. Grubhub's pay model is simple and transparent, with drivers earning base pay and keeping 100% of tips from completed deliveries. Plus, you have the option to get paid the same day with Instant Cash Out or on Thursdays with direct deposit – whichever you prefer.

    Do you have to answer the door for Grubhub? ›

    Contact-free delivery lets customers request the order be left at their door, in their lobby, or another place at the delivery location when they're not available or simply prefer less direct contact.

    Is Grubhub easy to use? ›

    With a simple, easy-to-use platform that shows you local restaurants that deliver, and drivers to bring that food right to you, Grubhub is bound to become your new favorite food delivery service.

    Does Grubhub give you a bag? ›

    Grubhub sends our delivery partners an insulated delivery bag and a Grubhub Driver Card after completing your first delivery, so it's important to always keep your mailing address updated on the app! We'll send you an email with the tracking number once it becomes available.

    How much to tip DoorDash? ›

    "It depends on how big your order is — good tips are at least 15%," said a DoorDasher who declined to share his name. That means the woman who tipped $5 on her $20 DoorDash order — which is a 25% gratuity — actually gave quite a good tip, drivers said. "A $5 tip on a $20 order? That's not bad at all.

    How much do you get paid for DoorDash delivery? ›

    The average income for most DoorDash drivers ranges between $15 and $25 per hour. You may also earn more than this if you get plenty of additional income from tips for your orders. If you can work during peak times or maximize your delivery efficiency, you could be on the higher end of this scale.

    Can my Grubhub driver see my tip? ›

    Yes, Grubhub drivers are able to see their total payment amount they will recieve for each order, which includes 100% of the diner's tip.

    How much do Grubhub drivers make per delivery without tips? ›

    During active delivery time you are guaranteed to be paid at least 120% of the local minimum wage at your pickup location, plus $. 34 per mile compensation driven during active delivery time. And, of course, you will continue to receive 100% of tips.

    Is it bad to not leave a tip on Grubhub? ›

    For standard deliveries, Grubhub suggests leaving a minimum of $5 or 10-20% of the delivery fee, whichever is higher. This practice ensures that even the smallest deliveries will still be profitable to drivers. After all, they really don't make much delivering food alone.

    Who is cheaper, Grubhub or DoorDash? ›

    Is DoorDash or Grubhub Cheaper? DoorDash is known to be significantly less expensive than Grubhub. After analyzing the cart values of numerous orders, it seems that people spent roughly $10 less while using DoorDash. Plus, DoorDash offers customers a membership where people can pay less in fees.

    Do you need a credit card for Grubhub? ›

    Pay how you want

    We accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, eGift and credit cards, or good old-fashioned cash. What works best for you, works great for us.

    Does Grubhub pay for mileage? ›

    As of October 2023, GrubHub pays delivery drivers an average of 22 cents per mile (CPM) for both pick-up and delivery distances. This means that if you drive a total of 5 miles for a delivery (2.5 miles to the restaurant and 2.5 miles to the customer), you would earn roughly 1.10 dollars (.

    How does Grubhub process payments? ›

    Drivers are able to cash their earnings out up to $500 a day using the Instant Cash Out feature, which is free for Chase Bank customers and $. 50 each for all other bank customers. If you do not wish to use the Instant Cash Out feature, payments are sent on Thursdays to your bank via direct deposit.

    Do Grubhub drivers read delivery instructions? ›

    It's always important to read delivery instructions. Diner's use this opportunity to share some helpful insights like special parking or drop off areas.

    How does Grubhub work for pickup? ›

    Curbside pickup is a fast and safe way to pickup food you've ordered ahead of time. With curbside pickup, you can arrive at the front of the restaurant, and a staffer will bring your food outside to you, ready to go. Grubhub offers curbside pickup—as well as delivery—from restaurants near you.

    How does Grubhub send orders to restaurants? ›

    We recommend that you receive orders through our online Grubhub for Restaurants app, which you can access from any device with an internet connection. We can also send orders to your point-of-sale (POS) system, if you use one of our POS partners. And you can receive orders via email or fax.

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