There’s no hero quite like a food delivery service when you’re starving hungry and can’t be bothered to get off the couch and see what’s in the fridge.
Loved by public servants burning the midnight oil, sleep-deprived new parents and hungry students alike, food delivery service providers make it even easier to enjoy the food you love, without having to leave the house.
But how do you avoid ending up with overpriced, cold food that’s delivered an hour later than you expected? In this article, we’ll outline what to look for in a great food delivery service and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great food delivery service?
While many food delivery service providers partner with the same restaurants, your experience may vary depending on delivery speed, cost and with how much care your food is handled.
That’s why we recommend keeping the following in mind when choosing a food delivery service.
- Prompt delivery. If you want your food delivered to your doorstep as soon as possible (to be honest, who doesn’t?), then you want a delivery service that’s fast and reliable. Does the service have enough delivery staff to meet demand during peak times? Don’t be afraid to compare delivery estimates for the same restaurant through different providers.
- Reasonable delivery fees. Delivery fees should be comparable with other providers. If you’re getting charged more than $10 for delivery, consider looking elsewhere.
- Wide range of options. Some food delivery services make their own delicious meals. Others partner with local restaurants. If you’ll be ordering food regularly, and you’d like to order from the same delivery service, look for one that has plenty of variety – whether that be in meal or restaurant options.
- Food shows up hot and intact. No one wants to eat a squashed banh mi or deal with soggy spring rolls. Check online reviews to make sure the food is packaged adequately and transported with care (some restaurants provide their own drivers, while others opt to use drivers from the delivery service, so be sure to research both the restaurant and the delivery service before making a decision.)
The best food delivery services in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
If you live close to the city centre, Deliveroo often delivers on bike - making it a speedier choice during peak hour when the roads are busy. And while Deliveroo once only serviced a small part of Canberra, its offerings - ranging from Italian, American -style burgers, and fish and chips, to Chinese, Mexican, and more – are also available in the suburbs.
Dinner's Ready is providing restaurant-quality meals that you don't have to leave home for. For those who really want to enjoy their food but simply don't have the time or capacity to cook, Dinner's Ready meals are prepared by qualified chefs with high quality, local ingredients. Their meals are available in certain stockists and for delivery all across the ACT via their website.
On Facebook, Lea Fenton writes, "Been looking for something like this for a while. We've had two of your meals this week, the Malaysian curry and the beef rendang and they are bang on with flavour."
With 20 years of experience as a professional chef, Canberra local Siobhan started Dinner Rush to help families access "fast" food that was also nutritious, local and fresh. With Dinner Rush, you can have quality, locally-sourced and seasonal food delivered right from the cafe kitchen to your door. With a range of delicious and nourishing take-home meals available, as well as gift packs for special occasions or helping out a friend in need, Dinner Rush believes that everyone deserves affordable, healthy and delicious food, anywhere, any time.
Happy customer Beth Hogan Walker writes in this Facebook review, "We’ve had the meals at home a few times. It’s delicious food for the whole family and the service is amazing. Delivered right to your door!"
If you've used ride share service Uber, chances are you're familiar with its sister business, Uber Eats. Using your Uber account, you can order from hundreds of restaurants via an app on your smartphone or your computer browser. You can also track your order when it’s on the road, which, while perhaps unnecessary, sure is fun.
Here in Canberra, you can order just about any cuisine from Uber Eats, from Indian, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, and Japanese to fast-food favourites like the Chicken Shop, McDonalds, and Grill’d.
Which food delivery service do you use?
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the food delivery services listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to have food delivered?
Many factors determine the price, including where you live and the amount of food you order. Some food delivery services only cover certain areas (most specify on their websites) and, generally, the closer you are to a restaurant the lower the delivery fee (some delivery is free within a certain radius). If you’re getting charged more than $10 for delivery, consider looking elsewhere.
What if my food doesn’t arrive?
Check out the return policy on the food delivery service website for how the situation will be handled if your food doesn’t arrive. You should expect to be 100 per cent reimbursed. Some services have customer care teams who can help. You should, as a minimum, check for a contact email address on the website.
Can I place orders in advance?
This varies service by service. It’s best to trawl through websites to see how the service works.
What if my order is late?
Some services allow you to track where your order is online. Sometimes things outside of a rider’s control can cause a delay so a bit of patience goes a long way. Sometimes drivers will call your mobile with an update. Don’t hesitate to contact the service if your patience is being tested.
How do I order through a delivery service?
Most have apps you can download for free on the App Store and Google Play. It’s usually easy to sign up once you’ve completed the download. Keep your eye out for special offers!