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.

You might like


    Android appsapps

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


    What is Grubhub, and how does it work? ›

    Grubhub is an online food delivery 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.

    What is Grubhub and how does it work? ›

    Once accepted, Grubhub works with restaurants to implement their menu, pricing, and other details in the app and website. When a customer places an order, it appears on a dashboard in the restaurant's Grubhub app. The restaurant confirms the order and then prepares the food for delivery.

    What makes Grubhub unique? ›

    Grubhub has an outstanding mobile application which has been the strongest factor for its success. The application has every feature that any restaurant app development agency includes in its top applications. The performance of the app made the delivery process glitch-free.

    What is the benefit of using Grubhub? ›

    With Grubhub+ you get:

    $0 delivery fees. Lower service fees. 5% back on pickup orders.

    Why is Grubhub so successful? ›

    Grubhub stands out from other delivery platforms by offering customers a large network of local restaurants, integrating with popular platforms, having a diverse revenue model, strong brand recognition, a focus on innovation, and a robust delivery infrastructure.

    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.

    What is Grubhub known for? ›

    Grubhub is a part of Just Eat Takeaway.com, a leading global online food delivery marketplace, and features 375,000 merchants in over 4,000 U.S. cities. We help restaurants grow their businesses and experiment with new concepts. We provide drivers flexible opportunities to work and earn.

    What are the features of Grubhub? ›

    GrubHub Features
    • Activity Dashboard.
    • Activity Tracking.
    • Alerts/Notifications.
    • Delivery Tracking.
    • Food Delivery Dispatching.
    • For Restaurants.
    • Gift Card Management.
    • Kitchen/Menu Management.

    Who is Grubhub's target audience? ›

    The target audience for the Grubhub App includes busy professionals, students, and individuals who prefer the convenience of having food delivered to their location.

    Do you actually make money with Grubhub? ›

    For example, while the minimum GrubHub payment per hour might be $12 per hour, the average GrubHub pay is potentially around $20 per hour. So, depending on the types of orders you take on, you could make more or less with GrubHub.

    Why is Grubhub charging me $9.99 a month? ›

    If you are referring to the $9.99 pending charge, it shows that it is for GrubHub. Did you order anything from GrubHub? The charge is most likely for the GrubHub+ membership. With Grubhub+ you get: $0 delivery fees; Lower service fees; 5% back on pickup orders.

    Why do people order Grubhub? ›

    The Grubhub delivery product started off with the intention of facilitating a way for individuals to order food from their favorite places that may not deliver. As Grubhub continues to grow, so do the size of the orders.

    How does Grubhub charge? ›

    There is a service fee that changes, but it is usually a percentage of the order total that goes to Grubhub to cover their operating costs. The Grubhub standard processing fee is 3.05% of the order value + 30 cents per prepaid transaction to cover credit card processing and fraud monitoring.

    Does anyone still use Grubhub? ›

    Since 2015, Grubhub has steadily lost marketshare in the US, as Uber Eats and DoorDash claimed more users. From a high of 70 percent, Grubhub sits at less than 20 percent marketshare in 2020, behind DoorDash at 45 percent and Uber Eats (with Postmates) at 30 percent.

    Where is Grubhub used the most? ›

    This statistic shows the cities where Grubhub was the most used food delivery service in the United States as of April 2021. According to the source, Grubhub had the highest share of sales in New York City, accounting for 37 percent of sales when compared to other meal delivery services.

    What was the reason Grubhub was started? ›

    At the time, there was no seamless way to know what places were open and which restaurants delivered. So, as an avid coder, he created GrubHub in his spare bedroom to figure out who delivered to his apartment. Over the next decade, Mike grew his little delivery guide into the world's premier online ordering website.

    How do Grubhub drivers get paid? ›

    If you choose not to or are unable to use the Instant Cash Out feature, payments are sent on Thursdays via direct deposit. Payments reflect the amount you earned as a delivery partner with Grubhub but have not yet cashed out using the Instant Cash Out feature from Monday through Sunday of the previous week.

    Do you 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.

    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.

    How to pay on Grubhub? ›

    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.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Moshe Kshlerin

    Last Updated:

    Views: 6096

    Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

    Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Moshe Kshlerin

    Birthday: 1994-01-25

    Address: Suite 609 315 Lupita Unions, Ronnieburgh, MI 62697

    Phone: +2424755286529

    Job: District Education Designer

    Hobby: Yoga, Gunsmithing, Singing, 3D printing, Nordic skating, Soapmaking, Juggling

    Introduction: My name is Moshe Kshlerin, I am a gleaming, attractive, outstanding, pleasant, delightful, outstanding, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.