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Why food delivery costs so much

NEW YORK (Axios): Why it matters: Food delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash cost consumers more and tighten already tight margins for businesses, but we’ve come to rely on them during the pandemic.

The cost of the same meal can vary dramatically whether you purchase direct from the restaurant and pick it up, or depending on your app of choice.

Here’s an example from popular pizzeria Inizio, with locations in Dilworth, south Charlotte and Huntersville. I ordered a 16-inch pistachio pizza, chopped Italian salad and tiramisu cannoli.

The meal costs $3 more on the apps. “The margins [Uber Eats and Postmates] take are unacceptable straight off the menu,” Inizio owner Grant Arons tells me, so it’s very common for a restaurant to up their prices for delivery orders.

Then, there’s the delivery fee, which varies from restaurant to restaurant, app to app, even day to day.

The kicker is really in the miscellaneous “fees” category — typically billed as service fees — which brings the Postmates meal to nearly $58, about 45% more than pickup.

And don’t forget to tip. It’s been a challenging year for all in the service industry, so whether you’re ordering delivery or picking up, go for 20%.