Hungry? Here Are Ten Ways To Order Food Online

Today there are many ways to order food online. Sometimes you want food immediately and other times you are willing to wait a couple of days for the perfect meal to arrive. I'd like to share 10 of my favorite sites to order food online.

Allen Stern, Contributor

February 21, 2009

4 Min Read

Today there are many ways to order food online. Sometimes you want food immediately and other times you are willing to wait a couple of days for the perfect meal to arrive. I'd like to share 10 of my favorite sites to order food online.QVC I find that QVC has the best selection of food from the various home shopping channels. They offer hundreds of foods, from steak to cheesecake to seafood. I've tried a few of the foods and really enjoy the BBQ ribs and the pretzels. The best part about the selection that QVC offers is that you can try foods from around the U.S. from wherever you are located.

FreshDirect FreshDirect is basically a supermarket in a truck. The service is only available in parts of NYC and reminds me of Webvan earlier this decade. The concept is simple -- you create an account, select your food items, pick your delivery time, and the goods show up. They have food in every category that's in the supermarket. Compared with a traditional grocery store, the price is a bit more expensive, but the convenience seems to outweigh the increased cost -- there's a truck outside my apartment building it seems like all day making deliveries!

Amazon Most people I ask don't realize that Amazon has a huge food section. The selection reminds me of what QVC offers. In addition to fresh food, Amazon also offers pantry items including cereals and other grains. There always are discount codes floating around the Web and while Amazon seems to be a pinch more expensive than a supermarket, the sizes are more closely aligned with a superstore and they ship free.

GoMobo GoMobo has an interesting model for food ordering. Instead of going to Subway, McDonald's, and a large number of other quick-food eateries and then waiting in line, GoMobo allows you to completely pass the line by ordering your food through its Website. Once you have placed your order, you just walk right up to the pickup area and grab your food and go. In my tests, the service has worked flawlessly and each time I've received the correct order with my particular changes (e.g., no pickle, extra bbq sauce, etc.). The service only works in NYC currently, but it does have plans to expand this year. It's great for workers who have a specific time for lunch because they can get back the time from waiting on line and use that time for enjoyment.

Foodzie Foodzie is the newest of the 10 sites and provides a "marketplace to discover and buy food from small artisan producers and growers." Even if you don't plan to order anything, go to their site just to see how they photograph the food -- it's beautiful. Foodzie's categories include bakery, cheese, chocolate, coffee, meat, seafood, pantry, syrups, and snacks. I like Foodzie because it is giving food merchants from across the U.S. a chance to push their products past their local market.

GetQuik GetQuik works for take-out and delivery and has 150 restaurants in the system currently. The differentiator is in the architecture, which allows for very high, rapid transactions. It serves the Silicon Valley market. The service is similar to GoMobo in that you can order food for pickup. It also provides a delivery service as well.

GrubHub The idea is simple: If you live in a city GrubHub covers (Boston, Chicago, New York, and SF), you select a restaurant, select your food, enter your delivery details and payment info, and the order is dispatched to the restaurant. What's interesting about GrubHub is that they list restaurants that both pay them and that don't pay them. Most of the services I've seen to-date only display the establishments they have deals with.

Seamlessweb Seamlessweb is the largest of the online food delivery services. They serve a large number of cities in the U.S. and also in London. I've ordered using their system countless times and it's great because there are no worries that what you told the person on the phone is what you will actually receive. Every order has always been exactly the way I've ordered it.

CampusFood CampusFood is similar to Seamlessweb but it targets areas near major U.S. universities. It offers lots of deals for college students and works with the schools and food merchants to hold on-campus parties and events. I was able to order with the service even after graduating and found that it had a unique set of merchants versus the other online food delivery sites.

Pizza As a resident of New York, this one won't apply since we know real pizza comes from pizzerias, but for those outside New York, the major pizza chains all support online ordering. This includes Papa John's, Pizza Hut, and Domino's. Before you order with any of them, check out their online deal pages as you can typically find some great deals for the same price as a pizza.

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