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Grubhub, which has 300,000 eateries on its food delivery platform, is one of the country’s top meal delivery providers, just like Instacart or Shipt. Grubhub now boasts 25 million active users in 4,000 cities across the United States.

There are two different types of users on Grubhub: drivers and customers. As a driver, you can set your own hours and deliver food during those hours when you want to work. As a customer, its easy-to-use interface makes ordering your favorite food convenient and hassle-free.

Every day, millions of people order food from Grubhub. You may have wondered how the process works and what it means for you as a driver or customer. This post will cover all of that information and more so you can get a better sense of how Grubhub operates.

Read on to discover all the specifics about how Grubhub works whether you want to quickly order some tasty grub or want to start a new side-hustle as a food delivery driver.

What Is Grubhub?

Grubhub is an on-demand food delivery service that can deliver your favorite restaurant’s food to you and is available for both mobile and web platforms. The company was founded in Chicago in 2004 by web developers Matt Maloney and his partner Mike Evans looking for a better way to order takeout than flipping through printed menus. In 2021 Grubhub was acquired by Just Eat Takeaway, an Amsterdam-based company. While the competition is fierce with other food delivery services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, it has a firm foothold in New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia. Other companies under the Grubhub parent company umbrella include Allmenus, LevelUp, MenuPages, and Seamless.

How Does Grubhub Work?

Grubhub is a food delivery service that connects customers with nearby restaurants. It provides the infrastructure and logistics to make it possible for you to order your favorite restaurant dishes and have them delivered to you.

How this works is a customer visits and enters their postal code or city to see what restaurants are nearby, then they choose from the menu of different foods. When an order is placed for food to be delivered, Grubhub sends emails and texts to both the customer and the driver who will deliver their order. The driver picks up the food from the restaurant and delivers it directly to their customer. When a customer orders from Grubhub, they pay the restaurant directly, and the driver’s fee is factored into the cost.

How Does Grubhub Work for Customers?

There are two ways in which you can place orders with the service: online or via a smartphone app. You can order food easily with the tap of your finger on your smartphone screen or using your computer keyboard.

Using the Grubhub App

In order to use Grubhub, first, download and install their mobile application on your phone or tablet. Once installed, open it up and click ‘create account.’ After filling out a few fields with your name and email address, an activation link will be sent to your email address. Click that link to activate your account.

Now search for whatever restaurant you want food from by typing in the restaurant name. You also have the option to look at local restaurants in your area or search by the type of food you want, for instance, burgers, pad Thai, or ramen. After searching, click any restaurant that interests you and scroll down until you see its menu options. Here you can choose from all the different meals available.

Once you’ve chosen your desired food option, scroll down to the bottom of your screen where it says ‘Order Now,’ click on that button, fill out all the required fields with your payment information and click ‘place order.’ Your food will be delivered to you promptly.

Payment Options for Grubhub Delivery

Grubhub has partnered with various companies and payment services, including credit and debit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, and Paypal. You can also pay the old-fashioned way with cash with some restaurants, but this isn’t widely publicized by Grubhub or available at many of them. When you check out, the Grubhub app will tell you if an order is available for cash payment.

Benefits of Using Grubhub for Food Delivery

The idea of ordering food from a restaurant and having it delivered to your home or office might sound like something only an extravagant person would do. Yet, this is becoming more and more the case as people are looking for ways to save time while still getting a tasty meal. For those who live in busy cities such as New York City, using a food delivery company such as Grubhub can be incredibly handy. Here are some important benefits that come with using Grubhub:

  • Grubhub allows users to order from restaurants that may be too far or inconvenient for them to visit themselves.
  • Grubhub provides user experience reviews of each restaurant so customers can make informed decisions about their meal selection before placing an order.
  • Restaurants in your area are updated frequently, so you’re always up to date about new offerings and deals; you’ll never miss out on your favorite restaurant’s specials again.
  • You can save money on Grubhub orders when you use their promo codes and restaurant rewards.
  • You can use Grubhub’s filter options to find exactly what you want – including vegetarian dishes, gluten-free items, or even vegan meals.
  • You can track your order and see how it’s progressing.
  • You can contact the driver if there are any changes to your delivery information.
  • You can connect Grubhub to Amazon Alexa and order with your voice by entering a prompt such as “Alexa, tell Grubhub I’m hungry.”

How Does Grubhub Work for Drivers?

We’ll go over how the platform works from a driver’s perspective next to give you a good idea of what it takes to become one, as well as some information about what they get out of working with Grubhub.

If you’re looking for a new side-hustle and want to supplement your income, becoming a courier could be a viable alternative. A Grubhub courier is someone who delivers food orders from restaurants to customers’ homes or workplaces. Over the past few years, more and more people have been turning to Grubhub as their go-to service for ordering food online. This has increased the demand for couriers to deliver these orders.

Requirements to Become a Grubhub Courier

If you are interested in becoming a Grubhub driver, you must meet certain requirements and complete an application process.

These are the requirements that one would have to meet to apply:

  • You must be 19 years or older (21+ in Chicago), have a valid driver’s license; own car insurance, and maintain it throughout your employment with Grubhub.
  • Two years or more of driving experience.
  • You should own reliable transportation and live within the delivery zone of restaurants where you would like to work.
  • You also need to own an iPhone or Android smartphone with internet access, your own data plan, and the ability to download apps from the App Store or Google Play store. The app is available for free in both stores, so it won’t cost you anything upfront.
  • In addition, you must be able to lift up to 30 pounds without assistance and complete all applicable background checks successfully.
  • As an aspiring courier, you should also be comfortable talking with strangers.

How to Sign Up as a Grubhub Food Delivery Driver?

There are two ways in which you can sign up as a driver: online or through the mobile app.

Grubhub Online Application

The Grubhub driver application process is simple and only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. The application entails answering a few short questions about yourself and your vehicle.

To begin, you are required to provide your name, email, phone number, and city. You will then be prompted to choose your preferred delivery mode from car, motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle. It should be noted that you might find that not all these options are available in the city area you are applying for. Once you have entered the information in all the required fields, click on the ‘Submit’ button to continue to the next step of the application.

After that, you’ll be sent to a form where you’ll confirm your address, cellphone model, and, depending on where you are located, some other questions such as how often you plan to work each week. After you’ve completed all of the required fields, hit the ‘Submit’ button.

Grubhub Onboarding Process

You’ll next be directed to Grubhub’s onboarding page. Here you’ll be asked to submit an image of a government-issued ID (state driver’s license or identification card) and proof of auto insurance for your vehicle. Then complete the Grubhub Partnership Agreement and the W-9 form for the IRS.

Potential drivers are also required to provide a Social Security number to run a background check. Grubhub uses Checkr’s background check platform. The background check includes criminal record searches, motor vehicle record reviews including driver’s license status and driving history, national sex offender registry search, and social security trace to determine past employment history. This allows Grubhub to ensure that the person behind the wheel isn’t on any watch lists or has any criminal record. It usually takes 1 to 3 business days for a background check to be completed.

After that, you’ll get access to their online training program so you can learn everything from how to deliver food safely all the way through to tracking orders on your phone. This training is a short but essential step in the process that includes getting familiar with using and navigating Grubhub’s food delivery application. It’s here where you’ll learn everything you need to know about how Grubhub works, such as how to check-in and out, navigate between customers and restaurants, get access to customer tips after completing delivery, and more.

You should also receive a welcome pack through the post that contains a Grubhub branded insulated bag and a Grubhub driver’s card during the onboarding process. You’ll also need to set up a direct deposit with your bank details so you can get paid!

Once you have completed your training, you can download the Grubhub drivers app and start accepting orders.

Making Deliveries and Getting Paid

Now that you’ve learned everything about Grubhub’s application process and have been officially signed up as a driver, it’s time to learn how to start making deliveries.

First, open the Grubhub app on your phone and log in and ensure that you have selected ‘Available.’ As orders become available, you can choose to accept or reject the offer. You can also schedule delivery blocks ahead of time (up to 2 weeks in advance) if you wish to build a more solid work schedule. To do so, go to the app’s main menu and select ‘Scheduling.’ The app will show you all of the available delivery block times for the following week that you can choose from. By tapping a block in the app, you can select it. During that time frame, Grubhub will give you priority for deliveries as a scheduled driver.

After you’ve accepted an offer for an order for Grubhub, it’s time to make it to the restaurant and pick up the food. Grubhub will provide you with the directions. The restaurant might also provide you with further instructions regarding pick-up. The App will then give you directions to the address where the order is to be delivered; you’ll also have the option to contact the customer if needed.

How Much Money Do You Make as a Grubhub Driver?

Grubhub uses this formula to determine driver pay:

Mileage per order + time spent on the road + tips + special offers = Total Pay

However, how much drivers earn through Grubhub varies greatly depending upon their location and delivery zone. Still, it’s safe to say that most drivers typically bring in anywhere between $10-$20 per hour, averaging out at around $10-$12 after considering vehicle expenses such as gas, maintenance, and repair costs. Also, you should factor in tax as you are classed as an independent contractor. If you need help work out your tax as a delivery driver and actually boost your income, then try out Gridwise.

Benefits of Driving for Grubhub

While there are many reasons why you might want to become a courier, here are five good ones:

  • The hours are flexible
  • You can work at your own pace
  • There is minimal training required
  • You get paid per delivery
  • Flexible schedules allow you to balance other commitments

In Summary

We hope we’ve answered the question – How does Grubhub work? You should now have an idea about how this service works and what it can do for you. Grubhub is a great service for people who need food delivered to their doorstep, and it’s also an excellent opportunity for drivers to make extra cash with flexible hours. Whatever your decision, we wish you luck.

Here are some alternatives to Grubhub if you would like to check out what they can offer:


How much does it cost to order from Grubhub?

Restaurant owners can set their own prices for delivery fees, and you can be charged anywhere from $1 to $10 though typically, you are looking at around $7.50. Don’t forget that you are expected to tip your delivery driver; usually, this is 20% of your total order. You can tip using the food delivery app or choose to tip in cash.

What if I need to cancel my Grubhub order?

To cancel a Grubhub order, go to ‘My Orders’ from inside the app. Next, select the order, then click ‘Cancel Order.’ Confirm the cancellation by selecting ‘Yes’ to confirm that you want to cancel this order. Your refund will be processed within 2-3 business days, but sometimes it may take longer depending on your bank or card issuer’s policies.

How does Grubhub compare to DoorDash?

Doordash is a much newer food delivery company than Grubhub, but they are rapidly gaining traction. If you want an in-depth look at the two food delivery services, read our Grubhub vs Doordash Article here. Our best answer for both diners and drivers is that there’s no reason why you can’t use both the Uber and Grub apps. This will give you more restaurants to choose from for diners and an opportunity to boost your income if you are a driver.

How does Grubhub compare to Uber Eats?

Once again, your decision will come down to personal taste. You might want to continue with Uber Eats if you already have an Uber app for rideshare or drive for them. If one app offers your favorite restaurant but not the other, this could be a reason to select between the two. Why not put them to the test and see which one delivers the quickest or cheapest in your area? If you want to drive for one of them, the pay is roughly equivalent, but you might find that one is more lucrative in your particular location. Check out our Uber Eats vs Grubhub article here.

What is the connection between Grubhub and Seamless?

Grubhub and Seamless are two popular food delivery services. Seamless is the older brand and was established in 1999 but merged with Grubhub in 2013. At the time, Seamless was the more well-known brand, and it made sense for it to retain its name and remain a separate entity. In short, even they both operate under different brand names, the Grubhub food delivery app and the Seamless app pretty much offer the same service.

How does Grubhub make money?

The primary revenue Grubhub receives is from charging the restaurant a commission fee of between 5-15%. The company also earns from other revenue streams such as sponsored listings. 


Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.