Restaurant and Cook at Home Delivery Services
Home delivery of restaurant food or meal kits to cook yourself is now easier than ever. There are several options available, depending on your location. We will discuss our experiences using these services as visually impaired diners.
October 30, 2018
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2018-10-30 Tech It Out - Restaurant and Cook-at-Home Delivery Services
Ricky: Hello everyone and welcome to the second Hadley tech it out discussion. My name is Ricky Enger, I am an assistive technology learning expert at Hadley. My job each month is to bring us together at tech it out. Our tech it out discussions are a chance for us to get together as a community, explore a topic, answer questions, share resources with each other, and just learn from each other as a good community should. I want to first thank all of you who joined us for the first tech it out discussion. You guys were what made that such a success. I know that some of you couldn't join because of other obligations, you had things going on, or because the room filled up really quickly and there wasn't room for everyone. We have since taken care of that, so we have plenty of room for people to come in. The more the merrier for sure.
We had such a successful turnout last time that we were only able to cover half of our intended topics. The general topic initially was food delivery, and that was going to cover both grocery delivery as well as restaurant and meal kit delivery. We were able to cover grocery delivery in our first discussion, if you didn't catch that, it's available on YouTube or you can send me an email, I'm happy to send you the link. I'm at Enger, firstname.lastname@example.org. With that first portion of the discussion taken care of, we now want to move on to getting food from restaurants or getting food delivered from meal kits. We'll talk about what both of these things are and how they work.
The restaurant delivery service is probably pretty self explanatory. I can recall living in a very small town, and we had Pizza Hut or Dominoes, that was the sum total of options that were available to us. Then, I moved to a slightly bigger town and we had Pizza Hut, Dominoes, and we had Chinese food too. So, if we didn't want Pizza Hut or pizza, we could have Chinese. Each of these places were ... the delivery was done in-house. A person was hired by the restaurant specifically to do deliveries. That's all changed with the advent of smart phones and apps and websites and having all this stuff at our fingertips. Someone had the bright idea, "You know what would be cool? If we had a fleet of drivers that could pick up from multiple restaurants, not just pizza or Chinese, but, "Hey, maybe it would work with a Greek food restaurant or an Indian food restaurant." We just have to provide the front end so that people can come in, look at what they want, order it, and our drivers will bring that food directly to them.
I'll talk about three, but that is by no means the total of my experience because I have two pages of food delivery apps on my phone. That probably says more about me than I care to admit. I want to talk about three of them: the first is Grubhub. Each of these food delivery services have things that they do really well, and they have things that they maybe don't do so well. Grubhub is nice in that it is international. If you're in Canada, pretty much anywhere in the U.S. that has any kind of delivery service, you're very likely to have Grubhub in that area. So, availability really makes it nice.
It is also probably one of the longest lived services of this ilk. It was one of the first to hit the scene, so you think that after this many years Grubhub would have gotten a lot right, and it has. It is a service that is most likely to have the items on the menu that the restaurant has, and by that I mean, lets say that there is a new promotion at Taco Bell and it's a double chalupa box or something like that and it's just come out 10 days ago. Grubhub is very likely to have this whereas many of the other services may not. They tend to update their menus fairly often. So, you can be fairly confident that if I've ordered this on Grubhub, it's going to be at the restaurant: they're not going to be calling me and saying, "This thing that you ordered, the restaurant people have never heard of it." That has happened on other services, which I'll get to in a moment.
The other cool thing about Grubhub is that it's available on the web, it's available through apps, and if you own an Apple TV, it is, to my knowledge, the only restaurant delivery service that has an app on the Apple TV. So, if you've had this dream of, "I want to sit and watch a movie and order my food all from the same device." You can do that from the Apple TV. In fact, the Apple TV is probably the best Grubhub experience.
So, what does Grubhub do badly? Well, the accessibility is not the greatest. You can use it, it's just that if you're accustomed to flicking through options and looking at, "Okay, what restaurants do I have? I expect to place my finger on one and then flick to the right and get another." Grubhub doesn't do that, Grubhub has this lovely ratings system that you could say, "I hate this restaurant, I'm going to rate it a one." Or, "I love it. I'm going to rate it a five." You have to flick through one, two, three, four, five, for each restaurant before you get to the next one. So, a nice kind of work around there, or thing to keep in mind if you are using it on a touch screen device, is to just move your finger downward and use explore by touch rather than flicking through the options that you have there.
One last nice thing about Grubhub is that it's pretty upfront about the fees that it's going to charge you, and some restaurants are not. Some of them, you don't know until it's almost time to check out. Postmates, which is the next service I'd like to talk about, is a great example of that. Postmates works very similarly with Grubhub with a couple of key differences. This too, will add restaurant partners with its list of places that it delivers from. It will show menus from those restaurants. Whenever you choose a restaurant, you will be able to see its menu, or in some cases, they may not have a menu and they will still pick up the items that you request, but you're typing in a custom item. In that case, you don't know how much you're going to pay necessarily because you're adding custom items that don't have prices associated with them.
Postmates has probably the biggest selection, at least in my area, of restaurants to choose from: so whereas, just as an example, Grubhub has between 13 and 18 restaurants to choose from in my area depending on the day, Postmates can have upwards of 50. The selection is much, much greater, but as with all of these services, Postmates has things that it does well and things that it does maybe not so well. It too can have some accessibility issues. The most disturbing of which is, again, trying to flick through restaurant options and you might have McDonald's and you flick to the right and it says, "Can't connect to the network. Retry?" "What? I was just flicking to the next item. What happened?" Nothing in particular happened, and I haven't really been able to figure out why Postmates does this, but everything does work properly if you, again, move down your list of restaurants with explore by touch rather than flicking through your options.
Postmates is also available on the web, so that's another way that you can order your items. By far the biggest downside of Postmates for me, is that there are fees, there are lots and lots of fees. So, you think, "Okay, I'm going to pay $3.99 to have this delivered, or $5.99 to have this delivered." That may be perfectly fine for you. What also happens though, is that Postmates may have priced their items a bit higher than they are in the restaurant, and that too may be something that you grow to accept, however, the third thing that Postmates does is, you have a service fee and you have taxes. Taxes is the big one.
Let's say that you have an order for $38 or something, Postmates has charged upwards of $10 in "taxes", and so you have to be very careful about looking at what these fees are before you place the order. That's, again, a downside to some of these is that you don't see it until you've added everything to the bag and you're ready to check out, and now suddenly, "Oh, look. That's like $20 than I thought it would be." So, just be aware of that when ordering from Postmates.
The last grocery delivery service. See, I had a flashback to part one. You too can listen to part one, but for now lets talk about restaurant delivery. The last one I want to mention is called DoorDash. This one is fairly new to me. I think it's been around for a little while, certainly not as long as Grubhub, but it's been around for a while. DoorDash is kind of the friendliest overall service that I've found, in that the drivers seem to be friendlier, the customer service if something goes wrong seems to be friendlier, and the interface, while it does still have its problems, is also friendlier than others.
Again, if you're flicking through restaurant options, you're going to have to flick through some extraneous info between each of the restaurants. You can still use the trick of moving your finger down the restaurant options rather than flicking through them if you're on a touch screen device like you're iphone or your android device. DoorDash as well, is available on the web. Another nice thing about it is that while there are fees, as there are with any of these delivery services, they tend to be a little more reasonable with door dash and they also tend to be not so hidden.
It's nice to know I can estimate how much an order is going to cost and be pretty accurate DoorDash isn't charging crazy fees. The biggest downside to me for DoorDash is that, while places like Grubhub and Postmates offer opportunities for customization ... So, you might write something in the special instructions box, or you might have in the case of Grubhub, specific things that have been listed by the restaurant that you can choose or add to your order. In the case of DoorDash, they don't tend to offer that as often. They'll say, "This restaurant does not allow customization." And of course the restaurant does, but perhaps DoorDash doesn't in that instance. That is the downside of DoorDash, but overall I find it the friendliest of the three that I've mentioned.
For you guys in Canada, just want to mention a couple of things for you, Grubhub and, I believe Postmates, I'm not so sure about DoorDash, but Grubhub and Postmates are international. So, whether you're in Canada, there are people listening later in Australia and the like: you guys will be able to take advantage of these services as well. Some specific ones in Canada: SkipTheDishes, that was a nice one. Justeat.com is another that you might check out. Hopefully, while some of these things seem U.S. centric, some have spread beyond the U.S., and in the case of some of these, I don't think SkipTheDishes is in the U.S., I believe it's Canada only. So, you guys can check that out.
Now, before I open this up for community discussion, which is truly the best part of the event, I want to talk a little bit, and I truly mean a little bit, about meal kit services. I'm only going to touch on this because this is the segment of this that I have the least personal experience with, but there are definitely some things to like about meal kits. What exactly is that anyway? A meal kit delivery service is: you know how you want a cooked meal, but you really have no desire to chop all those veggies for the stir fry? Or, you just can't be bothered to look up the recipe? You're sick of doing that.
If only you had some really nice, fresh ingredients and some instructions, and you had to put it together. It's still a home cooked meal, right? But a lot of the work has been taken out of it for you. That's the idea behind meal kit services. There are several of these: Sun Basket, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, just to name a couple. There's one in Canada in Alberta and Ontario for right now. I want to thank Sharon for bringing this one in, it's called Heart to Home.
The cool thing about this one is that if you're eating gluten free or maybe you're doing low carb high fat or you're worried about your salt intake, Heart to Home has these different recipes and already prepared meals that take those things into consideration. Something else that kind of falls into this category would be Schwan's, and I want to thank Cindy for reminding me of Schwan's, this is not necessarily a meal kit in that meals are already prepared, but you get them frozen or refrigerated and all you have to do is the heating up part, which is really cool.
Meal kits though may have an added accessibility issue that I'm hoping that any of you that have this experience please raise your hand so that we can talk with you when we open this up. The idea is that you get recipe cards along with the ingredients that you've been sent. While I hope that these can be made available electronically, I'm not so sure that they are. While this service is a super cool idea in that you can have someone basically do the sous-chef stuff, all the prep work, and then all you have to do is put it all together. What I don't know, and hope to hear from you guys, is: does this work in terms of how easy it is to access the information that you want?
With all of that information I'm now ready to open it up to some input from the community. I'm going to look and see what we have here. Again, star six if you'd like to speak. I see the first person who has a hand raised. I'm going to call on you by area code if that's okay. I'm looking at 585, go ahead 585 with your question.
Kirsten: Hey, Ricky, it's Kirsten from Rochester New york. I had two little quick thoughts, this is really lovely. One is about Uber Eats, I know you said you were only going to talk about three different services, but that's one that I'm curious about and I would love to hear other people's experiences. The other is, I heard that Seeing AI is working with different corporations and companies to tie in the product code channel, I'm wondering if you know if Hadley has any influence on the possibility of places like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh being connected with Seeing AI so that a product code could be scanned with that channel and then those recipes that they've read.
Ricky: Both great questions. I will share my own experience with Uber Eats and then if anybody has anything to add you certainly can. It has only recently come to my area and it is relatively usable. I think I put all of these services into that category of relatively usable. It too is one of these that has fees that are pretty well not hidden, so you kind of know what you're getting unlike Postmates, you're not going to be shocked by the bill at the end of things. The only downside I've found to Uber eats is aside from any accessibility challenges that you might see, the only downside that I have found is that the selection in my area isn't super great.
An answer to your question about Seeing AI, we don't currently have influence as far as what gets added, but I love the idea of having that kind of partnership with a company. You can use Seeing AI and use its short text or document feature to theoretically read a recipe card that came with Blue Apron or the like, but the idea of having more and more barcodes or more and more information added directly for companies, as is done in the case of the ID Mate Galaxy and the ID Mate family from Envision, users can request, "Hey, we don't have enough Bath and Bodyworks stuff in the database, can you add things?" And they go out and look at those partnerships. Any other comments on Uber Eats?
Kirsten: Thank you.
Ricky: Okay, we're going to go next then to-
Louie: Yes, It took me a little bit to unmute
Ricky: Oh, go ahead. Okay, go ahead [Louie 00:23:00]. Gotcha.
Louie: Uber Eats, I've used it three times. Two times to very good success and once the restaurant had my food ready and they couldn't find a driver to deliver it. They gave me a number, they the restaurant I should say, gave me a number of Uber Eats to have the order canceled, phone number. So, I just called them up and talked to them.
Ricky: Oh wow, yeah. Wow.
Louie: It really worked good for me and, like you said, the prices, there weren't any hidden prices at all. We've got quite a few restaurants here, Daytona Beach Florida, that use Uber Eats.
Ricky: That's the thing to keep in mind, is that a lot of this is location specific. There may be some services that are not at all popular or don't have a lot of partners in a specific area, and in other areas they may very well.
Next, moving on to 602. 602 you have a question? Go right ahead.
Speaker 4: I had a comment about Uber Eats as well as a question.
Ricky: All right, go ahead.
Speaker 4: Uber Eats I've used a couple of times. I recently moved from Arizona to Colorado. With regards to the number of partnerships, with Arizona it was just awesome. You name it and you have it there, but here in Colorado, at least with the Indian restaurants, they do not have a lot of choices. The service is pretty good, acceptability-wise I've found it better than the others. I've used a screen reader, voice over mostly. So, that's about Uber Eats. My question was: I visited BC recently for about a week and I used a restaurant delivery services throughout my trip. My issue was that my hotel that I was staying in was not very accessible. I wanted the driver to possibly come up to the room and deliver the food rather than me going down and getting it. I wasn't sure if this was something they do usually, or if this was something going out of their way doing it for me.
Ricky: I have had mixed results with that, and more often than not they are very happy and they actually expect to come in and do that. They only place where it seemed sort of odd for them to come up to the hotel room was San Diego for some reason. They wanted the person to come up to the lobby and pick up the food, but that is after many years of having traveled and ordered food in hotel rooms. San Diego was the only instance where they did seem put upon to do that, but in other instances they actually have the other address line too for the apartment number or suite number or whatever, and if you just put that in there they seem to not have a problem at all with just coming right up to the hotel room with your food.
Speaker 4: It's not necessary to mention my disability? It's just something they would do for anybody?
Ricky: That's it, yes.
Speaker 4: Okay, okay. Thank you.
Ricky: Awesome. Thank you so much. Next, we are moving onto ... looks like, blind educator, you are next.
Speaker 5: I wanted to comment on the Uber Eats and the other ones. Uber Eats I've been using since they got here two years ago and I found them to be very accessible. When you set up an address, and if you use the same address constantly there is an instruction where you can tell them to ... they can walk it up to the door or hotel if you're going to be staying in there. You can give it that, or when you send out or put out your order and you give instructions that the driver is arriving. You can text the driver and ask them if they could bring it out to you. I've never had an issue with a driver saying no. As far Door Dash and Postmates, I have the same accessibility that you have, Ricky, but once I get the network not available, if you click to the left, then you would be able to get to the restaurants, then you would go backwards rather than forward.
Ricky: Right, what you're doing then is scrolling all the way to the bottom and flicking left?
Speaker 5: No. For you, when you started going one or two restaurants and it takes you saying that there's no network, it's not focused. Takes you all the way to the bottom. Once you do that you start flicking left and then you're scrolling up, for some reason it takes you all the way down and it brings you, you just go going backwards.
Ricky: And you don't then have that issue of the continual, "Retry. Network unavailable," kind of thing that isn't excellent.
Speaker 5: Correct.
Ricky: All right. Awesome tip.
Speaker 5: Tip, and then also about the one that was asking about the AI in HelloFresh and stuff. I don't think it was Seeing AI who was partnering up with different companies, I think it's Be My Eyes who wants to partner with different companies. That's what I was going to suggest, maybe if you guys are members of Ira, or if you could See My Eyes because once you can get the recipe, you're still going to try to figure out what everything is in the box to prepare your meal. If there's different spices, you still need to identify each spice. You want to have a pair of working eyeballs to identify the spices of the recipe book.
Ricky: Yeah, there's a lot of reading to be done there, and Be My Eyes seems to be a nice option for that given that it's free. You don't necessarily need a particular skill set for the person who's reading these things to you. So, Be My Eyes, for those of you who don't know, is a service that is volunteer based. People sign up for the ability to basically be a pair of working eyeballs. You can use this app for free to call Be My Eyes, be connected to a person who will then assist you with whatever visual task you might have, whether it's reading a thermostat or, in this case, identifying spices or reading recipe cards. Awesome, lets go ahead and move on then to 512, you had your hand up, we might have a couple of 502s, but Let's see. 512, who is that?
Perry: Yes, hi. It's Perry from Austin Texas. I use Uber Eats, pretty much either Uber Eats or DoorDash. To me it's accessibly so much better than Grubhub or the Postmates. The reaction time is much, much better. Uber Eats or DoorDash you don't have to go through the rating system to pick the restaurant, you just have the restaurant's name, then you will see the rating or the distance from your house or your hotel or wherever you're ordering from, which I like. The fees are very reasonable like you said. The selection often was a little town 10, 15 years ago, but it's growing super rapidly.
Ricky: It's huge now.
Perry: Yeah, rapidly. Uber Eats selection has grown quite handsomely. I would say over 50 from my location ... which is not exactly the center of the city, but I'm still happy. You can customize, a driver can come up to your door. Or, if you don't want to disturb somebody sleeping, or if you don't want dogs to be alerted, you can go out and get the food yourself, you can just customize that way, I like that feature also. The waiting time is significantly shorter for Uber Eats or DoorDash compared to Grubhub because Grubhub comes from the restaurant delivery person or restaurant who's hired for delivery purposes. Usually, you have to wait 45, 50 minutes, an hour, or something like that compared to Uber Eats: usually a half an hour, something less than a half an hour, which I really like. That's my take for Uber Eats and DoorDash.
Ricky: Absolutely, and I agree. You've actually raised two great points. One is a lot of these places will tell you what the distance is from your location. And that's nice to know because if you're ordering crepes or something, which ... I don't know if I would order crepes for delivery because it just seems like that's a delicate thing and something bad might happen along the way, they could be all gooey, but if you did, if you were daring enough to do this thing you probably want to know that the restaurant is one or two miles from you rather than 15.
Even something that isn't as delicate as crepes, you still have the issue of, "how cold is the food going to be by the time it gets to me?" I want to know how close the restaurant is. There are ways, and they differ between services, but there are ways to actually determine the address of the restaurant, and that too can be important if you know that, "Well, the restaurant on this street is really, really good, and the same restaurant that is on the other street is not as good. So, I want to choose this particular one." It's nice to know that from these services.
Speaker 7: Can I jump in with a little tip?
Speaker 7: I'm not sure everywhere else, but I know Uber pushed out an updated bio and they say that depending on the delivery fee, that's how far your restaurant is. So, if it's $1.99 delivery fee, you know that the restaurant's going to be fairly close. If it's close to $6.39, it's going to be further away from you, so that's going to be another tip.
Ricky: Right. Some services will do that and some services will complicate that, and they'll say, "It may mean that delivery is super close to you or whatever except we partnered with these restaurants and it's $1.99 for these guys." And they still might be eight miles away. So, you kind of still have to pay attention, but the delivery fee may give you a clue in any case, and you might want to investigate further just to see, "Is this in fact close to me or not?" All right, lets go on to 865. You are next.
Speaker 8: Okay, yes. I would like to know. With all these deliveries that we're talking about, do they have any certain phone numbers?
Ricky: Do you mean for certain locations ... Oh, do they have any phone numbers that you could actually call and speak to a human, is that what you mean?
Speaker 8: Like, instead of doing it online, yeah.
Ricky: I'm hoping that someone has an answer on any of these. The ones that I used, if they do have those things, they're pretty close mouthed about it. They tend to want you to only do this online and not call and speak to a human. We had one that was a local delivery service here and they were called Foodie Call, that's kind of an interesting name, but they were purchased by BiteSquad. Before they were purchased, because they were a local service rather than a national or international chain, they did have the ability for you to just call them up and say what you wanted. But I don't know if that tends to be the case for these national ones. Go ahead.
Speaker 8: Uber Eats, they do have the restaurant's number. You can call in when you order. If something goes wrong, you can both talk to the restaurants or Uber customer service people. They are really good at, if something goes wrong, you can get the refund really quickly. You have to mention what went wrong, but among the choice, you can pick, "food was damaged." Or, "food was missing." Or, "The delivery guy didn't bring the correct order." Or something like that. You can kind of coordinate either way: either customer service for Uber, or you can directly talk to the restaurant.
Ricky: Right, in those cases it's assuming that you have actually placed your order online, but you can still talk to someone just to kind of verify or to say that something went wrong. So, it is possible to talk to a human, but maybe not so much for the initial placing of the order. That's a great thing to look into. So, if anybody happens to know an answer whether any of these do have the ability to phone your order in, please let me know either by raising your hand here, or if you're listening to this on the archive you can send me a message: email@example.com. That's how I can be contacted. If any of you need resources that have been discussed this evening, you can also send me an email for those as well. All right, moving on to 301 who has a question.
Speaker 9: First of all, you were talking about the deliveries of food. We had a horrible experience at National Convention. A couple of us had ordered pizza, and the lady's husband went down to meet the gentleman because he said that we had to meet him at the front door, and it took forever and the husband never found the pizza guy. It was the craziest situation I have ever seen.
Ricky: That is kind of a nightmare. You always hope that they'll be totally fine with just bringing it on up because in Convention especially, if you are having to go down and meet someone at the front door or the front desk or whatever, a lot of times you may be in a very large hotel, and things that you could normally say, "If you could just look for the blind woman because I won't be able to see you." At a blindness convention especially, you're not going to have that ability because there are lots of people just like you, some of whom may have also got deliveries and they're looking for their own people. Yeah, that can be a crazy time for sure. 206, it looks like you have a question. You are next. And that's star six nine-
Speaker 9: I still didn't finish what I was saying.
Ricky: Oh, I apologize. Go right ahead.
Speaker 9: Okay. We just started using Uber. This is funny because I didn't even know that Uber Eats existed and then we got this email. I must have gotten some freebie or something from Uber Eats. Until tonight, I had no idea even what it is. There was no explanation or anything about what in the world they were talking about. First of all, are these Uber drivers that are delivering the food from all these restaurants?
Ricky: They are actually. The way Uber that Uber Eats works is usually you have somebody who signed up as an Uber Driver, and they can also sign up to deliver food through Uber Eats. They may choose just to drive for Uber Eats and not really do much of the Uber anymore, but a lot of times these places will have promotions, like for example, the one you might have gotten, it's hard to say for certain, but the one you might have gotten is whenever you are an Uber rider and then Uber Eats comes to your area, they may send you something, and it says, "$5 off your first order." They do kind of share promotions like that. Let's go ahead and go to 206.
Speaker 10: There we go. All right. Hi there. One thing I've been learning about a lot here in Seattle, I think it's in California and New York, it keeps growing, I think it's called Munchery. Has anyone used Munchery?
Ricky: That's a new one on me. What is it like?
Speaker 10: Munchery is very cool. You've got chefs from around the city, and they're designated to make certain meals for this company. Every day you get a menu with certain selections. The cool thing is they deliver, it's a dinner, so you can just have a dinner, or a steak dinner. The only thing is it's cold. All you have to do is put it in the oven, it's already cooked and everything, you just put it in the oven. It has a little bit of surcharge, but not too bad. I think you can get a meal for under 20 bucks, I've used it a couple of times. For those who don't know about it, it's worth looking into, and it continues to expand into different cities and such. It's called Munchery.
Ricky: Munchery with an M?
Speaker 10: Yep.
Ricky: Awesome. Quick question about that. Do you get specific instructions about, "Put this in the oven, 400 for 20 minutes." Or, do you generally just kind of guess, "Well, I can figure it out and whatever in."
Speaker 10: No, it's super cool because you can look at, not only the instructions, but you can look at the ingredients that are in it, you can look at all the food content, the calories and all that stuff. And it does give you instructions on oven or microwave or whatever. And it's all fresh, so that's the cool thing about that. Yeah.
Ricky: Cool, so Munchery for those of you lucky enough to be in Seattle and surrounding areas. And you guys have all the cool stuff.
Speaker 10: I think New York and California and other places like that as well.
Ricky: Yeah, they're just not in my area, which makes me cry a little bit. I can hope. Seattle and the like has all the cool stuff because there's Amazon fresh, which kind of goes back a little to part one for grocery delivery and the like. Obviously, Seattle was one of the first to get that because Amazon headquarters. More and more places are getting that as well.
Speaker 10: And because we're cool that way.
Ricky: Yes, apparently. Let's then go to ... We have 407 who has a question. Just a quick reminder, if you are unmuted at the moment and maybe have a little bit of background noise, go ahead and mute if you're not currently speaking. 407 go ahead.
Judy: Hi, this is Judy. I just had a question and a couple of comments. The comments were about the person who mentioned about the drivers coming up to the rooms. I think some of that also depends on the hotel's policy because we were at one hotel in particular, and when we called down ... I can't remember if we called down to ask for something else and they said, "Oh, we're not allowed to let the drivers go up to the room. So, you'll have to come down." Sometimes it might have to do with that.
Ricky: Ah, okay.
Judy: ... had an issue, I just put the room number and they come up. The other comment has to do with, I don't know if this is an Uber Eats thing only because I've only seen it with Uber Eats, but there are just like with Uber, I know they don't call it this, but surging or busier times where the fees are higher.
Ricky: Oh, yeah. So, that happens with Uber Eats as well? Or, have you seen that?
Judy: Mm-hmm (affirmative), but I don't know exactly where in the app it shows you that, but I have seen ... Maybe it's the same place where you would see, "delivery is $3.99" I think it will say something like, "It's a busier time now." What is it? Oh, high demand or, "It's busy here. So, the fees are slightly higher." Something like that, it tells you.
Ricky: Yeah, that would certainly make sense because we've certainly seen that with Uber itself, so Uber Eats would not be immune to that kind of thing. Thankfully I've never seen it before, but that is definitely another thing to keep in mind as you're looking for hidden fees and, "How much is this really going to cost? Is surge pricing happening?" I would assume that there is the possibility for surge pricing on all of these services. Now, I have seen on Postmates before where it would say, "Area is too busy." So, they simply wouldn't go to that area, it might be somewhere downtown where there's no parking, and it's Saturday night and so they just say the area is to busy. The other one I have seen is, "No Postmates nearby."
Yeah, you might want something that is at a particular place and that place might be closed to you, but all the Postmate drivers are across the city or whatever, and so it simply does not allow you to order from the restaurant until somebody either turns on their app in that zone or somebody drives close enough to that restaurant that it makes it worth their while to grab your food in a reasonable time.
Judy: Yeah, and I agree 100%. Postmates and the fees, it's crazy. We actually got a promotion where it was like, "Oh, we get $100 in free delivery if you refer someone else." I don't know, that never materialized. Yeah, I'm not sure about that. My other comment was about, and I can't remember. My other question was: have you or anyone had success with ... You were saying in the beginning you were trying to order something that was not on the menu. Was any of these services calling the restaurant, and once you placed the order, adding it that way from the restaurant? I do remember what I was going to say: that sometimes when you're ordering, you have to be careful if the restaurant closes when you're ordering and you get all excited because you're ordering it.
Ricky: Oh no.
Judy: And then at the end, "Sorry. The restaurant has closed." And it might be that they haven't exactly closed, but it's close enough that they're not accepting any more deliveries. It did happen once where they weren't accepting anymore deliveries, but it was way before closing time. I called the restaurant and they said, "Oh, I don't know what's going on, but we'll fix it." And they did do something on their end and it got fixed, so that's kind of weird.
Ricky: Oh, good. So, an answer to your question about ... I'm not sure about calling the restaurant if I want something that isn't on the menu and adding it that way, that I haven't tried. I have had the instance where I've ordered something that isn't on the menu and the person picking it up gets there and they say, "We don't have that. Can we substitute something else for you?" So, sometimes they'll just hand the phone to a person at the restaurant and you can talk to them directly, but that has always been once the driver is there, not necessarily before the order is made, so that can get kind of weird.
Judy: Got you. Okay.
Ricky: All right. I have time for a couple more questions. So, we're going to go next to 602. 602 you got a question? All right, go ahead.
Speaker 12: [inaudible 00:51:00] from Colorado. I really appreciate this discussion and information about different apps, ones that are accessible more than others, but I also wanted to ask if there's something we can do to let these people know, the creators of these apps, that things are not accessible, and work towards making them accessible. I haven't tried it with the full delivery services, but I have tried it with another app and I have tried to get them feedback on it. It's a different story, I never heard back from them, but is there something we could do to improve accessibility?
Ricky: I wish that there were an easy answer to that because it's something that we all want to do. We all want to tell people, and not even really in a complaining way. We don't necessarily want to call them up and yell at them and say, "You did this wrong." We just want things to work. I think the challenge is that, number one: it's hard to find the right person to give feedback to.
The second part is: what kind of feedback do you give? Because a lot of people don't know what accessibility is and they hear that word and they become a little frightened because it's kind of the unknown, and they don't know where exactly they should turn for any answers on that. My approach to this is I tend to write in a feedback forum, or I will do a little digging and try to find someone that's a little higher up to send an email to, and then in my message I will describe what accessibility is, I will send them a link where they can learn a little bit about accessibility, they can learn a lot if they want to. The link that I send is webaim, webaim.org.
That has a lot of information for developers and the like to really get a picture of what accessibility is and more importantly how they implement it. I think each person's approach to this will be different, but the key really is to try and find someone who might have the power to do something about this, and that's kind of the biggest challenge. If you have the right person who is an advocate then things can move forward.
One other thing that I've done before with some success is to mention the company on social media and say, "Hey, at Grubhub, or whatever on Twitter, we're seeing some accessibility issues on your app. Can you contact me so that I can provide further feedback?" What that does is it allows other people to retweet your message or send it out as well to show solidarity. It looks like we are really getting close to time unfortunately. This is always so much fun, but we don't have as much time as it would take to explore all of these things. We're going to take one last from Brad, what do you got?
Brad: Hey, are you there?
Brad: Sorry, I raised my hand a while ago, and you moved on to talk about [crosstalk 00:54:53]. I have used a number of these services before. I've had good luck, I've had bad luck. One I wanted to point out that is a smaller service, a company called Favor: They are out of Austin, they have been growing. I have been using enough for several years here in the Dallas area. They were limited in their availability in Dallas, but they have grown.
I do know from some of the emails that I have received, they have moved on and expanded to other areas. I know they're in Boston Massachusets ... My mind has gone blank, a number of other places, but I would suggest that you download the app from your app store, or your Google play store and see if it's available in your area. One of the things I particularly like about them is ... Of course they've grown. It's a lot like your Postmates or your Grub, DoorDash, or the ... Each where they have a list of restaurants that are available, but you can also pretty much ask them to go anywhere. Tell them the name of a restaurant, you can search for it just like you do with all these kind of things, and you can order anything you want.
What I particularly like about it is, while they are running your order, which they call running your favor, it's easy to communicate with your runner. You have the ability in the app to either call them or text them. Frequently, the runner will text you, "High, my name is John." Whatever, "I'm running your favor. If there's anything else you need, let me know." They can communicate to you, sometimes more than you would like in that process. It's very good. One of the things for many of these is you place an order, and you have no idea, it's a black hole until maybe it shows up. You're not really updated on the progress of your order or what's going on. These guys do a very good job of it.
As far as accessibility, their app, I have no problem with it. I've been using it for now three, two and a half years. I do remember when I first set up there was some issues entering my credit card information. I was able to call customer service, it was in the middle of a business day, I called customer service in Austin and someone was on the phone and helped me step through the process. There was some edit fields and some things that ... I can't remember, it's been a long time, either weren't labeled or were mis-labeled, and they were aware of voice over and they were very interested with what my issues were. Not only helped me step through the process, but were very interested about learning what my issues were so that they could take the necessary steps to address this and hopefully correct it. Since that time, I haven't had to do any of that. I've had a couple of different phones and operating systems and every time I move, my app moves with me, I stay logged in, it works fine. It's my favorite one-
Brad: ... on there.
Ricky: I was going to say-
Brad: It lets you save your previous orders, so if there's something that you've taken the time to enter. I've used it when I was at work. I had to order frequently. I could order the same thing, maybe from a sub sandwich shop or something. I even get my nasty Jack tacos and-
Ricky: Oh, yeah. Jack In the Box tacos, nothing like them.
Brad: I can open up the list of past orders, select something, tap, tap, tap, done. Once you've got it set up, it's really good. Their fees aren't bad. They charge a flat fee for every delivery and there used to be a 5%. It seems to be more like a 10% processing fee now. It's not bad.
Ricky: It sounds good. Again, that's favor, F.A.V.O.R.
Brad: F.A.V.O.R. Look at the app store. I'm sure it's on Google as well. Find out if it's available in your area. They've been growing.
Ricky: Absolutely, give that a shot. We've mentioned a number of delivery services in tonight's discussion. Believe it or not there are a lot that exist that we actually didn't touch on like Beyond Menu and Bring Me That, the list goes on and on. Eat 24, Seamless. If you would like any of these, the names of them or what have you, please feel free to email me Enger@hadly.edu. We have reached the end of our second event. So sorry to say goodbye, but I will see you next month where we are going to speak about voice assistance. So, if you always wanted to know about Alexa and Google home, Siri, those types of things, start looking forward to next month now because we will be talking about those. Meanwhile, you can catch Hadley, of course, on Twitter and Facebook. We're Hadley institute. I hope you have enjoyed the discussion, I certainly have. As always, I learned a lot. And again, thank you so much for joining.