Food delivery apps have grown exponentially in recent years, with more and more consumers turning to these convenient services for their dining needs. The industry's digital roots have fueled its rapid expansion, creating a seamless and efficient way for customers to access a wide range of culinary options with just a few taps on their smartphones.

Our special guest on the 12th episode of CX See Why show was a seasoned expert in the food delivery industry, bringing valuable insights and knowledge to the table. With a keen understanding of customer experience and industry trends, Unnati Silverman Dass, Director of Strategy & Operations at a prominent food delivery app, alongside host Dan Gingiss - The Experience Maker, provided us with an inside look at what's working well in the customer experience world of food delivery apps and areas that could use improvement. 

Clootrack conducted an extensive analysis of 26,000 customer reviews for the top four food delivery apps, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates, from July to December 2023.

customer review distribution of food delivery app

This thorough examination provided valuable information on critical factors such as user experience, service quality, and overall satisfaction levels, helping to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth within the food delivery industry.

The Top Delighter is Deals and Offers!

Dan revealed that deals and offers are the most vital factors customers are looking for, emphasizing value. 

Unnati acknowledged the significance of deals and offers in ensuring affordability for customers. She mentioned how partnerships with merchants help strategize promotions catering to different customer groups. Unnati also pointed out the importance of considering the app's overall cost, including fees and charges.

Digging deeper into customer reviews, there are subcategories that emerged within deals and offers, such as best offers, coupon codes, discounts, promo codes, and rewards points. They recognized the need to align prices with competitors while ensuring equity in promotions and offers to retain customers.

Check a few customers verbatim:

Deals & Offers The Top Category Adoption Driver in the Food Delivery Apps Industry

The conversation shifted to the complexity of managing costs, considering both the platform's fees and the restaurant's contributions to promotions. Unnati shared insights on tailoring promotions based on target audiences like new customers, lapsed customers, and high-value subscribers. Collaborative efforts between the delivery company and restaurants were highlighted as a way to optimize promotions and boost sales.

Additional Charges Concerns Customers More than Other Drivers

The top concern that emerged was additional fees. Dan pointed out that this issue stood out prominently on the chart, dwarfing all other concerns. 

Additional Charges and Fees

Words like "delivery charges are high" and "fees are getting ridiculous" were frequently mentioned in the conversation, and it was clear that consumers were feeling the pinch of excessive fees in various aspects of their transactions.

He highlighted the issue of high service fees and the frustration and annoyance that additional fees can cause. The Cancellation Fee only confirmed the overall discontent with the prevalence of extra charges in the business landscape.

These negative sentiments surrounding fees underscored consumers' universal aversion to paying more than they initially expected. Businesses will need to address this concern if they want to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Unnati said,Customers expect that they're going to walk in and pay a certain amount. If they're getting a certain percentage off or a good deal, that's a surprising delight. If additional charges are being piled where they did not expect that, or weren't walking in, I think you're losing that customer experience piece. So, each of these drivers applies to industries across the board; set that expectation and then deliver on it. You don't deliver on being as transparent as possible. Giving them something like that to make sure you're building that trust and making that customer return is also essential.”

Dan shared valuable insights on the importance of actively listening and paying attention to customers in call centers. Failing to hear customers' voices or read their feedback verbatim can result in missed business opportunities. By analyzing customer feedback, companies can uncover positive aspects that customers love and areas that require improvement.

Customer Concerns Over Order Cancellation

Order cancellation is a significant concern, often resulting in a disappointing experience for customers. While it may not rank as high as pricing issues, order cancellation still poses a challenge due to various uncontrollable factors such as restaurant closures or driver availability.

One common issue identified is cancellation after a long wait, leaving customers needing their expected meal. Additionally, cancellations without a refund, cancellations by the driver, or without any explanation can further exacerbate the negative customer experience. 

Unnati shared that controlling all the variables can be challenging in a three-sided marketplace like food delivery, where multiple stakeholders are involved. Factors like weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances can impact the delivery process. Despite these challenges, transparency and communication are crucial in mitigating order cancellation issues.

Check a few customers verbatim:

To address this, providing clear explanations for cancellations, setting expectations, and being transparent with customers can help manage their perceptions. Taking proactive measures such as banning unreliable drivers or working closely with restaurants to ensure policy adherence can help prevent such incidents.

Despite the complexities behind the scenes, the seamless customer experience of ordering food and having it delivered quickly reflects the efficiency of food delivery apps. By acknowledging and addressing order cancellation concerns, the industry can continue improving and providing customers with a better experience.

Key Takeaways for All Industries


1) Implementing attractive deals and offers can enhance customer experience and foster brand loyalty in all industries

In almost every industry, price remains a crucial factor. However, loyalty has undeniably become a prominent aspect of the customer-business relationship. It is no longer just about a one-time transaction; businesses strive to cultivate a sense of loyalty and continuous patronage from their customers. This goes beyond offering temporary discounts or promotions to lure customers in for a single transaction. 

2) Prioritizing reliability is crucial for all industries to improve the CX and build trust (in the context of order cancellation)

One central aspect of enhancing the customer experience in the service industry is prioritizing reliability by ensuring that food orders are processed accurately and promptly; businesses can build trust with their customers. One crucial reliability element is the ability to cancel orders effectively when needed. Another critical factor is ensuring that orders are processed correctly, as this contributes to overall customer satisfaction. 

3) Transparency regarding pricing and eliminating hidden charges is important for improving customer experience across all industries

In many industries, fees and additional charges can catch consumers off guard, leading to frustration and a negative overall experience. If customers know the applicable fees and additional charges before they confirm their order, it eliminates any surprises at the end of the transaction. This level of transparency helps customers make solid decisions and builds trust between the company and its users.

You can watch the complete episode here: CX Insights from the Food Delivery App Industry

Need to learn deep expert insights in the Food Delivery App industry? Get your hands on our detailed report! Don't miss out; download your copy now: Customer Experience Delivered: Insights from the Food Delivery Apps Industry