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The Good, The Bad, And The Hungry: UberEats vs. OrderUp

It’s 2 a.m. and you’re starving because you’re too lazy to go get food somewhere. Everything on campus is closed and let’s face it, your bed is too comfortable to get out of it to go make a meal. Either that, or you are drunk ordering Gumby’s at 3 a.m. on a Thursday.

Any Penn Stater knows OrderUp, our versatile go-to delivery service for many signature State College foods, is the plug for delivery. Sadly, it’s on its way to the graveyard. But have no fear, the new delivery service UberEats from your drunken chauffeur Uber is headed right here to State College.  

After a summer of interning and keepin’ it weird in Austin, TX, I was exposed to the wonderful world of UberEats. As an app hitting mostly larger metro areas, UberEats is still relatively new and is constantly growing and changing. That being said, here are the noticeable differences I picked up on while using the app over the summer.

What’s Different?

Estimated Wait Times: When browsing menus, each restaurant you order from has an estimated wait time for the delivery your address for the order before you purchase. In my experience, they are almost always completely accurate or within 5-10 minutes of the estimated time. This feature is actually quite handy when browsing options.

Live Feed Tracking of Your Order: The same way that you can see the little live graphic of your Uber driver pulling up to pick you up on your phone, you can watch the driver pick up your food, and drive it to you on the UberEats app in real time. This is a bonus for those moments when your driver is taking a while and you are wondering where they are.

Flat-Rate Delivery: In Austin, the flat rate for all UberEats was $5. While that is a fee higher than a good amount of restaurants on OrderUp, it is also cheaper than some other options.

Optional Tipping: With the flat rate established, you have the option to leave a tip for the driver via the UberEats app. It is optional however, as the $5 fee is meant to account towards driver’s fees. The tipping option was only added back in June, but it still eliminates the need to do any cash tipping unless you choose to.

Location-Based Delivery: Just like Uber, you can have food delivered to your exact geographic location rather than a set specific address you type in. Be careful, though. Much like Uber the “My Location” feature is not always totally functional or accurate, UberEats has similar issues.

Sleeker Design / Functionality: The UberEats app design is extremely sleek, user-friendly, and functional. Supported by strong servers, a helpful customer service Uber team, and the best software, UberEats makes delivering much easier and efficient due to the design of the app.

So, Which is Better?

As someone who has been using OrderUp for two years here at Penn State and used UberEats for one summer, I have to give the edge to UberEats. It’s a better app that offers accurate delivery times, access to the live feed of the driver, and a more functional design. Both are good, but UberEats is simply a better app. The only downfall is that flat rate deliveries can be steep, but you will find it is worth it with the additional features that come with the app.

About the Author

Tim Reams

is the HR Strategic Partner for Onward State, but he's still churning out the good photos and stories occasionally. He's a junior majoring in Labor Employment Relations, minoring in one too many things, and he'll probably become the next Onward State schmuck to go to law school. Tim comes from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area (yes where the TV show the office is based off of) and was raised a die hard fan of all things Penn State. For any inquiries or spamming email [email protected], or feel free to sliiiiide into his DMs on twitter @TPReams.


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