Is It Worth It? Pros & Cons of Ordering Food Delivery

By Brittany Loeffler on June 23, 2018

As a college student, ordering food delivery is one of the most convenient services you can take advantage of. As you run between classes, extracurricular activities, and social gatherings with friends all while studying for exams, how are you supposed to find time to cook a decent meal for yourself? With today’s technology and the ease of ordering food online, it’s easier than ever to eat the type of food you’re craving.

However, there is a downside to ordering food delivery so often. You may not notice it at first. Over time you’ll notice your bank account decreasing and maybe your clothes are slightly snugger than before. We’ve explored the pros and cons of ordering food delivery and determine if it’s worth it.

ordering food

via Unsplash

The Pros:


You can’t deny that ordering food delivery is one of the most convenient services we have in present day. With just a few clicks on a keyboard or swipes on your phone, you can have a delicious hot meal delivered right to your door in under an hour.

Ordering food is great for the busy college student who may not have time to prepare a fully home-cooked meal. You don’t want to have to worry about when you’re going to eat next or if you’ll have time to cook it. Ordering food ensures that you won’t go hungry and will enjoy what you eat.

Saves Time

In just under an hour, depending on where you live and who is delivering, you can receive a full hot meal right to your doorstep. You don’t have to worry about going out to the grocery store and buying all of the ingredients to your favorite meal. You don’t want to spend time at home preparing and cooking those ingredients. Instead, you can just call up your favorite restaurant and have it delivered.

A busy and dedicated college student doesn’t have time to waste spending an hour cooking and cleaning up their lunch and dinner every single day. There is nothing better than crossing things off of your to-do list while waiting for your food. You have much better things to do!

No Mess

When ordering food, the restaurant will usually provide you with plastic utensils, napkins, and any condiments you may need. They also make their packaging so that you can eat your meal right from it. What does this mean for you? No mess!

Ordering food means you save time preparing your meal and cleaning up from it. All you have to do is throw it out. That means you have more time to spend with friends or studying for your next exam.

Choices are Endless

Ordering food means that you have endless choices of what kind of food you can eat. This is especially true if you live in a city known for its food options. No matter what you’re craving, you can most likely have it delivered to you.

It also gives you a chance to try foods from different cultures. When cooking at home, we tend to stick to what we know because we don’t want to make a mistake or put any effort into cooking a new dish. When ordering food, you just have to take a chance and order a dish you’ve been meaning to try. It’ll open your mind and tastebuds!

Great Food

How many times have you tried to cook for yourself and it turns out bland or burnt? You are left hungry, frustrated, and probably thinking about ordering food for the night anyway. Ordering food is great for those of you who don’t know the first thing about cooking. Sure, you can live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and pasta, but it sure gets boring after a while.

Ordering food means that you’ll be sure to have a tasty meal that won’t be burnt so you won’t go hungry.


Some restaurants offer rewards for ordering from them a certain number of times or coupons to their most loyal customers. You don’t want to always pay full price, so use coupons to optimize your food delivery. This will save you some money while ordering your favorite food.

Online Ordering

The beauty of today’s technology is that everything is done online. Long gone are the days of calling a busy restaurant, ordering your food, and hoping that they heard you correctly. When ordering food online you decrease the chances of the restaurant messing up your order.

Mobile apps such as GrubHub and Eat24 make ordering food that much easier. GrubHub will even text you updates on the status of your order!

Not only does it decrease miscommunication, but you can view a restaurant’s full menu. You may find something that you never thought the restaurant offered with different options and substitutions with their online menu.

The Cons:

Can Get Expensive

It’s undeniable that eating at home is much less expensive than ordering food or eating out. When you eat at home you don’t have to pay for the

ordering food

Infographic by Brittany Loeffler

labor that it takes to make your meal, sales taxes, or tips. Instead, you just have to pay for the food that you are going to eat, which is ultimately very inexpensive.

On average, an American will spend $45 every two weeks ordering food. Just think of how much money you could save if you stopped ordering food and cooked at home for three months.

Delivery Minimum and Other Charges

Many restaurants have delivery minimums when customers are ordering food. This is to ensure that sending their delivery driver is worth it for them financially. So, when you plan on ordering a burger that is $7 but the delivery minimum is $10, what do you do? You’ll probably add another food item. The chances of finding an item for $3 are slim so you will end up paying more than $10 to have your food delivered.

On top of the delivery minimum when ordering food, there are additional fees such as sales tax, delivery fee, and the tip. When ordering prepared food, a sales tax is added on. When buying unprepared food at a grocery store or farmers market, sales tax is not added. It may be a small percentage, but it definitely adds up when ordering food multiple times a week. Sometimes you can spend an extra $10 just on these additional fees!

Consuming More Calories

Food prepared at restaurants are packed with calories. The most common foods people buy when ordering food are fried and full of fat. Pizza, French fries, burgers, wings, and Chinese food are among some of the most common foods people order. These fried foods can sometimes contain a day’s worth of calories!

Surprisingly, even food that you may assume is healthy, such as a salad or wrap, may also be packed with hundreds of calories. A Caesar salad from a restaurant can easily be over 500 calories while at home it can be as little as 200. If you are looking to eat a healthy diet, then ordering food is not the best option.

You Don’t Know What’s In Your Food

The best thing about making food at home is that you know exactly what is in your meal. This is beneficial to people who watch what they eat or have food allergies. When ordering food, you probably have an idea of what kind of ingredients are used to make your meal, but you can never be one hundred percent sure.

Not knowing what is used in your meal can also make it difficult to track calories, especially because it isn’t measured. Chefs will use usually use butter when frying something in a pan, but you may never know because it’s melted and you can’t see it. One tablespoon of butter is around 102 calories. That’s a lot of calories for something that melts and used to season your food!

Unaware of Restaurant’s Cleanliness

A disadvantage of ordering food is that you have no idea how clean the restaurant you are ordering from is. There are times you walk into a restaurant, intending to eat there until you notice the place doesn’t look very sanitary. So, you decide to leave.

When ordering food, you never step into the restaurant so you don’t have a feel for the kind of sanitary conditions it may be in. Of course, the country has a food and health code that restaurants must follow, but not everyone follows them to the T.

Large Portions

America is already known around the world for the large portions that restaurants serve. It’s easy to eat a day’s worth of calories in one sitting when ordering food from a restaurant. These large portions lead to overeating, which then leads to weight gain and other health risks.

It’s important to recognize that the portions served when ordering food are not normal and you should only eat half of what is served.

You may also overeat because of delivery minimums that require you to order more food than you intended. Keep in mind the portion size you receive when ordering food and try to make it into two meals. Not only will you keep from overeating, but you now have a meal for tomorrow!

More Likely to Eat Unhealthy Food

There are more restaurants that serve unhealthy food than restaurants that serve healthy food. A restaurant’s job is to make their food taste good for its customers, which means cooking with lots of fats, sugars, and carbohydrates. Biologically, that’s just what we crave!

So, when ordering food you’re more likely to buy fried and fatty foods than a healthy meal like a salad. Looking at a restaurant’s menu you may feel more tempted to order a dessert or side to your dinner too.

Won’t Learn How to Cook

If you depend on ordering food to eat, then you will never successfully learn how to cook. Cooking is a skill that will benefit you throughout your life, so it doesn’t hurt to start early! When you grow older and have a family, you’ll want to cook at home because it is cheaper. If you like to host during holidays and celebrations, you’ll have to cook food for your guests too.

When you stop ordering food, follow recipes, and teach yourself how to cook some of your favorite meals, it will result in healthier eating and spending less money on food.

ordering food, cooking yourself

via Unsplash

Cooking for Yourself

If you dedicate some time to cooking for yourself, you will definitely see a great change in your bank account and your health.

Meal Prep

You see fitness stars on Instagram do it. You read articles for tips on how to meal prep. Now it’s time to actually put it into your routine! Every Sunday, cut out two to three hours to cook yourself five to ten meals for the week. You should make lunch and dinner that consists of protein, vegetables, and a grain.

It’s so easy to pop one of your meals into the microwave. It may even be faster than ordering food! If you just put some time aside to cook your meals ahead of time, you will learn how to live a healthy lifestyle, learn how to cook, and save money. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Is It Worth It?

Now that we have explored the pros and cons of ordering food, it’s up to you to decide, is it worth it? We know that ordering food is extremely convenient and will save you a lot of time especially if you don’t have time to cook that day. However, the money you spend on ordering food can really add up. You don’t know what you’re eating and are probably consuming more calories than is recommended.

When you cook for yourself, you’ll save money and learn an essential lifelong skill. Taking just three hours at the beginning of the week to prepare your food ahead of time will make it easier to eat healthily and save money. So, is ordering food worth it?

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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