Let’s say it’s the day before a final: You’re studying all day in Doe Memorial Library, and you suddenly start to feel hungry. Are you really going to disrupt your workflow and walk all the way off campus to grab a bite? Maybe not. Instead, you could try using a food delivery app, but which one? Here’s your answer.

We tested three food delivery apps—Postmates, DoorDash and Kiwi—which could deliver to the middle of UC Berkeley's campus. On each app, we ordered a boba milk tea from Boba Ninja to Doe Memorial Library in the centre of campus. The in-store price of the drink is $3.25, but on the delivery apps it costs $4.25 plus a delivery fee. We compared the three apps based on speed, cost, and convenience of delivery.

1. DoorDash

Cindy Lin

Cost: $10.10 ($7.11 with promotion)

Time: 22 minutes, 7 minutes earlier than expected

DoorDash was very efficient and convenient. I was assigned a ‘Dasher’ and could see their whereabouts on a live map. Another strong point was that DoorDash notified me on both the app and by text whenever anything happened, and the Dasher called me when they arrived so that I could find them easily.

DoorDash was somewhat pricey, but it was by far the fastest app that we tried. The delivery cost included a 11% service fee tip plus tax, making the total $10.10.

#SpoonTip DoorDash has a promotion that gives first-time users free delivery!

If you’re willing to pay extra for a fast delivery and good service, DoorDash is the best option for you. 

2. Postmates

Cindy Lin

Cost: $7.33

Time: 51 minutes, 6 minutes later than expected

Postmates had a very similar delivery system to DoorDash with live tracking and app notifications, and the only difference was the speed. It might be better to use the app for pre-scheduling a delivery instead of immediate delivery so that you're more likely to get your delivery on time. Also, if you’ve already used your first-time user promotion on DoorDash, then Postmates would be a cheaper alternative.

3. Kiwi

Cindy Lin

Cost: $4.28

Time: 79 minutes, 52 minutes later than expected

For those of you who aren't familiar with Kiwibots, they are little robots that deliver food around the UC Berkeley campus region. They're also available at three other university campuses including Stanford and Rutgers.

Yes, Kiwibots are entertaining, but they definitely are not very fast. The Kiwi app was selling Boba Ninja drinks for just $0.99, so the overall delivery fee was just $4.28, significantly cheaper than the other apps. Kiwi does have pretty epic discounts on some restaurants, but the regular-priced deliveries are the same price as the other two apps. Even though the wait to receive our bubble tea was longer than expected, the experience of collecting our drink was really fun. 

After the Kiwibot picked up my order, I could track its movements live on a map in the app. Once it got closer to my location, I could see a live feed of the Kiwibot’s camera so that it was easier to locate. Since there’s no way of verbally communicating with the bot, I had to walk to find wherever it stopped, which meant some additional walking than the other two apps. Once I reached the Kiwibot, I just pressed a button on my phone to unlock the bot and grabbed my bubble tea.

Cindy Lin

Ultimately, Kiwi is an app you should use if you’re not in a rush and are looking for something cheap. Or, you can try Kiwi just for the sake of using the adorable little bots.

To sum up, when it comes to choosing between delivery apps, it really depends whether you care more about price or speed. Regardless of which app you choose, at least now you know how to avoid a hungry stomach during midterm season!