Chicago Delivery Services Decoded

So basically my entire life, well, twitter life, I’ve been tweeting about how amazing it would be if chipotle delivered. And then one day, my dream came true. Literally. You guys, I don’t know if you know this, but Chicago is like an epicenter for delivery startups. And it saddens me that so many people don’t know about them yet. So I’m going to take it upon myself to break down the different delivery services that are available in this fine city. I actually just read this Splash article over the weekend about a few other services that I don’t use myself, but you may find come in handy.

Instacart
So this was the first one that I used. It’s relatively similar to Peapod, in that you’re just ordering your groceries. I don’t mean to make it seem lame by using the word “just”, but there are few more services that provide more than that. But groceries are uber important if you ask me. Instacart started out in San Fran and recently made its way to the Chi. It originally started with Trader Joe’s and I want to say Jewel(?) but then dropped TJ’s for unknown reasons. But now you can have your groceries delivered from Jewel, Whole Foods, Mariano’s, Costco and most recently Stanley’s! If you don’t know about Stanley’s, well let’s just say you’ve been missing out. Seriously cheap and awesome produce. It’s fairly small so if you go on a Sunday you’ll actually probably feel like you’re in the security line at the airport on Thanksgiving weekend, it gets bumpin. Anyway, the gist is you can have your groceries delivered in a two hour window of your choosing for just $3.99. You can even specify ripeness and things like that. Someone will call you if they’re out of stock of something and ask if they can get you something similar instead. They have a lot of different options like Instacart Plus and Instacart Express that I’m not really too knowledgeable on. But check it out, if you’re without a car like myself, it’s definitely a great option for a great price. It’s also nice that they have a web version as well as mobile, so if you remember something you need while you’re on the go, you can add it to your existing list that you have on your computer. If you click through to sign up using the link in the title you’ll get $10 off your first order too!

Foxtrot
I was so excited when Foxtrot started delivering to my neighborhood. This is a wee bit different from Instacart in that it is curated menus. They get a lot of their fresh items from the Plum Market on Wells. But they also deliver things like Jeni’s Ice Cream and Glazed and Infused donuts. They have a crazy large assortment of alcohol too, so if you run out during your pregame no one has to miss part of the party by making a beer run! Though I will caution that the one downfall of this service that I’ve found is that they only deliver until 10pm, but obviously that’s not a deal breaker. Their main categories are Drink, Eat and Life. The first two I think are pretty self explanatory. But within Life, they’ll deliver you everything from candles to hangover cure-alls to Deborah Lippmann nail polish! But they also curate specific menus for that day. Like on Sunday they’ll have a brunch menu chock full of pancake mix, eggs, diced veggies, Niman Ranch Sausage, Chobani yogurt and all the makings for a perfect bloody mary. Delivery for Foxtrot is $5 and it’s delivered within an hour. If you get on their email list, they tend to usually send out at least one email per week with a coupon code for free delivery, sometimes even more often. This one is mobile only but the app is super easy to navigate and takes out the guesswork completely. They’re not delivering all over Chicago yet, but you can check and see if you’re within a delivery zone here.

Postmates
This is the most recent service in the city, just launched about two weeks ago. And this is likely to be the most helpful. Basically, they’ll deliver anything for you within an hour. Yeah, anything. Neeeeeed that top you saw on Nordstrom.com for tonight but don’t have time to get yourself downtown? No problem, someone else will go get it for you and have it at your door within an hour. Can’t pry yourself away from binge watching House of Cards (again)? No problem, have your chipotle delivered. Can you say Portilllllllos? I ordered Starbucks the other day because it was just too damn cold to get it myself. I live in a weird spot where there ISN’T a Starbucks within spitting distance.  I mean there are three definitely in walking distance, but this winter just hasn’t really screamed “hey come outside and go for a walk”. But I was sipping on my latte within 15 minutes of placing the order!
They have a ton of restaurants queued up with menus ready to go, but you can also search a place without a menu and place a custom order. Once it’s placed, the app finds a nearby Postmate to handle your order. From there, you can watch in real time on your phone where the delivery person is. How awesome is that!? We did have an issue last week when we ordered pizza from Piece, we placed a custom order but were very specific about how we wanted the pizza. They did not get it right. So we called Piece and they had no idea who we were. Turns out that’s because the postmate delivery guy was the one who places the order and used his own name because he’s the one picking it up. Makes sense. But the problem was, the order was wrong. So then we called Postmates and they offered to order a new pizza and have it delivered. Not really what we were looking for since we didn’t want to wait another hour, but they did credit us for the pie which was nice. Delivery fees depend on where the location is, in comparison to where you are (I think…), but they start at $5.  Postmates is mobile only also. But what I love is it lets you save multiple addresses, so I can have my apartment, my office and my boyfriends address saved. Also, they deliver until 1am, depending on if the place you’re ordering from is still open obviously. hint: most 7-11’s are open. If you sign up using the code 6ULR you’ll get a $10 credit on your first delivery.

Also, check out this article about how Postmates and Uber may start sharing a space…

Hopefully this helps all the lazy bums out there. Sometimes it’s just easier to have it delivered, no shame in that. Let me know if you know of any other delivery services out there or if you’ve had any great or not so great experiences with the services above.

L