What is the best restaurant delivery gift card option for a group (US)?
July 26, 2020 2:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to give a team of 10 employees a restaurant delivery gift card but hear one bad thing after another about UberEats, DoorDash, etc. Which of the options is the least evil? This would be for United States, Seattle and San Francisco area and I'm planning on doing something around $35-50 per person.

Other options I considered: I thought of finding a gift certificate for a group of restaurants which seems like a good way to get around the fees, but I'd rather give team members more of a choice. Same issue if I went with Starbucks gift cards, it feels a little too specific. Maybe there an other similar gift that is even better? I originally was going to send a box of cookies to each from Milk Bar but that unfortunately requires I ask them for their home addresses which takes the surprise away.
posted by belau to Shopping (18 answers total)
posted by JackBurden at 2:54 PM on July 26

Maybe there an other similar gift that is even better?

Yes. Give your employees cash. Your employees want cash. They work for cash. They do not work for gift cards. Giving them gift cards indicates to them you know how they should spend their money better than they do. Your employees are able to exchange cash for every restaurant in the world - it is the universal gift card. In fact, it's even better than gift cards, because restaurants pay fees to access most delivery programs and gift card networks, whereas restaurants pay no fee to accept cash.

Restaurants want cash. Employees want cash. Cash is easier for you. Give them cash.
posted by saeculorum at 3:11 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]

cash is great. if for some reason you do need to do gift cards, the delivery folks whom I've asked have told me that grubhub is better to work for than doordash.

(suggest not starbucks, it's such a bummer for folks who are off sugar.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:26 PM on July 26

Clarification - we're all working from home so whatever I do will need to be email only or I'd ask them each for their home address to ship something there. Cash is also not allowed per our expense policy, plus it would be taxed as payroll income. Occasional gift cards or gifts under $100 are totally fine though. When I give personal gifts, I often do a very small gift plus cash for the exact reasons you're noting!
posted by belau at 3:26 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]

A lot of the places I've ordered takeout from use Toast for ordering. I wonder if prepaid Visa cards or something similar might work to allow people to order that way? You input your debit or credit card on the app at the end of ordering. (None of the restaurants except one that I've been to take cash.)
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:28 PM on July 26

American Express use (almost) anywhere card.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:40 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]

I don't think it takes the surprise away to ask for their addresses, if you want to send the cookies. They still won't know what to expect in the mail. (Also, could you get their addresses from HR? Seems like they should have current addresses for employees during the pandemic if they don't already).
posted by pinochiette at 4:42 PM on July 26

$50 Amazon gift cards.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:57 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]

Target/Walmart gift cards will allow them to also purchase gift cards to restaurants, and other necessities, if they need them.
posted by toastyk at 6:26 PM on July 26

Mastercard gift card.
posted by AugustWest at 6:59 PM on July 26


Target GiftCards can’t be used to purchase the following:
American Express®, Visa®, or Mastercard® gift cards or prepaid cards
Specialty gift cards in store or from Target.com, including gift cards for gaming, music and restaurants, such as Xbox and Olive Garden
Target GiftCards

posted by cooker girl at 6:26 AM on July 27

Does everyone have to get the same thing? The best thing after cash would be to let them pick from a list.

Whatever you decide on - make sure each person is in the delivery area for these services. I live about 45 minutes north of the closest big city, work in that city, and those food delivery apps don't work in my area. I do have a local Applebee's and Target, plus lots of other chains, so I would appreciate being able to pick one of those.
posted by soelo at 6:41 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]

I’d love it if someone gave me a grocery store gift card.
posted by sageleaf at 10:57 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]

pre-paid Visa cards?

Most delivery services won't even come to our neighborhood and when they do everything's cold because we're last on the list.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:03 PM on July 27

I think this will be regional. In the Bay Area, my sister relies on grubhub, but here in LA I rely on Postmates.
posted by samthemander at 9:28 AM on July 28

I know you said you want it to be a surprise, but honestly as someone who was both in charge of (as in, given permission by our BoD) and on the receiving end of something similar a couple of months ago, it's preferable to just ask everyone what they want. We framed it as a way to support local businesses while also giving everyone a morale boost of "Hey, free food!"

It's a little annoying keeping a list of different responses (this was for about a dozen people) to reference if everyone responded and if I had sent the gift card, but my email to everyone requested them to send me a link of a place that did digital gift cards that didn't require anything more elaborate but their email. Everyone got something a little different based on the restaurant/business they wanted to support, but it was what they wanted and knew they would use.

Then all I had to do was click the link, put in the info/amount, and done! It was easy for me, it made my coworkers happy, and I didn't have to worry about somebody having an issue getting a gift card to something they wouldn't use (there were a couple of specific restaurants, along with a few Grubhub/Doordash). As delicious as I would find a treat from Milk Bar, I would feel uncomfortable sending treats to my coworkers' homes unless I knew for sure that they would appreciate it. I don't know about your company, but even with just a dozen of us, there are so many food allergies and dietary restrictions that ordering food as a group is always a tricky situation.
posted by paisley sheep at 1:20 PM on July 28

I use Caviar in the Bay Area (had a bad experience with it one night in Seattle). They give 100% of tips to drivers and they don't do the shady fake restaurant phone number thing that GrubHub was doing. I think it's the least bad option for delivery.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:56 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone for the great answers to this. Since it is such a small group, it ended up not being as big a deal as I thought to just reach out to them to send something a little more specific. It really worked out great. And this thread is a good reminder to all - what we really want is the flexibility to choose, and cash is aways appreciated for that reason!
posted by belau at 7:07 PM on July 29

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