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A guide to food delivery apps for seniors

This edition of Aged Care Guide will explain how you or a person in your care can make sense of delivery apps. In this article, the downloading process, delivery process, issues and possible charges you may encounter will be covered and broken down for easy understanding.

It used to just be Chinese food or pizza, but now everything from burgers, medicine and groceries can be accessed with just a few taps. (Source: Shutterstock)

It used to just be Chinese food or pizza, but now everything from burgers, medicine and groceries can be accessed with just a few taps. (Source: Shutterstock)

Key points:

  • If you don’t know how to do it on the phone, turn on the computer and check out the websites — the convenience of delivery services can help you to access things when you need them
  • If you’re unhappy with your purchase or you encountered faults in the product/food, you can easily report it and request a full refund or replace the products
  • Some services may help you to access medicine or groceries at odd hours or at night
  • As couriers working independently, rather than for just one company, wait times my be longer during dinner or lunch hours


New technology can be frightening, confusing or frustrating, but with the help of it, you’re now able to get food from some of your favourite restaurants delivered right to your door. Some services, such as bakeries, groceries, convenience stores or pharmacies are also able to have a delivery courier bring you things which you may need within an hour.

What are the apps?

A mobile application or ‘app’ can be downloaded using a smartphone or tablet, which has a very simple layout on a big touchscreen. Apple’s iPhone will have the App store, whereas an Android phone will have a Google Play Store. To enter into the store, tap and when you see a bar with a small magnifying glass, you can enter some of the following app names to download them:

  • Uber Eats
  • Menulog
  • Deliveroo
  • DoorDash

When prompted, tap the ‘Install’ or ‘Get’ button and within a few seconds, you should have the app installed on your device. Exit the App Store or Play Store, as you would any other app and locate the new delivery application on your phone/tablet.

When you first enter the delivery app, you will encounter some pop-ups which request access to different settings on your device, but don’t worry — they help to locate your local area and which stores are nearby, in order to give you the best experience. You will then have to create an account, which will require you to enter an email address and create a password. Don’t worry — this is a one time thing, but it may require you to check your email address and potentially ‘complete’ your account creation through entering a code sent to you or by clicking a link or button.

These apps are trusted by the public and are secure to use, but not all apps or websites are legitimate, so permissions to access your email address, enter passwords, addresses, personal information or bank account details should never be given out to random apps or platforms

Here are the home screens for an iPhone (made by Apple, seen on the left) and an Android phone (seen on the right). (Source: Mr.Mikla via Shutterstock)

How to order food

You will need to enter your address to find out which stores are in your area, to calculate prices of delivery and estimate how long it will take to deliver, along with informing the courier where to drop the food off. Wait times during peak hours (11am to 1pm and 5pm to 7pm) may increase due to demand, but note that the courier is not responsible for the added interest in delivery during these times.

Based on the app, different services have different contracts with companies, so what might exist on one app may not be available on another, for instance Menulog may offer food from KFC, whereas Uber Eats might not. When you find a store using the app, click on it and using your finger to swipe up on your device, you can see the items available to order. Some delivery apps may allow you to modify your order (remove ingredients, add ingredients) or type a message to the store in addition to your order.

During the checkout process, you may see added fees in addition to the price of delivery. It is important to make a note of this before you finalise your order, as different costs may be added at the very end, such as a service charge, delivery, public holiday premiums or modification charges. Additionally, some services may offer you a first-time free delivery deal, paid subscription or the option to ‘prioritise’ your order for a fee, which means that the courier (who may have many orders on-hand) will deliver yours first.

Finally, there’s the option to track your order once it is placed, so you can follow which stage the preparation in-store is at, along with how far your courier is from your location in real-time. There may be other prompts which instruct you to choose whether they should hand the delivery order over to you by hand or leave it at the door to minimise contact.

Upon arrival, you will have the option to rate the store and/or courier based on the quality of service you have received and potentially offer them a tip for their service. Tipping is traditionally an American custom, but for workers who make very little in their role as couriers for these companies, it is greatly appreciated and may even earn you a positive reputation in their database.

What happens if my order is taking too long or is incorrect?

Do not blame the delivery drivers if your order is incorrect as they do not work for the store they have been outsourced. Instead, open up the app and navigate to your account, then select either ‘orders,’ ‘help,’ or ‘support’ and follow the prompts to speak with a customer service representative. Generally, the money you have paid will be refunded to you in 1 – 2 business days or your account will be credited with in-app money for future purchases. You may be required to take a photo for proof or describe your concerns to the representative.

What tips do you have when it comes to food delivery apps? Let the team at Aged Care Guide know.

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