Ordering takeaways via an app is up to 44 per cent more expensive than buying directly from the restaurant.
Prices are driven up because of the fee restaurants must pay to the major delivery firms Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat.
The companies also charge customers for each delivery or monthly subscriptions, topped up with handling and so-called small order fees.
Prices are driven up because of the fee restaurants must pay to the major delivery firms Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat (file image)
Researchers from the consumer group Which? compared the cost of ordering meals for two to four people from five unnamed restaurants and cafes, including the food itself and fees such as delivery.
Ordering via a takeaway app was 23 per cent (£7.14) more expensive on average per meal than using the restaurants’ own services.
Deliveroo was generally the most expensive, costing an average of 31 per cent (£9.91) more.
Buying a takeaway from a burrito and taco restaurant came in at £43.94 with Deliveroo, which was 44 per cent (£12.29) more than ordering direct. Even before adding delivery and service charges, the food was 26 per cent (£8.30) more expensive.
Uber Eats orders cost an extra 25 per cent (£7.93) on average, while Just Eat’s were 7 per cent (£1.56) more expensive.
Uber Eats orders cost an extra 25 per cent (£7.93) on average, while Just Eat’s were 7 per cent (£1.56) more expensive (file image)
A number of restaurants told Which? they had raised prices to cover the commission of 15 to 35 per cent demanded by delivery services.
The consumer group said fixing problems with orders could also be difficult as customers were ‘caught between the restaurant and the app’.
Adam French, of Which?, said: ‘The undoubted convenience offered by a delivery app comes with a hidden additional cost.’
Deliveroo said it aims to offer customers great value while allowing restaurants to boost sales.
Uber Eats said: ‘We are focused on ensuring the best restaurants and best selection of food is available to customers, delivered in an average time of less than 30 minutes.’
Just Eat said its ‘commission rates are aligned with the value we provide to our partners and… it’s really important to us that our customers have a positive experience’.