Caviar is an exciting company that recently entered the competitive world of food delivery services with a unique spin: The app offers food delivery from higher-end restaurants in a growing number of American cities.
They’ve partnered with local restaurants that typically don’t offer food delivery and arranged deals where couriers can bring that food right to your home or office.
So whether you’re looking to get delivery from Momofuku CCDC in Washington D.C. or Otto’s Tacos in Manhattan — or any one of your favorite restaurants where you’d assume that they wouldn’t offer delivery — Caviar is a really intriguing option.
It’s a great app to try for foodies, those who are tired of the same old delivery options, or people who love that one restaurant that doesn’t normally offer delivery.
This article will look at how to use the Caviar app, showcase different cities the company is currently working in (and some of the restaurants they’ve partnered with), and offer a quick guide for people who are curious about working for Caviar as one of their couriers.
Launched in 2012, Caviar is a fast food delivery service that focuses on delivery from premium restaurants. Many food delivery apps focus on delivering from as many restaurants as possible (and often skew towards fast food and quick service restaurants).
Caviar, on the other hand, provides delivery from a smaller number of high-quality establishments. They’ve also struck exclusive delivery deals with certain restaurants, allowing customers to get delivery from restaurants that previously didn’t offer such a service.
In 2014, mobile payments company Square acquired Caviar. They’ve continued to run Caviar as a separate company, but they have used their extensive resources to expand the app’s reach into new markets.
How Does Caviar Work?
The Caviar food delivery app is a simple way to order great food from the comfort of your own home. You can make your life easier by simply logging on, choosing your order items, and waiting until your food arrives. No need to even leave home.
The Caviar mobile app is known for having an excellent user interface that makes it extremely easy to navigate and order your food.
After you scroll through all of your options and decide on a restaurant, you’ll then add items to your order. Once you place your order you’ll receive notifications letting you know the status of your delivery. If anything comes up, you’ll be able to chat with your driver to resolve any issues.
As you wait for your delivery, you can watch as it makes its way to your home via real-time GPS tracking in the app.
You’ll then receive an arrival notification when your order arrives at your home. The only thing left to do is pull up a chair and start munching on your premium gourmet grub.
But remember, this isn’t a free delivery service and great things always come at a higher price.
How Is It Different Than Competitors?
Caviar differs from competitors like Seamless, Grubhub, and Postmates in that it works with restaurants that typically won’t work with delivery services. Caviar’s entire selling point to restaurants is that it will handle all of the logistics and support, making sure that chefs can simply focus on food and not worry about the hassle of hiring and organizing delivery drivers.
This is the app’s way of making it worthwhile for very nice restaurants to want to offer delivery. Caviar also can sometimes limit delivery hours, or only make some menu items available for delivery orders, to try and make it as easy as possible on the restaurants with whom they partner.
Restaurants are given an app that lets them cancel food items from the delivery menu in real time, or even pause making delivery available at all if they are struggling to keep up with demand or overwhelmingly busy.
Basically, Caviar built an app that’s extremely friendly for restaurants. And especially comparing it to competitors like Uber Eats from Uber, which basically just allows users to hire a driver to go pick up food from a restaurant, Caviar’s main differentiator is the control it gives to the people making the food.
For users, it means you get to eat at the best restaurants in the city. For the restaurant owners, it allows you to set up delivery service on your terms.
Where Is Caviar Available?
Caviar is currently operating in the Northeast corridor (Philadelphia, Boston, Manhattan, and Brooklyn), the greater Washington D.C. area (including several locations in Virginia), the Pacific Northwest (Portland and Seattle), the San Francisco Bay Area (with some great options in the East Bay), Greater Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and plenty of new markets in the United States being added regularly.
For a full list of all the places Caviar currently delivers, check out their website.
Don’t see your city on the list? Caviar keeps expanding into new markets, so if you’re excited about the service and want to get notified when it is available in your area, download the Caviar app.
Not only will this let you get notifications about Caviar coming to your city, but it will also send a message to the Caviar team that there’s demand for the service where you live.
Caviar delivery fees are usually somewhere between $1.99 and $8.99 per order, depending on how far away from the restaurant you are and the time of day. The further you are from the restaurant or the more demand for delivery there is at that time, the higher your delivery fee. While Caviar will occasionally offer free delivery fees for some partner restaurants, you shouldn’t count on that.
Caviar charges an 18 percent service fee on every order in addition to the delivery fee and restaurants are able to charge their own restaurant fee as well. The restaurant fee helps them cover things like city taxes, staffing, and other expenses.
Does Caviar sound pricey? Although it isn’t cheap, you can save a bit of money by taking advantage of the Caviar referral program.
What Are the Delivery Costs?
Caviar’s premium service doesn’t come free and its costs tend to be slightly higher than competitors. Caviar charges you an 18 percent service charge, a delivery fee of about $1.99 to $8.99, and additional fees that the restaurant may add on.
What causes this difference in price? Delivery and other service fees drive up the cost of using Caviar.
To give you an idea, here are the fees you are responsible for:
Delivery fee: About $1.99 to $8.99 is added to your bill depending on the restaurant, time of day, and distance.
Service fee: You are charged an 18 percent fee of your entire order.
Restaurant fee: This fee depends on what each restaurant charges to compensate for city taxes, staffing, and other expenses.
If these fees are giving you second thoughts, don’t worry. We are here to help you offset these costs by telling you all there is to know regarding Caviar promo codes.
Is There a Caviar Promo Code to Get Me Started?
Looking for Caviar free delivery and a discount off orders? New to the app? We got you.
One popular Caviar coupon code for new customers is “RMN18,” which gets new diners $5 off orders of $30 or more, as well as free delivery, for their first order. To get your Caviar discount, simply enter the code at checkout and they’ll deduct the appropriate amount.
The app also has a referral program, which allows you to share a unique referral code with a friend and, when they make their first order, you get a delivery credit to your account.
Caviar also just started offering gift cards, which you can order and gift to your favorite foodie friend this holiday season. Gifts can be made for $25, $50, $100, and $150 and there is no expiration date on the gift.
One way to use Caviar is through their website, TryCaviar.com. Using the website is more or less intuitive, but there are a few things to keep an eye on when using the site.
To start, take a look at the homepage. It’s a simple prompt asking you to enter your address and start browsing food near you.
That’s one way to start using the service — simply enter your address and start browsing.
For existing users, you can also use the “Sign In” option in the top left corner, which will prompt this sign-in page:
Don’t have an account? If you want to just dive in, creating an account is easy by clicking that option in the drop-down menu.
Clicking it will open up a new prompt box, which will ask for your name, email, password, and ZIP code. Just like that, you’ll have a full account. (This will save you time over entering your address on the home screen.)
Before we dive in to the ordering pages, note that there are a few more options on the homepage of the site.
If you scroll down from the top of the homepage, you’ll find a list of cities where Caviar is available, and the option to order for a workplace setting. That option looks like this:
Clicking on “Learn More” will allow you to learn about Caviar’s corporate accounts program, its catering for workplaces, and the options they have for event ordering through the app. If you want to wow your office mates or feed the bosses when they come to town, you might want to check it out.
A last bit for the homepage — at the very bottom, you will find a few great options. One is the ability to buy a gift card, which makes a thoughtful gift for the foodie who likes to dine at home in your life. Gift cards never expire and come in amounts of $25, $50, $100, and $150.
You can also download the app via the App Store and Google Play and select from a larger menu to get help, learn about the affiliate program, read their blog, contact the team, get help with an order, or follow their social media accounts.
Ordering With TryCaviar.com
Let’s say you entered an address and are ready to look at some food. After you’ve entered your address, you’ll be dropped onto a page that looks like this:
You’ll see a few options here. In the top menu, you’ll notice some options you have control over. The first is “HOW” which selects if you want delivery or pickup.
The next is your home address, which can be altered if you’re ordering to work or a friend’s house. And lastly, “WHEN” lets you schedule delivery up to seven days in advance.
To the right, you’ll also notice you have a search function and a “Filters” tab. Filters are handy if you don’t know exactly which restaurant you want but know what you’re in the mood for. If you click on “Filters” you’ll see this:
Using filters is fantastic, because it allows you to select food not only by price and cuisine style, but also by dietary restrictions and preferences, Zagat rating, and more.
Say you’re hankering for Italian, but you’re with a large group. You don’t want to spend too much, and you have a friend who’s vegan. A few taps, and they’ll quickly present a recommendation.
Once you’ve found the restaurant, ordering food is pretty self-explanatory. Select the food you like and add it to your cart.
One way that Caviar is different from competitors, however, is that unlike Postmates, Grubhub, or DoorDash, Caviar asks you to choose what they should do if your selected dish is not available for delivery.
You might have seen something like this in grocery delivery apps like Instacart, but it’s not typically something you’d see in a food delivery service.
Why does Caviar do this? Mostly, it’s about giving restaurants the control to limit certain items for delivery orders.
Caviar works with higher end restaurants, which almost always want to stress the experience for in-house diners. If the restaurant is jam-packed and the chef is worried about running out of a favorite dish, she will want the freedom and flexibility to cancel it for delivery orders.
Caviar allows restaurants to limit or unlist dishes within the app for delivery, but they don’t always remember to do that in time. This option allows them to easily substitute the item you order, remove the item, or cancel the order based on your preference.
It’s not the best for delivery orderers, but these are typically restaurants that wouldn’t offer delivery any other way.
Once you’ve made your selections, it’s time to check out. The checkout page lets you give instructions to the delivery driver, see a total price for the meal, give a tip, and pay using a credit card or Apple Pay. Tips are usually automatically set at 18%, though you’re free to change that.
Caviar fees include a service fee and a delivery fee, and range from $1.99-$8.99 per delivery, though they often offer codes for discounted fees to members. As a new customer, you’ll also enjoy your first delivery for free.
If you’re a returning customer, don’t fret as many partner restaurants offer free delivery as well. (Keep an eye on the homepage for free delivery promos.)
The process is simple enough: Enter your address, and they’ll highlight the restaurants that work with them in your area.
For example, if you enter your location as Chicago, they might recommend that you order from the Blue Door Farm Stand Too or Urban Belly in the West Loop.
Once you select your food, the app will ask you to review your order and insert any special instructions to the restaurant or the delivery person.
On this page you can also review the total cost of your order and the delivery fee, and then it’s as simple as putting in your preferred form of payment — the app allows you to use both Apple Pay or a credit card.
With pricing, Caviar has no minimum order. Delivery fees are applied to almost every delivery, and typically are calculated by how far you are from the restaurant. (The app will occasionally offer $0 delivery fees for some partner restaurants.) There is also an 18% service fee applied to every order.
The more delivery orders you make using the app, the better it will learn what you like. You can repeat orders from favorite restaurants, and the app will recommend related stores that offer food you might like.
Do I Tip With Caviar?
While tipping isn’t required (just like it isn’t technically required anywhere), it is appreciated for the couriers. The app lets you tip anywhere from $0–$5 (though it currently limits you from $0–$3 on Android) either before or after you order. You are also free to tip your driver cash if you’d prefer.
How Is Caviar’s Customer Service?
One way that the service tries to set itself apart is with their Caviar customer service.
The app has an entire Support Center for users to get questions answered on any host of issues, from tipping to providing help with ordering from specific restaurants.
If your order isn’t what you expected or you have issues with a pick-up by a courier, that webpage is the best way to reach the support team — you can have a live chat with a Caviar representative online by clicking on “Contact Diner Support” in the top right of the page.
If you prefer speaking on the phone, the Caviar phone number is 1-866-612-7021. They just ask that you have the email address associated with the account ready to share when you make a call.
How to Become a Caviar Driver
If you are interested in making some extra money as a Caviar courier, the application process is easy enough and comparable to signing up as a driver or courier for companies like Lyft, Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, or other delivery apps.
To work for Caviar, you must be 18 years old, have a smartphone so you can use their courier app, and have access to some form of vehicle (car, truck, bike, scooter, or motorcycle). You must also be licensed to drive your vehicle, though you don’t need to have years of driving experience to work for the company.
To get set up, you first need to apply at their website. From there, Caviar will need to have your identity verified with a simple background check. Once approved, you provide them with a bank account to deposit your pay into (they do instant direct deposit through the Cash App), then you’ll have access to a special courier app which will allow you to start booking deliveries right away.
Like Uber drivers, Caviar couriers are independent contractors who can design their own schedule. Whether you’re looking for a full-time gig or want to keep a flexible schedule, being a Caviar delivery driver will allow you to decide what kind of time commitment you want to make.
Frequently Asked Questions About Caviar Delivery
To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions about the Caviar delivery service:
1. What types of food does Caviar deliver?
While Caviar focuses on a smaller number of restaurants than their competitors, they still manage to offer a wide variety of cuisines and foods. Here are just some of the types of food you can order on Caviar:
Yes, they do. You can purchase gift cards in amounts of $25, $50, $100, and $150. Visit the Caviar gift card page to get started.
3. What are alternatives to Caviar?
While Caviar is the only food delivery app to currently focus on delivery from high-end restaurants, there are plenty of other apps you can use if you just want food delivered in general. Here are some of our favorite food delivery apps:
4. How can I get a discount on my first Caviar order?
Caviar orders can get expensive, especially if you order lots of food. Luckily, there’s an easy way for you to get a discount on your first Caviar order. When you sign up for Caviar and enter the promo code PICNIC, you’ll get $10 off your first order of $50 or more.
5. Can I pay for my Caviar order with cash?
All order payments are processed through the Caviar app using the credit or debit card information you provide. You cannot pay for your order in cash, though you are welcome to give your courier a cash tip if you so desire.
Should I Try Caviar?
If you’re a foodie (and one who likes having food delivered to his or her door) and in one of the markets that Caviar is currently operating in, it’s really not a bad app to try.
Delivery fees are reasonable, and while the list of restaurants isn’t as extensive as with some other apps, that’s sort of the point. Caviar isn’t going to offer delivery from all the restaurants in your city — just the best ones they can find to partner with.
That right there is the main appeal of Caviar: You’ve got a pretty good idea that, wherever you order from within the app, the food is going to be somewhere between pretty good and excellent. The choices are made easier for you by only working with restaurants that people really want to eat at.
That, plus the ability to order delivery from restaurants that don’t typically offer delivery, makes the app an intriguing download. If they’re operating in your city, and you’re hungry, give it a whirl.