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Food on demand: News 3 volunteers put apps to the test

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) - It's the mid-afternoon rush at O Face Doughnuts. Josh, a driver, is on the clock, but he won't be enjoying the snack - someone else will.

Welcome to the world of on-demand dining, where you skip the phone book, pick up your smartphone and sit back and wait for someone like him.

In a food-obsessed city such as Las Vegas, food delivery is serious business. News 3 wanted to test a few companies out. Our hungry panel consisted of a food critic, a chef and 13-year-old girl - a trio who have considerable food experience and promised to give their honest opinions.

Vegan pizza, delivered via GrubHub

Chef Jenna Barr: "The pizza's good, still at a great temperature, not soggy." Teen Skylar DeClamecy: "It's a little runny down the middle." The chocolate tacos didn't survive the delivery: "A little tipped over, but maybe that was in transport." and food critic, Grace Bascos got a unique surprise: "Are these are supposed to be boozy. I taste alcohol. Are yours boozy?"
Join the conversation: We want to know if you've tried any of these on demand services. If so, let us know what you think! To join the conversation, go to our Facebook page.
Who are these merchants of munch? There are several on the road in big cities across the nation, including GrubHub. "We have 24-hour customer care," says Kaitlyn Carl, out of GrubHub headquarters in Chicago.

Another food demand app, Postmates, is officially in southern Nevada and it's among the newest, says Staci Perkins of Postmates.

"We've grown 595 percent since our first month, so it's all happening," Perkins said.

And happening quick. Expansion in to North Las Vegas is still in the works but by far, downtown Las Vegas is the busiest area. That's helpful for small businesses like O Face Doughnuts, trying to draw new customers however they can. If they come through a cyber-front door, it's no problem - as long as they're buying.

Sonny Ahuja, owner of the doughnut shop, says, "If they can't make it downtown, don't want to deal with parking, whatever the issue is, (food on demand) answers their issue as much as it answers ours."

Across town, Sabatinos Authentic New York Pizzeria works with GrubHub and others.

Robert Hughes says why fight for a table or phone in your pizza order when you can click?

"If you're calling on a Friday night, I got all phone lines busy," Hughes said. The GrubHub app "alleviates having to sit on hold, wait longer."

But not all is perfect when you click to dine.

"The Internet has changed the way we feel about privacy and about trust," says Dr. Anjala Krishen of UNLV. "We're much more trusting about something we can't see than you'd think we would be."

Postmates and GrubHub say they perform background checks on their drivers and want a friendly, patient delivery staff - but will these quality controls guarantee a perfect meal?

When it came to delivery, the drivers were friendly and made it in within an hour, although GrubHub had to return to the restaurant and pick up a few more missing dishes.

We want to know if you've tried any of these on demand services. If so, let us know what you think! To join the conversation, go to our Facebook page.
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