Kevin Paredes/Photography Editor

During finals week, you might not be able to leave the library, so when there is a sudden craving for off-campus food, delivery food apps come to the rescue. My friends and I tested Grubhub, BingBite and JoyRun to see which app is the best for Binghamton University students, rating them in terms of quality and timeliness. We ordered a variation of signature ice cream creations from Cold Stone Creamery, with one Birthday Cake Remix sundae in every order to see if there is a difference in the ice cream from the different apps. We also ordered a variety of flavors to see the differences in their tastes when delivered.

The Grubhub order was one “Birthday Cake Remix” signature ice cream creation ($7.36), one “Mint Mint Chocolate Chip” signature ice cream creation ($6.59) and one “Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some” signature ice cream creation ($6.59). Except for the “Birthday Cake Remix,” each ice cream was in the “Like It” size, which is Cold Stone’s smallest size. We decided to have the “Birthday Cake Remix” in the “Love It” (regular) size to meet Grubhub’s $20 minimum delivery fee.

The BingBite order included one “Chocolate Dipped Waffle Bowl” ($1.69), one “Chocolate Dipped Waffle Cone” ($1.69), one “Chocolate Devotion” signature ice cream creation in the “Like It” size ($6.59) and one “Birthday Cake Remix” signature ice cream creation in the “Like It” size ($6.59). We included the cones to see if they would stale, but also to meet BingBite’s $15 minimum delivery fee.

The JoyRun order was one “Birthday Cake Remix” signature ice cream creation in the “Like It” size ($6.59) and one “Peanut Butter Perfection” signature ice cream creation in the “Like It” size ($6.59). JoyRun has no delivery minimum.

For all of the apps, you must make an account to submit an order. The apps differ in how customers place their orders. For BingBite and Grubhub, you can submit an order and someone will automatically create the order. However, for JoyRun, an order needs to be requested, which makes the app more difficult to use. This is because a “run,” or a request for an order to the restaurant, needs to be picked up by a “runner,” those who pick up and deliver the food. If the eatery of your choice does not currently have a run open, then you must wait for someone to pick up the run. Fortunately, for us, it only took 15 minutes for someone to pick up our run.

Ordering the food itself also was very different in each of the apps. GrubHub and BingBite each had a set menu for Cold Stone, with a detailed description and picture for every item. However, JoyRun did not have a set menu so we had to type in our order, which could make it complicated for users who have never ordered from Cold Stone before. JoyRun also has a text-like order form, showing other users who are also ordering from the same runner and allowing messages to be sent between the runners and those who ordered the food.

Payment methods for the apps differ, too. GrubHub accepts multiple payment options including credit card, cash, PayPal, American Express Checkout and Venmo. After the user pays and enters the delivery location, a confirmation email is sent with an expected delivery time as well as a hyperlink to track the order. For BingBite, only cash and credit cards are accepted, but they do have a split check option, allowing friends to split up the total charge. After payment, BingBite also sends a confirmation email with an expected delivery time and email updates throughout the delivery process. JoyRun only accepts credit card payments and does not send a confirmation email, but gives updates in the textlike chat instead.

When we ordered from BingBite, there was an hour estimated delivery time, but they delivered a half an hour earlier than expected. The communication with the driver was clear and made for an easy delivery. The GrubHub order was much more complicated. The ice cream was scheduled to come 40 minutes after the order was submitted to Cold Stone, but the hyperlink that was supposed to have updates had stopped giving updates five minutes after the order was paid for and the Cold Stone phone number was not working.

When 50 minutes passed and there was still no update, we called GrubHub customer service. Fortunately, the operator was able to get ahold of Cold Stone and confirm that the order was on its way to campus. However, they were unable to explain the reason for the delay or why the updates in the hyperlink stopped. The ice cream was delivered an hour after the order was made and 20 minutes after the expected delivery time. JoyRun also had an unpleasant delivery process. Despite there being a 40-minute estimated delivery time, the ice cream was delivered a half an hour later than the expected time.

The appearance and taste of the ice cream was identical, all slightly melted but still cold. Each had a messy, melted appearance, but they all tasted as they would have in the store. The cones also tasted the same as they would at Cold Stone and were not stale at all. It was clear that all of the services tried to keep the ice cream cold, because the cups were slightly frozen.

After stuffing ourselves full of ice cream, my friends and I determined that BingBite was the best food delivery app that services the BU area. Not only did it come in the shortest amount of time, but there was constant communication throughout the entire process and the driver kept the ice cream in a freezer to maintain the quality. BingBite also offers the most diverse slate of restaurants, allowing BU students plenty of options, and BingBite is a local food delivery business. JoyRun is a close second to BingBite, however, waiting for someone to pick up the order can become a hassle if no one wants to accept the run. We picked Grubhub third for the best delivery app in the Binghamton area because of the delay in delivery and our need to call the customer service line to check the status of the order.