Difference Wiki

Delivery vs. Carryout: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on November 13, 2023
Delivery refers to the process of transporting goods from a business to the customer's location, while carryout means the customer picks up the goods themselves from the business location.

Key Differences

Delivery involves a service or person bringing items, such as food or parcels, directly to a customer's specified location. Carryout, also known as takeout, requires the customer to go to the business establishment to pick up the items themselves.
In the context of food service, delivery means the restaurant sends the food to the customer's home or office. Carryout involves the customer traveling to the restaurant to collect their order.
Delivery typically includes additional charges for the transport service. In contrast, carryout usually does not involve extra fees, as the customer does the transporting.
The convenience of delivery is that customers don't need to leave their location, making it ideal for those who are busy or unable to travel. Carryout can be faster and more cost-effective for customers who are nearby or prefer to get their orders en route.
Delivery services often provide tracking and updates on the order status, whereas carryout relies on the customer's timing for pickup.

Comparison Chart


Items are brought to the customer
Customer picks up items from the business


Customer’s specified address
Business establishment

Additional Charges

Often includes delivery fees
Generally no extra fees


Ideal for those unable to travel
Faster for customers nearby or on the go

Order Tracking

Often includes tracking and updates
Relies on customer's timing for pickup

Delivery and Carryout Definitions


Transporting goods to a customer’s location.
The pizza delivery arrived in 30 minutes.


Picking up an order from a business location.
I'll grab carryout from our favorite restaurant tonight.


The act of bringing a product to a recipient.
The delivery of the package is expected by noon.


Takeout food obtained from a restaurant.
We decided on Chinese carryout for dinner.


Handing over an item to its intended recipient.
The courier completed the delivery successfully.


Collecting prepared food for consumption elsewhere.
Carryout is convenient when I'm in a hurry.


A service provided by businesses to send items to customers.
Online shopping often includes free delivery.


Food or goods to be consumed or used off-premises.
The cafe offers a variety of sandwiches for carryout.


The process of giving birth.
The doctor assisted in the delivery of the baby.


The act of taking away purchased items oneself.
I opted for carryout instead of delivery to save time.


The act of conveying or delivering.


Food that is intended to be eaten outside the establishment from which it is bought.


Something delivered, as a shipment or package.


An establishment that prepares and sells food to be taken away on demand; a takeaway.


The act of transferring to another.


What is delivery service?

It’s a service that brings items from a business to the customer's location.

Can I track my delivery order?

Yes, many delivery services provide order tracking.

Does delivery work for online shopping?

Yes, it's a common method for receiving online purchases.

Can I do carryout at any restaurant?

Most restaurants offer carryout, but it's best to check in advance.

Is carryout faster than delivery?

Often, as it eliminates the transit time to the customer’s location.

Is carryout only for food?

Primarily, but it can apply to other goods as well.

What does carryout mean?

Carryout is when customers pick up their orders directly from the business.

Are delivery charges common?

Yes, most deliveries include additional charges for the service.

Do all restaurants offer delivery?

Not all, but many restaurants offer delivery services.

Does carryout save money?

Yes, by avoiding delivery fees.

Can I specify a time for carryout?

Yes, most places let you choose a pickup time.

Is delivery suitable for large items?

Yes, delivery is often used for large or bulky items.

Is carryout beneficial for quick meals?

Yes, it's convenient for grabbing a quick bite.

Does carryout require pre-payment?

Often, but some places allow payment at pickup.

Can I return items through delivery?

Yes, some services offer return pickups.

Is carryout available 24/7?

It depends on the business hours of the establishment.

Are there minimum orders for delivery?

Some businesses require a minimum order amount for delivery.

Is contactless delivery common?

Yes, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does weather affect delivery?

Bad weather can delay delivery times.

Are there any risks with delivery?

Delays and potential for wrong deliveries are some risks.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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