Review: food delivery services in Singapore

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FOODPANDA
Delivery fee: Varies from $4 to $15, depending on the restaurant
Payment options: Cash on delivery (all restaurants), credit card and PayPal (selected restaurants)
Average delivery time: 30 minutes
Food outlets: More than 700 restaurants
Order 1: Grilled chicken thigh ($0), smoked duck arancini balls ($7), churros ($7) and Mexican cola ($4.50) from Fix Cafe. Total after $4 delivery fee and GST: $24.08
Order 2: Honeyed pork ribs ($12), fried sotong fritters ($8), white rice ($1.50) and fresh watermelon juice ($4.50) from Oasis Taiwan Porridge. Total after $4 delivery fee and GST: $32.10

Reviewer says: Foodpanda had the widest variety of restaurants, with more than 40 eateries available both times when I ordered food during lunch to my office.

However, I ran into billing issues both times. The first time, my grilled chicken thigh was not billed (it showed up as $0) online or upon delivery and, the second time, my watermelon juice showed up in the app as $0, but I was charged the correct amount when it was delivered.

Placing orders was easy. I placed my first order on the Web platform, which was straightforward, but I could not track my order progress. The Android app, which I used for my second order, was better. A countdown started after I placed an order and I could track when the order status changed.

Both times, I received three SMS updates: when my order was received, when the restaurant confirmed it and when my food had been picked up.

My orders took 44 minutes and 32 minutes to arrive respectively. The food from Fix Cafe arrived in boxes that were sealed tight. The food was reasonably warm and the cola was still cold.

The food from Oasis Taiwan Porridge arrived in well-sealed boxes with the watermelon juice tied in a separate plastic bag. There was a hole cut in the fried sotong fritters box to keep the food crisp.

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HAWKER.TODAY
Delivery fees: $4.50 (for first 12.8km), with additional distance fees
Payment options: Credit card
Average delivery time: 30 minutes and above, depending on distance
Food outlets: Currently 84 hawker stalls; to expand to 200 by end of April
Order: Four cold beancurd with less sugar ($6.80), three salted buns ($3.60), two butterfly buns ($2.40) and dough fritters ($1.20) from Rochor Original Beancurd. Total after $4.50 delivery fee, $5 distance fee and $1 service fee: $24.50

Reviewer says: Hawker.today promises more than 80 hawker stalls but, depending on your location, you may see fewer stalls. When I ordered from Bukit Batok, I was able to order from the nearby Fei Siong Seafood, as well as places farther away like Hock Prawn Mee in Jalan Besar and Rochor Original Beancurd in Selegie Road.

The app accepts only credit card payment. The first time I tried out the app on my Android phone, the app crashed at the very last stage of finalising my order when I had to select my credit card. It kept crashing even after I switched to another card. The app, however, worked fine on my iOS device. It could be due to the latest Android update I received on my Nexus 6P that day, which may have caused incompatibility.

My order was sent through at 7pm and the estimated time of delivery was 70 minutes. The tracking status changed to “On the way” at 7.07pm, and I was able to follow my delivery rider’s progress on a map. My food arrived at 7.45pm – 25 minutes ahead of schedule. The beancurd was still cold and the fried buns and fritters were toasty warm and not soggy.

Due to the distance, I had to pay an additional distance fee of $5. I will make do with hawkers nearby even if I have cravings for hawker fare across the island as the cost is too high for me. That may change if the delivery fee goes down or, in the best case, if hawker.today’s goal of removing such fees altogether some day comes to fruition.

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DELIVEROO
Delivery fee: $3 flat fee
Payment options: Credit card and PayPal
Average delivery time: 32 minutes
Food outlets: More than 600 restaurants
Order 1: Smoked duck arancini balls ($7.49), grilled chicken thigh ($13.91), churros ($7.49) and Mexican cola ($4.82) from Fix Cafe. Total after $3 delivery fee: $36.71
Order 2: Sliced chicken with spices ($10.70), steamed three egg custard ($10.70), rice ($1.61) and cold soya bean ($3.21) from Oasis Taiwan Porridge. Total after $3 delivery fee: $29.22

Reviewer says: Deliveroo’s speed and service are commendable. Ordering through the iOS app or the Deliveroo website is fuss-free and easy. Just key in your postal code, select the restaurant and add food to your basket before checking out. Prices may appear confusing as Deliveroo includes GST directly within the food item.

My first order with Fix Cafe left me with a good impression. The food was warm, packaged in a Deliveroo paper bag with no leakage, and arrived within 35 minutes.

The second order I made, from Oasis Taiwan Porridge, was a messier affair. Gone was the Deliveroo paper bag, replaced instead by a standard plastic bag.

My cold soya bean was packed in the same bag as my hot food items. Not only did some of it spill during the delivery, causing a slight soggy mess, but it had also turned into warm soya bean by the time it got to me after absorbing heat from the packages of hot food right beside it. This is perhaps no fault of Deliveroo’s, as the restaurant did the packing.

Deliveroo’s main drawback is its dependence on your location – if you live outside an area it delivers to, the service may as well not exist. Even in a rather central area like Toa Payoh, where SPH News Centre is located, the pickings were slim, with only slightly more than 10 restaurants or cafes.

A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.

(Photo: 123RF.com) 

 

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