Goodbye to doorbell ringing and personal handoffs! While the country is adjusting to the new normal, being able to eat some of our old favourites from local restaurants now requires a contactless delivery. Cosima Watts looks into two of the major companies: UberEats and Menulog, to see which is the most worth it.
In order to make the judging fair, I chose to order from restaurants that were of similar distance from my address. The criteria for the decision which is the most ‘worth it’ follows:
– Pros and cons.
– Communication (I don’t like being kept in the dark, not with uni grades, not with relationships, so why should my food be an exception?).
– App navigation.
– Ability to follow order notes.
– Is the food actually tasty and fresh?
So, sit back, relax and allow me to spend 90% of my weekly budget on food to find the best delivery service, so you don’t have to!
As a long-time supporter of UberEats, I will do my best not to let any bias come into the final choice. If we examine the pros, the wide selection to choose from on the app is by far stellar quality. Not to mention the opportunities to order from places like McDonalds, open 24 hours, means that food is available at all hours. Easily the biggest con is the delivery fees, especially in the way they can go up when the service is busier than usual. Like, come on Uber, we are all busy, but some clarity and a reliable price figure for delivery would be amazing.
The ability to not only track the driver on a map, but also to message them is impressive. Ordering the food is also done well, as the confirmation is made almost instantly, and the app tells you exactly what stage the preparation process is in.
App Navigation (3/5):
I give a round of applause to UberEats app designer on this one. The clear and minimalist format of choosing a restaurant, and being able to select based on cuisine type, make your decision easy. However, I must suggest that more photos of the actual meals would be nice, so I know what to expect. It would also be good to have the ability to read the reviews – rather than just seeing stars.
Ability to follow order notes (4/5):
Too many times have I ordered food, and it has come without anything to eat it with or any napkins. Good thing I order UberEats when I am feeling lazy and not wearing my best outfit. They are getting better with this one though so perhaps I am not the only one with this thought…
Is the food actually tasty and fresh? (4.5/5):
If I am being completely honest, never once have I had a bad meal from UberEats. Maybe this is because I know what I like and tend to be a creature of habit and order the same thing until I get sick of it. But the one thing I am sick of is the food coming cold at times!
As a newbie to Menulog, I took my time downloading, setting up my account and exploring what they have to offer. A pro I noticed was a large number of discounts on offer from certain restaurants for first-time orders, anywhere from 10%-20%. However, this was let down by the con that most restaurants required a ‘minimum order’ in order to get it delivered, making it difficult to get a single meal.
Yes, I was informed when my meal was ordered. Yes, I was informed when it was delivered. In between, you ask? There was no tracking and no indication about where the meal was in the making process. The delivery time ended up being 15 minutes later than when the food actually arrived. However, my food was delivered without a car, and I received a phone call when it was ready for pick up (much more personal than UberEats).
App Navigation (4/5):
Much the same as UberEats. The saving grace for this app was that all the reviews from customers were displayed, making it possible to read what the consensus had to say. I had great joy in selecting my restaurant based on the current reviews!
Ability to follow order notes (4/5):
I got what I ordered, with no utensils and only a few napkins – that decreases the score a bit if I must say.
Is the food actually tasty and fresh? (4/5):
I have to applaud Menulog on this one as my food arrived hot and authentic. It probably helped that it was delivered in a thermal bag to keep it warm on the journey. Could it have been fresher? I mean the chicken was marginally odd tasting, but I am no Gordon Ramsey.
In summary, I am going to have to say that based on the scores given, it is apparent that UberEats is the best value for convenience and reliability.
However, I must note that the high commission rates enforced by UberEats mean that you aren’t really supporting your local restaurants in a time of crisis. UberEats typically take anywhere from 30-35% of restaurant profit. In comparison, Menulog takes only 14%. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many hospitality businesses struggling to stay afloat, so Menulog decided to cut their commission fees in half to 7%. But what has UberEats done in response to commission? Merely drop the cap to 30%.
So in summary, while UberEats would still be my top pick for convenience and reliability if you at home are invested in helping the New Zealand hospitality industry, Menulog might be the option for you.