For someone who’s always out and about, preparing meals on a daily basis can literally be impossible. There’s the hassle of thinking about the week’s menu, then making your way through traffic for a trip to the grocery for the ingredients. Now that we are all living in the golden age of food delivery service, satisfying our cravings is now possible with a few taps on a smartphone.
Curious to see how these apps perform against each other, we decided to test the top three food delivery apps in Metro Manila. We ordered the same items from the same milk tea brand and divided the orders evenly. Factors that we have taken into consideration were the location and distance, partner stores of the food delivery services, time, and weather conditions. We made the test on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, in our office, simultaneously booking orders on three smartphones.
The most popular among the three, GrabFood has been feeding hungry tummies for a year now. The app has seen a lot of upgrades since its launch, with more and more available stores and branches, a variety of cuisines, round-the-clock operation hours, an ETA indicator, and daily deals. It offers real-time order tracking and direct communication with the drivers through in-app messaging. To protect the drivers from pranksters, the app recently included a confirmation message that enables the customers to confirm their placed orders. Once verified, the drivers will then go to the restaurant to buy and wait for your food to be prepared.
Adapting the same GPS system as its ridehailing division, GrabFood automatically locates the nearest restaurants in your area. In our case, we ordered at Yi Fang Tomas Morato branch which is exactly 2.6 km from our office. When it comes to pricing and menu, the platform reflects the same one you can find in physical stores. In case you don’t have any smaller bills, you may inform the drivers about it for a smoother transaction. A standard delivery fee of PHP 49 applies on top of your order, so you may need to pay a little extra from your total bill. Every purchase also gives users corresponding reward points that can be used in redeeming discounts on any services of Grab or other perks from its partner establishments. In addition, it’s the fastest among its competitors, delivering two Brown Sugar Pearl Oolong Tea Lattes within 16 minutes from the time the order was booked.
A new player in the food delivery scene, LalaFood initially began to feed the busy bees in the business districts of Taguig and Makati City. Recently, it expanded to key cities in the metro—Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Quezon City—hoping to reach more urban residents. It guarantees delivery in less than 45 minutes, lets customers track their orders, and connects them to the drivers through an internal messaging function. However, there is much to improve in terms of merchant selection. The Trinoma branch was the only nearest Yi Fang branch close enough to our office to accept orders on LalaFood, so we had no choice but to book it. True to its promise, the driver delivered our milk tea 43 minutes later after we placed it.
Setting it apart from its competitors, LalaFood also doesn’t have a flat rate delivery charge since it offers intercity delivery so customers can order from restaurants outside their city. Its standard base fare is PHP 40 and adds PHP 8 per KM. LalaFood also offers a multiple-order system wherein customers may also may place multiple orders at the same time.
With its five years of experience in the industry, Foodpanda has become a household name. Even before an app was developed, the online food delivery service had been serving homes and offices through its website. Unlike its competitors, Foodpanda offers delivery service even outside Metro Manila, reaching other customers in rural areas as long as they have a connection to the Internet.
With over a thousand partner restaurants nationwide, the global food delivery marketplace has a lot of choices to offer. From milk tea places to Mexican restaurants, they’ve got you covered. It has the same features from its competitors such as as the in-app messaging, delivery time indicator, payment history, and live monitoring of orders. However, it has an edge over its other competitors. It has exible payment options, accepting debit and credit cards or through Paypal. Take note that delivery time varies between branches, but ours came from Tomas Morato and just arrived at the same time as the one we booked from Trinoma. Operating hours are also limited, running from early morning to late evening, depending on the schedule of the nearby restaurants within the customer’s location.
If you’re out of ideas where to take some breakfast, lunch, or dinner around the metro, just install these apps on your phone. Having options to conquer hunger at any time of the day won’t hurt you, anyway. All of the food delivery apps mentioned above works with both iOS and Android devices.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE September 2019 Issue
Words by Jewel Sta. Ana
Layout by Chini Soriano