19 sep st digital life(online)_eats test time

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19 sep st digital life(online)_eats test time

  1. 1. Client : PayPal Country : SingaporePublication : The Straits Times Digital Life (Print)Date : 18 May 2012Topic : Eats Test TimeURL : http://www.straitstimes.com/supplements/digital-life/story/eats-test-time- 20120919Visitorship : 389,000 (site-wide)Eats test timeSEOW TEIN HEE tries out four food-delivery services and rates their performance for restaurants thatserve only during the lunch and dinner peak hours, as well as restaurants that fulfil all-day ordersDealivery.sgLaunched this year, Dealivery.sg is managed by Dealguru Holdings, the owner and operator of thedaily deal service Deal.com.sg.What started off as a value-added service for its customers and partners has since turned into adedicated delivery service.Like most delivery services, the website prompts you to enter your postal code, which will determineif it is possible to make a delivery to your address. The website requires you to register for an account, which lets you trackyour orders and see what you have ordered via the website.The service offers up to 19 different cuisine types to satisfy your cravings. The food types are listedalphabetically at the bottom of the page.On a tight budget? There are check boxes that filter the restaurant list based on the budget perperson. This could range from below $10, to a mid-range of $10 to $20, to more than $20 perperson.Select a restaurant to check out its menu. Click on the add button and your order will be recorded inthe shopping cart.
  2. 2. Click on checkout and you will be prompted to enter the delivery address.Unfortunately, my delivery address from previous orders were not saved with my account.Dealivery offers a wide range of restaurants but it is still subjected to their opening hours.For lunch and dinner onlyRestaurant: Indian Curry HouseOrder time: 6.34pmArrival time: 7.53pmA main dish and an appetiser were ordered to test the response time of Indian Curry Houses kitchenand how fast the food was handed over to the dispatch rider from Dealivery.sg.During the dinner peak hour, Dealivery.sg managed to bring me my order within the 60-to-90-minute time frame.I was prepared to get slightly less warm food due to the delivery time needed, but the food was evencolder than I had expected.For all-day ordersRestaurant: Dallas Restaurant & BarOrder time: 12.16pmArrival time: 1.05pmOn my first try, I was able to place an order with Dallas Restaurant & Bar through Dealivery.sg duringthe lunch peak hour. However, I did not have the same luck the next day, when the service did notaccept my request because it had an overwhelming number of orders.Nonetheless, when the order did go through, the food arrived very quickly - in under the promised60 minutes.I had ordered fries and a main platter of mini burgers. The mini burgers were packed into a plasticcontainer, which kept it fresh and toasty. But the fries, which were packed in a paper bag, were a tadtoo soggy for my liking.Website: Dealivery.sgMinimum order amount: $0Delivery charge: From $10 to $19Payment method: Cash on delivery / PayPal
  3. 3. RATINGDelivery performance : 2/5Menu selection: 4/5Value: 4/5Ease of use: 3/5Overall: 3/5
  4. 4. Foodpanda Among the online food delivery websites, Foodpandas user interface wasone of the cleanest.But to get a specific cuisine, you have to click on "All Restaurants" first before it lets you filter yoursearch parameters.Similar to Dealivery.sg, you can filter the restaurants based on your budget in three price ranges.Entering the postal code will further filter the list and this is where Foodpandas service falls short.Foodpanda is essentially just a middleman that contacts restaurants with delivery services. So if thatrestaurant does not deliver to the stated postal code, it will not show up on the filtered list. Dealivery.sg and Room Service Deliveries, on the other hand, have their owndispatch riders who can deliver regardless of the customers location.That is why on the Foodpanda website, there is a slider bar that lets you filter the list based on theminimum amount required by the restaurant.With different conditions set by different restaurants, you may have to pay quite a bit before anorder can go through to a particular eatery.While I was ordering, I noticed a "difference to minimum order" display listed in the cart. I find thisuseful as it allows me to see how much more I need to order to hit the minimum amount.An account is still required to make an online order, contrary to what the website said about notneeding to register when I clicked on its "register" tab.Once your order is received, the page will redirect you to a confirmation page with the ordernumber, estimated time of delivery and delivery address.For lunch and dinner only
  5. 5. Restaurant: Spice Sutra and Restaurant CafeOrder time: 12.30pmArrival time: 1.05pmWithout an option to order from Indian Curry House (which was done for all other services withfixed timings), I had to settle for another Indian restaurant.Fortunately, because Foodpanda suggests restaurants close to where I am, my order from the SpiceSutra and Restaurant Cafe arrived within 35 minutes.For all-day ordersRestaurant: Sakae SushiOrder time: 6.06pmArrival time: 7.28pmAs the middleman, there is not much Foodpanda can do to control the delivery schedule.But this bridging process can be improved. I received a call from Foodpanda informing me of theestimated delivery time.But 10 minutes later, I got a call from Sakae Sushi informing me that one of my orders was out ofstock. This would have been better handled - and more efficient - if Foodpanda and Sakae Sushi hadconfirmed the order and then collectively made just one phone call to me.The food took nearly 90minutes to reach me. It was packaged neatly and delivered in good conditionby the Sakae Sushi dispatch rider.Website: Foodpanda.sgMinimum order amount: Varies based on restaurantDelivery charge: Varies based on restaurantPayment method: Cash on deliveryRATINGDelivery performance: 2/5Menu selection: 3/5Value: 2/5Ease of use: 3/5Overall: 3/5
  6. 6. Room Service Deliveries The user interface is below par but it is good enough to get the job done.For starters, searching for food can be done in two ways. You can either look through the restaurantlist in the drop-down menu, or search by cuisine type, which is in another drop-down menu.Cuisine-wise, the service has the usual American, Indian and Japanese, among the 28 types listed atthe bottom of the page.You need to register for an account to make an online order.Orders are added to a cart that stays in the top right corner of the page. Ordering from multiple restaurants is not possible: I tried doing it and awindow appeared, telling me that the orders will be reset if I chose another restaurant.Do not be alarmed if you receive a call from a Malaysian number after you have placed an order asthe services call centre is based across the Causeway.A customer service officer will call within five minutes of the submission of your order. While this isan assurance that your order has been received, I thought it defeated the purpose of an onlinedelivery service which was to eliminate the hassle of dealing with a customer service officer.But to its credit, the caller will verify the delivery address to ensure its dispatch rider will reach you.You can also add more delivery addresses on the website and the information is saved in youraccount.For lunch and dinner onlyRestaurant: Indian Curry HouseOrder time: 6.34pm
  7. 7. Arrival time: 7.36pmCompared to Dealivery.sg and Singapore-Dine, Room Service Deliveries has one of the mostconsistent delivery timing for the Indian Curry House restaurant. In 62 minutes, the vegetablesamosa (which was insanely huge) and mutton vindaloo arrived still warm enough to eat.Considering that the order was made during the peak period, this puts Room Service Deliveries atthe top of this delivery pack.For all-day ordersRestaurant: The Orange LanternOrder time: 11.48amArrival time: 12.50pmIt took me two tries to order Vietnamese food from The Orange Lantern - I forgot to click on theproceed button to get the order through the first time round.I realised my mistake when I did not get a verification call within five minutes. I checked the orderstatus and realised it was not processed.Similar to the order from the Indian Curry House, the food arrived just slightly beyond the one-hourmark. While the Vietnamese spring rolls, prawn skewers and noodles were packaged properly, thesauce was not placed well and made a slight mess in the bag.Website: www.roomservicedeliveries.comMinimum order amount: $25Delivery charge: From $10 to $12Payment method: Cash on delivery / credit cardRATINGDelivery performance: 4/5Menu selection: 3/5Value: 3/5Ease of use: 2/5Overall: 3/5
  8. 8. Singapore Dine Singapore Dines one-hour delivery service has the least appeal when it comes to ease of use, price,coverage and delivery speed.The website splits the Singapore map into 28 zones, yet delivers to zones 1 to 11 only. This includescity areas such as City Hall, Raffles Place, and further up to Orchard, Bukit Timah, Holland andNewton. Beyond that, customers will have to call the hotline to check if the delivery can be made.Nonetheless, I tried my luck with an online order for Toa Payoh. Not only did my order go through, itwas also confirmed with a call from Singapore Dine.Restaurant selection is the deal-breaker here.Some 30 restaurants are listed on the website and not one of them offered deliveries in theafternoon between the lunch and dinner peak hours. This eliminates it as a likely candidate for thoseneeding a late lunch or early dinner.Order times are typically from 11am to 2.30pm, and from 5.30pm up to 10pm.The selection of restaurants is limited.Its ordering system is less intuitive than the rest, with the shopping cart not displayed prominently.Items added to the cart were not listed individually, so I could not keep track of what I had ordereduntil I clicked on the shopping cart to review my order.Fortunately, you can still track the total cost and know if you have met the minimum amount of $30or exceeded your budget.Ultimately, Singapore Dines delivery service is more of a complementary service to its restaurantlisting, which is much more extensive than its delivery list.Certain restaurants have an online booking option, which lets you fill a reservation form that will besent to the restaurant. Similarly, if a restaurant offers delivery service, a small scooter icon willappear.Unfortunately, clicking on the icon does not bring you to the delivery page, so you will have tonavigate to "delivery" and then select the restaurant.For lunch and dinner onlyRestaurant: Indian Curry HouseOrder time: 6.34pmArrival time: 8pmAlthough it made the 90-minute guaranteed delivery time, Singapore Dine was slower thanDealivery.sg and Room Service Deliveries.
  9. 9. The vegetable samosa and mutton vindaloo were lukewarm when they arrived.But what was shocking was the cost: Singapore Dine charged $7 for the vegetable samosa whileRoom Service Deliveries billed customers $5.50 for it.Since its delivery fees are similar to what other delivery services charge, I would use Singapore Dineonly if the other services are overwhelmed with orders.Website: Singapore-dine.sgMinimum order amount: $30Delivery charge: $10Payment method: Cash on delivery / PayPalRATINGDelivery performance: 2/5Menu selection: 2/5Value: 2/5Ease of use: 2/5Overall: 2/5You can get beer delivered tooA house party is not complete unless you can wash down all that good food with a soothing mug ofbeer.If you are after a wide range of chilled beers, ready to serve, two delivery services can satisfy yourneed.The first is AlcoholDelivery.com.sg.You will need to be at least 18, the legal drinking age in Singapore, before accessing past the initialpage.Do not bother entering a fake date of birth - dispatch riders are told to check the buyersidentification upon delivery to verify his age.
  10. 10. The ordering system is similar to most food-delivery services, with a menu that lists the availablebeer and alcohol.Compared to delivery services that require you to call and place an order, the online service skipsthe agonising step of making sure your order is heard correctly by the other party.It also gives you the option to review your orders and the choice of online payment via PayPal.MabukMonkey.com offers a wider choice of beer, specifically craft beers from Brewerkz, andpromises to deliver within an hour.The website lists a wide range of beers, but I was unable to tell if my brand was available.There is no online ordering system available, so I had to make a direct call to the hotline to place anorder for Brewerkz beers.Both services delivered the beers in 30minutes, well under their one-hour limit.What impressed me was how AlcoholDelivery.com.sgs dispatch rider delivered the beers in athermal bag, which kept the heat away from the beer and left it well-chilled.MabukMonkey.com, however, delivered the beers in a plastic bag. They were still cold but not as icycold as those delivered by AlcoholDelivery.com.sg.AlcoholDelivery.com.sgMinimum order amount:$0Delivery charge: Free for orders $50 and above, $6 otherwisePayment method: Cash on delivery / PayPalMabukMonkey.comMinimum order amount:$0Delivery charge: Free for orders $50 and above, $6 otherwisePayment method: C

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