GrabFood recently launched it my area, following the unfortunate departure of UberEats and Uber from Singapore due to Grab’s buy over. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is: Does GrabFood compare to UberEats and the other food delivery services? I decided to give it a try, plus, they’re running a free delivery promotion for their launch.
Setting up your account
It’s really easy to set up your account because the app will prompt you to link to your Grab account, so it transfers your details. Then set up your address and enter in any details (eg “Call when reach”) and you’re all set.
The app interface…is very lacking. It’s by far my least favourite of all the delivery apps for many reasons. It’s just clunky, has barely any pictures, barely any descriptions of the food (maybe that is due to the restaurant themselves?) and selecting food is quite troublesome. Let’s just have screenshots demonstrate what I mean.
For some strange reason the search app on GrabFood doesn’t really have any interface, so you need to type a keyword into the search bar before things will appear (eg. typing “Fri” gives you results such as “Cusine: Kid-Friendly” and “Item: Kimchi Fried Rice”). I think I prefer Deliveroo’s cause the categories are already there. Also, there is usually a “Free Delivery” or “Promo” tag on the other apps to help me find merchants that have offers first, which I think would really help GrabFood once their launch promo is over.
A comparison of the same merchant’s listing on GrabFood and Deliveroo:
Also, I should point out that the selection of items on GrabFood is much smaller, even for the same merchant. Tenderfresh has loads more you can order via Deliveroo (like their Crispy Chicken Aglio Olio, and the Half Spring Aglio; which you can see I’ve ordered before).
I decided to try Natsu, which is sells tendon/tempura sets and I’ve not tried it before! The page for Natsu does have pictures and descriptions for the food! There’s NO MINIMUM ORDER required, just like UberEats, which is great!
Want to point out that the mandatory choice selection for things like choice of drink, sauce etc is below all the optional add ons which doesn’t really make sense? I was very confused when I first got to the ordering page because the set description says it comes with a drink, but I couldn’t see where to choose the drink until I scrolled all the way to the bottom. Their competitors put the mandatory options at the start, before add ons, which I think is the way to go.
You can also add in your Special Requests at the bottom, to put in allergies, requests for more sauce, ketchup etc.
Managed to apply the 5OFF promo code which gives you $5 off your first order! Then just press “Checkout” and you’re ready to pay!
You have to link to GrabPay, which basically just takes your stored payment details from the Grab app. Pretty simple. There is no Cash on Delivery option though. I then got a notification that my card was charged and I did earn Grab reward points.
The estimated arrival time on the main page is 25 minutes, but you’ll notice that at 1:11PM, it says arriving in 15 – 20minutes, which puts the estimated arrival time at 40minutes.
Then, in a surprise turn of events, my order got CANCELLED at 1.21pm. The help button on GrabFood leads you to their website’s Help Center to fill in a form with all the order details (very very cumbersome compared to the report function on UberEats and Deliveroo), but when I scrolled down I found a number to call:
So I called, went through the initial Press 1/2/3 for a category bot before I got to a person. I explained what happened and it turns out the Merchant cancelled my order because they are closing temporarily but they were unable to contact me via my phone number (!?) so they just cancelled it on the app. Strange because no one tried to call me, I didn’t receive any missed calls and it’s not as if my phone was off! They did inform me that they will be refunding my order, but that seems to be the only thing that they are going to do. Here I am, really hungry, really disappointed and really upset because I just wanted my food. Not off to a good start eh, GrabFood.
I did forget to ask if I would be able to reuse the promo code (I was able to, you’re prompted on the app to apply promo. It’s “5OFF” if you don’t get prompted). The customer service rep who spoke to me on the phone gave me the Report Number and assured me he would tell management and get back to me in 24 hours or less. Hopefully they will, and I hope the refund will also go smoothly. Also strangely enough, for a store that is temporarily closing and not taking orders, they are still being listed on the app as open.
Second time’s the charm: Ordering Again
Anyway, I decided to GO AGANE (any xqc fans?) and order from another restaurant. Y’know, give them another shot and see if my food actually arrives.
This time I ordered from Tenderfresh Classic. I have no idea what the “Lucky Set” is except it’s 2 pieces of chicken, and the Chicken Strips in Tomato sauce is pasta.
The steps to ordering is all the same so I won’t repeat them. I placed the order at 1:46PM and arrival time is estimated at 2:32PM (46 minutes). The app’s homepage estimates delivery at 22 – 28 minutes, though (checked at various different times), how misleading.
I got a notification from GrabFood via SMS when my driver is on the way, and later when driver is reaching. That’s pretty good and similar to what the other apps do. I put in the comments section (as you can see above) to call me upon arrival as I cannot hear knocking on the door from my room. The driver did call me and I zoomed out to pick my food up!
Actual arrival time: 2:47PM, a whole ONE HOUR after I ordered! Very, very misleading delivery times indeed.
Packaging was pretty standard, nothing got damaged in transit.
Now I wish I’d know what the Lucky Set came with coleslaw and fries too, and that my pasta would come in Penne form, not Spaghetti as I had assumed. I just prefer spaghetti over penne, but it’s all good, still tasty either way and I’m going to eat it (especially since I’m pretty much ravenous at this point).
Tenderfresh’s food is quite good! The chicken was crispy, a bit salty but not overly so. The fries were dry and unsalted though. The penne was not bad, some pieces in contact with the sauce became soggy though, and there was very little chicken. Since I couldn’t order the exact same things as I’d ordered from Deliveroo before, I can’t do an exact comparison but overall it was alright and survived the long delivery time.
I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they improve their services in the weeks and months to come. They have a long way to go to catch up to their competitors in terms of app interface (my favourite being Deliveroo’s) and they need to give a better delivery estimate. Don’t say 25 or so minutes and then take an entire hour. That’s just terrible. I don’t know if I would use them again if there was no free delivery or promo, but only time will tell.
Update (23 May 2018):
Today I tried ordering another time because there is the 5X3 promo ($5 off the next 3 orders), but there is now a delivery fee of $3 on all orders. The delivery estimates are now an average of 40 minutes, although after ordering, the actual estimated time is still over an HOUR.
My order this time was also late and I waited 1h 30minutes for it. No rider was dispatched to the restaurant until the estimated arrival time. And then my food arrived DAMAGED, with the sauce having spilled out onto the napkins and other items and my burger was all squished against the side of the box and the bottom bun separated from the rest of the burger (as per pictures below). This is really terrible.
I hope this review can be of some help to you! I’ll update this if there are any developments!
Till then, see you in the next post!