Fighting hunger pangs is easy in this new age of food delivery. With just a few taps on our phones, we can now order from a myriad of food options from various food delivery platforms.
But this convenience does come at a cost. For this article, we will be comparing the cost of four leading industry players in Singapore - GrabFood, Foodpanda, Honestbee and Delieveroo. We wanted to find out if we could order the same food, from the same place at the same time, and yet end up paying different prices just by using different platforms to order.
Before we start, it's important for us to stress that this comparison is only relevant for stalls and restaurants which are available across more than one platform. If it's exclusive to just one platform, then the comparison would obviously be meaningless. For this article, we only took places which are available across all four platforms.
We also assume no promotional code, subscription plan or credit card promotions.
HOW GRABFOOD, FOODPANDA, HONESTBEE & DELIVEROO CHARGE FOR THEIR SERVICES
Among the four platforms, Deliveroo's delivery fee is the only one which is based on a dynamic pricing model - taking into account time of order and distance. Deliveroo also charges a small order fee of up to $5 on orders which are below $10.
Honestbee imposes a minimum order fee of $5 for any order that is below $15 (before delivery or other charges) and has a flat delivery rate of $2.50.
GrabFood has a usual flat delivery of $3, although we also observed that there could be surge pricing during peak timing or bad weather.
Foodpanda charges a difference to a minimum, which ensures that every order meets the minimum requirement of $10. Foodpanda also has the lowest delivery fee of $1.99 as compared to the rest.
SCENARIO 1: KRAFTWICH
- Delivery Area : Outram Park
- Delivery Timing : 29 April 2019, 2pmPhoto: Dollars and Sense
We noticed that ordering from GrabFood would be the cheapest option for a small order because it's the only platform that doesn't charge a small order/minimum order fee. You simply pay for the food and the delivery fee.
For a small order, the difference between the lowest (GrabFood) and the highest (Honestbee) is a notable $4.50 (that's 37.8 per cent). While for a large order, Foodpanda ranks the best with a smaller but significant difference of 20.4 per cent between Deliveroo and Foodpanda.
SCENARIO 2: SRISUN EXPRESS
- Delivery Area : Serangoon
- Delivery Timing : 29 April 2019, 2.30pmPhoto: Dollars and Sense
To further substantiate our analysis, we decided to test our hypothesis with Srisun Express in Serangoon. Once again, GrabFood works the best in a small order (note that you are paying 45.45 per cent more by using Honestbee rather than GrabFood) and Foodpanda works better in a large order.
Another glaring observation was the different menu pricing for the same food item across different platforms.
SCENARIO 3: AN ACAL AFFAIR
- Delivery Area : Jurong East
- Delivery Timing : 29 April 2019, 12.30pmPhoto: Dollars and Sense
Here, there is a noticeable difference in its menu pricing once again. It is worth to note that purchasing the same food item from the same outlet can cost differently even on its menu just by ordering through a different platform.
From our look, it seems that established restaurant chains have a standardised menu pricing. Nonetheless, as a savvy (and price-sensitive) consumer, it would be good practice to compare prices across the board to get the most value out of our money.
The results are relatively consistent. Across all 4 platforms, it seems that GrabFood works best for small orders, while Foodpanda works better if you were to have an order that is above $10.
However, we would like to reiterate that the aforementioned results will only hold based on the assumption that there is a constant menu pricing (throughout the 4 platforms), and also that promotional code, subscription plan and other promotions are not being used - in which all are likely to influence your purchasing decisions.
Each platform also has its own strength - GrabFood and Deliveroo with their subscription plans that would make it cheaper for their loyal fans, Foodpanda having the lowest delivery fee and Honestbee's careful curation of select eateries. As a savvy consumer, it would be wise for us to not limit ourselves and download all the platforms in order to enjoy as many ongoing promotions as we can.
This article was first published in Dollars and Sense.