Here’s a hot take — the invention of food delivery platforms is the greatest thing to ever happen to us.
Now, now, I’m not discrediting anything else that humans have invented but compared to food being delivered directly to your doorstep? All of the other inventions seem, mediocre, at best.
Why am I singing praises, you ask? Well, as an introvert, I think it’s an extremely helpful device. We don’t have to interact with any humans at all and we get to eat from our favourite restaurants? Oh, what a time to be alive.
But of course, not everyone shares the same sentiment. So let’s take a look and answer the age-old question:
Are we starting to depend on food deliveries too much?
It’s That Easy?
Did you know that Malaysia is home to over 12 food delivery services? Yeah, that’s a pretty big number. The reason why food deliveries are so popular is that people like that they’re so easy to use. They can have the option to customise their food orders and have them delivered anytime and anywhere.
According to Oppotus.com, on average, Malaysians make orders via delivery apps one to two times a week. Well, I’m not sure where the data was derived from but I don’t think I can be considered the average Malaysian if that’s the case.
I have 10 people living with me in my home. Most of the time, we don’t like the same kind of food. So a lot of us would often order food delivery from our favourite restaurants based on our own tastes. And I can surely tell you, that happens more than “once or twice” a week. Especially when you have growing teenage boys in the house.
The thing is, do we really need to order in so much? Maybe not. After all, there’s also the option of cooking our own food, right? But you see, it’s not so much about the “I can’t cook” aspect, more so the “I don’t want to cook”. Because if I’m honest, everyone in my house can cook.
All you need to do is follow instructions. How hard can that be? But the option of having your food delivered right to your doorstep is much more appealing than having to eat what you managed to cook up half-heartedly. But then again, another problem emerges when we start to scroll through food menus — we can’t seem to stop adding to cart!
Why You Order So Much?
I usually let my stomach and fingers take over when I’m on a food delivery app. And usually, it gets out of hand and I may order a lot more than I should. On some occasions, I might change my mind halfway through looking through a restaurant’s menu and switch to another one.
Or I might find something I want to eat at one restaurant, but realise that there’s a cheaper option at another restaurant after more browsing… you get the idea. And sometimes, I order food delivery for my family more than a few times a day because we just couldn’t decide on what to eat — so we ordered them all.
And apparently, I’m not the only one. A survey done by Rakuten Insight found that 24 percent of Malaysian respondents said they ordered food on delivery apps once or twice a week, or several times a month. Four percent of respondents even ordered several times a day.
Honestly, I felt that to my core. I am the four percent. Sometimes, I find myself randomly scrolling through different food delivery apps just to see what kind of food they have on their menu. It’s not even that I’m hungry or anything, I just find myself doing that when I’m bored.
I’m sure you guys do it too, yes?
It’s very entertaining and it offers you a wider range of options when you’re looking for what kind of meal to have in the future. I can’t tell you how many new and different dishes I’ve tried out by doing this. Not all of them were good, honestly, but at least I’ve expanded my palate in some ways.
Besides that, with the special offers such as 50% discounts, free deliveries and buy one get one free on special occasions, of course it would make us more ringan tangan to order. With deals like that, is it really our fault when nanti hari-hari we order online and can’t (or rather won’t) cook for ourselves?
Do We Really Depend On Food Deliveries?
So, yes, maybe we are dependent on food deliveries. But so what?
Food delivery platforms offer so much more than just meals that we like delivered to us. It offers convenience and options as well. You can have three different kinds of food delivered to you at the same time with just a tap of your finger on a screen.
It also opens up chances for us to try out new food by taking a look at the reviews from the apps when we’re trying to make up our minds on what to eat. Ultimately, it’s up to your own taste buds and style but the ratings help a lot as well, don’t you agree?
To me, that’s one of the many reasons why we depend on food delivery platforms. To inform us on new dishes and if they’re tasty or not.
But if you’re asking me whether I think buying from an app is wasteful, I could agree with you to a certain extent. I’m also kind of torn about this, though. On one hand, I’m an avid food delivery purchaser. Being someone who’s lazy to cook a meal for herself and someone who’s a picky eater, food delivery platforms offer me so much more than just options.
And although money can be an issue, a lot of us are also willing to fork out some in order to purchase food online. According to Statista.com, 36 percent of Malaysian respondents who were between 25 and 34 years old stated that they spent around RM20 to RM30 on one order on a food delivery app and around nine percent of those spent RM50 or more.
You see, these platforms allow us to choose restaurants that are catered to our sensitive palate. And it’s made easier when they allow us to amend certain foods on the menu, by easily using the “option” box provided. That’s all good things, right?
But on the other hand, things aren’t all that peachy. Some delivery platforms do have hidden charges and… other problems that make people shy away or think twice before ordering from them.
Cost So Much, And Late Some More?!
Before I get into it, I would also like to think that food delivery apps and platforms are saving graces for people who have no time to cook. And also, let us not forget that we are still in the pandemic and it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. So, ordering food delivery is a great option for those who are still scared of huge crowds.
But in terms of spending, although it’s convenient, there are also setbacks in food delivery. It does cost a lot more than cooking for yourself or actually going to a restaurant and eating there. When you order food from a restaurant via a delivery app, the app will charge you a delivery fee generally from RM4 to up to RM10 depending on the distance from your house to the restaurant of your choice. And that’s excluding the service taxes from some platforms.
Many people also complain about how their food got to them at a very slow pace. While food delivery companies have reached out and explained that these issues are mainly caused by either an overwhelming number of orders or the weather, the question of “why still so slow though” is still present when the sun’s out and when it isn’t peak hours.
An easier and cheaper option may be to place your orders directly from the restaurant themselves. Some restaurants offer the option of first party delivery whereby they’re the ones that deliver your order to you instead of having another party in between.
This may lessen the cost of the order altogether because some restaurants don’t include any extra charges besides delivery and the cost of food. “Without the profit-sharing with delivery platforms, we don’t have to mark up our prices,” said the Founder of Pampas Group of Restaurants Kana Theva.
A great option, in my opinion. You get your delicious food and you get to 100% support your local food vendor. That’s a win-win in my book. What else can you ask for?
What Else Are They There For?
So there you have it. Food deliveries, folks.
You either live for them or you can live without them. Either way, you can’t deny that food delivery has saved us quite a bit in these trying times. When we couldn’t manage to go outside to buy ingredients and keep ourselves fed, food deliveries have helped us shoulder that burden a little.
But as food prices go, do we really know what it is we’re paying for?