by Venus Zoleta, on category "Personal Finance"
May 28, 2019
Online food delivery services in the Philippines have changed the way Filipinos order food. It’s convenient to order food online—no need to step out and brave the heat and traffic. It takes just a few taps on your smartphone to order from your favorite restaurant. Then all that’s left to do is to wait within half an hour or so for your food to arrive. What a great way to save time and money, right?
GrabFood and Foodpanda are two of the leading food delivery apps in the country, based on Kantar TNS research. Conducted from December 2018 to March 2019, the independent study found that Grab had been the consistent top-of-mind choice among consumers.
GrabFood is relatively the newer player in the industry, being launched in the Philippines only in November 2018. It’s the food delivery service of Singapore-based transport network company Grab.
On the other hand, Foodpanda has been operating in the country since June 2014. It’s part of the Foodpanda group, a leading global online food delivery company based in Berlin, Germany. Foodpanda takes pride in being mainly focused on providing just one type of service (delivering food to customers) with undivided attention.
Which is the superior food delivery platform? Let’s compare Foodpanda and GrabFood and what they can bring to the table in terms of these eight criteria:
Before we compare Foodpanda vs GrabFood, it helps to understand first how they operate, as this affects the quality and speed of their service.
Although they follow the same business model, these two food delivery services differ a lot in their procedures for placing and fulfilling orders, as well as food delivery.
After placing your order, Foodpanda forwards it to the restaurant, which then starts preparing your food. The delivery person will pick up your order at the restaurant and deliver it to you on a bike or motorcycle.
Once you’ve placed your order, Grab finds and books a delivery guy for you. The assigned person will then go to the restaurant (and line up, if needed), order your food, wait for it, and delivers it to your address riding a motorcycle.
The two companies serve select cities in the Philippines and are currently expanding, which means they’ll cover more areas in the coming months and years.
Foodpanda delivers food on Mondays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m, to the following locations:
GrabFood operates 24/7 in all its serviceable areas, except for Cavite and Laguna where the food delivery service is available from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Grab delivers food to the following places:
GrabFood has a wider coverage in Metro Manila and Cebu, as Grab already has established its brand in these key cities. It also has longer operating hours that extend up to midnight—great for satisfying your late-night cravings or having dinner in the office while working overtime.
Meanwhile, Foodpanda doesn’t deliver in Laguna, while Grab isn’t available in Davao and Pampanga.
Both Foodpanda and GrabFood offer a broad range of restaurants and cuisines to choose from.
When it comes to restaurant choices, GrabFood has a wider selection at more than 7,000 restaurants compared to Foodpanda’s 2,500+ partners). This is because unlike its competitor, GrabFood doesn’t sign a partnership with restaurants (Grab delivery guys simply walk into a restaurant and order just like any regular customer).
Do you live or work in Makati? Grab can deliver affordable home-cooked meals to your home or office from Jolly Jeep food carts.
The only letdown for booze lovers is that GrabFood doesn’t allow delivery of alcoholic drinks. This is where Foodpanda has the edge, as it accepts orders for wine and beer at its partner-restaurants that sell alcohol.
With Foodpanda, you can order food using a laptop through its desktop website or your phone through its mobile app. However, with GrabFood, orders can only be placed through its app. While Grab has a desktop website for its food delivery service, it doesn’t include an online ordering system.
When it comes to mobile, GrabFood’s app interface looks simpler and is easier to use. The Foodpanda app’s design looks a bit more complicated, but it offers a unique advantage: users can filter their search according to offers (restaurants that accept vouchers/online payment, with free delivery, etc.), cuisines (American, Filipino, Japanese, etc.), and attributes (fastfood, gluten-free food, sweets, etc.). There’s no search filter option on GrabFood.
Another edge the Foodpanda delivery app has over its competitor is that users can already pick their preferred meal size, flavor, spice level, and other requirements while ordering online. The GrabFood app doesn’t offer that option, but customers can instead contact the driver directly to give specific instructions on their food preferences.
The two food delivery apps do a great job of updating customers regarding their order status in real time, like when the restaurant is preparing the food or when the delivery guy has picked up the order at the restaurant. They both show the estimated delivery time, which changes from time to time depending on the restaurant and traffic situation.
A feature similar to its ride-hailing counterpart, GrabFood’s delivery tracker allows customers to view the exact location of the delivery guy on a map, indicated by a tiny motorcycle icon that moves when the rider is in transit.
Some customers notice that the menu and prices on the GrabFood delivery app are rather outdated, as some phased-out items are still included. They’re also shocked about price increases that they get to learn only when their order has arrived.
If you use the GrabFood app, you may have to check out restaurant search websites like Zomato to confirm if the menu and prices are correct. But that can be a hassle for customers, so here’s hoping that GrabFood would improve on that aspect.
GrabFood is ahead of the game when it comes to customer service, as it lets you get in touch with the rider directly. This makes the food delivery service more flexible than its competitor because you can easily make changes to your order and get real-time updates from the rider.
With Foodpanda, you can only talk to a live chat agent who coordinates with the delivery guy. This can cause a delay in delivery.
Both food delivery apps have a section where you can leave a short note to the rider before ordering. This helpful feature allows you, for example, to request change for a large bill or mention any special food requirements (like if you’re allergic to egg or nuts, or you’d like less sugar for your milk tea).
Order cancellations are the biggest customer pain points for both Foodpanda and GrabFood. Some Grab riders ask customers to cancel or rebook their orders for reasons ranging from long lines at the restaurant to heavy downpour.
Foodpanda isn’t doing any better in this aspect. The system is the one doing the order cancellation on the app when the waiting time takes about an hour. To Foodpanda’s credit, it makes up for the hassle by giving the affected customer vouchers worth PHP 60 to PHP 70 that can be used for the next order.
Foodpanda’s recently added features are worth mentioning, though. It offers a pre-order feature that enables users to place an order when a certain restaurant is closed and to receive it first thing when it opens the following day.
Just this year, Foodpanda also launched a pick-up option for those who want to skip long queues and simply drop by their chosen restaurant to pick up their orders.
Foodpanda and GrabFood charge a delivery fee for every transaction in addition to the cost of food order.
GrabFood’s delivery fee is fixed at PHP 49 regardless of restaurant and location. Recently, it has increased its delivery fee for all CoCo branches to PHP 99.
Considering its speedy delivery and quality customer service, GrabFood’s delivery fee is reasonable enough.
Sometimes, GrabFood offers promo codes for free or discounted delivery, but they’re available for a limited time only.
Foodpanda’s delivery rates vary according to location and restaurant, though it’s usually cheaper than GrabFood. Free delivery or a free food item is available on some partner-restaurants for a minimum order. These offerings help Foodpanda customers save more when they order food online.
The required minimum order makes a big difference if you’re ordering solo. It could be such a bummer when you’re all alone at home, craving for just a one-piece chicken meal that costs only PHP 80, and the food delivery app won’t accept it because it doesn’t meet the minimum purchase requirement.
This is not a problem among GrabFood customers, as they can order any number and price of food items. Grab doesn’t require a certain minimum order for food deliveries.
Foodpanda has no required minimum order in limited areas only, such as Makati. But for most areas, the minimum order requirement ranges from PHP 200 to PHP 500, depending on the partner-restaurant. Some restaurants with minimum orders offer free delivery, though, which is a fair deal.
GrabFood accepts only cash payments for now but promises customers to offer more payment options in the future.
Foodpanda allows more payment methods than GrabFood. The former accepts cash on delivery (COD) and online payments with credit card, debit card, or PayPal.
Customers experience occasional delivery delays on both online food delivery platforms. However, GrabFood is generally faster at an average of around 30 minutes.
Foodpanda sometimes makes its customers wait an hour or two, only to cancel the order at the last minute. This is something the company needs to address and improve on to retain its customers.
Aside from the uncontrollable ones like heavy traffic and rains, the factors that could cause Foodpanda orders to arrive late include delivery guys using a bike instead of a motorcycle and customers having to pass through a chat agent to request something from the rider.
Clearly, GrabFood is the landslide winner in this online food delivery service comparison review. Foodpanda’s strengths couldn’t be discredited, though.
However, it’s also clear that the two most popular food delivery platforms in the Philippines have a lot of room for improvement. With other competitors (like Delivery Guy and Lalamove’s Pabili Service) in the picture, this may push the frontrunners to do whatever it takes to maintain their lead in the market.
To maximize your online food delivery experience, have both apps installed in your phone and just use the one that’s either only available in your area or promises faster delivery.
Remember: Making a smart choice starts with comparing your options.