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Food service apps: UberEATS vs Mr D

A comparison between two newly launched food apps.

by: Gugulethu Mhlungu And Garreth Van Niekerk | 09 Oct 2016

UberEATS (Free on Android and iOS)

Last week, as they said they would, transport market disrupters Uber ventured into the food delivery market, providing competition for the likes of Mr Delivery, OrderIn and Delivery Xtreme.

At first I thought it seemed a bit silly to have to get a different app to use the UberEATS service, when I already had the Uber transport app. Turns out, however, once you download UberEATS, the functionality is added to your transport Uber app, and you can be redirected to the eats app from inside your already-installed cab app.

The app is pretty easy to use. You enter your location and it lists all the restaurants that deliver to that area – which includes restaurants from neighbouring hoods. Before you order, you are given an estimate of how long the order will take to deliver, so you can also decide if you’re willing to wait or factor in the shortest delivery time.

You add stuff to your cart, confirm your order and it charges the order to your existing credit card, if you use Uber already. So it’s all cashless – one of the big selling points of the Uber offering. If the restaurant that delivers is out of stock or closed, you’ll be notified, so you don’t waste time placing an order only to have it cancelled. Delivery is a standard R20.

One of the other great features of UberEATS is being able to track your order – once it’s placed, you can see where it is in the delivery process, and once it’s with a driver, it uses the Uber tracking system that allows you to see where drivers are, and when they are arriving.

It’s a seamless and easy-to-use system – I thoroughly enjoyed it. – Gugulethu Mhlungu

Mr D Food (Free on Android and iOS)

Just a day after the announcement of UberEATS, the new Mr D Food app was announced – a strategically timed delivery, and probably the first time Mr Delivery delivered on time in South African history.

Its perpetual slowness aside, I am still an eternal champion of the underdog, which, against the Uber oligarchy, Mr D Food now is.

For the app, I set my expectations pretty low and prepared myself for Uber’s bling to outshine the yellow functionality of Mr D Food. But I was wrong. The Mr D Food app is elegantly designed and user-friendly, simple to register for and sign in to. It has a breezy payment portal and, best of all, it allows you to track your order from the moment the kitchen starts cooking your food to when it leaves the restaurant.

My order – a super tasty Thai extravaganza from Asia House in Greenside, around the corner from my place in Melville, arrived at the time the app said it was going to – in fact, a minute earlier. I gave it four stars in the rating section of the app.

The guestimation of the Mr Delivery call-in service always made me anxious in the past; that and trying to spell my surname to the person on the other end of the phone. Delivery is still expensive, so I will try to put aside my bias and use the UberEATS app for places that are further away, or that are just not listed on Mr D’s books. And that’s a factor – who offers the most restaurant options? Where I live, it’s a tie. – Garreth van Niekerk


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