Remember the days when you really had to earn your takeaway?
Now, the idea of driving to Maccy D’s or (God forbid) walking to the chippy seems ridiculous – not when a man on a motorbike can do all the hard work for you.
Two of the biggest food delivery apps are Deliveroo and the newly-launched UberEats.
They both offer the same service – but which one’s best?
Here’s a helpful comparison…
*Disclaimer: I have previously ordered from Deliveroo and regularly use Uber taxis. This means that my PayPal details and home address were already saved on the two apps. From what I remember, registering was similarly quick and painless on both.
The first thing that strikes me about Deliveroo’s homescreen is how glorious it looks.
Along with its bright and eye-catching turquoise branding, the food imagery is slick, high-quality and designed to grab the user’s attention.
The offer for free delivery during the month of August is also nicely highlighted, giving users an incentive to sign up to Apple Pay.
While it allows you to filter by how hungry you are, this seems like a rather pointless feature – who orders a takeway hours in advance?
Delivery ASAP, please.
On the left hand side-bar, there is a handy synopsis of the user’s account. With options to edit delivery and payment details and what-not, everything is very self-explanatory.
The ‘my orders’ tab is pretty handy – it allows you to view what you’ve previously ordered (if you can’t remember or want to repeat it).
As you can see below, pizza is clearly my takeaway of choice. Not even sorry.
Though I’ve never actually used one myself, Deliveroo offers a money-off incentive when you share a code.
However, when I recently sent it to my esteemed Editor, David Moth, he could only access it on the Deliveroo website (which wasn’t very helpful at all as we were testing the mobile apps).
Deliveroo’s categories are easy to decipher, ranked according to the amount of restaurants in the local area.
With Soho as my location, I was surprised to see salads come out on top with a whopping 42 options. That’s far too much choice for my liking, so for this part of the test, I opted for a fail-safe burger.
In the list of burger restaurants, I found the clear labelling of features like ‘free delivery’ and ‘new’ particularly helpful. For regular users, the latter would be an especially nice touch.
The search bar is brilliantly responsive, delivering the desired result in just a few taps.
The chosen page includes an handy synopsis of the restaurant. Arguably unnecessary, but I think this adds a bit of personality.
Speaking of copy, when entering a new address (I was prompted due to being somewhere other than my usual stomping-ground) I rather enjoyed the humourous options given.
With the street name appearing on the integrated map, entering a new address was easy enough, but I was disappointed to find that my location wasn’t automatically detected.
Finally, although I didn’t actually order food here (more on that later) – I still did a run-through of the choosing food and checking out process.
Overall I found it to be a fluid and intuitive experience. The prices are nicely highlighted and the total sum is updated as you go.
Likewise, the basket summary is nicely set-out, including estimated delivery time, options to tip the driver as well another prompt to enter a promo code.
The only negative is the dreaded Deliveroo fee of £2.50 added onto the total.
Like Deliveroo, the homepage for UberEats utilises high quality imagery of delicious-looking food.
Not quite as appealing to look at, although this might be my own OCD, as I put this down to the white borders and lack of design symmetry.
Again, the user is given a convenient summary of their account.
It’s pretty much a carbon copy of Deliveroo, apart from the ‘help’ section which is definitely an added bonus.
The offer incentive is certainly where UberEats has succeeded. By heavily using this to promote its launch, it managed to garner huge interest and entice even Deliveroo-loyal customers to download.
On to the search and category options, which in all honesty I found to be a bit baffling.
There are seemingly random options at top (sea bass, anyone?) before the categories become alphabetical as you scroll down.
Also note the two search suggestions of ‘burger’ and ‘burgers’ in the below right image. This seems entirely pointless seeing as there is no difference in the results.
When clicking on a category, the app returns both restaurants and related items on a menu.
While I understand this in theory – it’s obviously designed to showcase the variety of restaurants where you might not realise you could get a burger – it is a bit off-putting.
Why not just list the restaurants themselves? Maybe I’m missing something here.
On the other hand, the search bar is lightning fast – it returns queries instantly, alongside estimated delivery times.
The use of imagery on the main restaurant pages is also great – I particularly like that you can see what specific items look like.
Likewise, the suggested filter options make choosing from the menu a quick process.
Onto the checkout, and like its competetor, it’s a fast and easy experience.
While some aspects are very good indeed (like choosing sauces at the same time as sides), it lets itself down by not updating the basket’s total price.
The final checkout page saves it, however, with a prompt for notes like ‘extra napkins, extra sauce’ bringing back the focus on user experience.
Even better, the reassurance that there’s ‘no need to tip’.
Real-time delivery test
After going through the motions above, I realised it’d only be fair to test out the actual delivery of both apps.
While David used Deliveroo to order Japanese from Matsuri, I used UberEats to get a big salad from the Good Life Eatery.
Yes, I’m clearly trying to offset all that pizza.
David’s order was easy to place, however from this moment on, the app failed to update him of its progress.
This annoyingly meant he had to keep checking his phone to find out where the food was.
Moreover, when opening the app to check, the homescreen kept appearing which meant he had to navigate through the app to find the order status.
Another negative was that despite being under the impression that the app would alert him when the food arrived, he only realised it had when the driver called from downstairs.
It did only take about 20 minutes though, which was very speedy indeed.
The food itself was mediocre. Not Deliveroo’s fault obviously, but just in case you’re on the edge of your seat…
From the moment I ordered by ‘goodness bowl’, UberEats kept me updated with its progress through its push notifications option.
I was also notified whenever the status of my order changed, which meant I could get on with what I was doing instead of checking my phone every few minutes in anticipation.
As well as allowing me to watch my driver’s journey in real-time on the app, it alerted me when he arrived at the 40-minute mark (before the estimated 54 mins).
All in all, the process was entirely smooth. And the food was delicious, FYI.
In terms of initial impressions, it was a tightly-run race.
But while I do prefer Deliveroo’s straightforward design and category options, the superior location-based functionality and money-off incentive gives UberEats the edge.
This verdict was also cemented in the delivery experiment. Deliveroo was a real let-down when it came to giving updates.
So, despite its competitor arriving first, my fuss-free customer journey meant UberEats was well worth the wait.