UberEATS Cape Town Vs Mr D Food

After its successful launch in Johannesburg, the internet ride sharing service, UberEATS, has made its way to Cape Town. The question begs whether or not it will dominate the food delivery space as it did the meter taxi industry? Moneybags writer, Alina Hardcastle, puts UberEATS to the test by putting this new offering up against South Africa’s leading food delivery service, Mr D Food, to determine which is better.

Dave Kitley, restaurant operations manager of Uber SA, explains why UberEATS has a competitive advantage over others in the food delivery industry. He says: “We believe the competition UberEATS brings is not only great for consumers as it provides more options, but also fantastic for the network of delivery partners who now have even more opportunity to make money, and for restaurants as it give them more opportunity to grow their business.”

Unfortunately we were unable to reach Mr D Food for commentary.

How the apps work and their similarities

At first glance both services appear quite similar but we later discover a number of differences (which will be discussed further down) between the two. Both UberEATS and Mr D Food require you to download their apps from either App store or Google Play to your phone. If you don’t own an IOS or an Android product, each service grants you the option to place your order via their website. The apps provide a listing of available restaurants in your area, along with a checkbox menu. You can enter your delivery address or if your Global Position System (GPS) is switched on, the apps will be able to detect your current location.

Once your location has been detected, you can view the restaurants in your area, browse the menu and add items to your food cart. Under each restaurant there is an estimated delivery time to your location. You can then check out and pay for your delivery. Both UberEATS and Mr D Food store all your previous orders, which is convenient for those who tend to lean towards the same meal order. It’s also important to keep in mind that you can’t place orders from multiple restaurants at once on either app; and that users can place their orders on either app during operating hours between 10:00 and 22:00.

Despite their similarities, we discovered the following differences:

UberEATS pros:

  • Sign in: Firstly UberEATS is a separate app to Uber but if you already have an Uber account, it automatically links to the UberEATS app; so, no you need waste time uploading your personal and card details as it’s already there.
  • Under 30 minute category: If you’re in a hurry to get your meal, UberEATS has created an “Under 30 minute category” which displays a list of restaurants that can deliver your meal within under 30 minutes or less.
  • Delivery Fee: UberEATS only charges R20 for delivery whereas Mr D Food charges up to R45 delivery fee.
  • Visual appeal: Visually, UberEATS is more appealing to the eye as it displays a meal image with each restaurant listing whereas Mr D Food displays the restaurant logos.
  • Upmarket restaurants: The app lists a larger variety of upmarket restaurants that wouldn’t traditionally offer food delivery.
  • Opportunity for smaller business: This service provides a platform for smaller local eateries.
  • Track your delivery: You can track your order and get updates about time of arrival.
  • Delivery time: Personally, the Moneybags team experienced delivery time around 30-35 minutes.
  • Referrals: Users can earn credits for free food by sharing the code (which UberEATS gives) with first time users. You can get R50 off your and your friends can get a R100 off theirs. Simply, enter the code under the promotions tab in the app. Once you’ve done that, you will receive your own unique code to your friends and family, and profit.
  • Compensation: The Moneybags team found that if the order can’t be delivered, UberEATS compensates you with a credit on your next order.

UberEATS Cons

  • Payment option: Several of the Moneybags team members tried to make use of the cash payment option which wasn’t recognised as a form of payment when checking out and as result could only make credit card payments.
  • Limited area coverage: Although UberEATS have expressed that they intend on expanding their area coverage, currently food delivery is limited to Cape Town City Bowl, Woodstock, Observatory, Camps Bay, and the Atlantic Seaboard.
  • Limited restaurant selection: UberEATS has a limited number of restaurant offerings compared to Mr D Food.

Mr D Food Pros: 

  • New users: When ordering with Mr D Food for the first time, you will find that your first delivery is for free.
  • Wider coverage: Mr D Food has a larger area coverage than UberEATS. Delivery is available to 53 areas within South Africa.
  • Larger variety of restaurants: Overall, consumers have over 800 restaurants to choose from.
  • Collect your order: You also have the option to collect your food yourself.
  • Keeps you updated about your order:Mr D Food  lets you know when the restaurant accepts your order, when they start preparing it and once it’s collected to be dropped off and your location.
  • Payment method: Mr D Food allows you to make a debit and credit card payment via the app or with cash on delivery.
  • Promotions with free delivery: Certain restaurants on Mr D Food offer free delivery promotions (Nandos is currently offering this special on the app).

Mr D Food Cons:

  • Delivery fee: Mr D food’s call centre charges R45 for delivery and if you place your order via the website or app, you will be charged R35. Both delivery fees are still more expensive than UberEATS’ delivery fee of R20.
  • Payment option: If you make use of the call centre you can only make a cash payment on delivery.
  • Referrals: Unlike UberEATS, Mr D Food offers no credits for referrals.
  • Time of arrival: Mr D food’s estimated time delivery and actual delivery time were not in sync. Our team found that the estimated time of arrival was stagnant.
  • Tracking feature: Unlike UberEATS, Mr D Food doesn’t appear to have a car-tracking feature. So, you are unable to track your order.

Conclusion:

Based on the information above, the Moneybags team found that UberEATS offered a better service compared to Mr D Food.  UberEATS offers a cheaper delivery fee, additional benefits i.e. food referral credits as well as healthier food options. The only problem is that UberEATS is only available to those within selected delivery areas whereas Mr D Food offers a wider area coverage as well as larger selection of restaurants.

*After this article was published, UberEATS Johannesburg and Cape Town announced that it had expanded it’s services.  UberEATS Cape Town is now available in the Southern Suburbs of Rondebosch, Newlands, Claremont, Bishopscourt and Mowbray.

For more information about UberEATS expanding to Cape Town, click here.



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