It’s a Wednesday night and it’s a little bit grim outside. But that doesn’t matter because we’re not going anywhere. We’re ‘eating out’, but not actually out because it’s coming to us. You’d be forgiven for being a bit confused by this seemingly contradictory dinner, but let’s explain: we’re trying out Deliveroo – a new service that brings restaurant quality food to your door. Launched in June, you’ve likely seen one of their motorbikes about or some of their advertising – it’s the one with the kangaroo on it.
At its most basic principals, Deliveroo lets you order from a restaurant kitchen and they will deliver it to your door. It’s almost impossible to talk about it without comparison to things like Hungry House or Just Eat, but it’s definitely not another takeaway ordering service; it’s all about restaurants.
When we were asked to give it a go, I’ll admit I thought there was going to be more options. They have a tight geographical system that lets you order based on your postcode. There are some very good reasons for this – primarily to ensure it’s hot, I would guess – but even living very centrally our options were limited to 25 places (some of which weren’t open). In the grand scheme of things that’s not bad, but when we tried other postcodes of friends around the city (inc. Marchmont, Newhaven, western suburbia) some had fewer options, others had none at all.
So, how did we get on? It’s really easy to work their site – it’s really well designed for its purpose – but sadly our first choice of restaurant wouldn’t work – we got a message saying the order could not be fulfilled. The fact that you can get all the way through the order and then be told no was not good (I won’t name the restaurant in question), but hats off to the customer service people on Twitter – they responded to our hungry moaning quickly and handled it well (apparently the restaurant was a bit naughty and shouldn’t have declined the order).
Choice 2 – since it was getting late – was burgers; so we opted for the avocado and cheese topped burgers of Gourmet Burger Kitchen. It was hard to resist. And then we came across the salted caramel milkshakes. Yeah – salted caramel milkshakes.
From the moment we got the order confirmed to the time the buzzer rang was about 20 minutes (well inside the stated 35) and our delivery guy was pretty good and had a big smile on his face when we opened the door (despite confessing he dreaded carrying milkshakes).
We love the concept of this service, and if you’re feeling lazy or it’s pouring with rain it’s great. For us though, only being able to get from restaurants that it would take us less than 20 minutes to walk to was quite limiting. If we were going to pay restaurant prices – at just shy of £45 for the 2 of us it is definitely more than a takeaway – we would be more inclined to go to the restaurant. Having said that, it would be great for days where you don’t want to go outside or if you have a group of you at work looking for lunch.
In short, we really enjoyed our dinner, but whether or not we’d use the service again is neither a certainty nor a definite shake of the head. The tight geographical areas you can get delivery to seems a hugely limiting factor to Deliveroo, and whilst it’s for good reasons (and doesn’t limit us too much) it takes the service away from the people less likely to eat out in the restaurants in question. But all that said, Deliveroo is still adding restaurants all the time, we look forward to seeing how they get on in the coming months.
Have you tried Deliveroo? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!
We were asked by Deliveroo to try the service, and were fully refunded for our dinner. As always, all opinions are our own and not influenced in any way by Deliveroo. If you would like to know more, please see our disclosure policy.