Review: Deliveroo brings food from restaurants that don’t deliver (and existential angst)

Review: Deliveroo brings food from restaurants that don’t deliver (and existential angst)

We are lazy, pampered, awful people. You’re not? If you’re here reading about food delivery services, you definitely are.

Like me, you can press a button and make someone bring you food. At any other time in history that would be seen as so decadent that revolutionaries would be plotting to cut off your head, powdered wig and all.

JustEat and its many rivals have taught us that ordering take out food can be so simple that we don’t need to interact with a human being. At a push, you have to talk to the driver.

Tuck in at Tuk Tuk
Tuck in at Tuk Tuk

Deliveroo, a new entrant into the European market (it’s in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK), has just gobbled up a juicy banquet of $70 million in Series C funding. It takes the existing model and applies it to restaurants that don’t usually deliver.

Imagine a VC with slicked back hair, clicking his fingers, doing the ‘Shooter Mcgavin’ and telling you that this app is a game changer. That guy is an idiot but most infuriatingly, he’s right. Deliveroo is basically brilliant and that upsets me.

happy-gilmore-and-shooter-mcgavin-o
Yeah, Shooter Mcgavin would probably love Deliveroo

It’s another excuse for me to retreat from humanity, to build my internet fortress and have food packages posted to me through a slot by a driver who is frightened by my searchlights and the huge meme murals I have painted on the external walls in the dead of night.

Deliveroo’s app is great. It shows you which restaurants are available, along with a very accurate delivery time estimate. The benefit over traditional apps – certainly in Dublin where I’m located – is that there is a more diverse range of cuisines available. That means more healthy restaurants and more international choices.

The downside is that Deliveroo has so far geared itself towards the effete metropolitan elites or, to put it more fairly, the app generally only supports delivery within city centers.

Oddly, while its Web service works in Dublin, the app actually isn’t available in the Irish app store. I was able to successfully use it as I have a UK iTunes Store account, a throwback to when I still lived in the land of my birth and wasn’t an out-of-place Brit soiling this emerald isle.

Taste of Brazil in Dublin is on Deliveroo and in @brokenbottleboy's belly
Taste of Brazil in Dublin is on Deliveroo and in @brokenbottleboy’s belly

The thing I loved about trying out Deliveroo was that I could experience a restaurant that I have never visited before and get new dishes delivered straight to my house. I opted for Taste of Brazil, which specializes in Brazilian cuisine.

I had the X Salada burger, Coxinha De Frango Com Reoueijao and Banana Caramelizada. The order cost me €25.35 ($28) including a €2.00 ($2.21) delivery fee, a €0.50 ($0.55) card fee and a €4.00 ($4.42) tip for the driver.

I tipped mainly to satiate my guilt at being a lazy takeout-ordering slug creature. It only made a minor dent in that feeling. My shame abides.

The cost of ordering from Deliveroo is actually quite reasonable in the end. You’re basically paying restaurant price with the convenience of not having to actually go there and navigate a space with other distasteful human beings.

My food arrived hot and looking good. The only point of minor criticism was that the burger could have been hotter, but it may be too much to expect a delivery app to suspend the laws of thermodynamics to better my dining experience.

If Deliveroo is available where you are, I’d broadly recommend it. You’re limited to ordering from one restaurant at a time and taking a punt from a place you’ve never eaten before can be a risk, but the app’s delivery time estimates and driver tracker are excellent features.

As long as you don’t forget that using the app is another marker in defining how entirely entitled you entire existence is, it’s wonderful.

Deliveroo [iOS]

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