I first heard about Livingmenu through a PR pitch.
The email told me everything I, a degenerate Grab user, wanted to hear: (small) flat rate delivery charges for multiple orders, food from F&B establishments that didn’t have to be in my neighborhood, no markup and no minimum order.
Clearly intriguing, but there at be a trap.
So I tried the app for myself, incognito, to see exactly where and what the catch was.
First, here’s what the homepage looks like:
And here are the drawbacks I observed when using the app for the first time:
- You can only order for the next day, so no immediate satisfaction of cravings.
- Delivery times are divided into three time slots: lunch, tea and dinner, and no delivery is available outside of these times.
- Stalls are usually only available during a slot (for example, the popular Arcade fish soup can only be ordered for dinner).
- There are quite a few merchants, and for each merchant, very limited items (usually one to two options).
- Only orders from the same time slot can be combined for a single delivery charge.
- No personalization of orders.
- No delivery on weekends.
- The app may not yet be available in your region.
If you’re willing to ignore the above cons, here are the positives you’ll find:
- Merchants have a daily rotation, which means you get different options every day.
- Relatively low shipping costs (S$2.95 for my estate) which also allows you to combine orders from different merchants.
- Hence, relatively affordable meals (compared to your typical delivery apps).
- Learn to try new stalls that aren’t in your area.
The app itself was quite easy to navigate.
My order of a teriyaki chicken omu rice costs S$9.45 after delivery and a payment processing fee (hmm).
My lunch was due to arrive anytime between 11:30am and 1pm, a margin of an hour and a half.
Not a problem if you work from home, but probably not doable if you plan to go out right after lunch.
As it stands, my order arrived closer to 1pm, although the app provides frequent updates on its delivery status.
As delivery staff have to drop off multiple orders at once (which explains the low delivery charges), don’t expect food to reach you freshly cooked or piping hot.
It was warm enough that I didn’t have to reheat it, although you have to remember that this article was written by someone who does a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to reheating their food ( will it be worth it??).
Globally: Would I use the app again? Yes, theoretically. Did I reuse the app? Not yet.
Screenshot of top image via Livingmenu