I first heard of Livingmenu through a PR (public relations) pitch.
The email told me everything that I, a degenerate Grab user, wanted hear: a (small) flat delivery fee for multiple orders, food from F&B establishments that didn't have to be within my vicinity, no mark-ups and no minimum orders.
Clearly intriguing, but there has to be a catch.
So I tried the app out for myself, incognito, to see what and where exactly the catch was.
First off, here's how the homepage looks:
And here are the drawbacks I observed while using the app for the first time:
- You can only order for the next day, so no immediate fulfilment of cravings.
- The deliver timings are split into three time slots: lunch, tea, and dinner, and no delivery is available outside of these timings.
- Stalls are usually only available during one slot (e.g. 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 one delivery fee.
- No customisation of orders.
- No deliveries on weekends.
- The app might not be available in your area yet.
If you're willing to overlook the above drawbacks, these are the positives you'll find:
- The merchants are on a daily rotation, meaning you get different options every day.
- A relatively low delivery fee (S$2.95 for my estate) that also allows you to combine orders from different merchants.
- Therefore, relatively affordable meals (compared to your typical delivery apps).
- Getting to try new stalls that are not in your area.
The app itself was easy enough 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 from 11:30am to 1pm, a margin of one and a half hours.
Not a problem if you're working from home, but probably not feasible if you're planning to head out right after lunch.
As it is, my order arrived nearer to 1pm, although the app provided frequent updates on its delivery status.
As the delivery personnel has to drop off multiple orders at one go (explains the low delivery fee), don't expect the food to reach you freshly cooked or piping hot.
It was warm enough that I didn't have to reheat it, although you must remember that this article was written by someone who performs a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to heating up her food (will it be worth the trouble??).
Overall: Would I use the app again? Yes, theoretically. Have I used the app again? No...t yet.
Top image screenshot via Livingmenu