Minion Monday is here again! We’re making this a thing, people. Just go with it. Today, David reviews something technical! And it involves food! Hooray!
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As a self-professed geek of all things tech, I asked Mary if I could take a crack at reviewing some of the “foodie-related” mobile apps that come across her inbox. After regaling her with the story of being elected computer monitor at school when I was only 7 years old, she knew that I was the
man minion for the job. Not pictured: Mary rolling her eyes after hearing the story for the nth time during our years of friendship. Acknowledging my nerd street cred, she happily obliged and forwarded me an invitation to try an app called Postmates.
While not strictly a food-centric service, Postmates originally started in San Francisco in 2012 and focused on providing quick delivery of just about any product that can comfortably fit into a car. You can ask them to pick up something from the local Apple Store, snag some last-minute office supplies at Staples, or – as in my case – a really tasty lunch from any restaurant my heart desired. I like to think of it as a courier service that transports incredible food directly to my belly.
New to the San Diego area as of September, the company sent me some discount codes for free delivery and a generous $25 credit to spend however I pleased. Mary and I thought that it would be awesome to have lunch delivered to our team at work, so we brainstormed and decided to have Mexican food delivered from Lolita’s – one of the most popular taco joints in the area that’s a little too far for us to go during our normal lunch hour.
Armed with an iPhone and a dream, I loaded up the app, found the Lolita’s listing, and then typed out our order. Some of the bigger restaurants have a cool built-in menu that you can use to quickly select items, but they didn’t have this particular location set up yet.
As exciting as the service is, the app itself wasn’t very user friendly. It looked like something from the last generation of iOS and the ordering process wasn’t very clear. After entering my order, credit card information and the address of our office, I hit the send order button and… nothing happened. The app crashed and took me back to the home screen. Perplexed and not wanted to get double-charged, I contacted the company to see if I had entered something wrong. Their support rep couldn’t replicate my issue, but encouraged me to try again. I decided to wait until the after the weekend to give it another shot.
Oddly enough, they updated their app and the current version is so much nicer than the one before. The menus have big, bright food images, cleaner text and a much more streamlined ordering process.
Using this new version, I ordered our lunch the following week. This time, everything went smoothly and after the order was placed, I was shown a map where our personal lunch courier was travelling over to the restaurant. Like Uber, you are shown exactly where they are and how long it will take for the delivery-person to arrive.
After about 50 minutes, our driver Geo arrived with a beautiful bag of burritos in hand. I was pretty impressed since she drove to Clairemont Mesa, stood in line at Lolita’s and then drove all the way up to our office in Sorrento Valley. She just had me sign off on the delivery using her iPhone and then rushed off to her next stop. Easy peasy!
All-in-all, I had a great experience with the service. Normally, our order would’ve had an $18 delivery charge*. This seems a little steep at first, but if you split it with your coworkers or roommates and consider the San Diego traffic during lunchtime, it quickly becomes appealing. If you’ve got a group delivery, or just badly want a burrito and don’t want to get up in the middle of a Netflix binge, I highly recommend this service. There’s nothing easier or more convenient.
**For extra fun, Postmates often has special events going throughout the month. One weekend featured a free pint of ice cream with every delivery, while another offered beer and lottery tickets (?!). A little kooky, but I enjoyed the off-the-wall sense of humor!
* Delivery fees in San Diego start at $5 and vary depending on location and distance.
Disclaimer: A voucher was provided in exchange for this review by Postmates, making this lunch delivery a complimentary affair. The delivery fee was also waived as apart of the new service offered to San Diegans in September. No further compensation was received and all opinions stated here are the writer’s own.