Getting our food delivered with a push of a button is a pretty commonplace these days.

Then again, there are days we order food delivery from places close by, just to avoid stepping out of our homes, waiting in line to have someone take our order and then wait again for our order to be made. 

Often times, we’d very much rather pay a delivery fee to get access that convenience. Yet, there’s a solution, that perhaps, be able to provide the best of both worlds. foodpanda’s pick-up service allows diners to swing by their favourite eatery in and out in a jiffy, minus the tedious waiting in lines. 

If you’re wondering how the picking up compares to delivery — fret not. We spent an afternoon in the office with a mini-challenge of our own: we’d get two similar orders from the same restaurant, one via delivery and one via the pick-up service. Here’s how it went down: 

The time: 12:22.

The pick-up time was 12:39, according to the foodpanda app. I dialled up Dua Lipa on my headphones, and set off for Jack’s Place at Toa Payoh to pick up the food.

The entire process was seamless and I was pleasantly surprised by how communicative — if automated — foodpanda was. The office is one MRT stop away from the restaurant and by the time I reached Toa Payoh MRT and ascended the escalators, I received a text at 12:34pm saying that my order is almost ready. 

I reached the restaurant at 12:40pm and sure enough, a bag containing two fish lunch sets was sitting on the glass counter, ready to be picked up. I was back in the office by 12:55pm and surprise surprise, the delivery still arrived after me.

In an age where we’ve all spent a year largely indoors doing the bulk of our daily activities at home, heading out to a nearby eatery to pick up your own food is a much needed breath of fresh air.


As soon as my order was placed at 12:22, the foodpanda app let our a little cheer, complete with a little blurb that let know my delivery was set to arrive between 13:00 and 13:10. 

From then on, it was just a waiting game. I continued clacking away at my desk, deadlines looming, in anticipation of lunch. At 12:45, my phone buzzed again: my rider had just picked up my order. Fifteen minutes later, the two lunch sets and popcorn chicken was handed to me — five minutes later, I might add, than my editor who had opted for the VIP service. 

The cost of my delivery? S$4.49. The food? Neither fared better than the other in terms of heat, in other words, exactly the same. What was different, perhaps, was the fact I moved from my office chair to the one in the pantry, while my editor managed to clock a couple of hundred steps into fresh air, all whilst saving on that extra money.

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