Saturday, March 27, 2021

Brando’s Guide to Food Delivery Services in Tokyo

(as of March 2021)

Food delivery services have been BOOMING in Tokyo during the Coronavirus pandemic. At least near Shibuya, you can’t go out to check your mailbox without seeing a Chompy biker or an Uber Eats moped whizzing by. Then when you do check your mailbox there’s a flyer in there for 1000 yen off your first order with some other service.

It feels like gangs having a turf war. Restaurant storefronts are tagged with colorful stickers showing which of the services deliver for them. You’ve got the Wolt guys biking around in their bright blue jackets, but they don’t support certain chains -- that’s Demaecan’s territory, shown by the red stickers out front. Each service covers different restaurants and different regions, but there’s overlap, so many restaurants are available from more than one. They also each have their own special promotions (50% off certain curry restaurants until calendar date X, ¥1000 off on some random Tuesday, things like that).

The good news for us normal people is, they’re all competing to win our business, and they’re giving out a ton of free coupons to try and get us hooked. I don’t know whose cash they’re burning through, but with first time user and referral discounts, you can save a ton on some food delivery just by signing up for each of the different services.

Here’s a rundown of the different services I’ve used. Not all of them have English available, but once you’ve used one food delivery app the others are pretty much the same. Disclaimer: I don’t have any connection to any of these companies, but I will include referral codes, so if you do sign up for a service and input the provided code, we both get some kind of credit or coupon. Free money!

Uber Eats


https://www.ubereats.com/jp-en/


The most famous one. Their bikers are EVERYWHERE, so it seems like they have the most users. They also have the “Eats Pass”: Pay ¥980 per month and get free delivery (usually around ¥300) on orders of ¥1200 or more. You can free trial the pass for 30 days, just don’t forget that it will auto-renew unless you cancel it.

Referral promo code, currently good for a ¥1800 discount: eats-brandone16uue


Chompy



https://chompy.jp/

This one comes from Japan. Apparently their staff are “ベテラン配達員による丁寧な配達” (“veteran deliverpeople, for a more courteous delivery”), so maybe they’re more selective about who can join their crew? I did get the cutest little handwritten note from one of their orders.




They have a service called らくとく便 (“rakutoku bin”), where if you order from participating restaurants before a certain time, your order will arrive within a later time window with free delivery. For lunch, order before 11:00 and it will arrive between 12:00 and 12:30. Helps them batch orders more efficiently, I guess. They used to offer this service for dinner, but not now, unfortunately. It probably got too popular, and they couldn’t fulfill all of the orders in time (if your food arrives late, they give you additional Chompy credit as an apology). Still a pretty good deal since you don’t need to buy any monthly pass to use this option.

Referral promo code, currently good for a ¥1000 discount: XPCJ8E


Demaecan


https://demae-can.com/

Also from Japan, they seem a bit more “commercial”. They offer delivery for chains more, and run ads on TV with Hamada Masatoshi from Downtown. They have a membership system where the more times the order, the higher your rank goes and you get special deals based on your rank. I haven’t used Demaecan enough to climb the ranks, but I love that the progression goes “Bronze”, “Silver”, “Gold”, and finally, “God”.

Wolt


https://wolt.com/en

A Finnish company, delivery staff have bright blue jackets and boxes. Doesn’t seem like they have any special programs right now like a pass or a “God” rank, but they’ve got a functional app and customer support. One time a restaurant left out an item from my order, so I messaged their customer support chat from the app and the rep refunded me the price of the item plus a little extra in Wolt credit real quick.

Referral promo code, currently good for ¥500 off of each of your first 3 orders: K5EU8

Menu


  

Another one from Japan, another serviceable app. Used them a couple times, don’t know what else to say, didn’t really leave an impression one way or the other (just look at their app name). They’ve even got a “Menu Pass” that’s the exact same price as the Uber Eats pass (¥980 per month, 30 day free trial). Menu’s pass gives ¥300 off delivery fees, 5% off all items, and some kind of special coupons. Even if they don’t bring anything original to the table, discounts are discounts!

Referral promo code, currently for ¥2000 discount: tpg-7tvdr4 , or go to https://me.nu/ftpg-7tvdr4

Maishoku



This one was around before the big food delivery boom, but they’re similar enough to include here. No delivery fee, but each restaurant sets a minimum amount you have to spend. They support both English and Japanese. I don’t know how the app is, I’ve always just used the website.

The End

Those are just the ones I’ve personally used, but there are even more! Omakase, Kurumeshi Bento, and I just saw new ads this week for ones called FOODNEKO, foodpanda and X TABLE. Maybe this post will need a follow-up.





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