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Can Online Food Delivery Be A Viable Alternative To Traditional Catering?

Are traditional catering services getting obsolete?


Most of us are familiar with the concept of catering. Be it an event, a house warming, an office function or a gathering of friends, getting a caterer to provide for food is a convenient option.

For many years, this has been the tried and tested option that many people rely on.

Will Online Food Delivery Services Disrupt This Market?

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of online delivery services that help provide consumers with more alternatives aside from just catering.

Online delivery services such as FeastBump, Deliveroo and Foodpanda allow consumers to order food from an extensive list of restaurants. Collectively, these restaurants provide a far wider range of cuisine than you could ever expect from traditional caterers.

Be it Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Indian, Indonesian or Western cuisine, there would definitely be options to satisfy whatever food cravings your guests have.

Read Also: The Future Of Grocery Shopping: Redmart, Honest Bee And More

Traditional Caterers VS Online Food Delivery (Price & Quantity)

Anyone who has ever ordered from a traditional caterer would be familiar with the process of how it works. You take a look at the catering options on the menu, select the food you want, and pay for the number of people that you are ordering for.

The basic price range for catered buffet would be $10 – $15 per person. More premium selections could easily cost $20 – $30 per person.

In addition, caterers would usually require you to have a minimum quantity order. This could range from a minimum of 15 people to as high as 30 or more.

For online food delivery services, minimum order isn’t a problem. Most online food delivery platforms are meant for small groups or even individuals. You would find plenty of choices available even if you were making small orders.

For example, if you are ordering for a group of 8, a traditional caterer isn’t going to be a feasible option since you can’t reach the minimum order. Online delivery services would be the ideal alternative.

Ordering For Bigger Groups

For bigger gatherings of between 10 to 20 people, we have the option of either ordering through delivery services or via traditional caterers. Here are some considerations that you may have in mind.

# 1 Convenience:

Unlike traditional caterers, where you have to make your order days in advance, online delivery services allow you to make an order on the day itself, or even hours just before you want your food.

If you want to make an order in advance, that is possible as well. Simply let them know when you want your food delivered.


Image: Timbre

# 2 Order What You Want, Pay For What You Order

When you order from online services, you pay for the food that you have ordered, rather than the number of people who are coming.

We think this is a HUGE advantage that online delivery services provide over traditional caterers. If we want more pizzas and chicken wings, we buy more of it. If we want less rice, we order less of it. We order what we want, and pay for what we order.


Image: jinjja chicken

Contrast that to the experience of ordering from traditional caterers, when it’s common to have the problem of good food items (e.g. Wasabi Prawn, Salted Egg Chicken) running out quickly while the staples (e.g. Fried Beehoon, Fried Rice) remains as leftovers in huge quantity.

# 3 More Choices

Given the fact that online delivery services pool different restaurants together rather than operate as a standalone entity on their own, it is no surprise that they offer a much wider range of food choices and cuisine.


Image: FeastBump

In addition, we can also order from different restaurants that provide different types of food. We could order Korean Fried Chicken from Jinjja Chicken and Duck Pizza from Timbre, rather than one over the other.

# 4 Price

Given the conveniences and choices that online delivery food services provide, we might wonder if this would be more expensive than catering. Our experience thus far shows that may not be the case.

We recently had an office gathering for about 12 people, with Mexican food catered from Baja Fresh via FeastBump.


For about $23 per person, we shared some really good Mexican food! And have leftovers we couldn’t finish as well!

Now this isn’t to say that $23 per person is cheap. There are cheaper alternatives that we could have opted for from the platform such as Makisan (around $10 per pax) and Don sets (around $15 per pax), depending on what we would like to have. Catering could also have been an option.

However, caterers would generally require a minimum order of 15 pax, which would have cost about $225 ($15 per pax), before delivery charges. And we would have limited choices on the type of cuisine that we want.

In summary, online delivery services provide comparable pricing to traditional caterers with the actual price ultimately depending on your selection of food.

However, the key selling point here is that you decide what you want to have and the quantity of food that you need, rather than to be choosing from a pre-determined list of food items offered from the usual caterers.

Read Also: Local Food And Drinks You Are Definitely Overpaying For

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