When the delivery of a Mother's Day set meal to her mother-in-law ran very late last Sunday, Mrs Juan Teo had to call the restaurant more than 15 times as the line was constantly engaged.
The order was supposed to be ready for collection at 5pm and delivered to her mother-in-law's home in Tiong Bahru in half an hour.
"I was told there were not enough drivers," says the 32-year-old marketing executive. By the time her mother-in-law received the food at 7.40pm, it had gone cold.
Mrs Teo, who usually uses GrabFood, chose to order directly from the restaurant selling local cuisine in Suntec City, as she felt food delivery platforms would probably be overwhelmed.
She adds: "After hearing that some of my friends received their food at only 10pm, I felt my situation didn't seem that bad in comparison. The restaurants could have taken on more orders than they could manage."
Many people who ordered food delivery last weekend had similar grievances about major delays or cancellations.
Advertising specialist John Tan's order on a food delivery platform was abruptly cancelled 15 minutes after the time it was supposed to be delivered.
He says: "I was quite annoyed because I had scheduled it earlier in the day. We had to scramble to find something else for dinner and ate only at 9pm."
SURGE IN ORDERS[hhmc]
Since the start of the circuit breaker measures on April 7, the Mother's Day weekend was the peak sales period for food delivery platforms and eateries.
Another surge is expected for the upcoming Hari Raya Puasa long weekend.
Along with the spike in orders last weekend, a Grab spokesman says there was an "unexpected technical glitch" on its platform.
Flowers were also in demand, with seven times more bouquets delivered via GrabMart, compared with Valentine's Day.
Deliveroo Singapore's director of growth and marketing and interim general manager Sarah Tan notes an average of a 25 to 50 per cent increase in orders over the Mother's Day weekend compared with the weekends before.
That weekend, peak periods – usually from 11.30am to 1pm and 6 to 8pm – were extended. Lunch peak time ran till 1.30pm, while dinner orders surged from 5pm.
Ms Tan adds that orders have also increased since April 23, the start of Ramadan.
Last weekend, delivery company Lalamove saw a 200 per cent jump in on-demand orders overprevious weekends during the circuit breaker.
Managing director Alex Lin, 34, says waiting time for riders and drivers to pick up food at certain eateries went up to three hours and many eateries stopped taking orders at least an hour before dinner time – at around 5.30pm – to rush out existing ones.
BRISK BUSINESS FOR RESTAURANTS[hhmc]
Delivery mayhem aside, restaurants saw brisk sales over the Mother's Day weekend, with some reporting even better business than before the dine-in ban .
Grand Park City Hall's Tablescape restaurant sold 250 preordered afternoon tea sets for takeaway and delivery.
Executive chef Armando Aristarco says: "We might not have hit this number for dining in. Celebrations are a little different during circuit breaker. With more people posting (about the restaurant) online, we received more inquiries and feedback via social media too."
The Cicheti Group's managing partner Ronald Kamiyama also reported "surprisingly better" sales, compared with the dine-in business during Mother's Day last year.
The group's three restaurants work with food delivery platforms Deliveroo, Foodpanda, GrabFood and Oddle.
Due to a lack of drivers from its third-party delivery fleet, Mr Kamiyama says they had to stop taking orders from 6 to 7.30pm last Sunday.
At Kam's Roast Singapore, sales more than doubled from other weekends during the circuit Read More – Source[contf] [contfnew]