Food delivery in Korea is among the best in the world, and there are now two heavyweights battling it out for ultimate supremacy.
Yogiyo was founded by Team Europe as a quasi-copycat app to the existing local player, and allows ordering by either calling the restaurant directly or by using an in-app quick messaging service. As a foreigner, the addition of the quick messaging service is really handy. It means I don’t have to know how to speak Korean well to get food delivered. It’s also hopeless trying to cook good Korean food at home (and more pricey). With food quality very comparable to restaurants and no difference in price, delivery is an excellent option.
To order you must know your address in Korean, and the phrase for saying “call me when you arrive”. Additionally, if you live in a secure building with a pass code at the front door, you will need the phrase for “I’ll come downstairs to meet you”. All pretty straight forward survival Korean, that works well.
The Yogiyo app is very simple to navigate and there is no frills, which demonstrate a foreigner must have been involved in the app design. A lightening bolt next to restaurants means that message ordering is available. If the lightening bolt isn’t there then you have to call in, making ordering a little more tricky for foreigners. Food within the app is organized by type i.e. chinese, korean and chicken, and is planned well.
There is a ratings system, however I wouldn’t pin too much hope on the accuracy, as Koreans are notorious for writing great reviews about their own business, sometimes creating multiple accounts to climb higher in the rankings.
At checkout you can choose to pay by cash or credit card. The options in the app are placed conveniently directly under the ratings.
The #1 competitor of YoGiYo, and the first big mover in the delivery industry in Korea, is 배달의 민족 (Baedari-Minjok) . They are Korean to the core! The icons are cute (like every app in Korea), and you can see glossy images of the food that you are ordering. The graphics throughout the app make ordering more of an ‘experience’ than ordering with YoGiGo. Even the photos seems to have been rendered better than on YoGiGo. Koreans are obsessive about design, and this app has gone all out!
The question is which app will take control and become the #1 Korean delivery service?
배달의 민족 has recently raised $10M to role out an aggressive TV marketing campaign and industry insiders believe that the two services will go head to head, spending an estimated $500k per month in a large-scale advertising war this summer.
From a user perspective, if 배달의 민족 adds the quick delivery messaging service, I’d use it over YoGiYo simply based on the experience. It’s what gives it edge against YoGiYo. Koreans love service and frills so it’s important to have these features included in the application design, though from a foreigners point of view, they do not add much more than ‘experience’ and the value of that is questionable.
From a technology perspective I didn’t have any problems with downloading either of the apps, or navigating the interfaces. Everything worked very well. With these two app, it’s really about the type of experience you want to have.