Friday, 26 January 2018

My experience of the Ecstatic Meal from MEATliquor and Deliveroo

The serious foodies amongst you may have heard about the MEATliquor one day only offer: a Dead Hippie burger, hash browns, drink and toy presented in a happy meal very familiar looking box for a mere £2.69. That's right. £2.69. Considering the Dead Hippie burger is £9 alone, and that everything all in is reportedly saving you just over £11 overall... it's a very tempting offer. As for the small print...this offer is only available for delivery via Deliveroo and supposedly only from the Kings Cross branch (or so I heard)


This feature was originally meant as a review. A review of my first experience of using Deliveroo and more importantly, a review of exciting new food  that I was looking forward to. But alas, the Ecstatic Meal and I were not to be. 

The Deliveroo website experience

It's a nice looking website, I give you that. I liked the fact that I could look around without having to sign up straight away (a refreshing change these days). The website itself was easy to use. I typed in my work postcode, it located me fairly quickly, and offered me food from all local restaurants within an acceptable delivery radius. Faced with an overwhelming choice of food options, I filtered out by burgers specifically, located MEATliquor, and clicked through to choose my food.

Despite publicity surrounding the event claiming that the Ecstatic Meal would be on the website from a set time, I checked and checked and checked... and it wasn't there. I went to social media and noticed that other people were having the same issue. I refreshed the page but still no luck. 

I then left the Deliveroo site and re-opened it. Still nothing. In fact this time it was even worse. At this stage, MEATliquor was no longer coming up in the listings. 

With Deliveroo you can choose an allocated time frame in which to have your food delivered. Either a specific time slot or "ASAP". I played around with some time slots, and still MEATliquor was failing to come up in the list of results. Which to me suggested a technical error on the site - perhaps due to excessive traffic and demand - more than anything. 

Eventually I found a time slot that seemed to suit MEATliquor, and to my delight, I clicked through to find the Ecstatic Meal was now being offered as an option. I'd like to point out that at this stage, the Deliveroo website was a delight to use. I selected my food choice, my time slot and details, and at no point was the site lagging or slow to use. Payment went through and my order was placed. I had a order confirmation message on-screen and received a tracking link so I could track the food via my mobile. SUCCESS! 

Delivery of the food

What delivery? This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I'm afraid it all went tits up. Here I was at work, replying to emails, tapping away on my keyboard, happy that it was Friday and even happier that this particular Friday would yield a burger. At this point my scheduled food was less than an hour away from delivery, and I got a text. This text.


In sheer panic, I went back to my order screen on the Deliveroo website, and my wahey success order confirmation message had been replaced with the following:


I also had an email telling me exactly the same thing as the text and the onscreen slert. Three times lucky and all that. 

I was absolutely furious.

Look, I understand that they were busy. I recognise that it was a ridiculously generous offer and that it was always going to be a struggle to get one of these high demand food boxes. However what I don't condone is the fact that I placed an order, my order was accepted, and then I receive a cancellation message right before lunch. If it had been rejected shortly after placing the order, that's one thing. But the fact that I was in there, I was very much in the queue, and suddenly booted out... It was a bit of a smack in the face. And very poorly done. If a restaurant is too busy, they should stop taking orders completely and go offline from the Deliveroo system for a bit. 

I think what angered me the most was the wording on the text they sent. "We would be delighted if you would consider ordering from one of out other restaurants". After such a schlep on the Deliveroo website, why would I go through all that again?? I said no to food delivery and delivery fees, and left my office seeking a burger from a competitor. Because once I have it in my mind that I want a burger, annoyingly nothing else will satiate that desire. 

Summary

Whilst this whole experience was great for both MEATliquor and Deliveroo and gave them plenty of publicity and hype, I honestly don't think one day gimmicks like these are worth it. The poor experience I had on the Deliveroo site doesn't encourage me to use it ever again. And I won't be the only one. Today there would have been a fair share of people like myself who had never used Deliveroo before and logged on for the first time lured in by this insanely good offer, but were left disappointed. For me personally, the bad experience I had today ruins my perception of both MEATliquor and Deliveroo and I won't rush to use either service again in the future. 

The whole thing was poorly executed. The fact that the product was only available for delivery through Deliveroo was a rookie mistake. Websites get flooded with traffic and can go down. There were a fair share of tehcnical issues today whereby MEATliquor dropped off the website completely or I couldn't find the offer on the site. Even when I changed my delivery time to something stupid and off peak after the lunch time rush. New initiatives are great, but only implement them if you have a website that can handle it. Otherwise you are doing yourself more harm than good. 

I also think the £2.69 pricing point was another reason for this failing. Whilst I will never complain about too-good-to-be-true pricing and incredible savings, the lower you go, the biggest the hype. The overall meal was thought to be worth £11 ish give or take. Let's be real here, people still would have gone crazy if MEATliquor had offered 50% off. But £2.69 for lunch in the city of the London, a place where a simple non fancy sandwich can cost over £5... people were always going to go nuts (myself included).

I followed the situation on social media and it sounded like lots of other people were in my figurative boat with the offer not appearing on the website and orders not going through properly. In fact, I have yet to hear a success story of someone who actually managed to get one of these Ecstatic Meals. Was it all one big publicity stunt with a small, limited number of the boxes to get people talking about the brand? 

From a marketing point of view, it's a great time for other competitor burger chains to step up. Imagine the social media... "Didn't get your mitts on a Ecstatic Meal? Didn't get your burger fix? We will sort you out!" And maybe an added incentive like a voucher offering diners 25% off today and this weekend. That would be very savvy marketing indeed. Because lots of us are now faced with an insatiable burger craving where only a burger will do. And let's be honest here, London is a great hub for finding a decent burger. But this time I won't be heading to MEATliquor. 

Did you manage to get your hands on a MEATliquor Ecstatic Meal? Success stories would be refreshing and great to hear!

Product imagery source: Eater London

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