Delivery in Lima

Like the famous cats (“if I fits; I sits”), if it fits on the back of a bicycle or motorcycle, then it can be delivered. The biggest delivery services in Lima are UberEats, Rappi, and Glovo. But, it seems like everyone has a delivery system, including some of the vendors at the local markets (and as in the photo, a mystery). The major delivery services charge a small fee for delivery, either fixed (Glovo charges 5 soles) per delivery or variable depending on distance (Rappi), and loyalty programs (30 soles unlimited per month). It is also possible to pay via credit card but some of the apps do not accept non-Peruvian credit cards. [An aside: I use cash only and give a tip, so one day, it was with some surprise that I found my purchasing blocked because I “owed” two cents. This must have been a typo, but, I still had to email for several days with the customer service center (that’s when I found out that Glovo is a Spanish company). They did erase my two cent debt, but this glitch in their system lost them a regular customer for a month.]

It is not just restaurant food that can be delivered. One can also buy groceries and other items. After the day in Wong when I saw that Rappi had their own shoppers and a dedicated cashier, I started using Rappi for heavy deliveries (after I learned that 10 pounds is the weight limit for a Rappi delivery). The apps also have features where the client can repeat a previous purchase making it much easier to find that pepperoni pizza (Antica has the closest to U.S. style pepperoni — not the pizza, but the pepperoni).

For a person with no car, it’s worth using delivery service rather than spending the money on a taxi. That said, delivery time is usually 40-60 minutes but it is also possible to make appointment times for delivery (even up to several days in advance). I have heard horror stories of people waiting for hours for a pizza, but haven’t had too many of these experiences myself. More annoying to me is when the product is not available and this then leads to “communication” about replacement products.

While many drivers find the armies of Rappi and Glovo deliverers annoying, one of the positive outcomes is that many of the housebound (I heard about a widow who now uses delivery instead of venturing out in traffic), have the commercial world at their fingertips. Home access is not new to Lima, as the bakers, knife sharpeners, and others have been making their rounds since the invention of the bicycle. Probably longer. The white carts contain baked goods.

On a funny note (or “first world problem” category), because many of the delivery boxes are carried as backpacks, often the food will have slid down to one side (like the aforementioned pepperoni, which I have found all bunched up with the cheese in one corner of the pizza, making a get-away over the crust.)

 

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