Why Malaysians Prefer Takeaway Over Delivery

Why Malaysians Prefer Takeaway Over Delivery

Food. The staple for most Malaysian conversations as well as the most headache inducing topic during lunch hour. Be it whether you’re a student, a teacher, an office worker, an entrepreneur, an engineer etc you’ll definitely come across this issue. To make matters worse, we can even choose how we want to enjoy our food! We can dine-in at the restaurant, have it delivered to our office, take-away on our way back home. Will the ‘where-to-eat’ nightmares never end?

However, the pandemic has caused a huge shift towards delivery and takeaway. Although some shops allow dine-ins, there are other shops that have changed their business model to a pure delivery and takeaway model only. As such, it is time we explore these two giant factions and dive deep to understand Malaysian preferences towards the two!

Take my recent experience with using Grab for example! I was chilling on Sunday watching some Netflix and was feeling hungry! I would usually opt for takeaway but today I’m feeling extra lazy so I went for delivery instead. What did I do next? Sat at the exact same spot for 35 minutes enjoying a movie while waiting for my food to arrive straight to my doorstep! Takeaway is undoubtedly more convenient compared to dine-in but requires some degree of effort for us to drive out and pick up. Delivery on the other hand requires minimal effort from our end. However, delivery also has its setbacks. 

With the attempt to return back to our “normal life” in the pandemic/endemic period, where people have returned to work in the office and socialize moderately,  there is a rising trend for  Malaysians to prefer takeaway than delivery nowadays. Here are the reasons.


Why Malaysians Prefer Takeaway Over Delivery

  1. Food on demand at the tip of our fingers!
  2. Saving both your tummy and your wallet!
  3. Additional Human Factor



IMPORTANT NOTE: For the following steps, some fingers and voice are required:

Step 1: “Hey google, Open Grab/Foodpanda App” / “Hey Siri, Open Grab/FoodPanda App”

Step 2: Open Grab/foodpanda app

Step 3: Pick your food from the list of restaurants

Step 4: Order and wait for delivery or to pick up takeaway.

It has become so convenient for us to order food that it just requires 4 steps and we don’t even have to use fingers for some of the steps! Comparing this to my recent experience of dining-in, I needed to wait in line to order food, grab the iconic “numbered cup” to place on my table, catch the attention of the lost staff who didn’t know where I was to finally be able to enjoy my steaming prawn noodles. 

With takeaways and delivery, we can enjoy having our favorite food minus all the unnecessary hassle. More and more retailers are having a more systematic way to order takeaways, rather than needing to call or message them privately, and wait for their reply to confirm the order. Both delivery and takeaway score the convenience point for customers. However, with the following 2 reasons, you know why Malaysians love takeaway food more.



90% of the time when we think of food, it’s usually when we’re hungry, and we’re all aware of the short time span before “hungry” turns into “hangry”! A few months back, I had to work till quite late due to a roadshow event happening in KL. I was a little occupied that time and wanted to focus on serving customers, so I decided to order via delivery for an A&W meal. I ordered and noted down the time the food was arriving and made nothing of it. 30 minutes later, I sat down with a growling stomach and was ready to receive the call from my driver only to realize it was delayed! I could’ve sworn I saw the estimated arrival at 9:35pm but when I checked then, it became 9:55pm! Can you guess what time I collected my food? 9:55pm? 10:00pm? 10:05pm? If you guessed 10:10pm instead, congratulations you’re right on the dot! By the time I got my food I was so hungry I finished it in 5 minutes only to have an upset stomach later. 

For all my readers, I strongly believe we’ve had at least one similar experience like this. Especially during one of those hectic work days where we need to make the most of every second we have! So we order delivery, count the time and pray it sticks to the time they set only for it to arrive late and for us to rush through it. For takeaway, we manage our own timing and pacing! We can not only preorder food and arrange timing to collect, we can also realistically estimate our tasks rather than leaving it to fate. To take it a step further, my meal that day cost RM 40 and the delivery itself cost RM 15, that’s almost half the money I paid for food! Takeaway negates not only the expensive delivery cost, but also the possibility of your driver taking the wrong turn and costing you more time. As such, takeaway truly saves both our tummy and our wallet!



Many of us have seen the horrors of being confined at our home, using our devices to connect with others and ordering food through delivery apps for a long period of time. As such many of us are delighted when we can finally meet up with our friends to “yum-cha” (hangout) or dine-in. Although it was comforting to see familiar faces and finally talking to the person instead of a screen, the dangers of contracting covid-19 was still present. So how do we enjoy the best of both worlds with the human touch and safety while also fitting into our busy schedule?

The answer is *insert drum roll here* Takeaway! Takeaway combines the convenience of delivery (but cheaper) with the ability to go to your favorite spot to listen to the makcik or auntie call you “lengzai”/”leng lui”. Furthermore, you won’t need to worry about ordering food only to find out 30 minutes later that the order was wrong! Takeaway provides us with the chance to check if our order is correct and instant changes if it is wrong. Although delivery apps have a customer support agent that you can contact, it is focused on helping you feel better through service and not the food. As the saying goes, “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness” To truly solve an upset heart from an unhappy stomach, is to feed it the food it wants!

That’s not all, as a self-proclaimed food enthusiast, I tend to order a lot. Sometimes I can finish it, other times I waste quite an amount of food. The time to order another batch of food with delivery takes even longer so it’s either order more and try to finish it or order less and try to deal with the hunger. Takeaway on the other hand requires us to go to the store to collect our food. By the time we collect our food, we may see some other food that we want to add on, and we can order straight away! 

As a Malaysian and a self-proclaimed lover of all foods, delivery will be the option whenever I feel lazy but takeaway will always be my first go-to method when it comes to ordering food! Who wouldn’t love being able to enjoy their food anywhere while saving cost, ensuring safety and having the additional human touch?

In this day of age, managing a F&B retail business requires us to always be alert to the fast changing consumer preferences, so we can make quick and informed decisions that address the needs and demands of the customers. Nevertheless, it was not an easy task to keep track of everything without the aid of an automation system. Interested in bringing your F&B business to the next level? Good news is, we do provide efficient solutions for your business. Feel free to reach out to Senwave, for the solutions to all your problems.