OPER + GrubGo: The New Postmates?

Logo-300x103A few months ago, I wrote about a new food delivery service in St. Louis called Postmates. It’s Uber for restaurant food–you can order from any restaurant, and Postmates will pick it up and deliver it to you for a fee. I continue to use Postmates from time to time, but the delivery fee usually makes the food too expensive unless I’m with a bigger group of people.

Recently I was contacted by a new food-payment service in St. Louis called OPER (Order Pay Earn Redeem) about trying their service. I’ve now used it once at a restaurant with a representative of OPER, followed by three attempts at delivery (two successful).

The basic idea behind OPER is that it’s a payment platform. Instead of paying with a credit card or cash, you pay with OPER. You load up your account via a credit card or bank account, and when you spend money, you earn cash back to spend in the future.

I had some money in my OPER account after the initial signup (you can start with $10 if you use the promo code “fUkUiFk4”), but I found myself hesitant to use it in restaurants. When you do that, the waiter has to use a special tablet given to them by OPER. I’ve waited tables in the past, and when you’re running around trying to juggle a dozen different things, the last thing you want is another level of complexity to your job. I didn’t want to cause the server any extra hassle.

However, OPER seemed pretty awesome for food delivery, especially after they paired with a new delivery startup called GrubGo. I’ve used that a few times, and it’s great. Granted, it doesn’t have the visual appeal of Postmates (you get to watch the driver on a map as he picks up and delivers your food), but it’s seamlessly integrated into OPER. The restaurant selection is pretty thin, but I discovered a fantastic burger place called Layla. Every burger is two meals’ worth of food.

The one catch is that I really don’t like that I have to load money into OPER in big chunks ($20 or more). I just want to spend the exact amount of money I need to spend at any given time–no more, no less. I understand that OPER’s system is built around avoiding lots of little credit card transactions, so I’m not sure there’s a fix for that.

Have you used any services like OPER? What do you think?