Concierge Services See More Demand from Singaporeans

News

11 Sep 2017

Concierge services see more demand from Singaporeans

An increasing number of busy Singaporeans are paying for concierge services that can help them with an assortment of tasks.

These range from repairs and gardening, to online shopping and even surprising partners with a birthday cake when they are out of the country and unable to do so themselves.

About 15 firms in Singapore offer such services. Most of the industry players The Straits Times spoke to said their clients tend to be in their 30s and 40s. While most firms said the bulk of their business comes from expatriates, there are some with a 50-50 mix.

Personal Concierge & Property Management, which has been around for seven years, has seen a 15 per cent rise in business since January. The proportion of Singaporeans making use of its services has risen from 2 per cent two years ago to 20 per cent as of the end of last year.

Founder Erieanna Tan, 35, said most of her clients are upper-middle or high-income professionals, including Singaporeans based overseas who want to check in on friends and family here. One man asked her to deliver a watch, necklace and “piping hot” bird’s nest soup with no sugar to his elderly parents. A woman in her 30s wanted cake, donuts and a personal message delivered to her boyfriend when she was abroad. Each errand cost over $100.

Clients in Singapore generally ask for help with running errands. Health business owner Mindy Yong, 39, has been getting Ms Tan to take her designer bags to shops for cleaning and repairs. This sets Ms Yong back about $100 each time, excluding the servicing cost of the bags.

Mr Melvin Lee, 29, co-founder of A Winsome Life which has been offering errands-running services since 2013, said his 35 customers this year ranged from Singaporeans in their 20s studying abroad, to middle-aged busy professionals.

Acknowledging that the industry is “new” and “isn’t that mature yet” in Singapore, he said one of the draws of his service is that much of it is ad hoc. Surprising a girlfriend with flowers would set someone back about $70. “Customers don’t have a commitment to say, ‘I need to employ you regularly’,” said Mr Lee.

Another firm, Butler In Suits, has been offering apartment residents a personalised “housekeeping and home management service” since September last year. It offers round-the-clock concierge services for home repairs and maintenance, as part of a housekeeping package.

Its founder and chief executive Poon Da Qian, 24, said a team of housekeeping staff clean homes to a “hotel” standard. They also offer a laundry service for an extra fee.

Butler In Suits has over 200 clients, of whom 15 per cent are local. For daily housekeeping services, they pay a subscription fee of $330 a month for studio to two-room apartments and $440 a month for three-to four-room apartments.

Associate Professor Sharon Ng, from Nanyang Technological University’s Marketing and International Business Division, said: “Young Singaporeans nowadays are time-starved. As they try to balance time for work and other lifestyle pursuits, outsourcing errands or getting people to help with planning an event is one way they can manage the varying demands of life.”

 

Butler in Suits Helps Busy Millennials Outsource Home Management, and Its Founder is Only 24 Years Old​

News
28 March 2017

Butler In Suits helps busy millennials outsource home management, and its founder is only 24 years old

Singapore millennials are a lucky lot. The advent of on-demand services has made the mundane and everyday tasks much simpler to manage. For example, I can’t remember the last time I actually hailed a cab along the road.

It may seem like entrepreneurs have left no stone unturned in their bid to tether age-old laborious chores to an app. To book a cab or coach, use Grab; for groceries, there’s honestbee; spring cleaning too much work? Helping can assist; for food delivery, use UberEATS.

But for 24-year old entrepreneur Poon Da Qian, these on-demand services are no guarantor of quality — at least, with regard to house cleaning services.

“I couldn’t stand the inconsistent quality of cleaners that was supplied by on-demand cleaning services that require my presence at home and pay to watch a freelancer cleaner work ‘slowly’,” says Poon. Managing too many on-demand apps and different appointments was a also a sore point.

At the same time, Poon says he could not hire a maid because his home did not have a spare room to house one.

Now, it may seem that the obvious solution to this quandary is: quit whining and do the damn chores yourself.

But millennials, he says, are usually busy with “work, life, and social media” and so, household chores are usually at the end of the to-do queue. As a result, weekends, which are usually reserved for relaxing and doing fun things, are spent scrubbing the sink or vacuuming the floor. And if you have a family to raise, this problem is exacerbated.

“Millennials have smaller homes and busy lifestyles these days. And if you hire an expensive maid, you sacrifice privacy, and there are other liabilities that come with it,” says Poon.

To tackle this pain point, Poon has launched called Butler In Suits, a millennial-oriented home management service, designed for smaller apartment-style homes.

Home management

Butler In Suits strives to differentiate itself from the glut of home service startups by integrating different services on one platform. Its “butlers” do more than just cleaning; they can pick up the mail, buy grocery, and also collect the mail. Customers are not required to be at home while the butler goes about their business.

Leaving the keys to your home to total strangers may sound risky, but Poon assures me that every butler is thoroughly vetted. 

“We hire trustworthy individuals who have prior experience in the hospitality industry or a graduate from hospitality courses, and we have a stringent hiring process in place and train them with home management and the hospitality best practices,” says Poon.

“We have our in-house training and guidelines to ensure a standard operating procedure for the job done across all types of homes, such as general tidiness and placement standards, as well as prohibitions that we enforce, such as not moving furnishings or do tasks that might involve risk of damage or injury,” he adds.

Cheaper?

Butler In Suits works on a subscription-based model. Users can select from three packages: 1 visit per week at S$240 (US$172)/month; 2 visits per week at S$440 (US$315)/month; and 3 visits per week at $600 (US$430)/month.

Poon says all customers will receive a S$1 million (US$717,000) insurance for their house during the time the service is carried out.

He did not specify how many hours each visit would take up, but it includes all four services.

When I point out that this may be a little exorbitant for the average millennial, Poon says subscribing to Butler In Suits is cheaper than hiring a maid.

“Butler In Suits is less than 20 per cent of what it cost to hire a traditional domestic helper which is an estimated, after living expenses, S$1200 (US$860)/month minimum,” he says.

Though, of course, a domestic maid will also feed the kids (if any), look after them on family trips, walk the dog, cook the meals, and more. So, it’s unlikely Butler In Suits will ever replace maids or nannies.

Rather, it is more suited for the childless couple or single yuppie who are tight-on-time. Essentially, Butler In Suits is a service that goes in between the domestic maid and on-demand helper sector.

Poon says Butler In Suits will partner with other on-demand services to provide more versatile offerings.

“I see the future of startups will be an interconnected ecosystem through API, where vertical startups can partner with horizontal startups such as Butler In Suits to provide the end user with a better, more convenient, and affordable lifestyle,” he says.

Butler In Suits currently has 15 customers on board, with a monthly recurring revenue stream of S$3,600 (US$2,580). It is looking to raise a seed round of S$100,000 (US$72,000) for 10 per cent equity.

But the most burning question that should be addressed is this: Do Butler In Suits’s butlers actually wear suits?

Poon says they used to rotate between wearing suits and casual shirts because of Singapore’s hot and humid weather, but eventually got wiser and just stuck to shirts.

 

This Startup Helps Lazy Singaporeans with Household Chores

News

20 Sep 2017

This Startup Helps Lazy Singaporeans with Household Chores

 

We Singaporeans are busy people. To make matters worse, a lot of us are real lazy too. All too often, we’re trapped in the never-ending cycle of work commitments, social media notifications, and daily tasks, with the latter more often than not being ignored. Our lives are a classic case of so many things to do, so little time.
That’s where Butler In Suits comes in. The startup, founded by 24 year-old Poon Da Qian, is basically a tech-enabled housekeeping subscription service that promises to transform your home into a 5-star hotel, by providing on-demand services like housekeeping, laundry, and concierge services.

How does it work? Well, that’s really simple. After registering an account, all you’ve got to do is cough up either a weekly or monthly fee that varies according to your household size, and Butler In Suits will take care of the rest, whether it’s collecting your mail, doing your laundry, or even getting your groceries done.
For example.
Before Butler In Suits:

After Butler In Suits:

You’ll get menial stuff like that done, all without lifting a finger. It’s every busy person’s (or couch potato’s) dream come true.
Gadgets like robot vacuums will be installed in your home to clean it automatically on a daily basis as a sort of value-add, while the “butlers” will handle the rest themselves as part of a 50 points housekeeping checklist.

There’s just one slight caveat though.
As customers aren’t required to stay at home while the service is being undertaken, house keys will have to be left with one of the butlers, which sounds pretty risky at first, although Poon has previously stressed that every staff member is thoroughly vetted via a “stringent hiring process”, so your house will be in safe hands.
Check out their rates below:

If all that is fine and dandy with you, then well, you can finally say goodbye to doing your chores. Or, you could just learn to be responsible for once and get them done yourself. Whatever your choice is, Butler In Suits won’t be going away anytime soon.

The Busy Man’s Household Chore Solution

News

5 July 2017

The Busy Man's Household Chore Solution

If you’re anything like us, you tend to procrastinate the household chores until it becomes too unbearably dirty or until a strange scent starts wafting through your pad. And while there are other home management solutions out there such as Helpling and Honestbee, which does cleaning and grocery shopping respectively, there is no one-stop-fits-all solution. Until now, that is. Butler In Suits is the brainchild of Poon Da Qian and purports to do everything from grocery shopping and cleaning your house to picking up your mail.

Poon is a serial entrepreneur. At 15, he helped his mum to manage the F&B business that his dad left behind after passing away, and expanded it to 10 outlets and 40 employees. He started a cafe that expanded to three outlets in two years that ended after he was conscripted into National Service. Even while he was serving, he started a luxury hotel review website that covered over 200 luxury hotels in Asia. 

Butler In Suits started when Poon was searching “through the laundry basket for a pair of socks and a shirt that still had to be ironed”. It was then that he had this eureka moment. “What if I could have someone do all these for me automatically and professionally? What if, instead of managing my home for an entire day, I could spend this time doing the things I wanted instead?” Poon recalled.

And if you’re worried about leaving your home in the care of a stranger, Poon reassures us that every butler is thoroughly vetted and every subscriber will receive a $1 million insurance for their house in the event of damages or anything else untoward that arises.

We sit down with Poon to find out more about Butler In Suits.

What are the pain points that you discovered while researching this idea and how does Butler In Suits solve them?

From our research, we found out that on average, singles and married couples in Singapore spend at least eight hours every week managing their homes and completing chores like laundry, groceries, and cleaning. Butler In Suits helps our subscribers save more than 14 hours every week. We achieve this by combining human expertise with technology.

Our in-house trained home managers are assigned to weekly home visits, while time-consuming tasks like laundry and groceries are automated by our backend systems. We also install robot vacuums in our subscribers’ homes, which operate for at least an hour daily. Through these processes, we are able to optimise and automate the home management process for our subscribers.

How is Butler In Suits different from the other grocery + cleaning services out there already in the market?

Butler In Suits is the only comprehensive home management subscription service in Singapore. We fully automate the process of cleaning, grocery, and laundry, making it hassle-free for our subscribers, allowing them to spend more time doing the things they love. 

Other services, on the other hand, will require you to go through a lengthy process to get your laundry or grocery shopping done. For example, you will have to log in, choose what you want, add to cart, place the order, schedule, and wait for your items to be delivered. All this could add up to an unnecessarily large amount of time – considering that you would have to do this multiple times each month.

Okay, what’s the one-minute pitch?

We are currently servicing Singapore island wide. Our service usually appeals to professionals seeking a better lifestyle. With Butler In Suits managing their homes, they can now spend their free time doing the things they want. They will also return back to a home that’s been made up for them with everything stocked and cleaned, and all laundries done and pressed.

What are the plans you have? What does the customer get?

We have three plans for different sizes of homes.

1. The $240/month plan comes with one visit every week for one- to three-bedroom apartments.

2. The $440/month plan comes with two visits every week for three- to five-bedroom apartments.

3. The $600/month plan comes with three visits every week for apartments with five rooms and above.

On average, each visit will be around one to 1.5 hours. As a progressive service, we are able to deliver time savings via the combination of robot vacuums, professional home managers, as well as powerful backend processes that are able to seamlessly handle the laundry and grocery demands of our subscribers.

You’re not wearing a suit.

When I initially started Butler In Suits in 2016, I actually wanted to have our home managers visit our customers’ homes wearing suits, hence the name Butler In Suits. However, that didn’t go well with Singapore’s hot and humid weather! (laughs)

Poon Da Qian, Founder & CEO of Butler in Suits

News

29 May 2017

Poon Da Qian, Founder & CEO of Butler In Suits

Inspired by his parents and early introduction into managing a family business, Poon Da Qian set up Butler In Suits, a professional home management service for busy professionals.

What’s your story?
I started my entrepreneurship journey at the age of 15 helping my mum manage the daily affairs of the family F&B business. My father passed away from cancer when I was 15, leaving behind the family business. As the only elder son in the family, it was my duty to help. By the time I turned 18, I was managing over 10 outlets and over 40 employees. I then went on to start my own F&B business at 18 and expanded it to 3 outlets before ending the venture after receiving my letter for enlistment to the army.
During my time with the army I started a hotel review website as a hobby, and with its popularity combined with the referral programme of a last minute hotel booking app, I was able to visit over 200 luxury hotels in Asia and gain insightful knowledge on hospitality management.
After the army, my mum retired and started managing our house affairs. I had a domestic helper for most of my life and I never worried about finding clothes for example. However that all changed when my mum took over and often I had to visit the laundry basket to find the right clothing before leaving the house. It was then I had a ‘eureka moment’ and Butler In Suits, a home management service was born.

What excites you most about your industry?
We help our customers elevate their lifestyle by managing their homes better for them. It’s exciting to see our customers’ lifestyles improve after using Butler In Suits, home management service.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and grew up in Singapore, I am also a frequent traveller and often travel throughout Asia. My grandparents were immigrants who from China and moved to Hong Kong and my parents migrated from Hong Kong to Singapore. Having relatives in major economies in Asia, allowed me to better understand the culture and social behaviour of each society.

 

 

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I believe Singapore is the best country to start a business. With a mature economy and well structured support and legislation, there is no better place in Asia to start a business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A friend of mine once told me to do things that serve a purpose and can help people improve their lives or make an impact on their lives.

Who inspires you?
My mum inspired me to work hard, because the amount of blood, sweat and tears she went through managing the business after my dad’s passing is unimaginable and to still be able to be a strong woman and keep the business and family together is amazing. That is what keeps me motivated.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I was recently blown away by reading the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel. I grew up reading Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and being Asian, our history had been one’s and zero’s. It’s either winning, or losing. However, after reading Peter Thiel’s book, I became aware of how being cohesive can bring prosperity for all.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
No. I am very privileged to be working on things bigger than myself, and if I had the time again, I wouldn’t do things differently.

How do you unwind?
By watching shows such as “The Blacklist”, or heading to the museum to be inspired.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’d recommend Beijing for the history and culture. I always enjoy the “greatness” that the city has, now and in the past. If there’s a place that can expand your horizon, it’s Beijing.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Shameless plug for your business:
Butler In Suits is a professional home management service that helps home owners manage their home better by getting their mail, cleaning, laundry and groceries done conveniently and affordably.

How can people connect with you?
I can be reached on LinkedIn
www.Linkedin.com/in/poondaqian

Twitter handle?
@poondaqian

How to Win at Bringing the Butler Service to Singapore

News

5 May 2017

How to Win at Bringing the Butler Service to Singapore

The eureka moment for Poon Da Qian, founder of Singapore’s Butler in Suits, happened at the laundry basket. Before he left every day, he found himself having to visit the laundry basket to search for the right pair of socks.

He says, “It got me thinking, ‘What if there was something that can help me get such repetitive tasks done conveniently so I will never have to worry about them anymore?’”

The idea for Butler in Suits, a home management subscription service, was born. At around 20% the cost of a traditional helper, professional home managers, or butlers, can collect your mail on each visit, clean your apartment, do your laundry, and do grocery shopping. The cost of the service starts at $240 per month.

Qian says they target single or married homeowners, which they acquire through a combination of online marketing, offline flyer distribution, and word of mouth.  

Unlike an SMS-based personal concierge service—an idea Qian toyed with prior to Butler in Suits—this start-up has much more product focus.

The decision to narrow Qian’s product came upon the advice of Chi-Kai Huang of JFDI. He also told Qian to develop a product that falls within his domain expertise.    

“The job to be done (JTBD) of our service is to ultimately allow you to return to a professionally managed home with everything done with mails collected, apartment cleaned, laundry washed and folded, and groceries and amenities purchased and stocked,” Qian says.

 

Trust issues and bottlenecks

The success of Butler in Suits hinges on the extent to which people are able to trust the butlers, hence the company has stringent policies in place.

In addition to paying butlers a salary that is above the market rate and giving them incentives, Butler in Suits puts them through a background check and a hiring process that vets them for culture fit.

“We also have an extensive 3 weeks training programme for our new home managers to ensure they are well trained to help our customers elevate their home lifestyle,” Qian says.

Customers were initially reluctant to turn over their keys to the company.

“We overcame it through educating our customers of our processes that includes training, security, and insurance in place to ‘firewall’ and minimize the likelihood of security incidents,” he says, noting that the approach has made users much more comfortable.

Another alternative is that Butler in Suits can allow prospective users to supervise their butlers and their service for a period of time. “Subsequently, when our trustworthiness to our customers is proven, our customers than can hand us their keys to help them manage their homes automatically,” he says.

Even if Butler in Suits had cracked the formula for getting users to trust their butlers, home management is still a big issue. Qian says the biggest bottleneck in Butler in Suits is how quickly their home managers can service their customers. The company is currently looking for ways to make it easier and more convenient for butlers to perform their four tasks.

Qian realizes that many other entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia may want to get in on the peer economy, and he had plenty of advice for them.

“My advice will be to identify a purposeful problem that needs to be solved, either through incremental innovation or radical innovation, and address that need by making the experience of the end user better,” he says.

“Also, a key takeaway is always to keep your customers happy. Keep in mind that a happy customer brings many transactions, and a service-less transaction only brings one-time customers,” he concludes.

This S’pore Startup Sends ‘Butlers’ to Your Home Every Week – Promises to Save You 8 Hrs on Chores

News

This S'pore Startup Sends 'Butlers' to Your Home Every Week - Promises To Save You 8 Hrs On Chores

You read about how cleaning startup Agentbong faced problems with unreasonable customers.

Undeniably, we can be pretty demanding especially for on-demand services, which is why this new home management startup is using an interesting approach.

Their home managers leave behind cards with handwritten messages where home owners can also leave replies. This revived the traditional penpal nostalgia, and creates a friendly relationship between Home Managers and home owners.

 

The Butler In Suits

Unlike their name, the staff do not call themselves butlers. Neither do they wear suits, as they had “wised up to the weather and switched to shirts“.

Home Managers aim to cover all the bases, from cleaning to laundry and even mailbox collection. By using their service, home owners can save 8 hours a week on chores and 20% of a full-time maid’s cost.

The startup is designed to be horizontal so they “can plug-and-play any company and offer their services on the platform.”

“Our laundry for wash and fold will be always at a cost-centric operation amount of $2.50/kg which is uncontested and even cheaper than operating your own machine at home. We also have a price guarantee for groceries at retail or below.”

An extra level of security for home owners is a S$1 million insurance set in place. This helps to protect the service standard as well as any damages to property.

Just to clarify, Butler In Suits is not an on-demand startup, so here are their monthly rates.

 

Head Butler

Butler in Suits was founded by serial entrepreneur Poon Da Qian who, having had a maid his entire life, realised that his home was a mess without one.

“I foresaw myself being stuck in the future. A maid is costly, and can be disruptive to the home. There are 14 on-demand cleaning startups here – everyone is in a perfect competition. Plus they are freelancers, the quality may not be great.”

“I wanted something convenient, of quality and affordable […] so I came up with Butler In Suits.”

 

 

An entrepreneur since 15, Da Qian came from an F&B background.

“After my dad had passed away from cancer, and we were managing 10 outlets and 40 staffs across Singapore. At its peak we were given an exit option, but we were so attached to my father’s legacy that we passed.”

As he accumulated hospitality experience over 9 years, he started TehHero, a premium concierge service inspired by USA’s Magic.

“After 2 weeks, I realised the pain of an on-demand model. The core modus operandi focuses on getting the next transaction rather than the next customer. This makes it vulnerable to competition, as the barrier of entry is easy to replicate.”

“At 24, I may not have as strong a network as my peers. but I believe my experience taught me to know what customers truly need – convenience, quality, and affordability. F&B also gave me a pragmatic approach to business models and the quick thinking ability to filter bad calls through logical risk assessments.”

 

A Home Manager Career

Home Managers are ideally hospitality graduates and have to go through 3 weeks of in-house training.

“Consistency is very important. So that even if the Home Manager is substituted, the standard is the same,” shares Da Qian.

These Managers are also paid above market rates at $2.5k, up from the $1.6-2k from hotels or startups. According to Da Qian, this motivates them to a good job.

The startup is enjoying growth, Da Qian shares. They currently limit themselves to 15 customers as he wants to ensure that they can manage it. But Da Qian reveals that they are well on track to hit 125 by end-2017.

“As a firm believer in the ground-up experience, we are constantly on a lookout for talented home managers to climb up the chain of command. Ultimately [we hope to] give an opportunity for our employees to have their dream career, where we emphasise on purposeful work, welfare and social causes.”

 

Value-Adding Home Management

We do not wish to disrupt, but value-add to the 3 options of home management: full-time and  part-time helpers and DIY home management,” Da Qian shares.

“By having a new option for a category called home management for the ecosystem, [we seek] to become the leader.”

To find out more about their services, you can check out the Butler In Suits website and Facebook page here.

Finally, credits to SK Wong of Mirastar for her help.

The On-demand Economy Doesn’t Want You to Grow Up

News

29 Mar 2017

The On-demand Economy Doesn’t Want You to Grow Up

In Singapore, there’s a general understanding that we never truly grow up until we leave the nest. For most of us, this happens after marriage when we move into our first homes. Things start off hard, but eventually, we learn what doesn’t belong in the laundry. We learn to actually enjoy vacuuming and mopping.

As adults, we basically learn to compromise. We realise that we can’t do or have everything. We understand the importance of prioritising: family time, wine time, career time. Everything finds its place.

This, at least, is what’s supposed to happen. But what if it didn’t?

Singapore-based Butler in Suits is the latest home management app looking to cash in on the on-demand economy. Its CEO, 24 year-old Poon Da Qian, told e27 that the app goes beyond connecting you with house cleaning services. Its ‘butlers,’ he said, can even buy food, make trips to the supermarket, and collect your mail.

Most importantly, Butler in Suits guarantees quality. Unlike ‘other services’ that require your presence at home to oversee the work, Poon’s service providers are completely trustworthy.

Which is all fine. Yet I wonder, how many of us are really too busy to even collect our own mail?

The on-demand economy has given us apps like Uber and GRAB. They save us time and keep unnecessary frustrations at bay. But for others that facilitate non-essential conveniences, do they truly improve our lives?

the bulk of us over-estimate how busy we really are; we never learn to hold ourselves accountable for the ways in which we waste our own time

Poon argues that millennials today are busier than ever. From working longer hours to the time spent on social media, there’s always something to do. Chores take up time that could be better spent doing something else.

While some of us are genuinely busy raising families and running companies, the truth is that the bulk of us over-estimate how busy we really are. We spend inordinate amounts of time on social media and checking our notifications. We do these things between doing everything else, and over time, they agitate us and slow us down, eventually adding to the sense that there’s never enough time to get things done.

What we then perceive as being busy, is really just distraction. It’s no surprise since we’re constantly being bombarded by digital stimulus. Consequently, we start making excuses for the things we now find too exhausting or time-consuming. We never learn to do the adult thing, which is to hold ourselves accountable for the ways in which we waste our own time.

I mean, let’s face it. How many of us spend the first moments of waking up every morning on Instagram when we could be making breakfast instead?

Services like Butler in Suits then become a way of dodging responsibilities, not dealing with them. If you already spending too much time on Facebook and Netflix, re-claiming chore time will just see you spending even more time on Facebook and Netflix.

If you already lack discipline and believe yourself to be busier than you really are, more free time won’t equate to time used in a meaningful way.

it’s worth asking: do these apps make us better people?

The problem is that apps like these make it easy for us to remain in a state of perpetual adolescence. They provide easy solutions so we never have to think about the importance of duty or compromise.

“But what if I want to be useless?” you might counter. What if you just want someone to do your shit so you can spend more time playing video games?

That’s fine. But is this who you really want to be? In its own subjective way, companies like Butler in Suits do improve our lives. They remove, for a fee, obstacles we don’t want to deal with on our own.

All the same, it’s worth asking: do these apps make us better people?

Food delivery services, for instance, have their place. Yet many young couples resort to them on a regular basis out of sheer inertia. Instead of walking to a coffee shop nearby, they settle for soggy, lukewarm meals at inflated prices.

Does the net convenience of having something brought directly to them now allow for more time with their parents or learning something new?

Well, we all know the answer to that.