A regular day at the office begins with ordering coffee. This means picking up the phone, dialing the number of one of those fancy cafes and making an order. Thirty minutes later, you will have either steaming-hot or freezing-cold coffee, depending on your order, delivered to your doorstep. It is that easy. At midday, when stomachs start to rumble, this is taken as a clear sign for lunch. There are whole websites dedicated to restaurant deliveries, where you can browse menus of different cuisines. Then, you pick up the phone and make an order. An hour later, your lunch arrives.
If you forget your medicine at home and you find yourself sick at the office, you can phone your favourite pharmacy (they all deliver) and have your medicine arrive swiftly to you. No need to brave the sweltering streets and traffic. The lack of prescriptions makes it easy. The same goes for supermarkets, whether they are small stores or huge chains, they all know that Egyptians demand delivery.
Delivery is so important, it has its own job category. The person who operates the delivery scooter is called tayaar, which loosely translates to pilot. It also alludes to the speed of the scooter, which seems to “fly” from one place to another as it zips through the crazy streets of Cairo.
While online stores have become abundant in Egypt, the one thing they share with the phone delivery service is that all of them offer cash-upon-delivery as a payment option, which competes with the already established delivery services; most Egyptians are not a fan of credit cards.
While Egyptians take it for granted, the rest of the world, sadly, does not have the same delivery fetish that we do. In certain places, the only thing you can have delivered is pizza. Egyptians laugh at this, since here you can have caviar and Ben and Jerry’s come to your door and even knock on it.
However, the latest twist to the delivery saga is that, surprisingly, you can now order home appliances by phone. The Olympic Group has upgraded its customer services to accept phone orders. We called to make sure that the rumours are true. The customer service agent did not hesitate: “Yes, we do accept phone orders,” he said enthusiastically. He added that prices are the same as the ones in the showroom and there are no extra fees for delivery.
You can browse their website and make the order or even ask the customer services agent about available models. Whether it is a fridge or a washing machine, they claim they will deliver it in two days to anywhere in Cairo, and you pay upon delivery. So, if you thought that delivery services in Egypt could not develop any further, you are sadly mistaken. No one knows what the future may hold.