F&B

Deliveroo GM: Grab-Uber Merger "A Huge Opportunity" To Gain Stronger Foothold Here

Singaporeans are definitely not spoilt for choice when it comes to food.

With the entrance of food delivery services, enjoying our favourite food has become so much more convenient.

Before companies like foodpanda, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and more recently, honestbee, pizza joints and McDonald’s were the only places we knew delivered food.

Since Uber has been acquired by Grab, we know that Uber Eats will become GrabFood by next month.

While one bites the dust and the other takes its place, it seems consumers aren’t likely to be affected by this change as the number of food delivery services stay the same.

But what does this mean for food delivery services themselves?

We asked Siddharth Shanker, General Manager of Deliveroo Singapore, on their plans following the news.

Initial Reactions And Present Plans

Siddharth Shanker, General Manager of Deliveroo Singapore / Image Credit: e27

“Rumours of the announcement had been around for a while before it broke, so it did not come as a big surprise to us,” Siddharth said.

They had made contingency plans prior to the announcement and were ready for it, according to him, and added that this is a “huge opportunity for Deliveroo” to progress, “even as [their] rivals sell up and move out”.

Currently, Siddharth said they “will continue to invest and expand in Singapore over the next few years”.

He believes brands that are flourishing in Singapore’s extremely competitive food delivery industry are those that focus fully on food, and this is Deliveroo’s positioning in the market.

Since launching here more than two years ago, Deliveroo has shown good yearly growth with an increasing network of partners, riders, and customers, he shared.

He credits Deliveroo’s “expertise” to its technology (named ‘Frank’ – more on that later) that decreases delivery time for riders and customers, and “sharing data” with restaurants so they can innovate new dishes to create “more demand”.

Siddharth said that they will take this chance to “gain a stronger foothold in the industry”, understanding that “this is a period of uncertainty for restaurants as well as riders” and the size of the shoes they have to fill in.

But he expressed confidence in Deliveroo’s growth in Singapore, stating that they can meet the rising needs of consumers in the upcoming months.

“We will offer the best selection and the best prices. […] To restaurants and riders, our message is clear: you can rely on us, we are a certain partner in uncertain times and we will deliver the results you deserve.”

How Deliveroo Intends To Deliver

Image Credit: Deliveroo Singapore

One of their latest investments in their expansion “into new territories [and] new innovations” is Deliveroo Editions, its “delivery-only kitchen concept”.

It lets customers order food that were previously not available in their area, while helping restaurants save on investing in a new space just to reach these customers and at the same time, not compromising on the quality of their food.

“New Ubin Seafood saw its revenue from Deliveroo increase by 600% within the first three months of joining Editions, whilst the success of VIOS by Blu Kouzina (550% increase in revenue) led them to open a new burger concept and other virtual menus from the same centralised kitchen,” Siddharth said.

He introduced ‘Frank’, the technology mentioned earlier, which is an algorithm that predicts and refines their operational processes.

“Since coming online in early 2017, the algorithm has already helped improve delivery time for meals by 15% and is making Singapore one of the most efficient Deliveroo markets globally,” he said.

“For Deliveroo’s 3,500 restaurants in Singapore, Frank has significant benefits, with machine learning predicting the preparation time of each meal based on the specific order and time of day, helping to streamline the experience from order to restaurant to customer.”

This allowed restaurants to save nine minutes of preparation time each meal.

He added that because of that, “[Riders] working on the fully flexible fee per delivery model can now complete more deliveries per session as they travel with food for an average of just six minutes, allowing them to make more money in the same time.”

Siddharth believes their “heavy investment in technology” has created something that “competitors cannot copy overnight”, giving them an edge over them.

On whether Deliveroo will make itself present in the markets GrabFood is in, he only said that they “go to great lengths to understand the customers and complexities of each market [they] enter”.

Deliveroo is currently available in 12 markets and Siddharth said he is “confident” they will continue to expand and offer opportunities for riders, restaurants, and customers.

The 12 markets are the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.

Siddharth did not reveal any plans to strike an exclusive partnership with restaurants or merchants similar to the Uber Eats and McDonald’s deal, and only reiterated the fact that Deliveroo connects major restaurants like Crystal Jade and Boon Tong Kee to consumers.

“After this rapid expansion, we look forward to many more exciting partnerships to ensure that customers have the widest possible food choices available to them,” he said.

Deliveroo has also lowered delivery fee from $3.50 to $3 for lunch and dinner.

The minimum order amounts, which used to be $12.50 for lunch and $18 for dinner, are now lowered to a flat fee of $12.

Siddharth promised that they will continue to lower the minimum order amount “if [they] are able to sustainably drive costs down”.

A second Deliveroo Editions is due to open in Singapore later this month, but there was no mention of where it’ll be.

“Our second site will incorporate key learnings from our first site with lower operating costs, improved delivery and prep timings through smart data,” he explained.

“We are continually expanding our restaurant selection and customers can look forward to new food choices all around.”

Featured Image Credit: Deliveroo Singapore

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