After a successful year in Indonesia since its pilot kicked off in September 2018, GrabFood is now expanding GrabKitchen, its network of cloud kitchens, to Thailand and Vietnam.
The launches in the two countries make GrabFood now the largest operator of cloud kitchens in Southeast Asia, with 20 “live” kitchens.
GrabKitchens will also be coming to Singapore and the Philippines, and it’s likely to happen as soon as this year.
According to their press statement, GrabFood wants to launch more than 50 kitchens across five markets by the end of 2019.
GrabKitchens are delivery-only cloud kitchens that gather multiple F&B brands in one place to provide lower operational costs, much like those run by other food delivery firms Deliveroo and Foodpanda.
Grab says their kitchens will be “strategically located to bridge consumer demand and availability of food selections, while reducing the time for food delivery”.
We first heard about Grab’s interest in setting up a physical kitchen in Singapore in April.
While their model appears to be no different from competitors’, GrabFood is banking on rapid expansion to give them an edge when they become “the only truly regional food delivery platform with the largest footprint”.
Head of GrabFood Lim Kell Jay said they are seeing GrabKitchen as a “solution that empowers [their] merchants to expand and grow”, and a key growth opportunity for the firm.
Grab has declined to share more about their plans for GrabKitchens in Singapore at the moment.
Bringing More Food Innovations To The Table
The regional expansion of GrabKitchen comes as the GrabFood business is rapidly growing across Southeast Asia.
Between June 2018 and June 2019, GrabFood’s gross merchandise value reportedly (GMV) grew by 900%, along with delivery volume growing by seven times across its six markets.
In Singapore, the firm has been focusing heavily on creating more specialised offerings for GrabFood users, beyond just food delivery.
They’ve tapped on the local hawker culture to set up five Hawker Hubs as consolidated collection points around the island.
With this addition, a selection of 70 popular hawker stalls, which typically see long queues, are able to prepare a set amount of orders in advance and send them to GrabFood’s Hawker Hubs daily.
Customers can then order them straight from the Hawker Hubs during fixed lunch and dinner timings (until they’re sold out), to avoid waiting for long periods to receive their food.
Grab is also moving onto food subscriptions with the launch of their ‘GrabPay DealBook: Gourmet Tribe Edition’, offering users 100 1-for-1 dining deals at restaurants around Singapore.
Soon, they will be rolling out a unique subscription plan for bubble tea lovers to get discounts and vouchers at shops like LiHo, Gong Cha and iTea.
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