Wednesday 18 September 2019 ,
Wednesday 18 September 2019 ,
Latest News
  • Nursing education to be upgraded: PM
  • Open your eyes: UN envoy to Suu Kyi
  • Trump to meet Imran, Modi for talks focusing on Kashmir
  • Bangladesh to seek expeditious global efforts to resolve Rohingya crisis
  • Dhaka ranks 7th worst in Air Quality Index
  • 536 new dengue patients hospitalised in 24 hrs: DGHS
26 May, 2019 12:40:23 AM
Print

Feasting with food delivery apps in Ramadan

FAISAL MAHMUD, Dhaka
Feasting with food delivery apps in Ramadan

The much-awaited May rains have arrived in Dhaka. Tanish Islam, an accomplished professional, has taken a day off from work to watch the showers from the balcony of his high-rise apartment in Dhanmondi around 11pm. The sweet smell of drenched earth suddenly evokes in him a deep craving for hot peajus. But Iftar is over and there has been no leftover. Only a year or two ago, such a craving for food would have died a quiet death. But not now!

Tanish simply whips out his phone and taps on two food delivery apps—Sohoz and Pathao—to find a restaurant selling peajus nearby.  A box of piping hot peajus arrives at his doorstep within 40 mins. It's time now for him to savour the fritters and watch the rain-soaked city from the balcony.

For urban consumers like Tanish, a group which is increasing almost in a geometric prograssion, food delivery apps have become a necessity.

Currently, five food delivery apps—Foodpanda, Hungrynai, Pathao, Sohoz and Ubereats—doing steady businesses in the city. They are usually in business right from the morning to 11pm. But they have extended their work hours from lunch to the pre-dawn meal of Sehri during the holy month.

With consumerism picking up ironically in this month of forbearance, restaurants have come up with several offers on both Iftar and Sehri. Teaming up with these restaurants, the delivery apps are also offering attractive discounts to lure customers.

Tareq Abdullah, a city resident, thinks these delivery apps are being popular because of the convenience factor rather than discounts. “We know the traffic situation during Ramadan. It usually takes me an hour and a half to reach my home in Azimpur from my office in Motijheel. Since I live alone here with no family, I don’t bother to cook any food home on most days. Three hours of commuting every day leaves no juice in me to venture out outside and buy Iftar food. So, the best option for me is to get food delivered to my home,” he explained.

“Even though the food delivery apps are there for only the last couple of years, I can’t imagine my life without them now,” he added.

Increased demand during Ramadan        

Talking with The Independent, Hussain Ilias, co-founder and CEO of Pathao, said their food delivery business has shot up by a straight 30 per cent during Ramadan.

“A big reason behind the increased orders through our app is that we cover a whole gamut of restaurants—from the fancy ones to the ones hidden in the nooks and crannies of the city. We also try to get on board with us those restaurants that can be called as start-ups. They offer unique menus at cheap prices,” he added.

Citing the reasons behind the increased business during Ramadan, Hussain said aside from regular meals, there are two more meals in this month—Iftar and Sehri. “We have lots of orders coming in for Iftar and Sehri. Besides, our riders remain operational in between the long hours between Iftar and Sehri. A number of restaurants also remain open at that time. So, we also get a number of orders from different areas of the capital during that time,” he added.

Hussain said owing to the size of their motorbike sharing fleet, there is always someone near a restaurant. Pathao’s average delivery time is now 40 minutes from the logging of an order.  “As we establish more restaurant partnerships, this time is likely to go down soon. In our current setting, orders directly go to the riders. In future, we plan to send orders directly to restaurants so that they can start preparing the food when the rider is on the way. It will bring down our delivery time even further,” he added.

"In future, we want the restaurant to inform the rider when to come and pick up the food instead of the other way around. It'll increase our efficiency," he said.

Maliha Quadir, founder and managing director of Sohoz, said since they are relatively new entrants in the food delivery apps market, they are offering a lot of coupons and discounts.  “These coupons and discounts have obviously bagged us a lot of customers. But I believe our efficient and professional services are also helping us grow. You will see that our food delivery riders are uniformed and well-trained. They know how to handle food,” she added.

Maliha said since Sohoz is a late entrant, it has the privilege of studying the market well. “A common complaint is that untrained delivery riders deliver partially distorted food like the cheese of pizza sticking on the box because of bad handling. So, we trained up our delivery riders well to properly deliver food items,” she added.

Data helps the business grow

Ambareen Reza, managing director of Foodpanda, said market information helps them grow. “During Ramadan, Iftar and Sehri meals obviously give us increased opportunities for business. But it’s not just about this month, we try to have a solid business plan throughout the year,” she said.

Ambareen also said they have adopted automation in every possible aspect. Their software maintains data and the AI in the software calculates different vectors to give them customer insights to help them to provide better experience for their customers. “Let me give you an example. Suppose, a customer frequently orders fried chicken from a particular restaurant. Our software stores that data. If that restaurant has any offer, our AI automatically send the customer messages like 'Your favorite restaurant now gives discounts on your favorite food' or something like that,” she explained.

“We also use our AI to cater against the bad-buyer experience. Suppose you order a food and it comes very late or the restaurant declines the order as it was their closing time. Our software keeps track of that and sends you a coupon or a message containing other exciting offers,” she said.

Ambareen also said that they knew from the very onset that the restaurants will work with them if they can generate orders for them. “It’s as simple as that. So, we have worked on that. We did a lot of aggressive sales and marketing. We were very break even-driven and commercially motivated,” she added.

Also, Foodpanda has been constantly upgrading itself, said Ambareen. “If you look at our new app, you will see how much improvements we have made there. It needs fewer clicks and has lots of customized options and updates,” she added.

EA

Comments

Video
More Business Stories
Handicraft exports post
12pc growth There has been robust year-on-year growth in handicrafts exports thanks to the low production cost, availability of raw materials, low production cost, access to loans and entry into new markets, according to industry insiders. According…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting