Foodora Delivers Luxury Meals in Dubai

Mohamad Salhab, Jan 21 2016

It seems so long ago that online and mobile services disrupted the food and beverage (F&B) sector: Today, their standing has improved to such a degree as to become industry standards. A growing number of restaurants are relying heavily on second-party apps and web platforms to get more reviews, promote their loyalty schemes, discounts, and vouchers, and - of course - increase their customer base.

Within this vertical, online food delivery services have seen staggering growth. Investments in online food ordering services jumped from $46 million in 2013, to a staggering $600 million in 2014, according to Tech Crunch. Foodora is one of the companies that have been riding this wave of online orders, with a twist.

Foodora was developed and launched in Germany in late 2014, after which it joined Delivery Hero - the largest food ordering network in the world, with more than 200,000 participating restaurants.

The company is present in 9 countries across Europe, as well as in Canada and Australia. Since October 2015, Dubai became its first MENA country of presence.

The Democratization of Luxury Meals

Through Foodora, discerning patrons with high expectations when it comes to their food are able to order meals from their favorite boutique restaurants via one platform online or using a free smartphone app.

So it’s just another website-slash-app for a food delivery service, right? Not quite. You see, Foodora’s platform includes an exclusive niche of high-end venues that traditionally do not deliver food, such as hotel restaurants or restaurants that put much stock in their ambiance and in-house experience (a self-run delivery service would be incompatible with the restaurant’s offering in the latter case).

Foodora introduces an element of democratization into this context, targeting a wider base of customers that were traditionally beyond the reach of these restaurants.

“Our partner restaurants are a variety of locally grown concepts, small franchises, and 5-star hotel restaurants. We like to call our selection criteria for our restaurant partners ‘Instagram worthiness’ - in other words, would you check in or post something about this restaurant?” said Alexander Kappes, co-founder and Vice President at Foodora Middle East.

Winning at High-End Food Delivery

The service in Dubai doesn’t involve any upfront costs or investments in software, hardware, transportation, personnel, or time. According to Kappes, restaurants can launch delivery and turn a profit from their very first order. Foodora retains a revenue share from every order and charges customers a small delivery fee of 10 AED.

For the concept to work, the service has to be logistically situated within an area dense in high-quality restaurants.

In Dubai, Foodora's 160 partner restaurants are spread across 3 main areas: Downtown, Marina, and Jumeirah. The company operates a special fleet of motorcycles and around 20 well-trained delivery personnel, positioned in dispatch centers close to the restaurant areas, to ensure an efficient pick-up process and guarantee that all deliveries are completed within 30 minutes.

“What separates Foodora from the marketplace is the fact that we handle the full delivery process for the restaurant, and has been receiving overwhelming positive feedback from both customers and restaurants. We take our delivery time extremely seriously and will inform customers by text if we know that their food will even only be 5 minutes late,” said Kappes.

The app is available on Google Play and the App Store.

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