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Jason Parke, Deliveroo Singapore General Manager. /Deliveroo

More rider support, frequent customer freebies for Deliveroo Singapore in 2023

The food delivery provider has over 9,000 restaurant partners in Singapore.

Six out of 10 Singaporeans have said they are using delivery services more frequently compared to before the pandemic and Deliveroo aims to leverage this as they plan to increase their customer experience, rider support, and restaurant offerings in 2023.

In a quick chat with QSR Media, Deliveroo Singapore General Manager Jason Parke outlines what Deliveroo's plans are for the coming year, his leadership style, Deliveroo's presence in Singapore's market.

QSR Media: Could you tell us about your career? How did you end up working in the food delivery industry?

I started my career in the banking industry later moving into Venture Capital working with local start-ups. After a trip back home to New York, I started craving a decent bagel and had a hard time finding one in Singapore.  I initially started baking and selling them from home and then took the plunge and launched my own restaurant, Schmear over in Sentosa Cove which coincidentally was exclusively on Deliveroo which I ran for three years.  

In October 2020, mid-COVID, I joined Deliveroo in Singapore as Head of Operations where I was in charge of everything rider-related - from onboarding, managing supply and demand, engagement and support. In March of this year, I was offered the opportunity to take on the General Manager position for our Singapore business. This role has given me the opportunity to inspire a growing team of passionate individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience and work alongside them to bring amazing food and groceries straight to people’s front doors.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My leadership style is probably best described as collaborative, as I am surrounded by a team of highly-capable individuals who each bring something important to the table.  I strongly believe that when you work closely with those around you, you can achieve something significantly greater than the sum of its parts. Trust is extremely important to me and I trust my team fully to execute day in and day out.  At Deliveroo, we are passionate about food and are dedicated to delivering great food for people, whenever and wherever they want it. 

I also would like to think that I am approachable, and I’m happy to chat with anyone in the company about anything at all. I really enjoy listening to and debating new ideas with the team – maybe harkening back to my days in Venture Capital where I would regularly review pitches and talk to founders about their businesses. Our office is more like a collaborative co-working space, managers don’t have offices and we don’t maintain dedicated areas for different teams. Developing a culture of openness and collaboration amongst teams is highly important to me and beneficial to both our employees and the business as a whole.  

Collaboration doesn’t just come from within the company. It is also crucial to work with our stakeholders - customers, restaurant partners and riders. As a three-sided marketplace,  we are always looking for ways to give our stakeholders the best possible experience through the support we offer.  

What can you tell us a bit about Deliveroo's presence in Asia, especially in Singapore?

Deliveroo is global, and we work with over 185,000 best-loved restaurants and grocery partners across ten markets - two of which are in Asia: Singapore and Hong Kong. 

I’m proud to say that we’ve established a strong presence in Singapore and we just celebrated our seven-year anniversary in November. As a nation of foodies, Singapore is an important market for Deliveroo and we are proud to bring the amazing diversity of cuisine available directly to people’s doorsteps. The Deliveroo app has consistently ranked in the top 10 food and drink apps category in terms of downloads.

Food delivery has become indispensable to consumers here with strong demand even after the worst of the pandemic has now largely subsided. Based on the consumer survey we ran recently, more than 60% of Singaporeans say they use food delivery services more regularly now, compared to pre-pandemic times. A large majority (70%) of them also anticipate they will use food delivery services at least once a week.

To meet this growing demand, we’ve ensured to provide consumers with a larger pool of restaurant partners they can choose to order from - the company has grown from only a few restaurant partners in 2015 to nearly 9,000 active restaurants islandwide today. These partners offer a wide range of delicious food options, ranging from local delights, and our favourite bubble tea all the way to mouth-watering South American specialities.  

We also launched our grocery delivery services in 2020, to bring customers’ grocery needs right to their doorstep. With this, customers get on-demand access to a plethora of grocery products and household essentials. Deliveroo's grocery partners include Cold Storage, Giant, Marks & Spencer and speciality store favourites serving different areas of Singapore, including Blu Kouzina Mart, Ryan's Grocer, Shell Select and Kuriya Japanese Market.

What are you hoping to bring to the table as Deliveroo Singapore's General Manager?

I’m truly honoured to be appointed General Manager of Deliveroo Singapore. In this role, I aim to increase Deliveroo’s brand awareness and proposition in this highly competitive landscape, as well as to continue to deliver a wide variety of food and grocery options straight to customers’ doorsteps with the best customer experience. 

My previous experience operating a restaurant has been hugely beneficial in my time with Deliveroo, having experienced first-hand the ins and outs of being in our partners' shoes. This has helped shape many of the areas I am particularly passionate about continuing to drive in the Singapore market.

During the pandemic, it was crucial to ensure that restaurant partners could pivot from dine-in to delivery and takeout services quickly and efficiently. To do this, teams of people across the business were established to support restaurants that wanted to be able to deliver, at a time when consumers were advised to stay home.  We quickly ramped up our supply of delivery riders to meet the increasing demand and regularly advised and updated them on safe-distancing policies and procedures to help keep them safe while delivering orders.  

The last two years have been challenging but Deliveroo remained focused on supporting restaurant partners, riders and consumers. I’ve learnt a lot from this experience and will bring these lessons as a General Manager to help partners navigate the current post-COVID era so they can continue bringing amazing tasty food to diners. At Deliveroo, our focus is always on supporting all of our stakeholders, including riders, restaurants, consumers and of course our employees and delivering to all of them the best possible experience. 

What trends do you see in the food delivery industry that is unique to the Singapore market? How does Deliveroo plan to utilise this?

The pandemic has shifted consumer preferences, with more Singaporeans open to supporting local businesses, and adopting a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Their preferences signal Singaporean values such as patriotism and societal shifts around conscious consumption and sustainability.  The great part about Deliveroo is that it also provides customers access to new and different choices in their area they may not have previously known about, hence it is also a great tool for discovering new and exciting options.

According to the recent consumer survey we conducted, almost half of respondents want to support local eateries and are willing to pay more to support hawkers; healthy food options are also top of mind for many Singaporeans, especially 56–65-year-olds (56%) and 36-45-year-olds (47%); healthy food options are also top of mind for many Singaporeans, especially 56–65-year-olds (56%) and 36-45-year-olds (47%); and over two fifths (42%) of respondents indicate that healthier food options and availability of sustainable packaging are some of the most important factors when selecting a grocery or restaurant for delivery.

Knowing what our consumers are looking for, Deliveroo will continue to be committed to providing consumers with a range of options, from local fares, such as Crave, to healthy options like SaladStop! and VIOS by Blu Kouzina.

What changes have you noticed in consumer behaviour after Singapore started to open? How do you think the food delivery industry should leverage this? What are some of your plans for next year?

Our recent consumer survey on consumers’ attitudes towards food delivery services post-COVID has revealed that appetite for food delivery services has grown, and will continue to grow, despite the absence of pandemic-induced lockdowns and the return of dine-in restaurants. 

More than 60% of respondents say they use food delivery services more regularly now, compared to pre-pandemic times and a large majority (70%) anticipate they will use food delivery services at least once a week. On average, Singaporeans spend $108 a month on food delivery services, which is a 62% increase from 2019’s average monthly spend of $67.54. 

These results showcase how food delivery services remain close to the heart of Singaporeans and play an integral part in their daily lives beyond the pandemic. When I first moved to Singapore in 2009  food delivery was often limited to fast food restaurants and pizza parlours that had to manage their own delivery fleets which can be extremely time-consuming and much less efficient, making it nearly impossible to get great quality food delivered hot and fresh. With the launch of food delivery platforms like Deliveroo in Singapore, we’ve transformed how people think about takeaway by offering fast, reliable delivery from the best local restaurants to everyone’s homes or offices. 

As we move into 2023 with the demand for food and grocery platforms continuing to grow, Deliveroo remains committed to focusing our expertise on offering all our stakeholders - employees, customers, restaurant partners and riders - the best possible experience. 

I’m confident there will always be a place for food delivery alongside dine-in. At Deliveroo, our mission is always to offer consumers the widest choice and selection, support our restaurant partners' growth, and offer fully-flexible work opportunities for riders.

We will continue to focus on providing the widest choice and selection at the best prices, a best-in-market loyalty program, Deliveroo Plus providing truly free delivery on all orders for those who order more frequently and ultimately an amazing delivery experience for consumers providing them fresh food and groceries, whenever and wherever they want it.

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