TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Deliveroo targets nearly 10,000 restaurants in bid for foodtech supremacy

The food delivery firm is beefing up its logistics network by adding 5,000 restaurant partners and 2,000 riders.

Against cutthroat competition in Singapore’s food delivery space that has seen a number of firms close down shop, Deliveroo is making a case for going back to the basics by expanding their food offerings, and improving tech capabilities. This includes the use of Frank, a predictive algorithm that evaluates the most efficient way of distributing orders to streamline delivery time and a growing logistics network that aims to count 8,000 riders and 9,500 restaurants by end-2019.

In an exclusive interview with Singapore Business Review, Siddharth Shanker, general manager at Deliveroo, outlines how the firm is making smart use of big data to service constantly changing consumer habits and lifestyles.

Q: The government has unveiled a blueprint designed to facilitate the development of Singapore into a premier food and nutrition hub by 2025. How does Deliveroo plan to help this agenda move forward?
Shanker: Since launching in Singapore in November 2015, we have grown from strength to strength, expanding our rider and restaurant partner base to 6000 and 4500 respectively. We are committed to growing Singapore’s base - with plans to build another 5,000 restaurant partners and 2,000 riders by the end of 2019.

In line with the objectives of the ITM, we invest heavily in technology with our predictive algorithm Frank, which links all orders, restaurants and riders together - deciding which rider is best-placed to fulfil each order based on weather, distance and location among other factors. As Frank analyses more data, it will only get more and more efficient.

In 2017, we also launched our Business Intelligence Unit (BIU) in Singapore, which enhances Deliveroo’s performance via a combination of advanced analytics, data science and local insight in order to better pinpoint trends, improve efficacies of riders and restaurants as well as identify expansion opportunities in the nearby markets. 

Q: There has been growing momentum by firms building physical spaces which is the case with Deliveroo’s Editions. Do you have plans to expand this initiative?
Shanker: We currently have two sites in Singapore and plans are well underway to expand to more areas here. We’re committed to investing in and growing our Editions base, which are our super kitchens housing many restaurant brands under one roof, in Singapore and the region.

With Editions, restaurants partners can save on the significant overhead costs which typically comes with setting up physical spaces. Deliveroo’s delivery-only kitchens enable restaurants to set up in new areas and reach customers they otherwise would not be able to reach, bringing more choice and selection to neighbourhoods.

Editions also enables restaurants to trial virtual brands at the site - this appears as a separate brand entirely on the app and enables restaurants to get an understanding of what customers prefer, and tweak them accordingly before introducing them in their physical spaces. Customers have changing preferences, and it’s important that we continue to offer more choices through expanding menus to cater to increasing demand. It’s a concept which is doing really well across all our markets and we believe there is huge potential for growth in the coming years. 

Read the full Q&A here.

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