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The Rise And Rise Of Food Delivery Apps
In much less than a decade, online food delivery services have changed the way we eat and entertain, and the way restaurants do business. What else is in store?
Therese Tay

Once upon a time, a late-night craving means either having to change out of your PJs to go get it yourself or going to bed hungry. Now, not only can you get your desired meal delivered right to your doorstep, you have a plethora of options—from fast food and hawker fare to Michelin-starred dishes and trendy bubble tea—to choose from.

The food delivery market here has truly exploded in recent years, starting in 2012 when foodpanda came into the picture. Then, the only players offering regular, on-demand food delivery services were fast-food chains and a smattering of privately operated ones by a handful of restaurants.

Deliveroo joined the fray in 2015, along with honestbee, which has since shut its food delivery operations in Singapore. UberEats was rolled out the next year, only to cease operations when ride-hailing company Grab took over Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia in March 2018—this resulted in GrabFood.

It’s easy to see why players want a piece of the online food delivery pie. Revenue in this sector in Singapore, growing at an annual rate of 17.9 per cent, is expected to swell to US$316 million by 2022, according to market research firm Statista.

Naturally, the face of F&B has changed, along with the habits of diners. While diners want their food faster and at the same dine-in quality, they also expect to pay an affordable price for it. Not only do delivery providers have to keep up, restaurants and stalls are forced to adapt to the new demands as well.

Konstantino Blokbergen, the founder of bakehouse and restaurant Firebake, sees the delivery platforms as avenues that have helped his business grow closer to existing and potential diners. “By using these delivery apps, we are able to increase our visibility, and we’ve also benefitted from some incremental sales at the beginning, since more focus are usually given (by the platforms) to new restaurants at the start of marketing,” he shares. Firebake is currently on two delivery platforms—GrabFood and Deliveroo.

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November - December 2019