COVID-19 lockdowns boon for food delivery business

The challenges faced by the global foodservice industry last year spurred significant growth in off-premises services, said the NPD Group. The research firm explained that while COVID-19 mandated lockdowns restricted dine-in options, consumer demand for restaurant food did not abate. This lead to “unprecedented growth” in off-premises services like digital ordering and delivery.
According to NPD, 2020 saw an acceleration in global markets for digital delivery services, defined by meals or snacks ordered via mobile app, internet, or text message. Digital delivery increased 67% globally, with the US, Russia, and Canada registering the most growths.

Enhancing delivery app’s user experience

With food delivery services continuing to grow, digital platform operators make sure their delivery apps remain customer friendly. For example, GrabFood, which has a presence in several South-east Asian markets, recently unveiled its regional food delivery platform's new features. Xiaole Kuang, head of Engineering for Grab Deliveries, explained why the changes were critical. First, the enhancements will enable localisation for GrabFood apps present in various countries across the South-east Asia region. Country teams can now highlight what is more relevant to their customers based on consumption patterns derived from their ordering habits.
“We don't have separate UX design teams in each country. We believe in building scalable platform solutions with in-built flexibility," Kuang told Tasty Asia.
GrabFood also created enhancements to drive sustainable demand for the company's merchant partners. Kuang said they worked on several back-end technology products to make fulfilment more efficient. For example, to facilitate smooth order handling, the technology team developed an order platform. This system combines more than ten connected systems, including point of sale (POS) integration allowing merchants to link their POS systems with the GrabMerchant app. Previously, a merchant’s staff need to manually transfer food orders from the GrabMerchant app into their restaurant POS.
Our team is continuously working on improving in-app experiences, Kuang said. “One of the key challenges in developing tech for South-east Asia is building solutions that are scalable and can be localised to cater to local context and preferences.” (Image from Unsplash)

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