Since making its India debut in Mumbai in May 2017, UberEATS has gradually expanded across eight cities, including Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune. Bhavik Rathod – Head of UberEATS India, spoke to FoodService India about the company’s plan for the India market and how he expects the food delivery business to grow in the future.
What is the uniqueness of UberEATS concept and how does it differentiate itself from other food delivery service apps?
UberEATS aims to provide consumers with food at the tap of a button anytime, anywhere. The service is backed by technological innovations and the power of data and analytics. UberEATS uses the power of technology to connect restaurants, consumers and delivery partners to create a seamless food delivery experience.
Through our ride-sharing business, we have gained immense experience in understanding and mapping consumer behaviour across cities. We believe this is our strength. UberEATS focuses on speed, reliability, and ease of use and the service is characterized by multiple unique features. The UberEATS app is optimized to function in times of low connectivity, orders can be scheduled to be delivered at a particular time and also be delivered to external locations, not just one’s home or office. The app also offers smart
curation and customization of interface based on every customer’s food ordering needs. For our restaurant partners, the app provides consistent insights-based feedback from consumers, bridging the gap between the two.
How would you describe your run in the Indian market been since you launched in India?
Since UberEATS made its India debut in Mumbai in May 2017, we have gradually expanded across 8 cities in India including Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune. We have witnessed positive week-on-week growth in India, continuously extending our network of restaurant and delivery partners. With a growing acceptance of food delivery apps in the country, we are positive about our growth in the Indian market. We are confident that 2018 will see more growth and expansion opportunities for us.
How will partnering with UberEATS help restaurants to grow the business in terms of sales and profitability?
UberEATS is a platform that helps small and big businesses alike. With exclusive restaurant partnerships, we bring consumers diverse food options. With the insights gained from our rides business in India, we have gained a fair share of knowledge about the Indian market. What we have observed is that it is often difficult for restaurants to figure out what customers think about their meals and service due to their indirect relationship.
UberEATS’ Restaurant Manager Tool helps restaurant partners bridge this gap by enabling them to make data-driven decisions. They now have access to insights about their service quality, customer satisfaction, sales and types of cuisine that work, allowing them to make specific adjustments to improve their business. UberEATS also enables restaurant partners to streamline their business by controlling the availability of dishes on the menu, monitor the number of orders and earnings as well as by outsourcing their delivery instead of hiring, which brings cost efficiencies.
Within a short span of time, we have onboarded over 6,000 restaurants partners who have benefitted by being able to reach out to a wider customer base through our efficient and reliable delivery.
What are your targets for UberEATS orders going ahead? How many orders are you currently servicing in Mumbai and what has been your growth rate in this market so far?
We do not disclose order value and delivery numbers. However, we have received positive feedback/ traction from both customers and restaurant partners in Mumbai and Gurugram respectively. Both cities have a popular ‘ordering in’ culture. Through our exclusive restaurant partnerships, unique features and cost proposition, we will continue to strengthen our presence in these markets.
What are your growth and expansion plans for the India market?
India is the fastest growing market for UberEATS in the APAC region and we have witnessed strong growth in the seven cities that we are present in today. The fact that we have expanded to seven cities in just six months reflects our commitment to increasing our footprint in India.
How do you look at the evolving role of technology in the food delivery space?
We believe that innovation in technology will play a critical role in the success of the food tech industry as well as in shaping the future of food. Technology and data are the backbone of our organization, which works to the advantage of both Uber and UberEATS. With the backing of technology, we aim to empower restaurant and delivery partners with the tools to grow their business as well as enhance the customer experience.
At UberEATS, we have invested considerable time and effort to develop technology that enables a quick, easy and intuitive browsing experience on the app. Features like machine learning help surface recommendations every time a customer opens the app, a 30-minute delivery time based on past orders as well as customization of the app for every customer depending on the individual’s preference.
Going ahead, what in the food delivery business will shape its future trajectory and growth?
Food technology has revolutionized the eating habits in India. With the presence of platforms like UberEATS, the concept of ‘ordering in’ has gained momentum due to easy accessibility, affordability, and the ability to customize and pick from a wide variety of choices. The future of food delivery will depend on innovative collaborations that can unify the process for even greater customization and enable higher efficiencies and ease of ordering.