DING-DONG! DELIVEROO HAVE ARRIVED
Four years ago Deliveroo had two employees, both founders. The first, was a tech guy, into logistics, the other, a visionary, who doubled as the delivery man. Their mission was simple: Deliver hot food, from nice restaurants, within 30 minutes.
This year analysts predict the company will soon be joining the ‘Unicorn’ herd by becoming a start-up judged to be worth more than $1bn. Investors can’t throw enough money at Deliveroo and it's raised $500m to fund expansion. It currently employs around 1000 full-time staff, works with over 20,000 restaurants and operates in 130 cities around the world. But it’s not stopping there.
Last year Deliveroo reported a 650% rise in takeaways, they’re planning to increase their staff by a third and they have big plans for aggressive US expansion.
Let us guess. Your business makes a quality product or delivers a quality service and you’re looking to reach new customers. What’s next? Well, if f you’re considering breaking into new markets you could learn a lot from Deliveroo. Getting previously unavailable products to people some distance away is what they do best.
We’ve been watching their success closely, sampling the service and reading about the other businesses who are seeing big returns off their success. Deliveroo is changing the world of home food delivery for the better. Here are 5 reasons we think they’re still super-hot.
THEY SAW A GAP IN THE MARKET AND WENT FOR IT.
It wasn’t a big gap. Some people said there wasn’t a gap at all and that the food delivery market had already been well and truly cornered. But business partners Will Shu (The visionary) and Greg Orlowski (The tech guy) noticed something. Just Eat and Hungry House and the like didn’t have any big brands. The food on offer was generally of a lower quality and the better quality restaurants didn’t deliver. We’ll let Will explain:
“I didn’t recognise any of the restaurants that were listed on Just Eat. They were places like Chang’s Express or House of Pizza, so obviously culinary masters.
"Secondly, I had no idea when the food was going to show up except that it generally took a long time. It was not a great customer experience.”
And with that realisation, Deliveroo was born.
THEY HAVE A GENUINE APPETITE FOR THE BUSINESS THEY’RE IN.
Talking about passion, dedication and a strong unwavering belief in yourself and your business can sometimes sound cheesier than a double quattro formaggio. But that doesn’t make the sentiment wrong. When asked about his number one piece of business advice, Will had this to say:
“Have one idea that you’re passionate about. Don’t start ‘Etsy for Pets if you don’t like dogs [recalling a specific bad business experience of a friend]
“Deliveroo is a very personal story for me. That point is really important. Start a business because you’re passionate about something, not because you want to make money.”
THEY SPENT THE TIME TO REALLY GET TO KNOW THEIR MARKET.
The business world is full of cringeworthy self-serving ‘undercover boss’ stories. You’ve probably watched a few on TV, where big-wig, head-honchos in disguise, huddle with the hoi-polloi to better understand the challenges of their workforce (whilst cranking up the company's PR mileage).
Deliveroo is a bit different. Will spent eight months delivering food on the back of his own scooter, five hours a day before the company took off. Why? Research:
“I was the first and only Deliveroo delivery guy and I delivered food every single day for five hours, for eight months. Not because I really needed the money but because I really wanted to understand what customers went through.”
Funny story: Will, a successful investment banker by trade, would occasionally meet ex-colleagues in upmarket Chelsea, when delivering food. The high-flying financiers would often assume he’d fallen on hard times, looking suddenly sad and saying things like “Oh Will, what's happened? Are you okay!?”
THEY USE THE SUCCES OF OTHER BRANDS TO HELP BUILD THEIR OWN (AND VICE VERSA)
Deliveroo could easily be described as symbiotic. Want to go to that local restaurant you love, but can’t be bothered to shed your onesy and leave the house? Deliveroo is the answer.
Want to eat something in, that’s miles better quality than ‘Milo’s House of Kebabs’? Deliveroo is also the answer. But Deliveroo don’t do food. They do logistics. When you think about it, they’re really a tech company. Will explains:
“We take a hyper-local approach and work with restaurants that do not have existing delivery services, giving them everything they need to provide one, from drivers to a logistics platform.
"This not only gives customers the opportunity to eat the food they love at home or at work but also enables restaurants to use their excess kitchen capacity and fixed costs to increase revenue.”
DESPITE BIG SUCCESS, THEY'RE STILL TRYING NEW THINGS.
People love proper restaurant quality food, in the comfort of their own home. You know what else they love? Beer. Ever ordered takeaway food and wished you could wash it down with a nice, cold brewski, but you’re too lazy to walk the shops? You’re not alone.
In November 2016, Deliveroo announced that they’ve teaming up with Heineken to offer a whole new brand called Brew House, which delivers beer and cider to your door within 20 minutes.
Mirroring Deliveroo, customers place their drink order online, it’s then processed by a local off license, picked up by a Deliveroo driver and then placed in your thirsty hands pronto. Bound to be a winner.
Deliveroo’s business model is sound. They make money by charging restaurants a commission and customers a flat, £2.50 fee. But that hasn’t stopped them trialling a new payment service for regular users, which they announced yesterday. The new plan waives delivery fees in favour of a subscription service, costing £8.99 a month or £89.00 a year.
LET’S WRAP THINGS UP:
Businesses don’t come any smaller than a single delivery guy on a bike. But even the smallest businesses can go global if they get things right and get the best support. It’s time to go large. How could your business be more ambitious? The international Festival for Business returns in 2018. It will help you go global and access international markets, for free. Connect with us now and stay in touch. Multi-national success could soon be knocking at your door.