Online food delivery services have changed the way consumers order their meals. Food delivery is now as easy as a swipe on a smartphone application.
Among the popular apps today is GrabFood—a subsidiary of transport network vehicle service Grab. It quickly took off in the Philippines which has one of the largest population of social media users.
This is because the introduction of GrabFood has made it more convenient for Filipinos to order meals from restaurants or partner establishments.
GrabFood was borne out of an idea to connect local food businesses with customers through a network of riders and partners. Within a year since it was launched, the app has become one of the most popular online services in town.
For a fee of P49 per order, Filipino riders saw this as an opportunity to earn an extra income. For others, GrabFood became their primary livelihood.
Jerico, a GrabFood rider, says he is earning between P15,000 and P20,000 a month from an average of 12 to 15 deliveries a day.
“I work more than five days a week but I only render about five hours a day compared to an eight-hour office job,” he says.
Gerald, a father of two, says his earnings from GrabFood is sufficient to provide for his family’s needs.
From the customers’ perspective, GrabFood saves them valuable time while providing flexibility and convenience in ordering food from virtually anywhere.
A survey conducted by four students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in July and August 2019 among 100 GrabFood app-users in Metro Manila discovers that most users of the GrabFood app are female, millennials and college graduates.
“About 79 percent are female who are the dominant users of the app, compared to 21 percent male. It also indicates that the majority of the users are millennials or Generation Y. Furthermore, 21 percent of users belong to the 18-23 age group while 48 percent to the 24-30 and 20 percent to 31-36. The remaining 11 percent of users are members of the Generation X,” the survey says.
The survey also reveals that 73 percent of users are college graduates; 24 percent are either working on or have completed their graduate studies; and the remaining 3 percent are college undergraduates.
“With an average order of 1 to 5 times a month, users are clearly utilizing this new technology. All they need is a mobile device with an internet connection to start ordering food. Based on our survey, about 12 percent of users place breakfast orders and various coffee beverages in the morning,” the study says.
“By noontime, around 25 percent of users order lunch from fast-food chains and other restaurants; 39 percent take their afternoon breaks ordering pizzas and milk teas; while 24 percent order dinner because they say they’re either too tired or have no time to cook,” it says.
GrabFood had 7,000 food partners as of this writing. The app also functions as an extra marketing tool for partner establishments without hiring additional staff.
Being a mobile-app driven business, however, has its own drawbacks. Cases of no-shows to order cancellations by customers are increasing to the disadvantage of drivers/riders who initially shell out the cost of the orders on behalf of the users.
GrabFood has responded to this problem by disabling the cancel order as soon as the riders completed the transaction from the food establishment and are already on their way to deliver the order.
The survey says that 44 percent of app-users remain satisfied with the app despite the removal of the order cancellation.
“Based on my experience, GrabFood delivers faster than fast-food chains’ delivery,” says Katrine Joice, an app-user.
Carlo, another app-user, says GrabFood should expand the service beyond the cities in Metro Manila. “I hope that GrabFood will widen its reach because as of now, the app only covers the greater Metro Manila area,” he says.
Mobile app-driven businesses like GrabFood offer job opportunities for Filipino riders, provide convenience to consumers and serve as effective marketing tools for local food partners. With Aldrich Oliver P. Sytingco and Cristina Viernes