Challenges Faced by Food Delivery Services in Pakistan
Over the last few years, whether it is spending more time away from homes, surviving frenzied schedules through sleepless nights, or dealing with work pressure, the premature food cravings have steadily made their place in our lifestyles. Additionally, we have, as a nation, always been known as passionate foodies and want various food items at home—hot wings, brownies for birthdays and biryani for Fridays. Such a situation has given rise to the mushroom growth of food delivery services in Pakistan. An in this context, tech-based food startups became a reality a couple of years ago and have been on the rise ever since.
They bring delightful foods from our favorite eateries to our tables at just a click of the mouse. A number of food-delivery startup services have seen remarkable growth in Pakistan. One such example is Eatoye that works under its own brand name and old management as a part of Foodpanda. Paradoxically, while the food-delivery services have been rising in the country, they do encounter a number of problems, some of which are as follows.
The Delivery Area Input Problem
Some of the services offered on the websites of many food-delivery companies are almost the same from providing the very rudimentary “select your area” service to advanced “live chat” service for customer support. A problem confronted by the users was entering their location or area on the website, as the system on the website typically could not recognize the one mentioned by users and failed to search the restaurants.
Stating the Facts Right
What if the appetite hits you in the middle of the night and you order the food online? Your order gets through, you begin waiting for the delivery boy to ring the doorbell but rather your phone rings, and the voice on the other side apologetically says the food is not available as the restaurant you ordered from just closed a few hours ago. To avoid such an unacceptable situation the order taking hours of each eatery must be stated on the website. They like accepting all orders and then personally calling the customers to tell that the restaurant just closed down.
Efficient customer service is the cornerstone of any successful business, including food-delivery services. However, in Pakistan poor customer service at most of the eateries is one of the core reasons why food delivery services have failed to perform as well as they could.
The Delivery Men
The people customers have a direct interaction with are delivery men. The companies should ensure they work on improving the competence of their delivery men and ensuring they reach the customers right on time. Building a strong delivery team will also help improve better customer relations. The delivery men should also be able to come with fresh food and the receipt of order, as sometimes the guys tend to forget the receipts or the toys as gifts for children. Worse, the delivery guys call from numerous numbers to deliver the order, as the customers are not keen to know how many SIM cards they own!
Arrival of top brands
Aware of the potential of online food-delivery industry in Pakistan, a number of ecommerce giants — such as UberEATS and Amazon — have stepped into the industry, making it more difficult for startups to survive. Some big old names also in this business such as McDonalds and Starbucks are also considering following their example. These companies already have the required financial wherewithal to manage the operation with precision, as it increases the competition for startups, making it increasingly difficult to maintain their place in the industry.
There are some serious problems related to the logistics of the food-delivery industry. If the logistics services are restricted to a particular place, then it will not be able to avail themselves of the maximum number of orders they want to get. They also need to ensure the right number of vehicles required, which can help them manage the maximum number of orders without any pitfalls or difficulties.
As well as aggressive competition and thin margins, delivery startups have to content with a slew of operational challenges. In Pakistan, virtually all delivery start-ups offer highly-customized orders, which can be quite complex, and some may claim, not lucrative at all. And the entry of players like Careem and Uber into this space has made matters much worse. As the Careem and Uber models offer higher revenues and provide more liberty to motorcycle riders, delivery start-ups are finding it difficult to hire or retain riders.