UAE-based delivery app, GoFood is on a transparency mission. Launched a week ago, GoFood is an app and website run by restaurant owners themselves. It is created for restaurant operators as an alternative to the existing delivery aggregator apps.
“The difference is that we charge the lowest commission on orders, whereas other platforms charge anything up to 35%. We also provide a last-mile option, which isn’t mandatory, but offers a cost-effective solution to restaurants that don’t have their own drivers or think their existing last-mile solution provider is too expensive. They can use our services at a nominal charge of AED10 for the first 10 kilometres and then an additional AED0.50 per kilometres,” explains GoFood CEO, Naveed Dowlatshahi. GoFood is now in the process of signing up with RTA, which will facilitate the last-mile.
Elaborating on how GoFood is on a transparency mission, Dowlatshahi says, “We are also the only delivery app that is completely transparent with customer data. The restaurants have free access to key customer data, including mobile number and e-mail address. At the end of the day, we are merely a facilitator, so it’s only fair that the restaurants have access to customer data.”
Since launch, GoFood has signed up over 2,000 restaurants, with more than 500 in the pipeline. Some names include Subway, 800 Pizza, Chicking and Nando’s as well as home-grown brands Atisuto, Sarj Art Cafe and Caesars, among others. That’s quite an achievement within a week, and Dowlatshahi feels success has been driven by the reasonable commission structure. “GoFood has a far more reasonable commission structure, 2% for the first 2,000 restaurants that registered on the platform and 5% for the rest. Since it is directly run by the restaurant owners, delivery fees go directly to them. There is no membership or sign up fees.”
“Our model enables restaurants to earn some margin versus the other platforms. For the other platforms, restaurants are paying anything up to 35% commission in addition to offering huge discounts of up to 50%. Add to that food cost, packaging, rent, labour and utilities, leaving very little or no margin for the restaurants. With our model, restaurants can still offer customers a discount, which is what they want, and be left with sufficient margin to sustain,” he adds.
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“Naturally, the commission structure that we have in place is not sustainable on its own, so we have developed other revenue streams, which include a B2C and B2B grocery and supply chain options. Moreover, we provide value-added services to merchants that include but are not limited to social media management, website design, graphic design, food photography, packaging, printing and even business audit,” Dowlatshahi elaborates.
Within a week of rolling out GoFood, the start-up has launched GoFood Grocery, a next-day fresh grocery delivery service in Dubai, available on the GoFood app. The GoFood Grocery service offers a wide assortment of everyday essentials, including baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, frozen food, household essentials, pantry items and more.
“The GoFood Grocery fulfilment model of not using third-parties but being the supplier ensures a seamless shopping experience without compromising the quality. It also enables us to keep track of stock and offer delivery within 24 hours. We will essentially be the trader and, therefore, we will buy directly from source whether local farmers and producers or main wholesalers and distributors. Within this model, we are the supplier and not an open marketplace for other supermarkets,” Dowlatshahi points out. “We are passionate about supporting local farmers and producers and are working directly with manufacturers and wholesalers. So, in essence we are able to cut out the middleman to obtain the most favourable pricing possible for the customer using GoFood Grocery.”
As GoFood is on a transparency mission, the founders plan to invest in technology and upgrades, adding more solutions for customers and value-added services for merchants. “Our current solution is a white label product and whilst a good one, we know there’s always room for improvement. To ensure that we are eventually in total control of our own destiny, we are simultaneously developing our own app that will be available within the next 12 weeks and the transition will be seamless for the customer,” Dowlatshahi concludes.