There’s a new hero on the food delivery block
Delivery Hero Australia has already delivered more than 100,000 meals to Australian homes but it isn’t stopping there, having grown by 200% so far this year.
Launched in September last year by web entrepreneurs Fabian Stein and CJ Foo, Delivery Hero is an online food delivery service.
“We saw an opportunity to simplify home delivery by giving people the ability to order online from their favourite local restaurants,” Stein says.
The business has already partnered with 1000 restaurants across NSW, Victoria and Queensland, and aims to continue growing across Australia.
We talk to CJ Foo about finding a niche in the Australian food industry.
What prompted you to launch the business? What convinced you there was a demand?
We love food and we love a relaxing night in eating on the couch.
It was a natural progression from here to seeing an opportunity to provide Australian consumers with a free, convenient and easy to use online food ordering service.
Delivery Hero allows consumers, with a few simple clicks to order food online from their favourite local restaurant and then have it delivered hot to their door.
The online food ordering market in Australia was underserviced and continues to rapidly grow because channel switch results in consumers moving from ordering by phone to ordering online.
As eCommerce continues to grow in Australia, it’s only natural that consumers shopping online will also increasingly look at ordering their dinner online.
How did you fund the business?
We funded the business by working with a group of investors led by Team Europe, a successful international incubator of internet firms.
How many staff do you have?
The Delivery Hero Australia team is now 22 strong, comprised of our customer care heroes supported by sales, marketing and operations team members.
How do you promote the business?
Group buying, affiliate marketing, social media, PR, SEM, SEO, display and start-up collaborations.
How do you stand out in the market? What’s your point/s of difference?
Our points of difference are an excellent user experience and excellent customer service.
Delivery Hero is able to offer customers an easier, faster and stress-free way to order home delivery.
Why go to the bother of searching through a drawer in your kitchen for a menu, finding a restaurant’s number in the phonebook and spelling the name of your street to someone, when you can make food appear with a few taps on a screen?
Our aim is to make online food ordering that’s so easy it’s enjoyable.
You belong to a parent company, Delivery Hero. How does this help or hinder you?
We are part of an international group of companies that provide online food ordering services in 11 countries.
Being able to talk to the other companies about their experiences and learnings adds a lot of value to our business strategy as we can learn about what has worked and what has not worked in the different countries.
In addition, there are shared central functions that benefit from economy of scale.
What are your revenue projections for 2012/13?
Due to investor confidentiality, at this stage we can’t share our revenue projections for 2012/13.
However, what we can disclose is that in the past three months, we have seen our monthly revenues quadruple and continue to grow strongly.
What’s the biggest risk you face?
As the business has grown rapidly over the past few months, one of the key risks we face is whether we scale gracefully and overcome the growing pains.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
In hindsight, we probably would have started recruiting earlier to handle the start-up workload.
The team at the beginning was swamped with work and we found that taking on a few more team members in key roles really helped to get things done and accelerate the growth of the business.
It freed up team members to think innovatively about how to grow the business rather than everyone being in firefighting mode just to keep the day-to-day business ticking along.
Even though hiring early obviously cost more in the beginning when capital is expensive, it is a long-term investment by putting in place a correctly-sized team as a strong foundation to grow the business.
As the hiring process does take a lot of invested effort to find employees that fit with the culture and business, it makes sense to kick off this process earlier and also keep it running in the background so that we are always on the lookout for talent.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
As day-to-day tasks can quickly eat up a workday, we found that it is important for the team to regularly set aside time to think strategically about the business and refocus.
Having a clear focus on where we need to go as a start-up keeps us energised and executing.
Operationally, we have found that engaging accounting and legal professional advisors early in the business has saved us a lot of hassles later on when we started to grow rapidly.
It also helps to be disciplined early in simplifying and refining processes, as inefficiencies and manual workarounds do become magnified and a source of pain when the business starts to scale.