We are seeing a rapid change in family dynamics across the board. An increasing number of women are working today. The number of nuclear families is on the rise making it difficult for families where both husband and wife work full time to cook and manage food. All these changes are contributing to a growing demand for readymade food and take-out culture.
If you take this reality into consideration, food delivery (restaurant food delivery + meal kit delivery and other businesses in this vertical) has a solid future in Bangladesh.
The data around the market size of the industry is hard to come by, however, there is no doubt that it is growing and will go further in the coming days as more and more people join internet and urbanization accelerates.
Over the past few months, we covered some of the leading food delivery startups in Dhaka including HungryNaki, Foodpanda and Cookups. HungryNaki and Foodpanda operate in the same market domain and can safely be predicted as leaders in the market.
Cookups is a homemade food marketplace which is relatively new to the scene and trying to position around healthy and safe food. There are a few other players in this vertical in this space such as Harriken that offers restaurant discovery and table booking service among others.
This post compiles three long-form and in-depth stories that we produced in the last few months on three food-tech startups in Dhaka working around food delivery and restaurant discovery.
The Future Of On-demand Food Delivery In Bangladesh: An Interview with Zubair Siddiky, Co-founder & MD, foodpanda Bangladesh (Interviewed on October 20, 2017)
We currently cover a significant part of Dhaka. The main locations, which we call zones, are Baridhara, Banani, DOHS, Niketan. Then we have Uttara, another prime area. We have Dhanmondi, Lalmatia as one area and Mohammadpur, Shyamoli as another area. We also cover Shantinagar and Baily Road. Outside Dhaka, we have operations in Sylhet and Chittagong.
Food delivery is a hyper-local business in nature. You cannot afford long-distance delivery for several reasons: first of all food doesn’t travel well. The second reason is that distance often reduces rider’s efficiency given that Dhaka is a high traffic city. In order to maximize rider efficiency, the ideal average distance for us is between One – two and a half kilometers. We try to put vendors in different zones based on this distance which is a common practice for us in across all of our operations around the world.
We are now a team of 45 people in corporate and we have another 250 riders who manage our delivery.
We have around 550 vendors at present. We initially had over 900 registered vendors. The number often goes down because we do regular vendor clean-up in order to make sure that best ones are getting enough attention.
How Cookups Plans To Be Your Destination For Homemade Food In Dhaka: An Interview With Namira Hossain, Co-founder, Cookups (Interviewed on April 25, 2017)
We connect cooks and diners. Cooks upload photos of their homemade food to the group following our posting guidelines and the other members of the group, diners, order through commenting or messages. Once an order takes place, the respective cook/merchant collects address and other details of the client and schedule a delivery.
We have around 100 cooks/merchants right now on our platform from different areas of the city, over 16,000 members and serve around 1500 orders a month. (note: this is data is from April 2017)
Although we are similar to a marketplace, we don’t take any commission on sales. We take a monthly subscription fee from our member cooks/merchants.
The platform is completely free for the diners. We have three different subscription tiers starting from BDT 600 to BDT 2400 depending on the number of posts/offers you upload in a month.
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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org