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Why eMerchants should consider the Food Delivery industry in Qatar

The boom of services and catering to customers’ needs have led to growth in the food delivery industry in Qatar, which has great potential for eCommerce trade in the food and beverage (F&B) sector.

 

But while food delivery has positively contributed to catering to customer needs and enhancing customer experience in the country, it does have certain drawbacks that need to be addressed. However, this means further opportunities for entrepreneurial eMerchants as well as existing F&B merchants who haven’t adopted online ordering and delivery into their business models.

The Benefits of
Food Delivery in Qatar

The advantages of food delivery through mobile applications include but are not limited to:

The customer can order from the comfort of their home.

They can order from various restaurants at once rather than forcing a group to eat from or at the same restaurant.

There is a much wider range of options in one place.

Food delivery services can cater to special customer needs and requests.

Records order data and location (if enabled) for future reference and improvement of delivery.

Users can view the full menu with ingredients to avoid surprises and food allergies.

Payment details can be stored for future orders (if enabled).

The Challenges

Although the food delivery industry in Qatar has made the life of many customers easier, the industry still has a lot of room for improvement. The most prominent problems faced by users include but are not limited to:

The driver is late and / or the food is cold.

The driver is not friendly or does not have change.

The driver doesn’t follow location provided on the mobile application and calls multiple times to obtain the location or

requests a customer to share their location through WhatsApp.

The driver doesn’t speak or read English.

Users leave reviews on delivery apps but the problems are often not addressed.

When there is a delay, the delivery fulfiller blames the restaurant and the restaurant blames the delivery fulfiller,

leaving the customer annoyed and frustrated.

The order is not accurate or some items are missing from the order.

Order is not delivered but the app displays it as delivered.

Solutions and Opportunities

Elements to potentially resolve problems and issue in food delivery in Qatar include:

Recruitment of delivery staff: ensure new hires speak and read English, and are friendly, trustworthy and cooperative.

Train delivery staff to enhance customer experience.

Nominate people in the restaurant to review the order before it goes out for delivery.

Provide app users more accurate delivery time estimation and driver location.

Enable instant and constant communication with restaurant to ensure most efficient time to pick up food.

Provide change to driver or request user if they need change via online platform.

Hire staff to follow-up on complaints and any feedback provided.

Ensure website or application is continually monitored, updated and maintained.

Provide online chat support available at all time and liaise with the restaurant as the customer should not have to speak to the restaurant

themselves to check why the food is late or their order is incorrect.

New food industry trend:
ordering via social media

Facebook users can now order food through the Facebook mobile application in the US.

All they need to do is, tap the menu button and then tap ‘Order Food’. The user is then able to see a list of restaurants they
can order from for pickup or delivery and can follow the ordering process through Facebook.

Instead of going up as a competitor against delivery fulfillers, Facebook decided to partner up with existing food ordering
service providers such as ChowNow, Delivery.com, DoorDash, EatStreet and GrubHub and independent restaurants with
their own delivery service such as Chipotle, Five Guys, Papa John’s, and TGI Friday’s to increase the time users spend on the
platform. This way Facebook users don’t need to leave the mobile application to order food.

This feature also allows restaurants and delivery service providers to potentially reach customers that they may not have
reached without Facebook.

However though a major issue with Facebook food orders is the inability to manage the user experience and potential
application errors, as well as receiving a high volume of orders that might not be fulfilled, this is could be hot up-coming
trend on more social media platforms throughout the rest of the world in the near future.

Despite the benefits provided by the food delivery industry, there are many areas of improvement that will lead to
happier customers and a smooth seamless process. Food delivery can increase sales of restaurants specially
when fulfilled by a service provider and should be an investment new start ups and existing restaurants must
consider in order to reach more customers and stay relevant – and profitable – in the digital age.

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