Hungry for Success


Sat, 03 February 2018

Hungry for Success

Mahmoud Badawy, managing director of the company leading the online food ordering industry, tells Behnaz Sanjana all about its journey and what lies ahead.

Gone are the days when ordering food for home delivery was a time-consuming affair. Talabat, the first online food ordering service in the region, has made its presence felt all over the GCC and Jordan. The company is part of Delivery Hero, the leading global online food ordering and delivery marketplace, based in Berlin, Germany.

“The inception of the company took place in 2004, in Kuwait, with a vision to create a platform that gives people access to restaurants in an easy and efficient manner, and provides an exceptional delivery experience,” says Mahmoud. “This soon turned into a reality, and Talabat’s success grew beyond Kuwait and expanded to the rest of the GCC region, where it was introduced in Bahrain in 2012. It is now a regional pioneer in the field and a true homegrown success story.”

The company has over 400 restaurant partners, ranging from global franchises to local concepts, with more than 700 branches operating. “With around 30 different cuisines on our platform, we always aim to satisfy all taste buds and preferences,” says Mahmoud.

The company satisfies the New Age consumer’s quest for convenience and penchant for online shopping for their everyday needs, he says, adding: “Talabat offers users the convenience of ordering food from a large selection of restaurants with just a few taps. We strive to elevate our customer experiences in the context of ease, experience and choice, where the creation of a superior customer journey with excellent customer service is our top priority.”

With the rise of the smartphone, 75 per cent of orders are placed through the company’s mobile application. Mahmoud explains that by being listed on this virtual platform, restaurants reach a much wider user base, where they are able to offer their services without incurring additional expenses.

One of the most important milestones that the company has seen in its rapid growth would definitely be the launch of its own delivery fleet, Talabat GO. This has enabled restaurants that do not have their own delivery services, or have limited scope of delivery, to serve customers that were not earlier in their reach. Mahmoud elaborates: “Having our own delivery offering enabled us to widen our portfolio of restaurant partners to our customer database and increase order frequency as well as customer satisfaction rates. Talabat GO provides users with live tracking and faster delivery, along with more restaurants to choose from. The success of Talabat GO came through signing more than 100 new restaurants joining the platform, within the period of only six months.”

Talking about plans going forward, Mahmoud is optimistic about the organisation’s future. He says: “The rise in digital technology has been key in shaping food ordering behaviours, both from a global perspective and in the region. At Talabat, we make it a point not to treat every market the same, and maintain an ongoing due diligence process, so that we understand each market’s nuances.

“Being a home-grown business that is part of a global food ordering giant puts us in the unique position of balancing local insights with global learnings. At the same time, we continue to be very close to our restaurant partners and customers, continuously channelling their feedback into our business to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve in the online food delivery ecosystem. Talabat’s future will consist of continuous optimisation of our product and services, new offerings and great value to both users and restaurant partners. We aim to keep providing Bahrain with a service which consists of continuous quality, efficiency and a great selection of restaurants to choose from.”

Mahmoud is grateful to Talabat’s loyal users and restaurant partners for their role in the company’s success story by way of their continuous support. He says that the firm aims to further expand on its restaurant portfolio — to be the go-to food delivery platform, which serves a wide range of preferences.