Pinoys living in Metro Manila sure love their chicken. Chicken wings, to be exact. Foodpanda Philippines CEO Iacopo Rovere told Yummy.ph, “Chicken is the number one category. This was new to me, but chicken wings, specifically, was surprising. It’s a chicken country.”
Foodpanda is an online food delivery marketplace with main headquarters in Berlin and began operating in the Philippines in 2014. They acquired their competitor, City Delivery, in late 2014.
He continued, “Another trend we saw is the rise of healthy food. Healthy food is definitely on the rise.”
While Rovere agreed that it’s not innate for the average Pinoy to turn to a smartphone app when ordering food, he shared that there is a promising opportunity to increase the order frequency and encourage service usage. “Food is a substantial part of a Filipino’s day so the business has been doing well.”
The app is free and is relatively user-friendly: After creating an account with an option to use Facebook details, the app first asks you for your current location and lists partner restaurants you may choose from within a 3 to 5 kilometer-distance. Payment may be done via credit card, Paypal, or cash on delivery.
Currently, foodpanda has over 1,000 partner restaurants including Wildflour, Zubuchon, and most fast food favorites. They also operate in Cebu City but they are focusing on getting the best brands instead of just going for quantity. He added, “We really try to control the food quality and delivery time. We don’t want to compromise quality just to satisfy a minority who wants to order from a restaurant that’s far away from them.”
They’ve also been working on quirks specific to operating in the Philippines: “One of the biggest challenges here is that product supply is an issue. What often happens is they give us the full menu and some items are not available. To tackle that, we allowed them to basically be able to switch [menu items] on and off on the app. The only problem is getting the restaurants to do it all the time.”
In 2017, Foodpanda rolled out a fixed delivery fee of P59 (from the previous delivery fee of P30 and a service fee of 15% from the total food bill). It also lowered the minimum required food order amount from P300 to P200.
Craving chicken wings? Not a problem, Rovere said. “You can order up to half an hour before the restaurant closes.”