Looking at two food delivery startups: UberEats and Frichti
UberEats: a Paris newcomer characterized by rivalry
A direct competitor to the market leaders in food delivery – like startup Deliveroo (established in France since one year ago) – the UberEats service chose Paris as the first city outside of North America to initiate its food offering. Its promise and positioning statement? "Instant delivery.”
“Paris was a no-brainer for the launch of the new UberEATS app and thus becomes the first city to offer UberEATS outside the United States and Canada. Paris is a great capital of gastronomy and culinary innovation, and the city is at the heart of the new wave of restaurant entrepreneurs,” explains Thibaud Simphal, General manager of France Uber."
This fact is a real strategy in this highly competitive industry, where everything is a matter of timing and logistics.
The challenge? To offer meal delivery in 30 minutes on average, with the possibility of express delivery in 10 minutes if the order is placed during the lunchtime rush hour and chosen from among 4 select dishes. So is it truly a groundbreaking offering? Not really, except for the “instant delivery” distinction: indeed, Deliveroo, for example, also offers delivery in 27 minutes, and so does Take Eat Easy (28 minutes).
However, at a time when telecommuting and extreme mobility have become real trends, UberEats, with its semi-ATAWAD offering (for "Anytime, anywhere, any device") and its large fleet of chauffeur driven vehicles, seems to have been able to distinguish itself from Deliveroo and thus meet a real expectation for mobiquity.
The fear of uberisation, however, seems to be little more than semantic parsing: in fact, the segmentation of the food delivery market has the emergence of another range of service platforms based on culinary well-being and health. It’s a trend that has also sparked the enthusiasm and appetite of the French people.
Frichti, or when "homemade" takes over the city
A meal delivery service created by Julia Bijaoui and Quentin Vacher in the summer of 2015, this young food startup’s promise is simple: rebel against "junk food" with the offer of good, practical, affordable eating. As a result, gluten free options make an appearance on the menu and dishes are well-balanced and offered at an affordable price (around 10 to 12 euros for a meal consisting of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert). The offering has been a recipe for success. The company announced last March that it had raised €12 million – unheard of for a startup of its size and age.
For Frichti, it was a business model created by the American company Munchery which ended up translating well to the French market, with other examples of businesses adopting this model include PopChef or Foodcheri. The main concept stems from the fact that everything is done internally: dishes are prepared and cooked on the startup’s premises. Today, with tens of thousands of customers in Paris, expanding abroad has become their new priority and a way of preserving the traditional French culture of a good, healthy, and well-balanced meal.
It seems that food delivery is taking over our cities – without uberizing French restaurants – each one with its niche. In fact, it’s an additional market that can create synergy with the established market. A syndrome of the golden age of cities, food delivery isn’t done spinning its web or making people take notice. To be continued.