Grab launches GrabFood in Singapore; to offer service soon in Southeast Asia

Grab launches GrabFood in Singapore; to offer service soon in Southeast Asia

The tech company says it has signed up thousands of merchant partners such as McDonald's, Wing Zone and Yum Cha restaurant, and there will be no minimum order requirement for customers.

GrabFood delivery
File photo of a GrabFood delivery. (Photo: Grab)

SINGAPORE: Ride-hailing company Grab on Monday (May 28) officially announced it is offering GrabFood in Singapore, and the food delivery service will be available in five other Southeast Asian markets "within this quarter".

It also said it has outlasted competitors before when asked to comment on Indonesian rival Go-Jek's impending expansion to Singapore and other regional markets.

For the Singapore launch of the GrabFood app, the company said it has signed up thousands of merchants to be on its service platform, including A Poke Theory, Hock Lam Beef Noodles, Ji De Chi, McDonald's, Wing Zone and Yum Cha restaurant.

Asked to elaborate on the number of merchants and delivery people available, Mr James Ong, head of GrabFood Singapore, said during the media briefing there must be a balance between both. Too few delivery people, and consumers will get their food late, while too many will mean there will not be enough jobs to go around, he explained. 

"As we grow demand, we will grow supply," Mr Ong added.

He also mentioned that there will be no minimum order requirement for consumers - a feature similar to the now-defunct Uber Eats. This is a "strong lever" to shape consumer behaviour but as the service evolves, it could be offered to certain segments of the customer base while others would get other targeted promotions, he explained.

GrabFood will also be linked to its GrabRewards loyalty platform, with Grab saying it will offer five GrabRewards points for every dollar spent on a GrabFood order.

Other regional markets to have GrabFood include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, the company added in its press release.

INSURANCE FOR DELIVERY STAFF

Besides consumers, the company also said it will insure all on-the-job delivery staff at no additional cost to "protect them in the event of an unfortunate accident".

Those delivering for GrabFood will also not need to pre-book their delivery slots, and all earnings for the day can be cashed out on the same day, the company added.

The GrabFood app is available now in beta, which Mr Ong explained is to let users know the company will be making many changes to the app to improve the service based on the feedback it receives.

It supersedes the Uber Eats app, which was officially shut off at 11.59pm on Sunday, according to Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay during the same briefing. Most of the GrabFood staff came from Uber Eats, Mr Ong added, but he declined to reveal the exact numbers.

The company acquired Uber's Southeast Asia operations and Uber Eats in March this year, although regulators in the region including Singapore are still reviewing the deal.

"COMPETITION IS ALWAYS THERE"

Grab’s co-chief of staff to the CEO and GrabFood Singapore head Lim Kell Jay.
Mr Lim Kell Jay.

Mr Lim, when asked how the company will be affected by Go-Jek's impending arrival in the market, said "competition is always there" and it had faced competitors in the past but still came out on top.

"We are very focused on what our customers want ... and we think it's the only sustainable way to remain relevant in the market," he explained.

Go-Jek announced last week it will enter the ride-hailing business in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in the next few months, investing US$500 million in its international push. CEO Nadiem Makarim said then that people in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines "don't feel that they're getting enough (choice) when it comes to ride hailing". 

Source: CNA/kk(hm)

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