On the food empire, Delivery Hero


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 3 2015)

Since the foundation of Delivery Hero in 2011, the way in which people order food on the internet has constantly changed. In Germany, the company is represented by the brands Delivery Hero, pizza.de and Urban Taste. For more than an entire decade, CEO, Niklas Östberg, has been founding international e-commerce companies together with multiple partners who share his visions. United in their passion for innovative concepts they regularly introduce new ideas for the food delivery industry.

Delivery Hero has its headquarters in Berlin, the European capital city for start-ups. Investors of the company are, among others, Team Europe, ru-Net, Kite Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures, Rocket Internet, Point Nine Capital, General Atlantic, Lead Edge Capital, Insight Venture Partners and Vostok Nafta. To date they have pumped several million dollars into their huge mission – to provide people with their favourite food in the most simple way possible. They operate with 2,000 employees in a total of 34 countries on five continents and are the largest food network in the world with 200,000 participating restaurants. Each month, 10 million orders are taken. A huge range, comfortable home delivery, reliability and quality are the main reasons for the constantly growing customer community. Simply click through the menus of thousands of restaurants and have your favourite dish delivered. The ordering and subsequent payment is conveniently completed online.  

We spoke with Bodo von Braunmühl, Head of Public Relations at Delivery Hero, about the market for food ordering and future trends.

Mr von Braunmühl, which countries are leaders in online ordering?

Bodo von Braunmühl: These are countries with an extremely high online penetration such as Korea, where almost all orders are made via app. Then there are markets like Turkey, where, while the online numbers are lower, a distinctive ‘culture of ordering’ exists. In Turkey alone we process three million orders a month. In both categories, Germany lies in the middle of the 34 Delivery Hero countries. Of course Germany is of particular significance to us due to its size and because it is our home market, in which we are the clear market leaders with our brands pizza.de and Lieferheld (Delivery Hero).

For what products and dishes is the demand the highest in your experience?

B. v. B.: That depends on the market. In Germany and many other countries, pizza is still top of the hit list of favourite dishes. But healthy food such as Asian, sushi and diverse salads are also trendy. In England, a lot of Indian and Chinese food is ordered, the Turks prefer local dishes such as kebabs, the Greeks their Souvlaki and the Polish like to order Pierogies. 

How well do you know the companies to whom you make your platform available? How can you be sure that the quality of their products is good?

B. v. B.: We have a very clear picture of the quality of our 200,000 partner restaurants. It is the core of our quality management to familiarise the restaurants much more with their customer feedback, just as is the case after a restaurant visit. We try to make immediate improvements when the quality of the delivered food does not reach the customer’s expectations. In addition we occupy food and logistics experts in order to be able to optimally support caterers in all areas of the order chain.

How do you think the food culture will change in the coming years, especially in Europe? What are the latest trends?

B. v. B.: A huge issue is quality for sure. That’s why we do everything to raise this in delivery food with our new premium brand ‘Urban Taste’ among other things. Fast food should just represent the speed of the delivery in the future and no longer the limited food quality. The apps from Delivery Hero are intended to be the ‘pocket food court’, so to speak, which displays the entire gastronomic range and come to your door upon ordering. 

A second huge issue is convenience. We spend around three years of our life cooking and tidying up afterwards. However, only 20 percent of people see this as ‘quality time’. We offer our services for the remaining 80 percent who can then use their gained time as they really want to. No extra journey to the supermarket, no queuing at the cash register, no juggling at the stove, no tidying  and washing up. Experts, professional chefs make the food and we enjoy – that’s how we see the future. Who knows, maybe kitchens in flats and houses will become superfluous in 20 or 30 years because delivery services will supply people with food.

What is the next milestone you are intending to set? What are you planning in the coming 10 to 20 years?

B. v. B.: We want to modify the industry and completely rethink the delivery business. Part of this is having the best, technologically most innovative platform. A sophisticated partner management with the catering businesses is also necessary, and finally, smart delivery logistics which we will invest a significant amount in. We will do this, on one hand, in order to maintain the control over the delivery and on the other hand, in order to ensure that we can inspire ever more high-quality restaurants with no delivery service with our platform. 

How are your plans to go public going?

B. v. B.: Going public in 2016 is not completely out of the realms of possibility, but we will always pin our decision on whether an official listing will help us to realise our vision. 

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The Swede Niklas Östberg is co-founder and CEO of Delivery Hero. He studied industrial engineering in Stockholm and Zurich and worked at the New York consultancy Oliver Wyman. In 2011 he founded the company Delivery Hero, which is especially known by the brand name Lieferheld. It receives online orders for 200,000 restaurants in 43 countries to date. In addition to the ordering-including payment, Delivery Hero takes care of marketing, customer service technology and, if desired, delivery logistics via its own fleet of vehicles.




Picture credits © Tom One

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