Dinner Delivery Debacle
Take Away delivery service Just Eat have a sour taste in their mouth after experiencing a £76 million loss during 2017. And no wonder, considering that in 2016 they were boasting profits of £91 million.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the firm though.
Despite the hit – which was apparently due to operations in Australia and New Zealand – the group’s CEO said they’d experienced a record year. 172 million takeaways were ordered by 21.5 million customers around the world.
500,000 of those orders were processed in the UK on the night of the December X-Factor final. (That’s a lot of people that need to get out more if you ask me!)
And it seems that the singing sensations seeking their 5 minutes of fame weren’t the only ones embroiled in healthy competition.
Just East has expanded rapidly. The company was founded in Denmark in 2001 and has crossed the globe from Switzerland to Brazil, gobbling up rivals along the way.
Despite this rapid expansion and culling of rivals though, the group admitted that competition was “intensifying in certain markets” and that customers are expecting and “ever better experience”.
It’s definitely true.
People want an emotive user experience that has a positive outcome and delivers customer satisfaction.
And with a variety of delivery services available – from Just Eat, to Uber Eats and Deliveroo – consumers have the freedom of choice.
So of course, people are going to shop around until they find the one that best serves their needs, whether it be dependent on cost, choice of food available or speed of delivery.
Word of Warning
Of course, as user experience monitoring shows, not everyone gets it right in meeting customer expectations.
Deliveroo are one food delivery company that appears to be falling short, as I know from personal experience.
They were my company of choice because of the decent selection of restaurants that they delivered for. (As much as I like a Zinger Burger, I couldn’t bring myself to get KFC delivered to me at home!)
Unfortunately, they left me wanting.
My supposed delivery time came and went and I had nothing to show for it except an empty stomach.
So, I got on the chat to them and was told that a driver had yet to be assigned to my order but that it would be resolved and I could expect to receive my food in around 15 minutes.
But that window passed too and so I got on the phone, only to hear more of the same.
By now, I was extremely hangry and also getting rather concerned that the restaurant would be closed by the time they got around to fulfilling my order.
However, I was assured that all pending orders would be delivered, no matter what.
That was some kind of placation. Well, at least until I then received notification that my order had been cancelled!
Based on the old adage ‘don’t shoot the messenger’, I have always generally been inclined to blame the restaurant I ordered from in situations such as these.
Perhaps they were too busy to fulfil an excess of weekend orders? Maybe they were short staffed? Perhaps there was a technical problem and my order didn’t reach them?
Surely it wouldn’t be the fault of Deliveroo who had to simply pick up a food parcel and bring it to my home?
Seems I was wrong though and was laying blame at the wrong door.
Deliveroo are garnering a bit of a reputation for delivering nothing but broken promises.
According to a newspaper report I came across from the end of last year, I am by no means the only one who has had a negative end user experience.
Eateries in St Albans that used the service had started noticing issues.
One pub owner suffered as a customer too… The order he placed at 9pm for an 11.20pm delivery was cancelled. Leaving him hungry and frustrated.
Needless to say, he was quick to stop using the service. And others have followed suit.
Partnerships such as those between eateries and delivery services are great. At least whilst they work.
But as Deliveroo are proving, problems do arise.
In this instance, it’s to do with the lack of riders who are on shift at any one time, meaning there are not enough riders to get orders out quickly, so there is a delay for the customer.
And that, in turn, has a knock-on effect on the restaurants, because consumers like me see them as being at the route of the problem.
So, the moral of the story is: be careful who you get into bed with. Or you may well be screwed if you’re not! (pun intended).
Yes, there is strength in numbers. Partnerships can help you offer that something extra to consumers and expand your product or service offering. And this is becoming a necessity in today’s competitive environment.
On the flip side though, you are putting your reputation in the hands of a third party. And they may well have the power to make or break you.
So, by all means, expand your horizons. I can help you grow, deliver customer satisfaction and meet consumer requirements. But you must tread carefully.
And make sure you carry out continual end user experience research. This will help to ensure you – and your service delivery partners – are delivering on your promises.