22 October 2016
Delivery Republic app lets users key in orders as well as track the delivery status through smartphones. Photo: Delivery Republic
Delivery Republic app lets users key in orders as well as track the delivery status through smartphones. Photo: Delivery Republic

How a food delivery app is helping HK restaurants

When there is a problem, there is a solution.

To cater to more customers, restaurants need bigger space. But that would mean shelling out a lot more money on rent, which is not easy for everyone. Amid this situation, many restaurants are opting to expand their delivery business, rather than adding to the floor space in their outlets.

But hiring dedicated staff to do all the delivery can also be quite expensive, given that the food and beverage industry has been among the most affected by rising minimum wages in Hong Kong.

Introduced in 2011, the minimum wage in the city has seen a further hike to HK$32.5 an hour this May, from HK$30 previously.

So, what’s the way out for restaurants seeking to serve more customers? 

How about a third-party that does the delivery by pooling orders from various restaurants and helps lower the costs?

Well, this is exactly the solution a company came up with as it leveraged modern technology to set up a food delivery platform.

The app, named Delivery Republic, works like this.

When a restaurant wants to deliver food to a customer, all it has to do is select the delivery district, pick the delivery time, confirm payment amount and then submit the order through a smartphone.

It will be costly and hard for a restaurant to maintain its own delivery team, but if many restaurants share a common pool, it will be a lot more efficient and cost effective, the company behind the app told RTHK.

To incentivize the delivery crew, the more orders they complete, the more they are paid.

About 200 restaurants have already joined the service, and they are happy about the outsourcing option.

Some have reported sales growth and some have said that customers are glad that they are getting their food faster. Others praised the service for saving them management hours spent on scheduling and monitoring the cumbersome delivery process.

Delivery Republic now handles a few hundred orders a day. The company is hoping that the restaurant industry can increase the proportion of income from delivery to 30 percent from the current level of about 10 percent.

Some owners are even said to be considering setting up restaurants that focus solely on delivering food to customers’ doorsteps, and do away with physical outlets altogether.

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EJ Insight writer

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