Half a million restaurants: how did we get there?

27 Jan 2020 |

Robin Nierynck

We did it – This week, we reached the momentous number of 500,000 restaurants on our platforms. That makes us the biggest restaurant inventory globally outside China. Our teams around the world have worked tirelessly to reach this milestone. We talked to Marija Terzic, Senior Manager Global Sales, about what it takes to reach such numbers and still offer an amazing experience, why onboarding more restaurants comes with its own challenges, and what the future holds.

500,000 restaurants, that’s a pretty big milestone. Was it a challenge to get there?

It is a very significant milestone, not just for Delivery Hero but for the food industry as well. It shows the momentum in the industry and especially in our markets. When I joined Delivery Hero in Berlin, coming from one of our Delivery Hero brands (Donesi; Serbia), we were at less than 200k restaurants worldwide. Now, 2 years later we are at half a million restaurants! It is so exciting to look back and see how far we’ve come. But it doesn’t compare to the tremendous excitement for what comes next!

In order to have a healthy impact we need to make sure we are driving the right decisions every step of the way.

We grew step by step, month by month, and we managed to deliver thanks to devotion and cooperation our local teams. It was and still is a challenging period since we are expanding continuously and there are so many ambitions we have set for ourselves!

I have to mention and praise the Sales teams on the ground and each and every Sales Representative working for Delivery Hero brands worldwide in 40+ countries – without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.

How does having ever more restaurants on our platforms impact the business?

Global Sales Team Delivery Hero

The Global Sales team works closely with our local markets and central teams

Having plenty of restaurants on our platforms alone doesn’t automatically mean better business impact, better quality, more orders for our partners or more choice for our customers. In order to have a healthy impact we need to make sure we are driving the right decisions every step of the way.

This means signing the right restaurants in the right areas (for example, instead of signing the tenth pizza restaurant we would focus on improving the variety of cuisines in that area), making sure the minimum order value is right so that a customer can order just one meal, educating restaurants on our products and services, and investing in the channels we want to grow.

In order to do this we work closely with other departments and teams. For example: in order to have a successful city launch, sales teams have to work closely with logistic teams to make sure there are enough riders, and with marketing teams to support with campaigns both towards customers and our restaurant partners.

Only then can we expect success and powerful impact by growing our restaurant offering: There’s an ideal sales coverage in every area and city, customers can order from their favorite restaurants whenever they want, and we are confident we can deliver their orders fast.

How does the global sales team work with our local sales teams?

Our Global Sales team in Berlin consists of 7 people and is part of the International department under our Chief Operating Officer. In the team we have a regional split into: Europe, MENA, Americas and the APAC region, so we can really cater to each region’s character and needs.

We are all super close to our markets and our colleagues, and act as a global support service to facilitate knowledge sharing between the regions and enable our local teams to excel. We provide our markets with best case practices from local teams in other regions and we develop global tools to drive forward the strategies we built together.

Rather than focusing on our competitors, our core motivator is our customer – meaning that everything we do, we do to make our product better and easier for our users.

As an example, we are assisting our local teams in identifying the ideal portfolio of potential restaurant partners to approach. As such, we help them to win as many new partnerships as possible, as quickly as possible. But the local teams are key in achieving this growth.

Every year we all gather (global and local sales teams) for a World Sales Meeting where we share knowledge on best practices and discuss Sales strategies moving forward. It’s always great fun!

How does your team innovate?

Marija Terzic Delivery Hero

Marija Terzic is Senior Manager Global Sales

We listen carefully to our local teams so as to understand their needs and most importantly – we try to anticipate them as well. We do not want to reinvent the wheel, so if any of our markets does something great we make sure other markets hear about it and apply a similar approach – refining it to the local need.

In all our complexity we are trying to be a data driven company since that is the only way to be and stay a market leader. In this business, if you have no data insights to lead you then you are in the dark – the market will move on and you will hardly catch up.
The Global Sales Team works closely with the Data Science and Business Intelligence Teams who are collecting and processing data we rely on in order to create action plans for faster delivery, better choice and brand visibility.

Rather than focusing on our competitors, our core motivator is our customer – meaning that everything we do, we do to make our product better and easier for our users.

Why did growth accelerate so much?

It has certainly become easier to find new partners than it was 5 years ago. Whereas previously we would mostly approach businesses, nowadays restaurants are contacting us every day to join our platforms.

However, this didn’t happen out of nowhere – we had to lay a lot of groundwork. In the past couple of years we invested a lot in growing our local teams and expanding our existing markets in all regions, as well as opening new ones in Asia. The Asian region is one that has grown tremendously in recent years. For example, in Taiwan we doubled the team and in Thailand we quadrupled the team in only one year!

How does your team manage such a big amount of restaurants?

As far as I am concerned, people come first. In order to sign this amount of contracts with restaurants, bring them live, generate orders, keep good relationships and provide exceptional service to our partners we need to have a certain number of Sales Representatives, Account Managers and colleagues in contact centers or in content teams on the ground.

Over the last few years we have changed a lot, but our core mission has remained the same: delivering amazing experiences for our customers.

Then as a next key point comes all the tools, KPIs and reports we use in order to monitor and track our markets and drive further growth. Once we combine the two (people and insightful global tools) we can achieve these exceptional results.

How does being on our platform benefit restaurants?

There are many benefits on the table. Number one is being part of a successful partnership. We do not consider restaurants our clients but our partners. And as in every partnership, our goal is to develop together. Our focus is to deliver the best service to our partners and to show them what kind of growth they can expect from our cooperation.

Part of our support and service comes in the shape of extensive analysis and reports our Account Managers share with the restaurant partners. Marketing support (offline and online) is very significant as well, and of course all the customer acquisition tools we are providing to our partners.

In the end, being part of our platforms means more orders, more revenue, and more visibility for our restaurant partners – so it’s a win-win situation.

How did sales change over the last few years?

Over the last few years we have changed a lot, but our core mission has remained the same: delivering amazing experiences for our customers. By committing to this vision and listening to our customer’s needs we have shifted from mainly marketplace delivery to own-delivery in every market, as well as creating a multi-vertical approach. This means our portfolio now includes delivering groceries, pet food, flowers, electronics, pharmaceuticals, baby supplies, you name it!