by Claire Cohen
Founders’ story – Meet Paminos and Constantinos from efood
Brothers Paminos and Constantinos founded their own food delivery business from their home in Greece in 2012. Today efood is the country’s largest online food delivery platform.
The duo talks about the challenges of starting a business in economically insecure times, making it despite all odds, and why ‘efooders’ are the main ingredient of success.
Why did you decide to found your own business? And why food delivery?
For many reasons! We’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Also, food delivery has always been huge in Greece and there was a clear trend from abroad indicating that it would soon shift online. We knew that with strong partnerships and solid execution we could lead the way and build the number one online delivery platform in Greece.
How did you get started?
We actually have a very authentic ‘Silicon Valley style’ story. We started our business at our parents’ house in a corner of their living room in 2012. After a while we took over their entire living room, and then most of the other spaces. Imagine how strange it was holding our first interviews there! But we grew really fast and soon moved out of the living room into a small 50sqm office with 20 of us there. The cool part was that although we were in this really small place we were super focused on growing our business.
What ‘ingredients’ would you say are needed to successfully start a business?
We will answer this question based on efood’s values; love for our users, our partners and stores, love for improvement, for our team and, obviously, love for food.
What was the biggest challenge that came your way?
Looking back at when we started efood, we now all know that this was one of the most challenging periods in recent Greek history. There was a lot of economic insecurity. One might say that it wasn’t an ideal time to run a company – quite the contrary. But efood did really well during these years, making it a great example of the potential that exists in Greece and how even in the hardest times you can build a successful company.
We knew that with strong partnerships and solid execution we could lead the way and build the number one online delivery platform in Greece.
At that time a lot of people were moving out of Greece for economic reasons, but efood managed to attract a lot of talent. Now we have people that used to live abroad and moved back to Greece to work at efood. They keep telling us how happy they are having had the opportunity to return to their home country. We hope that going forward more and more successful startups will shape Greece’s future.
What’s special about Greek order behaviour?
Greece seems to be unique among most countries, as it is very common for people to order their coffee. At first sight this might seem strange, but we have a very old tradition of ordering coffee from local coffee places – here known as kafenia – and have it delivered to our workplace. It is a daily habit that has a great impact on our strategy and our users’ order behaviour. Regarding food, souvlaki is the most ordered dish on our platform.
How does being part of Delivery Hero impact your business?
We became part of Delivery Hero in 2015. When we started talking to Delivery Hero, we were super excited because it is an amazing company. We knew that becoming part of a global team with very talented people would help us evolve to a company with global standards.
From the first 20 people who joined efood almost everyone is still here.
The way we work with Delivery Hero is very balanced. We are focused on our day-to-day business and Delivery Hero is very supportive of that. We get access to all the information, tools and know-how that we need. There is an ongoing exchange, so we receive a lot of support and at the same time we are also given the opportunity to share what we do best. This creates an amazing food delivery hub – we’ve gathered together all the talent and are transferring knowledge across all markets.
Why is efood an amazing place to work?
We have tried to create a hub of people who want to evolve within our company. That makes ‘efooders’ the major ingredient of our success. We always love to do everything we can in order to create a unique, friendly and inclusive environment for all our employees. Besides offering a gym, beer Fridays, team activities and having our in-house coffee stand, what makes our workplace truly special is the ‘efooder way’ – we all work together with enthusiasm for a common goal: to raise the bar.
From the first 20 people who joined efood almost everyone is still here, and this says a lot about our culture, the way we work together as a team and how each person here feels about the company.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at the office?
Paminos: Skiing! After snowboarding for many years going back to skiing was pretty cool.
Constantinos: Taking my dog for a walk to the mountains and, of course, spending time with my kids.
What makes our workplace truly special is the ‘efooder way’ – we all work together with enthusiasm for a common goal.
What’s your favourite dish to order?
Paminos: Iced cappuccino with nonfat milk and cinnamon on top.
Constantinos: A plain pizza Margherita.
What do you love most about your job?
Paminos: The energy and inspiration we feel, as well as the challenges we face and overcome at the office with the whole team every day in order to make efood even better.
Constantinos: Working with the teams at efood and finding ways to continuously innovate on all projects.
What’s your vision for efood’s future?
When we look back in 20 years, we hope that the culture at efood will have remained the same. We know that as the company grows, this becomes more and more challenging, but we are very focused on maintaining this culture. We want to make sure that our efood values that were there when we were only a handful of people will still be there even when we exceed a three digit number.
As we grow, we need to start giving back more consistently and corporate social responsibility is something that already is crucial to us today. Over the years we want to look back and see that we’ve made a significant impact supporting causes and people who are in need through efood.