The idea for GoFood was born during the global Covid-19 crisis.
PHOTO BY SUPPLIED
DUBAI – GoFood, a food delivery app and website run by restaurant owners in the UAE, is set to launch later this month.
More than 500 businesses representing 2,000 restaurants have already signed up to be on the GoFood platform and the number of restaurants is expected to hit 2,500 by the third week of June.
The idea for GoFood was born during the global Covid-19 crisis when food aggregators and delivery service providers refused to reduce their commissions (some as high as 30 percent per order), putting a massive strain on restaurants already struggling with reduced businesses.
More than 80 per cent of the UAE’s food delivery business is currently controlled by three aggregators, all owned by one parent company.
Since GoFood is directly run by the restaurant owners themselves, consumers using the app or website will not be charged delivery costs, although a few smaller restaurants may do so.
There is no membership signing fee. A GoFood loyalty programme will also come with the app, which can be used for discounts and special offers with participating restaurants.
By using GoFood, consumers are also supporting their favourite local restaurants directly by ensuring the restaurants do not pay high commissions to third party aggregators, which will in turn leads to better quality and services.
“GoFood is created by restaurant owners who have realised they need to be their own digital landlords for their own survival. There is no way we can sustain our business by paying 30 percent of our revenue to an aggregator,” said Shanavas Mohammed, one of GoFood’s founders and the managing director of Golden Fork Seafood Restaurants.
The F&B industry in the UAE has come together united more than ever, said David AbiDaoud of Mezza Lebanese Kitchen, and one of the founders of GoFood.
“Our motivation is our loyal customers during this extraordinary time. We weren’t going to sit idle and let third party aggregators shape our future,” he added.
“Some might think it’s a daring move but these are daring times. This allows us to preserve the customer experience, pass on greater savings and reduce our losses. It’s mutually beneficial for customers and restaurant operators,” he said.
GoFood has partnered with logistic companies for delivery options and will also utilise various social media platforms to enhance the partnering restaurants’ visibility and expedite orders. The focus is to help restaurants lower delivery costs and manage their expenses and data better. In short, it will help restaurants take back control of their businesses.
“The best example of the importance of delivery was highlighted by the global Covid-19 crisis. We would have struggled to survive if it weren’t for our robust delivery business and the support of our loyal customers,” said Khaled Fadly, the CEO of Poke and Co Restaurant Ltd, which operates six restaurants including Acai and Co and Chick N Co.
“We have been reaching to our customers and urging them to support us by ordering directly through our website or mobile app to save on the huge commissions that we pay to aggregators,” Fadly added. “But many customers said they liked to have options. With GoFood, we are hoping that we solve this problem by having all restaurants in UAE under one app and at the same time the commission is fair and not as high as other platforms.”
Shoaib Dowlatshahi, the managing partner of Chicken Cottage, which has two branches in Dubai, says GoFood knows first hand the struggles of running a food business as it is owned by restaurant operators themselves.
GoFood is incorporated in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) free zone with an authorised capital of Dh3 million, made up of 30,000 ordinary shares of Dh100.00 each. Anyone owning a restaurant in the UAE can subscribe to a minimum of 100 ordinary shares. DT/PR/Expat Media
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