FOOD DELIVERY company Foodpanda Group (stylized as foodpanda) is gearing up for expansion in the Philippines as it celebrates its fifth anniversary in the country.

“We grew drastically over the last five years. It’s primarily, also accounted to how we played around our service, the price points… Over the years, we’ve grown from just a few restaurants, now we have over 2,500 brands on board, reaching multiple cities the biggest is Metro Manila, and we’re growing rapidly in Davao, Cebu, and we’ve expanded to a couple of cities in North and South Luzon, Angeles, Pampanga; Bacoor, Cavite; and San Pedro, Laguna,” Cheena M. Abellon, head of marketing of foodpanda Philippines, told BusinessWorld in an interview.

Launched in the Philippines in 2014, foodpanda is owned by Berlin-based company Delivery Hero SE and is operating in about 50 countries.

Ms. Abellon noted that in the following months, the company will further widen its reach, and is targeting to be in 19 cities in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao — especially in emerging cities — by the end of the year.

The company is already serving Manila, Makati, Taguig, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Marikina, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasay, as well as emerging areas such as Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Davao City.

“The convenience that we offer is something applicable for business districts. I would say majority talaga of everything is coming from Metro Manila, but we cannot disregard the fact na (that) Cebu and Davao are rapidly growing, and with our expansion, we saw a significant growth and the significant potentials in the new cities where we are launching,” she noted.

She added that the company will also be maintaining its purpose of delivering food to people by further improving the features in the platform. From being just a simple food delivery platform, it now has various features that can cater to all kinds of customers.

“We put ourselves at a competitive standpoint wherein kami pa rin ‘yung (we are still the) industry leaders, and with that kind of price point, we’ve managed to acquire new customers, reach out to more people because it became more affordable and not kind of like an elite application,” she said.

During its early days in the country, foodpanda implemented a minimum order value and imposed 10% for delivery fee plus service fees. This were later on replaced by a fixed amount of P59 for delivery in 2016, which is now at P35.

Moreover, in 2018, the company launched its pre-order feature. Early this year, it introduced a pick-up feature for customers who want to skip long lines and just pick up their orders when they pass by restaurants.

“We offer the same solution, but differentiating it is primarily focused on one vertical. I think that is one of our key strengths and leverage against competitors kasi (because) we’re not dividing our attention… We’re focused on getting food to someone,” Ms. Abellon said.

Ms. Abellon said the platform may also serve as an advertising venue for some restaurants, as it introduces them to more potential customers.

“It’s an enabling factor din for restaurants, so on their perspective, on the business level perspective, we are an opportunity for them…like an advertising arm for them in order to tap markets that they cannot reach by being just their branch,” Ms. Abellon said.

In addition to this, restaurants are also able to skip costs for food delivery, like buying motorcycles and salary and benefits for delivery crew.

“They are able to add sales on a branch level through the delivery service that we are doing without having to do an expansion in order to accommodate more seats, and they didn’t have to spend on operational costs buying a bike or paying a rider. They get to skip that part,” the official said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang