Wednesday, March 10, 2021

GRAB TECH INSIDER: Food Delivery with a Southeast Asian Flavour

Grabfood Delivery - All about what your tummy likes!

It's chow time and it's time to order some food!  And thankfully even in this pandemic, our ever reliable GrabFood delivers all our favorites.

But do you know, there is a lot of AI going around in your app as soon as you start to open it? I recently was able to attend a Grab Tech Insider session - featuring GrabFood Delivery with a Southeast Asian Flavor, and wow the technology, the time people spent programming to better give us a delightful experience not just for the consumers but also to the merchant partners.

Wanna know more on how this goes?  Read on below and be ready to get mind blown!

Enhancing Eater's Experiences on GrabFood

Grab builds on technology with the aim of delivering not just food but the experience of having your food delivered.  Giving us a delightful experience in browsing, ordering and waiting for our food to arrive.  Grab builds on food delivery tech and think about:

1. Enable localisation at scale
2. Delight eaters and drive sustainable demand for our merchant-partners
3. Protect eater experiences in crunch time

Each country team has the ability to customize various sections of the GrabFood homepage to highlight what's more relevant to their customers based on consumption patterns derived from their ordering habits, this includes ability to localize content on display banners, categories and carousel.

Relevance on recommending alternative options

If a dish or restaurant a user searched for is unavailable or has less than 4 options, the app finds similar merchants based on keyword similarities on the menu, powered by machine learning capabilities.

Personalization and Ranking Logic

The GrabFood app is able to provide a personalized selection based on what you always order and enjoy, basically studying your ordering habits.

Recommendations are based on GrabFood's ranking logic, which considers 
1.) General factors such as merchant popularity, Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA), driver availability, etc.; 
2.) Individual factors such as past browsing and ordering history (e.g. cuisine / budget / food preferences) 
3.) Merchants that most closely match your profile.

Personalization in Real-time

GrabFood's "Recommended For You" section in the homepage is also personalized for users in real-time based on your search patterns, users who are searching for a particular fast-food restaurant will see the section being updated to show other similar fast food options almost immediately!

Multiple ordering options with tolls to support merchants' ops

For your orders, you currently have 5 types of ordering functions within the app:

* Delivery On-Demand
* Self Pick-Up
* Scheduled Delivery
* Group Order
* Mix-and-Match

But how about on the Merchant Side?  GrabFood has worked on several back-end technology products to make fulfillment more efficient:

Order Platform

To facilitate smooth order handling, the team has developed an order platform that combines 10 connected systems, what the platform does is:

*Provide a 360 view of all incoming orders
*Enables merchants to keep their restaurant information updated
*Offers analytics tools
*Offers Open Platform tools

POS Integration

An example of an Open Platform tool we have developed for merchant-partners is the Point of Sale integration, which lets them link their POS system used in their own restaurants with GrabMerchant

  • Before POS integration: Merchant's staf have to manually transfer GrabFood orders from the GrabMerchant app into their restaurant POS
  • With the integration, GrabFood orders flow straight into the restaurant POS, and right into the kitchen.  Whenever merchants update their menus in the restaurant POS system, it will be reflected in the GrabFood app immediately.
This means that merchants only need to manage one system, and helps them save time and improve accuracy.

On-time preparation and Driver Availability

● Accurate food preparation time estimations are essential in our overall ETA calculation.

● On average, drivers spend 6-11 minutes waiting in restaurants for merchants to finish preparing their orders.

● Because preparation habits may differ across markets, Grab is testing out different features to encourage merchants to prepare food more promptly and to minimise waiting time for drivers at restaurants.

Optimizing fleet - Batch Ordering

● With order batching, our system can assign two or more consumer orders with nearby drop-off or pick-up points for a driver to complete in a single trip.

● Order batching was developed to help us optimise our fleet, especially during peak hours and supply crunch time, such as when there’s a heavy downpour at dinner time. 

Optimizing fleet - Radius Reduction

● In supply crunch times when there’s too many orders and too few delivery riders in an area, eaters may have to wait very long for a delivery-rider. Chances of merchants cancelling an order is also higher as they may be operating at maximum capacities.

● When driver allocation rate and order completion rate decline severely, our system kicks in to start gradually reducing the delivery radius. 

● This helps to concentrate delivery-riders within a smaller area, to help improve order completion rates

● This is applied until order completion rate stabilises and more delivery-partners are available in the area. 

Now that's a lot going on your Grabfood app!  Just imagine all that technology and convenience in your fingertips from Grabfood just for you!  So the next time you open your app to order from Grabfood, you can be assured of quality, convenience and only the best for you.

So don't hold back and give in to your cravings.. order via GrabFood today!

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