Kutlu Kaan Haliloglu, managing director, UAE and Oman for Talabat speaks to Catering News Middle East…
You joined Talabat in 2013 – what experience did you bring to the role? Coming from Yemeksepeti – the leading online food delivery platform in Turkey which is one of the oldest and biggest online delivery platforms in the world – really helped me bring a customer first perspective into the market.
What is your view of the delivery market in the Middle East? The Middle East has been demonstrating fantastic year-on-year growth for us over the past few years in particular. With a very urban & tech savvy population and a massive delivery culture, I expect that trend to continue. 70% of restaurants in Dubai are listed on delivery apps which really brings the point home that the majority of restaurants don’t want to miss the opportunity there is in delivery – they all want a slice of the delivery pie!
Where do you see untapped opportunities? A huge majority of delivery orders are coming from mobile phones. Today, 87% of Talabat’s orders come directly from mobile. The UAE has amongst the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world and this shows no signs of slowing down with the mobile increasingly becoming the first screen of choice for consumers.
People are increasingly looking for ease and are becoming more accustomed to online shopping for their everyday needs, this is where opportunity lies for brands – meaning we need to ensure we are making the process as user friendly as possible to guarantee loyalty.
We are always striving to elevate our value proposition, particularly in the context of convenience and choice for both restaurant partners and customers. We strive to elevate our customer experiences in the context of convenience, experience and choice. The creation of a superior customer journey with excellent customer service is our top priority.
Currently, we are working on some new product features which will help restaurants better manage and operate their delivery processes. This will also translate into a better experience for our customers.
How does Talabat stand out from its competitors? Being by far the biggest platform in the region, it allows us to truly localise for each country we operate in while still leveraging the regional size to provide the best choices for our customers.
As part of a global food ordering business, we take global learnings and match with our regional experience, while continuing to maintain strong relationships with our restaurant partners and customers. Moreover, we ensure that we are continuously channeling our customer’s feedback into our business to stay ahead of the curve in the online food ordering ecosystem in the region.
What big news has Talabat announced this year? That would be the launch of Talabat GO, our own fleet of drivers. Moving into this space and having our own delivery offering enabled us to massively widen our portfolio of restaurant partners to our enormous customer database and increase order frequency & customer satisfaction rates.
What is coming up in 2018 for Talabat? We want to focus on increasing customer satisfaction through all our features – Talabat GO, live tracking for restaurants that deliver themselves and closer cooperation with all our restaurant partners to better drive customer satisfaction together.
What are your ambitions for the company? I envision us becoming a truly innovative hub that keeps on delivering an amazing takeaway experience.
How do you expect the food delivery market to have evolved in five years’ time? I believe automated delivery solutions (maybe drones, maybe delivery robots!) will be the solution, much like where our own-delivery offering (Talabat GO) is at this stage. It might not be mainstream yet, but will definitively be a commercially viable part of our solutions in the future.