PART 3: Home chef's food delivery considerations
Updated: Jun 10, 2021
The rise of food delivery worldwide is an undeniable change in lifestyle. People are increasingly willing to pay more in exchange for convenience and time saved.
This is also largely driven by mushrooming food delivery companies and the promise to deliver conveniently in a short time.
There are two methods that food cooked by the home chef can reach the customers i.e. delivery (food delivered by a home chef to customer) or pickup (customer collects the food from the home chef).
For pickup, the home chef can select whether to have customers collect directly from their house or the home chef can select a pickup location at a public place like a void deck.
The advantage of having customers collect from home is convenience, home chef does not need to get out of the house and can rest at the comfort of home after cooking if the customer is late.
However, our public housing, Housing & Development Board (HDB) does have guidelines for small businesses operating in HDB. This guideline states that the business activities should not adversely affect our neighbors’ living environment or cause any nuisance. As such, the business activities should not have high human traffic.
Although the guideline did not quantify the number that denotes high human traffic, personally, I would think the threshold is around 20 pickups a day.
Nevertheless, this is highly subjective depending on whether your unit is close to neighbor and your neighbors always have their door opened.
If you have more than this number of customers patronizing you then it is best to have a pickup location at a public place.
Another consideration is if you want your privacy and do not want to let customers know where you stay, you can set the pickup location at a public place like the void deck.
Note: Due to Phase 2 (Heightened alert) restriction of 2 visitors a day, “no-contact” delivery is recommended for both pickup and delivery.
Leave the food outside your house when the customer is coming to collect for pick up and leave food outside the customer’s door for delivery.
Customers looking for convenience will most likely choose delivery instead of pickup. Therefore the risk of losing out a huge number of customers if pickup is the only option you offer to customers.
Hommyliciouz recommends delivery around your neighborhood and within walking distance (300m). Why 300m, you may ask. That's because it's a distance that can be comfortably covered on foot in 5 minutes. Singapore is the 3rd most densely populated place in the world. What this means is that there is a huge number of readily available customers footsteps away from where you stay.
On average, 720 households or 2272 people lived within 5 minutes walk away. If you stay in more densely populated towns like Sengkang for example, there are a whopping 3150 households or 9954 people staying within a 300m radius or 5 minutes walk away.
What does this mean?
Readily available potential customers are stone throw away and you do not need to go far from home.
For delivery by a home chef on the Hommyliciouz platform, customers are charged $2 which go directly to the home chefs.
Home chefs will get to earn a delivery fees on top of profit from sales of food.
If the home chef has 10 customers within the neighborhood (300m radius), the home chef can complete delivery within an estimated 45 minutes or less and opportunity to earn $20, not to mention getting good exercise too.
Planning your route within your neighborhood.
Usually, 5 food delivery destinations within your neighborhood are not too much of a hassle but it is still good to do some planning if you would want to complete delivery in the shortest distance and time possible.
Here is a map showing the most efficient route in delivering to 5 customers in the neighborhood. Rather than zig zagging between customers, the route here is the shortest distance and therefore can be covered in the shortest time. Can you imagine how much longer it would have taken if your route is 4 --> 1 --> 3 --> 5 --> 2 instead of 1--> 2 --> 3 --> 4 --> 5?
We recommend the usage of the trolley to deliver your food.
There are several advantages to using the trolley.
Firstly you do not need to carry the weight of all the food on your hands. While carrying one portion is bearable, 5 to 10 portions will not be pleasant especially having to walk a distance of 1km.
Secondly, food spillage can be avoided and food presentation can also be maintained when using the trolley as there is minimum movement during transportation.
When a customer opens up the container, you would want your food to look exactly how you have plated it. The first impression is always important. When it looks good, your customer will take a photo of it and may even share it with friends on social media.
For home chefs who think it is too much hassle to deliver and would prefer to concentrate on cooking and washing or spending time with family, it is possible to rely on 3rd party delivery companies like Lalamove.
The downside of relying on 3rd Party delivery is the hefty delivery charges. There are fewer customers who are willing to fork out $10 for delivery particularly for singles who only order one meal for themselves.
To provide better flexibilities to home chefs, Hommyliciouz will be integrating 3rd party delivery in the mobile app in the next Phase. The home chef will have 3 options to do delivery ie by themselves, completely rely on 3rd party, or a mixture of both.
For the hybrid choice of delivery by home chefs and 3rd party, home chefs will get to select up to what distance you want to cover, and beyond that distance, 3rd party delivery will take over. Hommyliciouz mobile app will also automatically charge accordingly.
Future of food delivery
A few years ago some countries have began food delivery by robots. According to sifted.eu, one bot costs around $USD5500 now, and Starship targets to get the price down to $2250. It has a top speed of 6km/h. Since there are various terrains that the robot has to maneuver in the busy streets of Singapore, it should not have a problem covering a 1 to 2km distance within an hour.
With this I believe in the near future, we can get food delivery cost down to $3 to $5 considering maintenance cost and labor. In fact, Singapore has already begun using robots for delivery.
Since February 2021, Singapore is trialing the use of an autonomous robots to make deliveries in Punggol.
During the one-year trial, people staying at Waterway Woodcress will see these two robots by local technology company OTSAW delivering parcels and groceries to the lift lobbies of seven Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks that include 700 households.
In this process, Singapore will be paving the way for wider use of robots to courier for on-demand services.
We hope this article provides some insight on the delivery mode of delivery and pick up. In conclusion, we recommend you to provide both modes of deliveries i.e. pickup as well as delivery to increase sales by providing flexibility and convenience to the customers.
Thanks for reading as always. We welcome your input, suggestions, or comments below. Let me know if the considerations in this blog are beneficial for planning your home chef business and you would like to know more about a specific meal or dish that you are planning to sell.
You can contact us on WhatsApp for discussion. Whatever your strategy is, Hommyliciouz is on this journey with you and will help you market your food for success.
I grew up with my grandma and one of my favorite times when I was young was in the early morning. I could get out of the house with my grandma patronizing the wet market. She would buy fresh ingredients which she would cook for the day. Her love for her family is poured into the food she prepared daily and can be felt by every generation she cooked for. Now with my own kids, I hope they can grow up being able to enjoy healthy home cook food too. As much as I enjoy cooking for my family, I find it a difficult juggle between my 9 to 5 job and preparing meals for my family. At the same time, at the weekend, I could spend more time cooking and I wish I can share my specialty for other people to enjoy.
I knew that in this digital world that we lived in, there has to be a better way and that’s the motivation for me to start Hommyliciouz .
The objective behind Hommyliciouz is to create a connection among people within communities where the passionate chef could provide fresh, home cook meals that are healthy and affordable.
We truly hope that you can enjoy this platform sharing love through cooking.
CEO of Hommyliciouz
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