No matter what may happen in life, the good or bad, humans get hungry so food will always be a priority over many needs. The rampant Asian economy means less spare time and is cause for reevaluation of daily habits. Oftentimes, home cooking is one of the first things to go, replaced by convenient food delivery services that feature a huge variety of cuisines. It means less stress, no more labouring in stuffy kitchens, and you don’t have to worry about who is going to wash the dishes. In a world with an appetite for instant gratification, the question, “what’s for supper?” can now be answered with your phone and a smart app to bring a wealth of choices into your living room.

Food delivery business is growing, and the Asia Pacific dominates in online applications that deliver to the consumer’s door. Services such as FoodPanda, Deliveroo, Go-Jek, and GrabFood are leaders in the food delivery market with several years of successful business and stable financial backing. But they have become expensive and new, yet just-as-determined, companies are starting to pick up the slack. Smaller local startups are beginning to make noticeable waves, gaining a solid reputation in the food-delivery market, and winning their own loyal customer base right out from under the noses of their bigger competitors.

Southeast Asian’s cultural nuances and diverse online clients offer an array of opportunities for various players, both large and small, looking to get in on the action. Let’s look at some growing local food delivery companies in the region:

SmartBite (Malaysia)

SmartBite User Platform 001
Image courtesy of SmartBite

SmartBite is a Kuala Lumpur-based foodtech startup that launched their website and full service in 2017. It lists its founder and CEO as Gabriele Fadda.

Their aim is to satisfy professionals’ hunger demands by delivering good-quality food with a wide variety and at an affordable cost. Their target is the lunchtime crowd, partnering with numerous restaurants around the city and making over 500 deliveries per day with peaks of over 1,500 deliveries. The startup is planning to expand shortly and extend their service across the region.

Find out what SmartBite CEO Gabriele Fadda had to share about food delivery in KL

PorterFetch (Singapore)

In July of 2017, founders Kenneth Ho and Daniel Chan launched Singapore-based PorterFetch, a late-night food delivery service, operating between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. The duo started the company with the support of like-minded friends and adopted the motto: “Fetching great food, even late night.” The company fetches food and beverages for delivery from over 110 stores islandwide, with no minimum purchase limits. The company hires local motorcyclists, most of whom already have regular jobs but are happy to have additional income.

Yangon Door2Door (Myanmar)

Image courtesy of Yangon Door2Door Facebook

In 2013, Egypt-born Shady Ramadan launched his food delivery service called Yangon Door2Door, or D2D, the first of its kind in Myanmar. Door2Door partners with 50 small local restaurants, offering Burmese, Indian, Western and other popular cuisines. The delivery fees are similar to what a customer would pay to personally retrieve food using a taxi. But Ramadan’s bigger concept hopes to remove excess traffic from the overly crowded streets of Yangon by employing bicyclists to deliver (delivery by automobile is still available for large and special orders). Ramadan is further supporting the “little guy” by waiving listing fees making it easier for small local establishments to get in on the hot delivery scene.

Delivery Guy (The Philippines)

The family business was proudly launched last June by a local Filipino couple Neil and Finina Castillo, whereas their primary competitors, Grab, Honestbee and FoodPanda, are foreign-owned. Besides the app and their website, they offer their contact centre for customers who prefer person-to-person communication. They service customers with 35 restaurant brands in a 3-kilometre radius of Metro Manila with a delivery time of 60 minutes and delivery tracking. Their pricing may be a bit higher than their competitors’ as they have to charge a little more for longer distances and small orders, but they do it to preserve the quality of the service.

Food delivery in Southeast Asia is growing faster than ever