Apps deliver the food and results for UAE restaurants

KPMG’s annual food and beverage report for 2016 found three in four people in the UAE order take-away or have food delivered at least once a week.

UBER Eats is one of several delivery services that have reshaped the food and beverage landscape in the UAE. Courtesy UBER Eats
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ABU DHABI // Traditional family outings to the city’s old dining haunts may be in decline, but some new upstarts are picking up business.

Delivery services such as UberEats, Deliveroo and online ordering platforms like Zomato, and, are generating a majority of the business for many new restaurants.

For staff at Koshari Point in Dubai, delivery services are sending a lot of business their way.

“Our business is mostly run through takeouts and delivery, with delivery through the different ordering applications making up for 80 per cent of our business,” Mohammed Al Zarooni, owner of the restaurant, which blends Egyptian and Indian cuisine, along with a few Omani delicacies.

“It is very convenient, customers don’t even need to call us, just place their order and for delivery services that have their own pick-up and delivery people, it makes the operation of a restaurant very convenient and cost-effective.

“People come in, get a take away or grab a quick bite and are on their way - this is the culture among most people now, they rarely sit down and eat.”

“Most new fusion restaurants tend to be expensive and people have wrapped their mind around that, but if you can give good quality of food at the same old prices, people will keep coming back, for example you can grab a quick bite at the restaurant for Dhs15,” Mr Zarooni said.

KPMG’s annual food and beverage report last year found three in every four people in the UAE order a take away or have food delivered at least once a week.

The study also found that 82 per cent of operators were listed with food delivery apps.

Older restaurants like the India Palace chain, which has been operating for 20 years and has 12 outlets, also rely on deliveries for a significant amount of business.

“We did not have delivery services when we first started, it is something we introduced seven years back because of the changing market,” said to Rohith Muralya, a director at India Palace.

“With no delivery system initially, today 30 to 40 per cent of our business is through deliveries – every year, the number of people ordering increases.

“We have tied up with all the delivery operators and are also launching our own online ordering service.”