Swiggy expects food orders to return to pre-pandemic levels by year-end

Swiggy expects food orders to return to pre-pandemic levels by year-end
Food delivery app Swiggy expects daily food orders to return to pre-pandemic levels by year end as more restaurants sign up for home delivery and consumer confidence improves.

On the supply side, new restaurants sign-ups each month have almost doubled to 7,000, while on the consumer front, group ordering, premium-ization, and health cuisines are emerging as growth drivers, a top executive told ET.

“Food delivery will definitely continue to grow through 2021. The primary shift is a 30% increase in the number of dishes per order, which is causing order value to be higher, and a 5-7% spike because of premium-ization as people look for higher standards of hygiene and safety,” Vivek Sunder, chief operating officer of Swiggy, told ET.

Swiggy’s food delivery has recovered to around 80-85% of pre-Covid-19 levels in terms of order value.

The restaurant discovery platform also said it had delivered over 100 million orders since the start of the lockdown in March end, compared to 92 million orders that rival Zomato said it had delivered for the same period. The sector has been gradually recovering as cities open up.

“We continue to be the leader in food delivery, both in terms of order numbers and value,” Sunder said. The company was delivering 1.5 million orders a day at its peak in October last year.

Sunder also said Swiggy’s overall push towards tapping premium brands and consumer base pan-India is showing early success.

Scootsy, its premium delivery service platform which merged operations with the Swiggy app in July, is set to expand to more metros.

“By being part of the Swiggy app, these premium restaurants have access to a much larger population base. We are seeing 1 in 7 customers order in from these fine-dine restaurants now, with overall order value up three-fold compared to pre-Covid-19,” he said.

There has been a 40% increase in selection on Scootsy on Swiggy, compared to a year ago.

SwiggyETtech

As for growth in its newer business verticals — including grocery, local deliveries, and alcohol delivery — which had spiked during the peak lockdown period and soon after, Swiggy said it was still too early to clearly analyse how their growth would impact the overall platform.

For now, the focus continues to be on getting more restaurants on board.

The restaurant industry has hit hard by the pandemic as people stayed home and avoided public places. This trend is unlikely to see any sign of sustained improvement till the outbreak is contained or a vaccine is released.

As restaurant businesses look towards adapting to the ground realities, there has been greater receptivity towards experimenting and adopting innovative models and solutions. Building exclusive supply of delivery-only brands is critical for Swiggy to offer choice at all price-points and cuisines.

Swiggy said some of its initiatives in this regard have scaled up over the last six months.

Last year, it launched Brandworks, a programme where it collaborated with select top-rated restaurants to co-create exclusive delivery-only brands on its platform.

Sunder said a clutch of these partnerships are scaling up and there are close to 190 such brands co-created by Swiggy now.

For instance, Swiggy has collaborated with McDonald’s to launch a range of gourmet burgers exclusively on the platform.

Restaurants are also looking at the firm’s kitchen infrastructure programme with more interest as dining in, which was earlier their core business, is recovering at an even slower pace.

“A lot of restaurants are saying dining will not pick up for a while, and they would like to leverage our kitchens to expand to new geographies in an asset-light manner. As the market slowly expands, regrowing access would be our focus,” Sunder said.

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