business could would key delivery potential another
Case Study: Growth strategy for a food-tech delivery businessHaving a retail presence in the form of packaged ready-meals (like by Boots),branded food condiments (similar to Nando’s sauces), or off-the-shelf foodkits (think of Gousto or Hello Fresh in a grocery store) would yet be anotherpossibility, though this would be a substantial shift from the lean deliverybusiness into bulk manufacturing and distribution, and therefore the benefitfrom any potential adjacencies would be scarce.Directly leveraging the output of the current business, be it experience,expertise or (most importantly) contacts, is another key method of expandingone’s business into new markets. A food-tech business could use itsestablished network of restaurants to form a marketplace for kitchen staff,especially for sickness or holiday cover. A major proportion of restaurant-related jobs such as dishwashing and table waiting are taken up on a zero-hourcontract basis, and would therefore be ideal candidates to include on theextended platform. Culinary contacts would also come in handy for setting upsocial cooking sessions to professional master-classes or even accreditedcourses.In the service range category, another natural extension of the core businesswould be to offer catering for small to mid-sized business or private events(as done by Pret Delivers). The unique value proposition would be anaggregated service from multiple suppliers in a single order, hence resultingin a lot more choice and customisation for the user when compared to thatoffered by a generic catering company.As with all businesses especially those in the digital domain, the keyquestion always revolves around enhanced customer experience. One approach inour context is to look for possible tweaks or add-ons to the core service. Forthe health-conscious, this could involve joining forces with popular calorie-counters or macro-trackers such as MyFitnessPal, or make proprietary ones(recorders of your five a day maybe?). For city workers, this could be easy-to-order advance ordering for the entire week in one go, pre-set menus forsuch orders, or smart reminders to order on time.There is also an enormous scope of using artificial intelligence (AI) in thefood-tech industry. Delivery by autonomous robots or self-driving cars hasbeen the talk of the town recently, with promising pilots seen from manystartups including Postmates, Waymo, Kiwi Campus and Nuro. It seems we may notbe far away from witnessing this as a norm across the industry, asdevelopments in computer vision and deep neural networks are scaled up to meetcommercial demands. However, the potential of AI extends beyond robotsbringing you that takeaway from Patty & Bun. A recommendation system based onpast orders and individuals similar to the user could be set up in a standardcollaborative filtering problem. Enhancements could be made through deeplearning to offer a two-level personalisation, such that not only is arestaurant recommended, but also specific items from its menu. This could inturn be fed back into the previous proposal of (semi-) automated ordering in acity-worker type subscription model. Similar to Spotify, suggestions for newtastes to excite the palate, or information on trending items and habits couldbe added. However, as said by Andrew Moore from Google in a recent interview,AI is not some magic dust to be sprinkled on a business — it requires asubstantial resource of time, money and expertise, for all stages from problemdefinition to solution design iterations to evaluation and testing, beforeanything is rolled out.The long list of proposed ideas would then need a deeper dive, employinginitially a high-level assessment model. Figure 3 demonstrates a slice of sucha model that comprises of key considerations like defining the business modeland the associated value proposition, an overview of the current competitivelandscape and any barriers to entry, along with adjacency to current businessor potential cannibalization of it, along with other main challenges. All ofthis could then be summarised into two key dimensions of relative feasibilityand value, which could subsequently be used as the guiding criterion forshortlisting the initiatives for further concentration.