There’s a new player in the Aussie meal-delivery scene, with UK player Foodhub entering the market through the multimillion-dollar acquisition of Eat Appy.
Foodhub differentiates itself by steering clear of the standard, and often controversial, commission-based model. Rather, it charges restaurants a monthly fee.
Founded in 2017 by restaurant owner Mohamed Shakil and software developer Ardian Mula, it was designed to offer an alternative to the likes of UberEats and Deliveroo and a better experience for small businesses and customers alike.
The model means restaurants are not charged more the more they sell — in Australia commissions can be as high as 30% — and that customers are spared price hikes to cover the costs.
Foodhub has acquired Eat Appy, a table-ordering and pickup and delivery app, which also doesn’t run on a commission-based model, in its biggest acquisition to date.
While a statement describes a ‘multimillion-dollar deal’, no additional details have been provided.
It comes as part of a global rollout that has also seen Foodhub expand into the US, Mexico, Guatemala and New Zealand.
Now, co-founder and chief Mula is pledging to become “the market leader … achieving our ambition to help independent takeaways and restaurants grow and prosper as they continue to battle the chains”.
But, this is a crowded — and a contentious — market, and things may not be easy for the new entrant.
Besides pressure in relation to restaurant commissions, platforms in Australia are facing questions about the safety of delivery drivers and riders, and the rights of workers in the gig economy.
Just this week, a WorkSafe NSW taskforce released a set of draft guidelines for improving safety for gig economy workers, highlighting key hazards such as poor app design, a lack of familiarity with the roads and unreasonable estimated delivery times.
The guidelines were drawn up by the Gig Economy Joint Taskforce, which was established in November last year, following the deaths of five delivery riders within two months.
And, yesterday, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese laid out Labor’s plans to bring in a minimum wage and leave entitlements for gig economy workers — something that could lead to headaches for the tech platforms involved.