Gossip & Rumors

Inside Scoop: New Food Delivery App – CARI

Since we’ve been on the subject of food delivery apps this past few days, here is another interesting tidbit.

There is a new delivery app that will be entering the market soon and it will be called CARI. The delivery platform is by the previous owners of Carriage who had signed a 5 years non-compete agreement with Delivery Hero when they were acquired back in 2017. Since the 5 years are now up, the previous owners are entering the market again.

What will they bring to the table?

When Carriage initially launched one of the few things that made it different than Talabat was the quality of restaurants over quantity. They had a much smaller list of restaurants available but they were all good restaurants, a curated list. CARI is bringing that back, they have only been approaching companies that have good brands and asking them to join the platform.

Another differentiating factor is that they will guarantee 30 minutes delivery. This is going to be big since you’re more likely to order from CARI if your favorite restaurant on it will deliver to you quicker than other apps. Restaurants that are currently being invited to join the platform will only be accepted if they can guarantee food can be prepared within a specific time (I think 6 minutes). If they can’t, then they won’t be allowed to join the platform. Another way of making sure the food will get to you in 30 minutes is by reducing the delivery zone. Currently, most delivery platforms allow restaurants to deliver within a 10km radius, CARI is going to deliver within a 5km radius. This means the riders don’t have to travel a long distance to deliver the food to you. On the downside it also means you might no longer be in the delivery zone of your favorite restaurant.

Not actual logo

Finally, they’re also doing something different with the restaurants. Most delivery platforms right now charge restaurants a 25-35% fee off every order as well as 1KD from the customer to deliver the food. CARI is taking a different approach. To entice restaurants to join their platform, CARI is charging restaurants 0% commission for the first couple of years. Instead, restaurants will have to pay a one-time fee of **KD (I can’t disclose the exact amount) for every new customer that orders from their restaurant. So say I order from McDonald’s for the first time, McDonald’s would pay CARI 5KD (for example) as a new customer fee. And that’s it, no other fees. It’s kinda genius, CARI gets this big cash influx up front, and restaurants pay it with the hopes that the same customer will order again from them. Most restaurants will need the same customer to order from them maybe 8 or 10 times to cover the initial acquisition fee but after that, all the money goes into their pocket. If the customer doesn’t like the food and doesn’t order from the restaurant again or doesn’t order enough times over the next few years while this 0% commission is in effect, then that’s a loss for the restaurant.

When I first heard about this fee structure I was in awe. Usually, the platform would pay to acquire new customers but in this case they’ve not only managed to make it so that restaurants would pay the acquisition cost, but that fee is going to be a major cash boost at launch which should help CARI fast track their way into profitability. I love it.

With Carriage, Talabat, Deliveroo already owning the majority of the market share, the Saudi app Jahez entering the market, and now CARI also coming in, I think things are going to get really exciting.

Update: Their Instagram account is up and they’ve revealed the logo @get.cari

26 replies on “Inside Scoop: New Food Delivery App – CARI”

You haven’t mentioned about ‘Get Dukan’, another delivery service in the market. Admittedly, their repertoire of restaurants are not the ‘fancy’ ones.

Wait, what!! Delivery apps take 25-35% of the order price from restaurant plus 1kd from the customer. So if I order a 4kd meal, talabat gets over 2kd? That’s insane!

How is this shit even allowed? Why is competition not pushing prices lower? Why are there not a ton more companies getting in on this?

When you think about it, these delivery apps are really a horrible addition to the existing ecosystem. All they did is raise the cost on both the restaurant and the consumer without adding anything of value. Most restaurants delivered themselves, at a lower cost to themselves and the customer.

I mean is it more convenient to use an app than call on the phone? Sure it is. But would most people knowingly pay such a premium for this minor convenience?

I mean damn, I will start calling restaurants directly, because fuck them for taking 25-35% from their revenue (and thus forcing the restaurants to increase their prices).

Yeah it’s pretty insane but it’s also not cheap maintaining a fleet. There are two times of the day when you make most of your sales, lunch and dinner with most of the sales coming in say between 8 and 10pm. then weekends you make more than weekdays. So as a restaurant with multiple locations you’d require a pretty large fleet to cater to your peak hours but then the rest of the time you don’t need this large fleet. With delivery apps it’s easy to scale up and down. Also customers want convenience, with the majority of restaurants you can order from them directly but people like ordering through their favorite apps. That’s why delivery apps can charge so much, restaurants need them, customers like using them.

Also want to add that restaurants aren’t allowed to charge more than 250fils if delivering in the area and 500fils outside because one of the ministries decided that’s what they should charge. 250fils or 500fils isn’t enough to cover the cost of delivery so most restaurants need to use a third party delivery company who are allowed to charge more. Even then the cost of the delivery is also usually eaten up by the restaurant so the customer doesn’t have to pay a lot. So if delivery company charges 2 or 2.5kd, customer usually pays 1 and restaurant the rest. That’s why a lot of restaurants have a minimum of 5 or 10kd when ordering directly, so they can cover the cost of delivery.

Well 1 more suggestion, next time check the prices on the actual menu and compare it to the prices on the delivery app 😋

Anything precooked that has to be heated then assembled, anything cold, thin meats, stews that are cooking all day, food that can be cooked then kept warm. Food delivery is a time business and not everything that can be delivered, should be ordered.

Well 1 more suggestion, next time check the prices on the actual menu and compare it to the prices on the delivery app 😋

As of now the only app that is responsive and also transparent in sharing driver’s contact is Get Dukkan. They don’t have fancy restaurants but they do have one of the most affordable restaurant on their list. And its popular among the asian expats. Talabat has been delaying my order. a month back 1 talabat driver didn’t deliver my food and later got to know he ate my order and switched off the phone.

When Deliveroo has like 30% market share and Talabat and Carriage the remaining 70, it doesn’t make sense to bring Dukkan into the conversation who probably have a 0.1% market share. They’re not significant enough similar to how no one cares about Cravez or Cofe.

totally agree! but in the end of the day. It also doesn’t matter that who has greater market share. what matters is, do these delivery companies deliver’s food on time or not. Talabat is going down the hill. few weeks back I ordered majboos from beit dickson and paid via K-NET. I did not receive my order. when I checked they said its already delivered. Then later it was found out that delivery driver delivered to a wrong house. and that house too accepted the order since it was paid via K-NET. The driver did not confirm the receiver. he just handed over and left. Deliveroo never ordered much except Popcorn and Nachos from cinescape.

Dukkan isn’t mistake-proof either, you just don’t hear about it because nobody uses them. Lets say both talabat and Dukkan have the same error rate.

Talabat have how many orders a day? 20,000 or something? (i have no idea just guessing) if they have 100 issues a day that 0.5% error rate. How many orders does Dukkan get a day? 100? If they have the same error rate as Talabat that’s 1 mistake every 2 days.

Ironically though, the best era of delivery services was when we had one or non delivery services (as far as I remember my experience).

All I can think about with all these services is just how frustrated customers started getting with literally every single one of them.

Granted, we did not have many restaurant options back then, but I also don’t remember people complaining as much as they (we) do today.

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