Tip matching, support on motorcycle maintenance, and more are among the strategies that Talwinder Singh, Head of Operations, Deliveroo Hong Kong, talks to Tracy Chan about.
Riding on the success of last year’s inaugural edition, Deliveroo Hong Kong launched the second Rider Appreciation Week in early August this year, with a series of special perks and rewards totalling more than HK$1mn to recognise and show gratitude towards its riders’ hard work and contribution.
The million-worth rewards, including Deliveroo credits, merchant coupons, free drinks and rider kits, were delivered by the Deliveroo rider engagement team personally to the fleet across 14 districts in the city, aiming to connect with thousands of riders in local communities. On top of that, Deliveroo also joined forces with a network of garages and Shell outlets in Hong Kong, offering exclusive discounts to help the fleet further save their expenses.
Upon the completion of the second edition, HRO's Tracy Chan speaks exclusively with Talwinder Singh, Head of Operations, Deliveroo Hong Kong (pictured above), on the company’s efforts to further engage its riders and what’s next on its radar to boost the F&B and delivery industry.
Q: Congratulations on completing the Rider Appreciation Week! Having run this initiative for the second year, could you share some of the highlights?
Running the Rider Appreciation Week for the second time allowed us to communicate directly with riders on the ground and gather their thoughts on the inaugural event back in 2022. We received some great feedback from our riders, which helped us understand their unique needs and secure deals that address them head-on. Riders were pleased with the tip-matching offered in the first Rider Appreciation Week. We have done that again in May this year for three weeks to reward their hard work.
Based on a rider survey, we found our riders are spending an average of HK$1,000 per month on motorcycle maintenance. With this in mind, we wanted to offer some practical perks to lighten this load. We joined forces with a network of local garages to bring exclusive discounts of up to 50% for our riders on motorcycle maintenance that included services like accessory purchases, engine oil changes, and tire replacement. We also extended our partnership with Shell to deepen the discounts we have for our riders.
Overall, we were able to help our riders save over HK$7mn in the next twelve months, on top of providing over HK$1mn worth of Deliveroo credits, merchant coupons, free drinks, and rider kits to our riders.
Deliveroo attracts riders from all walks of life, be they housewives, students, or workers in other industries, because they can work whenever they want, and fit deliveries around everything else going on in their busy lives. Our riders are the backbone of the operation, so their happiness is paramount – we are thrilled to celebrate them once again with perks and benefits that will make their lives a little easier.
Q: What, in your view, are the most important elements to create a highly-motivated work environment? Apart from the Rider Appreciation Week, could you share high-impact initiatives Deliveroo has put in place to better engage riders?
We believe that communication is key when it comes to motivating and engaging our riders. In our recent riders' survey, 86% of the respondents communicated that the flexible working model drew them to work with us.
We believe in empowering riders to do what they want. We invested over HK$1mn this year to upskill our riders. These initiatives span different interests and industries, for example, business and mechanical skills, as well as a partnership with A Plastic Ocean Foundation (APOF) to offer our riders a 19-hour vocational training programme, where through theory classes and hands-on workshops at recycling facilities and field visits, they could learn the ins and outs of the recycling industry. This gave riders more insight into our own eco-packaging projects while supporting their career growth.
As well as motivating our riders through career enrichment, we also work hard to keep them engaged in the social aspect of the Deliveroo community. This year, our riders came together to give back to the wider Hong Kong community, participating in beach clean-ups across the city, helping collect over a tonne of ocean waste washed up on the shore. Riders also got together to volunteer with St. James Settlement and Feeding Hong Kong to help sort and pack food during festivals.
On our end, we also organise festive gatherings and sport events to socialise with our rider partners so they feel engaged. We strive to motivate our riders through fun and informative initiatives throughout the year.
Q: Looking forward, what do you see as the biggest challenge and opportunity in the delivery industry in the coming years? How would these shape Deliveroo’s strategies?
In the F&B industry, labour shortages are continuing to plague restaurants. In Q2 of 2023, many restaurants surveyed in Deliveroo’s Restaurant Confidence Index reported a pervasive short-staffing issue, with most (86%) facing difficulties when it comes to staff recruitment.
In the face of this challenge, we have the opportunity to alleviate this problem, by providing another source of manpower. Pressure can be taken off in-house staff and apportioned to riders who can deliver the dine-in experience right to the customer's door. More and more, people are looking for income opportunities outside of the 9 to 5. Deliveroo offers a flexible alternative for income-seekers, where they can work to their own schedule, and at the same time provide the F&B industry some needed helping hands to ease their pressure.
We have launched several initiatives that reward and incentivise our riders. For example, in the past two years, we matched tips given to riders, greatly increasing their take-home pay. On top of looking after our riders, we also extend our initiatives to help nurture their next generations. This year, we invited our riders to bring their children along to APOF’s STEM4Ocean programme, which focused on environmental protection through science education.
Retaining and expanding our rider pool is a top priority for Deliveroo, therefore we are always thinking of new and inventive ways to attract them to our platform.
Q: What is the business outlook for delivery services as the economy starts to rebound and recover? What's the next big project idea for Deliveroo team in HK?
As Hong Kong’s economy starts to recover, the F&B industry is hoping to experience increasing demand from locals and tourists alike. During the pandemic, consumers began to rely on food and grocery delivery platforms to access food easily. Now, used to the convenience of these platforms, food and grocery delivery has become a part of many people’s daily routines, and the habits of ordering online are here to stay.
In the face of labour constraints, forward-looking restaurants are looking to embrace food delivery platforms to uplift sales. In our latest Restaurant Confidence Index, most of the restaurants (88%) surveyed reported that they believed food delivery will remain equally important or become even more important to the F&B industry in the future, and is currently a main driver of revenue.
Deliveroo is a tech company with passion for food, connecting restaurants, riders, and customers. We are committed to supporting all sides of our marketplace including our business partners, overarching to the holistic delivery ecosystem, backed with our data-driven insight. We work with restaurants to help them drive revenue, from something as simple as revamping their menus to as complex as sharing data insights to help them get ahead of the curve. For example, we have regular meetings with our restaurant partners to analyse and review business strategies. We also share useful market data with restaurant partners when they seek our advice on operations, pricing, packaging, and designing menus. It is encouraging to see our partners growing along with us. We continually support our riders through a multitude of engaging initiatives, 24/7 support channels, and comprehensive insurance.
Our commitment to our restaurant partners and riders is all in the name of delivering great food, right to the door of our customers. We work hard to support all sides of the delivery ecosystem, to ensure our consumer base can enjoy a take-out experience with dine-in quality.
All Images / Provided (Lead image: Interviewee, Talwinder Singh, Head of Operations, Deliveroo Hong Kong)