Allied Market Research forecasts that the global food delivery mobile app market will reach $16.6 billion by 2023, a compound annual growth rate of 27.9%, and UBS predicts that by 2030, most meals currently cooked at home will be ordered online for delivery. However, the relatively low entry barriers to starting up an online food delivery platform have resulted in an increasingly crowded marketplace populated not just by third-party delivery platforms, but branded restaurant apps. New entrants need a unique selling proposition to attract and retain users.
Startup food delivery platform FoodJets differentiates itself from its larger competitors through its commitment to the local communities where it operates. In addition to partnering with high-quality local restaurants, the company supports local schools and civic organizations, hosting events and fundraisers, and it develops close relationships with other businesses within local communities. FoodJets is also heavily focusing on its B2B concierge and catering services, in contrast to competitors’ emphasis on individual delivery in the B2C market.
“The bigger fish focus on quantity; we’re focused on quality and being community-centric,” explains Veer Singh, CTO of FoodJets. “We grow by developing strong relationships with our customers, employees, and business partners and keeping all of them happy, as well as by being flexible and willing to adapt to market changes. We’re shifting our attention to business catering because we saw an unfilled need there, and we’ve got a lot of B2B projects in the pipeline.”
FoodJets has made many pivots, Singh says. Its developers have had to be adaptable to change and able to easily identify areas for enhancement and improvement for both FoodJets’ customers and its internal staff. To enable flexibility and innovation, the company doesn’t want app devs bogged down in infrastructure management tasks; it wants them to be able to write, enhance, and scale applications without having to wrestle with overhead.
The company had been using Amazon Web Services (AWS) for four years until Singh learned more about Google Cloud and its benefits. Singh recalls. “I’m always interested in hearing about ways we could make our devs’ lives easier. We had a great call with Google Cloud representatives who then introduced us to SADA, a Google Cloud Premier Partner. It was great to hear about the great things SADA had done for other companies.”
SADA introduced FoodJets to Google App Engine and explained benefits and ease of use. “SADA provided me with a lot of evidence of their technical know-how and examples of work they’d done for other companies.”
App Engine was especially appealing to Singh because of its simplicity and use, along with its ability to handle heavy loads with ease. “I didn’t want our developers to need a lot of knowledge of DevOps or have to worry about things like load balancing, configuring Kubernetes clusters, or configuring new machines. App Engine would let them write code, push it, and let the system run. I was also impressed with examples of how other big companies, like SnapChat, were using App Engine and obviously getting a big load on it. That was our catalyst.”
Singh says that “using GCP is like having a black box. We just push the code, and GCP does what it needs to do to keep the system running. Once we push the code, App Engine and the other services scale automatically, which saves us a lot of debugging time. It’s just a super simple system to use, with super simple services.” FoodJets staff can now do a lot more in less time, which means they have the bandwidth to develop new services and features to drive a better experience for their customers.
FoodJets is also making heavy use of GCP’s machine learning features to enhance their end users’ experience and make it simpler and smoother. “We’re using AutoML because we don’t have data scientists on our team. We can have our developers train models, then use trial and error to refine them. It’s very powerful and easy to use.” Among other use cases, FoodJets is using Auto ML Vision to classify photos of food and provide customers with better search results.
Although cybersecurity is a top priority for FoodJets, as a small company, it doesn’t have the luxury of an in-house security team. GCP’s security solutions provide the company with a lot of peace of mind. “It offers all the main, basic security features that we need. For example, if we make a mistake while setting up a system, GCP sends us an email alert, and we can resolve it.”
Singh and the rest of the FoodJets team also appreciate the work SADA and its Technical Account Management (TAM) team performed during and after the migration process. “SADA used their technical expertise, guidance, and years of experience working with companies in related spaces to make our migration from AWS smooth, and they continue to help us make the most out of GCP and minimize our costs. I have a call with our TAM manager every two weeks to make sure we’re always on top of things.”
SADA’s TAM services were invaluable in getting FoodJets’ systems back up after a sudden outage. “It was in the middle of the day, and our SSL certificate had expired. It happened all of a sudden, and we had no idea what had happened. Our website and systems went down, and alerts were going off all over the place,” Singh recalls. Even worse, no internal staff were available to diagnose the issue. “I was on a flight, and our main devs were out all day. All I could do was make phone calls, so I reached out to SADA’s TAM team. They were able to immediately identify what had happened and relay the information back to me. I told another person on our team, and we got it all resolved within 20 minutes. Thanks to SADA’s quick response, we got results very quickly. If it wasn’t for SADA, it may have taken much longer.”
Because of the excellent service they have received from both SADA and Google, Singh says, “We plan to be on GCP indefinitely. Google’s internal team and the TAM team at SADA both work with us very closely; they’re a phone call away if we have any questions. Other services, like AWS, didn’t give us anywhere near the customer service we get from SADA and Google Cloud, and the GCP infrastructure and services have been running flawlessly. We have no complaints, and no plans to switch.”