getfresh is a leading health-oriented restaurant group based in Bangkok that uses Hato Hub for direct delivery. For this article, we talk with Mr.John Stevens, a company director who will share his experiences with the Covid-19 situation as well as the Hato Hub platform.
How did COVID-19 affect getfresh?
John Stevens: Covid had a dramatic impact on getfresh. Prior to Covid, our delivery business was probably about 25% of our overall sales but during Covid, that ranged anywhere from 50% up to 100%.
During Covid, we launched in-house delivery through Hato, but we also remained on the major platforms such as Food Panda, Grab, Robin Hood, etc.
What services of Hato Hub are you using?
John Stevens: getfresh is just using Hato Store for the time being and we’re considering Hato Heart because we wish to enhance our loyalty offering. We are looking to launch a program that includes in-store as well as delivery as we want an integrated offering for seamless interaction with our customers.
What made you first interested in the Hato Hub system?
John Stevens: We knew about Hato Hub as I had been in discussion to invest in a former project that Khun Darin (CEO of Hato) was involved in, and we kept in touch over the years. When I learned that Darin was launching Hato, this was very intriguing to me because we were looking for our own delivery channel. Even though Hato was a startup, we decided to join because I trust Darin’s capabilities to build great products.
How does Hato help getfresh?
John Stevens: It was during Covid that we decided to launch direct delivery and chose Shopify as the e-commerce platform. However, we quickly learned that Shopify had some significant limitations…first it is web-based and that is not the way most customers in Bangkok interact with a brand. Secondly, there were several technical limitations such as the inability of Shopify to integrate Google Maps and auto-address complete properly into the check-out journey. As well, customer had to re-enter their payment information on each transaction. These limitations led to several delivery-related problems and angry customers.
Hato’s decision to Integrate through LINE is a good one. It’s the communication channel of choice among Thai consumers. So, we just made the decision to abandon selling through our website and instead redirected our customers to order through Hato. It was an easy transition and our customers have responded positively to the change. Some of the features that our customers appreciate are seamless payment, multiple stored delivery addresses and the ability to view and order from historical transaction.
Of course, we still have an active presence on the major delivery platforms with only about 10% of our deliveries going through Hato. However, I expect that number to increase over time as our customers try Hato and see how easy it is. I’d like to target at least 20% of our delivery orders to come through Hato and especially to transition our best customers to this platform.
After using Hato Hub, how have you noticed any differences in the customers’ behaviors?
John Stevens: Since getfresh moved to Hato, the customer experience has been much better. We have experienced fewer people complaining and more customers coming on board. That said what we find is that we need to continually offer promotion in order to compete with the Grab and FoodPanda. I would prefer not to offer discounts, but customers have become accustomed to getting special deals on the major platforms. Therefore, I want to focus on building up larger numbers of direct delivery customers on Hato so that we can offer benefits other than discounting. This may be in the way of loyalty points and soft benefits such as birthday offers and experiential benefits – such as special food tastings and customized meal plans.
What do you like most about the Hato Hub system?
John Stevens: I liked the user experience. I like the fact that the full menu is there. The pictures are there. It’s easy to use from a customer perspective. And, I like the fact that Hato has adapted over time by adding new features and reducing friction. For example, when we first came on board, customers didn’t have the option to select more than one delivery address; there was no option for historical ordering; and there wasn’t the ability to change the language within the app. These things have all been fixed and enhanced and have made the user experience better. In a nutshell, the app works well, food is delivered properly, and there is a mechanism for customers to provide direct feedback. We don’t get that from the major delivery platforms, so we can’t address customer concerns should any arise. Of course, from a financial perspective, I appreciate that Hato costs us a lot less than what we must pay on the major platforms.
Thank you so much Mr.John Stevens for sharing your experiences regarding the Covid-19 situation as well as using Hato Hub.