Founded in late 2000 by three entrepreneurs, Yemeksepeti (“the Company”) has become one of the most successful online services companies in Turkey and in the region. In its 15 years of operational history, the Company achieved remarkable reputation and financial success. With its sustainable and growing business, Yemeksepeti has exploited its expertise and capabilities further and launched growth plans to add other countries to its operations. Started in a 400 square feet living-room, servicing only couple of neighborhoods in Istanbul, Yemeksepeti currently processes over 100,000 orders daily from 62 provinces of Turkey. With more than 10,000 member restaurants and millions of users, the Company continues its operations in United Arab Emirates, Greece, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi and Turkey.
With consistent high double-digit average annual revenue growth rates, Yemeksepeti generates revenues from orders processed, one-time gate fees, annual subscription fees, web-site advertisements and annual maintenance services.
Management team of the Company explains the business model of Yemeksepeti as follows:
Yemeksepeti is an efficient, simple and rich marketplace for real-time food ordering. The Company functions as a broker between the users who search for the most convenient ways of food delivery and the member restaurants that are searching effective ways to boost their business volume while promoting / marketing their menu. Bringing supply and demand in real time by eliminating process-based problems is the key to the success of this business model.
What made this a difficult business segment to operate?
Both parties had concerns and reasons:
- “I don’t want to pay to this platform before making money or securing an order.”
- “I don’t trust any intermediaries for my own transaction with my customer. My service, my food, my payment.”
Customers (Users ordering food)
- “I don’t want to share my bank account / credit card information online for a $5 transaction.”
- “What if I don’t receive my order at all? I will not pay for it before receiving it.”
- “Who is going to help us 24/7 if I need help?”
- “I definitely don’t want to pay an extra fee (delivery fee & inflated prices) for this service.”
- “I don’t trust this restaurant or their quality of food.”
A process designed to address the concerns
The user chooses her restaurant from a list of member restaurants which can be filtered by their location, cuisine, etc. Using either the Yemeksepeti.com website or the Yemeksepeti Mobile App, the user completes and submits her order. Yemeksepeti conveys the order to the member restaurant’s computer dedicated to Yemeksepeti orders. Member restaurant prepares the order in around 15-45 minutes and hands it to the motor-courier (employed by the member restaurant). When the user receives the order, she pays the motor-courier with cash or credit-card at the door (all credit or debit card payments are processed by mobile POS machines at the door). As soon as the delivery is complete, member restaurant makes a commission payment to Yemeksepeti. User may rate the restaurant’s quality of food and service together with its speed of delivery on the Company’s online feedback platform and provide detailed information for other users seeking measurable data before ordering food.
Timely information flow is the key
The most common problems encountered throughout this process are almost always information flow based. Yemeksepeti interferes with its full-service call-center services whenever something distorts the fluidity of the process (User updates the order, cancels order, leaves house; member restaurant runs out of a particular menu item, is closing early, runs out of delivery personnel, cancel deliveries due to weather conditions, runs late for the delivery schedule etc.). Timely delivery of the most recent information in both ways between users and member restaurants has been the key reason for the Company’s long term success.
With this established efficient operating model, the Company has been keeping its business model promise for almost 15 years. Alignment between a business model that offers a functional and simple marketplace and an operating model that adds value to both parties in the process gives the Company its competitive edge. Majority of member restaurants define Yemeksepeti as a platform that has changed the way the restaurants did business. This highly effective and mutual relationship between the Company and its member restaurants benefits the customers (users) the most through increased customer care, with no surprise, leading to constantly escalading retention.
Meetings & Informational Interviews with the executive management and shareholders of the Company