I came to know this company not because I am a big fan of food delivery, or that I have even used their services, but due to the fact that their office was just nearby mine in the Village Walk, an office building in Dar es Salaam opposite to the Seacliff Hotel. From the way their office was being run, branding and decoration, their website design, their food-ordering app etc., it was clear that HelloFood was operating at a different level than your average Tanzanian company or startup. I certainly don’t intend to offend anyone, but for a company that was less than 12 months old at the time, even experienced firms in Dar es Salaam had lots to learn from them in terms of marketing.
HelloFood Tanzania is a food delivery service, allowing consumers to order from tens of different restaurants across Dar es Salaam. The idea in itself is not new, but HelloFood has taken the execution very seriously, which is the basis of its success. There is a large community of expatriates in Dar es Salaam, many of which will indulge in the convenience of having food delivery right at home. The growing middle class in the country will certainly take over at the largest consumer base for HelloFood, and as long as they keep their service level in check, the company is in an unique position to take advantage of a huge opportunity.
HelloFood is currently available only in Dar es Salaam from what I can see, and is by far the market leader. There is room for them to increase the coverage of Dar es Salaam and other major cities in Tanzania, and also increase the number of restaurants they can deliver food from.
I would not say that HelloFood is an “African” startup per se as the company is an extension of FoodPand/HelloFood which operates from German HQs, have have a presence in tens of emerging countries already. But the unique combination of management, marketing, pricing, execution and service is something local startups in Tanzania can learn from not necessarily in the food delivery industry but in other markets which have not yet been claimed or developed.