People are no longer using the GrabFood app just for food delivery. More consumers are also using the app to discover new restaurants, order food to go, and buy vouchers for dining in, Grab’s latest Southeast Asia Food and Grocery Trends 2023 report showed. 

Self pick-up orders and dine-in transactions contributed 2.4 times more to Grab’s total order volume in the twelve months leading up to July 2023 compared to the same period in 2021. 

We first introduced self-pickup during the pandemic so that people can minimise direct contact with one another. Consumers can order through the app and head to the F&B outlet to collect their food once it’s ready.

But it seems that the habit has stuck as users enjoy the convenience of placing orders on the go and skipping the lines at F&B outlets. 

This year, we also rolled out a new dine-in feature in select cities across the region. Consumers can use the Grab app to discover nearby deals, read restaurant reviews, purchase dine-in vouchers, and book rides to their chosen restaurants.

To help merchants increase their visibility, we’ve been building a steady base of reviews. Since we started allowing users to write reviews in 2022, we’ve collected 13.5 million GrabFood reviews. 

(Read more: Is the customer always right? Merchants are reading reviews to get feedback)

Meanwhile, 91 per cent of consumers across Southeast Asia say they have used the app to discover new restaurants and stores they have never tried before. In fact, food delivery apps are now the most popular way Southeast Asians are discovering new F&B outlets, ahead of food blogs, their friends and family network, as well as social media platforms.

With 9 out of 10 consumers saying they prefer food and grocery brands that offer both online and offline options, digital platforms are now more essential than before. 

Targeting consumers  

So we looked into this year’s trends to identify ways our merchant-partners can better connect with consumers. 

GrabUnlimited subscribers are spending 2.7 times more and ordering 2.3 times more frequently per month. Merchants looking to tap on these big spenders can consider engaging them by participating in GrabUnlimited Promo Campaigns.

There is also opportunity for merchants to target the office crowd through bundled deals during peak hours. We found that group orders on Grab were 1.7 times higher in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, with a large proportion of deliveries going to workplaces during lunchtime. 

(Read more: Group orders just got an update because more people are eating together)

While lunch may be the most popular time for orders, tea time orders between 3 to 6pm have the highest basket value, as people tend to order snacks in groups. 87 per cent of Southeast Asians said that they are likely to snack during this time. Merchants can offer bundled snack deals or boost traffic to their stores during these hours by offering dine-in deals through Grab.

We hope to reach an even wider range of consumers seeking convenience as we widen our product offerings.

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.