The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (2022)

It’s midday, the rush hour for well... food. If you are around big shopping malls like Mid Valley, it is easy to spot food delivery riders rushing in and out of the restaurants with their portable food bags. All geared up and ready to go, it’s the peak hour to deliver their customers' lunch.

The F&B industry in Malaysia has been hit with a new wave - online food ordering. Not just restricted to tapau-ing (take-away in local Chinese slang) and eating out, ordering in is the new eating out.

In 2017, the country has witnessed a spike in food delivery startups swarming the battlefields of the food delivery industry. Despite witnessing the death of some food delivery startups, investment has all but slowed down with Dahmakan securing yet another pre-Series A round of $2.6 million in early 2018.

So which are the active food delivery brands Malaysia? What makes them different from each other? Let's start our analysis with Foodpanda.

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (1)

The first-mover: Foodpanda

Foodpanda was the first delivery company that startedaggressively in Malaysia. The black panda logo, now pink, is spotted frequently here. Before the likes of Foodpanda and Room Service, food delivery in Malaysia was mainly restricted to Domino's and basically just pizza delivery.

In recent years, Foodpanda is considered as top-of-mind food delivery brand in Malaysia. However, it is not a stretch to conclude that Foodpanda has not lived up to its name in this region.

Just take a look at its Facebook page and you will see countless comments by consumers detailing their bad experiences with Foodpanda, with most complaints revolved around late deliveries and cancellation of orders.

You might be wondering why Foodpanda hasn't managed this efficiently, but balancing aggressive acquisition and growth with effective fulfillment and good customer experience is not an easy challenge.

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The quest for timely on-demand delivery

It is always easy to blame the weather and country-specific challenge but Malaysia has unpredictable rainy seasons which spell trouble for food delivery services. There are obvious consequences likeroadaccident, traffic jam during a downpour which affect the schedule of on-demand delivery services.

However, even on a bright sunny day, there is another challenge faced by food delivery companies - over-demand of orders. Foodpanda has only around 150 riders here on standby, there is only so much that each rider can do when the orders swamp in.

Therefore, on-demand or food delivery service is not a capital-light business model as it is an on-going task to scale supply (restaurants, riders, coverage) with demand (orders, customers).

Foodpanda turns pink

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (2)

If you are still wondering why the panda has turned pink, this is due to the rebranding exercise after the acquisition by Delivery Hero back in December 2016. Pink is also the signature color of its new sister company Foodora.

Since the acquisition and rebrand, the company has announced a strikingly different marketing strategy - fewer voucher codes and more customer interactions.

Laura Kantor, Foodpanda Singapore's Head of Marketing has mentioned that the shift towards "market responsibility" will hopefully increase brand loyalty among the consumers.

From Penang with love: DeliverEat

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (3)

Founded in 2012, this Penang-based startup has secured USD$450,000 in a pre-Series A funding from Gobi MAVCAP ASEAN SuperSeed Fund in early 2017.

Being a true Malaysian brand, DeliverEat has become the master and top household brand in its own hometown. With 40,000 customers served every month, even sizeable competitors like Foodpanda find it difficult to challenge its pole position in Penang.


After years in Penang, DeliverEat has finally ventured out of Penang in late 2017 and hoping to replicate its success in Kuala Lumpur amidst the volatile competition.

From rides to food: Uber Eats

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (4)

Malaysians especially those reside in the cities are familiar with Uber and / vs Grab, the two ride-hailing apps which bring you from point A to point B.

When Uber Eats is launched in Malaysia or to be exact Kuala Lumpur with 200 restaurants under its belt, food delivery battle has officially started in KL since September 2017 and then joined by DeliverEat three months later.

This is definitely a good news for F&B operators as they now enjoy more business, more food delivery options without being pressed by one main player who monopolizes the market.

Grocery & food delivery: Honestbee

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (5)

Honestbee, a Singapore-based startup which started out as a grocery delivery service, has landed in Malaysia just last year. It is not a coincidence that 2017 is the start of food delivery battle.

You might be wondering why another startup from Indonesia - HappyFresh is not listed in this article, this is because Honestbee has expanded to food delivery while its fierce competitor is still focusing on grocery for now.

With grocery and fresh produce covered, this is an advantage Honestbee has over other food delivery services here. Think Honestbee as your own personal shopper for well, everything! You will never have to step out of your house again.

The young runners: Running Man Delivery

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (6)

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Not to be mistaken by the hugely popular Korean variety show, this is a local startup founded by three young university students.

Running Man Delivery launched into stardom when it achieved its PitchIn fund target of USD$40K in less than 24 hours. Similar to Honesbee, Running Man also delivers sundries from your local shops on top of restaurant meals.

There has been little to no news of the startup since its successful equity fund. However, it is reported recently via press releases that Runningman has over 7,000 users and 2,800 orders a week, that's quite impressive!

Restaurants & home-cooked meals: FoodTime

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (7)

New to the scene, FoodTime is a food delivery app for restaurants and home kitchens. Unlike Foodpanda and the gang, FoodTime does not handle deliveries at all as this is done by the restaurants and home cooks.

The offering of home-cooked meals is definitely its unique selling point, "In the local community, there are a lot of individuals who cook, sell and deliver their own dishes. So I thought, why not provide them with a platform to do so?", explained by Ahmad Daleen, FoodTime's founder.

With its solid mobile application built by two seasoned software engineers, FoodTime has become a household name in Cyberjaya, in whichup to 600 customers a day are served in that area alone.

From food preparation to delivery: Dahmakan

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (8)

All the food delivery brands we mentioned above are either platform and/or fulfillment focused, as the supplies (food itself) are provided by third-parties.

This is how Dahmakan set itself apart as food preparation, packaging and delivery are all handled internally by the company. Founded by ex-Foodpandas, the startup is able to manage high quality and customers' satisfaction with end-to-end control.

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Dahmakan has been one of the local startup rising stars, frombecoming the first startup from Malaysia to enter the highly rated Y Combinator to the recent round of USD$2.6M funding.

In case you haven't tried it, Dahmakan functions on a strict "milkman business model", meaning that customers can only pre-book their meals the day before. With scheduled delivery slots, customers are ensured to receive their meals, on-time and ready-to-eat.

Correction by Dahmakan:Customers can actually order on the day, up until 45 minutes before delivery. Customers are able to select 1-hour delivery window (30-minutes delivery window for prime or subscription customers).

Halal-certified Asian meals: Mammam

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (9)

Similar to Dahmakan, Mamman adopts an end-to-end approach by controlling the entire process from preparing the food to delivery.

The startup has opened its first kitchen in Petaling Jaya over two years ago and its food delivery coverage is not limited to Klang Valley but also locations like Port Klang and Cyberjaya.

If you visit its website or mobile app, a halal logo is spotted and with halal-certified Asian meals delivered on-demand, this is perhaps one of the edges it has among the competitions.

Traditional F&B to online: Shogun2u

The food delivery battle has just begun in Malaysia (10)

While all the food delivery brands mentioned above are more like Internet startups, Shogun2u is quite different in the way that it is started by an entrepreneur with F&B experience.

If you live around Klang Valley you might be familiar with Saisaki Japanese buffet which was hugely popular a couple of years back. Yes, Shogun2u is started by Datuk Seri Michael Chong who also owns Shogun chain of restaurants.

It is known that Shogun2u is an online business pathed by Michael for his son, with RM1 million sales reported during the first 3 months of its launch back in 2015.


Fast growing sector but no clear winner yet

If you notice, food delivery services are only plausible in urban cities like Berlin, Singapore, Sydney etc, it is the same with Malaysia as most of the firepowers are concentrated in Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley.

Unlike other e-commerce services which are easier to scale with the reliance on 3PL delivery, food delivery services face the challenge of location and coverage boundary at the same time maintaining high customer satisfaction with on-demand delivery. Perhaps this is why we are seeing there are a couple of strong players without anyone being entirely dominant.

Having said that, we expect investments will continue to swarm thefood delivery industry. By 2022, the food delivery market size is expected to grow to an annual revenue of USD$956M, one of the fastest growing sectors in the market.

This article is written by Ahmad Daleen, Co-founder and CTO of FoodTime and edited by ecInsider. All the photos in this article are provided by Ahmad.


When did online food delivery start in Malaysia? ›

Foodpanda is Malaysia's first food delivery platform and has been the most dominant player in the market since it first entered Malaysia in 2012. In a 2020 study, 75% of Malaysian respondents identified FoodPanda as their food delivery platform of choice.

When did online food delivery start? ›

In 1995, the first online restaurant delivery service launched. Called World Wide Waiter, the service aggregated more than 60 restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, and offered home or office delivery.

How many people use online food delivery in Malaysia? ›

In Malaysia, 84.2% of the population uses the internet, 88.3% of them use a shopping app each month and 6.86 million people used online food delivery services (OFDS) to order take-away food in 2020.

When did foodpanda launch in Malaysia? ›

foodpanda Malaysia was established in 2012 as part of the on-demand international food delivery service. Since then, the company has seen exponential growth, especially in the past 3 years.

What is the growth of online food delivery service? ›

b. The global online food delivery services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% from 2019 to 2025 to reach USD 63.6 billion by 2025.
Report AttributeDetails
Market size value in 2020USD 35.7 billion
Revenue forecast in 2025USD 63.6 billion
Growth RateCAGR of 15.4% from 2019 to 2025
11 more rows

What is the food delivery service called? ›

Grubhub, DoorDash and UberEats specialize in meals from restaurants. Postmates, and GoPuff handle other types of food delivery, while InstaCart focuses nearly exclusively on grocery stores.

What is the purpose of food delivery? ›

There are numerous benefits of the food delivery service — it expands your customer base, increases your revenue, gives your customers a variety of options, and it also offers unparalleled convenience.

Why is food delivery popular? ›

With busyness on the rise and a greater demand for convenience, it's no wonder why food delivery is so popular these days. According to recent research, the rise of food delivery has become a major trend among consumers across all demographics.

Is food delivery a good business? ›

It's clear that food delivery is in-demand, versatile, and holds potential for great profits. But, it's impossible to say exactly how much you'll earn. The profits of a food delivery business depend on many factors — from what kind of business you have to where you're located.

How often Malaysian eat fast food? ›

This statistic shows the results of a survey conducted by Cint on the average number of times fast food from quick service restaurants was consumed per week in Malaysia between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, 47.08 percent of respondents in Malaysia stated they eat fast food less than once per week.

Which age group uses food delivery the most? ›

Although not every restaurant delivers food, people can still order their food online thanks to the many food delivery apps and websites out there. The 18–24 age group orders food this way the most, and it's followed by the 25–34 age group with 30%, according to online ordering statistics.

How many fast food chains are there in Malaysia? ›


The fast food franchising sector takes up about 32% which represent a total of 6000 fast food outlets in Malaysia, while the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) or fast food market was valued at $493 million (RM1. 8 billion) locally.

What challenges do grocery and meal delivery services face? ›

Online grocery delivery challenges
  • Evolving market trends. ...
  • Boosting storage and delivery cost. ...
  • Fluctuations in taxes. ...
  • Inability for efficient deliveries. ...
  • Non-tech savvy customers. ...
  • Spoiled inventory management. ...
  • Tough penetration into small towns. ...
  • The freshness of edible commodities.
24 Mar 2021

What is delivery hero Malaysia? ›

About Delivery Hero: Delivery Hero is a leading global online food ordering and delivery marketplace with number one market positions in terms of restaurants, active users, and orders in more countries than any of its competitors across 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Latin America and ...

How many food pandas are there in Malaysia? ›

In Malaysia, Foodpanda has more than 14,000 riders, servicing over 18,000 restaurants across the nation, from Kulim to Kuching.

Why is food delivery increasing? ›

Third-party delivery continues to grow as its usage increases across the restaurant and grocery industries. Restaurant chains are increasingly partnering with multiple third party fleets in order to expand their delivery footprint across all their stores and at all times of day.

Is the food delivery industry growing? ›

In fact, the growth rate for online food ordering and restaurant delivery has been over 20% over the last five years. Although the estimates differ across locations, online food delivery rates are expected to grow to more than $220 billion by 2025. This translates to about 40% of the total restaurant sales.

Which country uses food delivery the most? ›

China is ahead in total revenue for food delivery, at $27.3 billion in 2021. Meituan contributed to $15 billion of that revenue, as the largest food delivery app in the world by revenue and usage.

What are the disadvantages of food delivery? ›

Disadvantages of Food Delivery Services
  • Quality of food may suffer.
  • Food delivery services are often late.
  • Food may get cold.
  • Not the same personal touch as in a restaurant.
  • Person who delivers food may not be trustworthy.
  • Food delivery may cost some money.
  • You may get lazy.
  • Food delivery may contribute to social isolation.

What are the types of food delivery? ›

Understanding those four distinct types of food delivery services hence is essential.
  • Restaurant Prepared Food Delivery. This is a kind of on-demand delivery service that has disrupted the traditional market. ...
  • Meal Kits Delivery. ...
  • Grocery Delivery. ...
  • Veggie Box Delivery.

What's the most popular food service? ›


DoorDash is the company that's currently raking in more monthly sales than any other food delivery service in the U.S. Whether you're craving fast food, Thai, vegan food, or something from your local convenience store, you can use DoorDash to order in over 800 North American cities.

Why is delivery service important? ›

Service delivery is important because it helps provide people with amenities they want or need by linking them to an organization with the resources to provide those services. Companies can tailor service delivery to meet the specific needs of their customers through function or price.

What are the benefits of a delivery service? ›

With the right food delivery service, you can:
  • Reach more customers. ...
  • Boost online visibility. ...
  • Offer convenience that customers expect. ...
  • Drive incremental orders. ...
  • Be cost-effective. ...
  • Stay on top of industry trends. ...
  • Manage operations easier with merchant tools.
13 Feb 2022

How does delivery services help the business? ›

Customers rely on updates and this highlights to them that a company cares about them receiving their delivery. Deliveries can lead to a customer planning their day around it, so providing a time slot for delivery can ensure customers are satisfied with their experience and will shop with you again.

What do customers want from a food delivery service? ›

Make it fast and delicious: We asked consumers how they select a restaurant for delivery, and not surprisingly they said speed and variety were important or very important (77%), closely followed by choosing a restaurant they know and trust (76%). Every restaurateur knows that quality is job No.

How can I improve my food delivery service? ›

How to Improve Your Food Delivery Service in 2022
  1. Make it easy for customers to order food anywhere, anytime.
  2. Use data to adjust your schedule and delivery radius.
  3. Introduce various payment and fulfillment options.
  4. Streamline the order acceptance process.
  5. Come up with new marketing materials and promotions.
5 Mar 2021

How many people use food delivery? ›

Almost 112 million Americans say they've used a food delivery service in 2020. That represents a 17% year-over-year increase from 2019.

Why food delivery is not profitable? ›

Most restaurants operate on very thin margins. They cannot afford to pay the delivery companies that often charge them a percentage of order value plus advertising fees. On top of this, food delivery companies charge delivery and service fees to the customers.

Is a delivery business profitable? ›

Almost everyone starts a business in order to make money. The good news about starting a delivery business is that it's in high demand, which means you'll probably make a profit. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people got used to having the goods they buy brought to them.

How do I start my own delivery company? ›

How To Start Your Own Delivery Business
  1. Get a Truck or a Van. There is a large market for both new and used trucks and vans. ...
  2. Get Equipment. ...
  3. Name Your Business. ...
  4. Marketing Your Delivery Business. ...
  5. Build Your Reputation. ...
  6. Insurance. ...
  7. Join The GoShare Team. ...
  8. Save Your Receipts.
3 Mar 2016

Why do Malaysian like fast food? ›

A study by [13] found that the main attributes towards fast food such astaste, cleanliness,convenience, speed andpredictability were ranked high in the choice of a fast food item.

Why fast food is popular in Malaysia? ›

As a result, eating out has become a trend among Malaysians due to an economy rise, urbanization, busy lifestyles and an increasing number of working moms. In addition, fast food restaurants offer meals at reasonable prices and provide many value deals as KFC continue to offer their “fill-up lunch deal” for consumers.

Do Malaysians like fast food? ›

American fast food dominates in Malaysia, but homegrown brands also play a large role in food services. According to data, among Malaysia's top 25 restaurant chains, KFC and Pizza Hut lead the pack as the top two brands, with McDonald's, Starbucks and Subway all in the top 10.

How often do people order food delivery? ›

60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week. 31% say they use these third-party delivery services at least twice a week. 34% of consumers spend at least $50 per order when ordering food online.

How big is the food delivery market? ›

How big is the online food delivery market? b. The global online food delivery market size was estimated at USD 189.70 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 215.69 billion in 2022.
Report AttributeDetails
Quantitative unitsRevenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2028
13 more rows

Why do customers order food online? ›

Simplicity and Convenience

Blame it on laziness or convenience, people prefer to order food online rather than leaving their homes to visit an eatery. All you need to do is scroll through the app to find your favorite dish and tap to order. Hassle-free services are not just convenient but also comforting.

Why did Wendy's close in Malaysia? ›

Wendy's Malaysia is operated by Berjaya Group subsidiary, Berjaya Burger Sdn Bhd. On Twitter, Twt Bajet said Wendy's Malaysia was closing because Berjaya Group had decided not to renew its franchise licence. User Radikal Bebas said that the outlet at Paradigm Johor Baru recently shut its doors.

What is the most popular fast food restaurant? ›

McDonald's is still the most popular fast food brand in America today—with $46 billion in systemwide sales last year. This graphic uses data from a report on America's top 50 fast food chains by Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Magazine.

What are the top 5 fast food restaurant chains? ›

These Are the Top 5 Fast-Food Chains in America Right Now
  • Wendy's.
  • Taco Bell.
  • Chick-fil-A.
  • Starbucks.
  • McDonald's.
5 Apr 2021

Who owns Malaysian Foodpanda? ›

Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of siteOnline food ordering
Founded26 March 2012, Berlin, Germany
Area servedBangladesh Cambodia Germany Hong Kong Hungary Japan Laos Malaysia Myanmar Pakistan Philippines Singapore Slovakia Taiwan Thailand
CEOJakob Angele
5 more rows

What percentage of people order food online? ›

Online food ordering now accounts for roughly 40 percent of the total restaurant sales. (Zippia) China is the largest and USA is the second-largest consumer of online food orders.

How big is F&B industry in Malaysia? ›

Revenue in the Food market amounts to US$46.78bn in 2022. The market is expected to grow annually by 8.20% (CAGR 2022-2027).

What do you know about Foodpanda? ›

Foodpanda is a global online food delivery marketplace headquartered in Berlin, Germany. Fun fact – they're also known as hellofood in other places in the world. At their very essence, they're a food delivery service that connects the restaurant or eatery in question directly with the consumers ordering it!

What is delivery hero Malaysia? ›

About Delivery Hero: Delivery Hero is a leading global online food ordering and delivery marketplace with number one market positions in terms of restaurants, active users, and orders in more countries than any of its competitors across 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Latin America and ...

Who is the CEO of food Panda? ›

Is foodpanda available in USA? ›

About us. For us, it's not just about bringing you good food from your favourite restaurants. It's about making a connection, which is why we sit down with the chefs, dreaming up menus that will arrive fresh and full of flavour. Try us!

Which country uses food delivery the most? ›

China is ahead in total revenue for food delivery, at $27.3 billion in 2021. Meituan contributed to $15 billion of that revenue, as the largest food delivery app in the world by revenue and usage.

Who use food delivery the most? ›


63% of people 18 to 29 years old have used a multi-restaurant delivery website or app service in the past 90 days, followed by 51% for those 30 to 44 years old, 29% for those 45 to 60, and just 14% for those 60 and over.

Why is food delivery increasing? ›

Third-party delivery continues to grow as its usage increases across the restaurant and grocery industries. Restaurant chains are increasingly partnering with multiple third party fleets in order to expand their delivery footprint across all their stores and at all times of day.

What is the biggest food company in Malaysia? ›

Based in Shah Alam, Selangor, Kawan Food is Malaysia's leading exporter and largest manufacturer for food of its kind.

Why food industry is important in Malaysia? ›

The food-processing sector account for about 10% of Malaysia's manufacturing output. Processed food contributed about RM21. 76 billion and are exported to more than 200 countries, while import value of processed food is amounted RM20.

How many fast food restaurants are in Malaysia? ›


The fast food franchising sector takes up about 32% which represent a total of 6000 fast food outlets in Malaysia, while the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) or fast food market was valued at $493 million (RM1.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a food delivery? ›

A Delivery Driver, or Courier, is responsible for delivering products to customers, like groceries, take-out or mail. Their main duties include driving a delivery vehicle, delivering items in a timely manner, and communicating with both customers and the central dispatch unit.

What is the benefit of using foodpanda? ›

Saving Time and Energy

With the apps like foodpanda offering foodpanda shops, it is easy to scroll and click to purchase the items that you need. Besides, you have more time to do more work or rest as you don't have to travel and from the store, which also helps you to save more petrol.

Why is foodpanda so successful? ›

With countless restaurant partnerships across 40 countries, the service is so convenient that no matter where you are, a simple order placement through its mobile app gets your order to you faster than you could ever imagine. Online food delivery is unsurprisingly not new to the world.


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