Malaysia-based Perks offers a virtual drive-through feature, which allows you to make a pit-stop in front of the restaurant while the staff delivers the takeaways to your car
As per several reports, car ownership in Malaysia is one of the highest in the world. Majority households in the country own at least a car/four wheeler.
The huge vehicle population has, needless to say, contributed to the growing traffic woes. As a result, drivers often spend an average of 25 minutes daily just in search of parking spots.
This has naturally affected the every-day activities of the common public. When they go out to fulfil their basic needs such as shopping or eating out, their precious time is wasted on the streets struggling to find a space to park their vehicle safely, without attracting a parking ticket from the cops.
“We sensed an opportunity here,” Joey Yee, Co-founder and CFO of Perks, tells me.
Perks, a startup based out of Selangor, enables users to order food at their favourite restaurant listed on the platform and collect it in the comfort of their car — effectively helping them bypass the long queues in front of food outlets and the massive traffic snarls.
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Perks was founded about six months ago by three entrepreneurs — Yee, Liang Hong and Tjun Kit. Perks, which is still in the early stages, basically offers a virtual drive-through feature, which allows customers to make a pit-stop in front of their restaurant favourite eatery, while the staff delivers their takeaways to their car/vehicle. “As the traffic congestion takes a toll on the common man, we realised that drive-though pickup could effectively address this challenge. We then started working on this concept and came up with Perks,” Yee says.
The app, claims Yee, is a win-win for both the merchant as well as the end consumer. “Most restaurants charge a fee from the customer for delivery. Isn’t it unreasonable to charge a consumer for the delivery of the meals he ordered from an outlet, which is just a stone’s throw away from his home? Worse, by the time the dish reaches him, it would already have become cold. Perks is addressing this perennial issue effectively,” Yee adds.
How it works
On the app, the user can browse through the number of partner restaurants listed on the platform, place the order, select his/her desired pick-up date and time, fill up his/her car details, and check out. The app will have the menu and the pricing details of each restaurant. There is no minimum order size.
“For the customer, we help him save his precious time which he would otherwise have spent on the road, and/or in front of the food outlet. For the merchant partner, the virtual drive-through feature helps him keep his operating costs and logistics risks low. Additionally, it also save him costs associated with the setting up of an physical drive-through points spots in cities,” she explains the benefits to this writer.
As per a research, many in the US have already adopted this technology with remarkable success. Yee and team want to replicate this success in Malaysia, an emerging market with nearly 50 of the population is young and tech-savvy. “As our app offers great convenience to the consumer, he/she has grown less willing to accept the usual delays that may once have been seen as just part of the usual shopping and dining experience. We have helped remove the long queues at full-service restaurant check-out line and drive-through line,” she continues.
Yee says several restaurants have already expressed their interest to partner with the startup. The app is already live on iOS and Android platforms.
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As for revenue, the company will take a cut on every successful transaction from the merchant partner. As the business grows, Perks will introduce new revenue streams, including advertisements and branding for partners.
According to Business Insider, mobile order-ahead is still in its nascent days. It is expected to hit US$38 billion by 2020 with a five-year CAGR of 57 per cent. By 2020, 57 per cent of all sales will be placed digitally before the customer ever steps on the premises. Besides, a The Star report says that more than 64 per cent of Malaysians eat at least one meal per day outside of their home. “By having all these backed up data, we believe that there’s so much growth in this space and we can’t wait to explore it first in our hometown Malaysia,” she notes.
The company is currently in the fundraising mode to expand into multiple markets in Southeast Asia. “The biggest challenge is financial constraints. Customer education is another major challenge. Our team has been working aggressively to implement a customer-centric working philosophy, so as to enable us to succeed in our pursuit of attaining the height sustainable growth and progress we desire to achieve in this tech-savvy and challenging business world.”
Yee also claims that Perks has been selected to exhibit at the RISE 2018 conference in Hong Kong . “We were beyond grateful to have our ideas and business model validated by investors and visitors from every corner of the world, giving us valuable suggestions and advices to help us grow,” she ends the conversation.
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